Juno87 Senior Member Joined: 4 Jun 2013 Posts: 3 Location: Berlin Expertise: Pro Barista
Posted Tue Jun 4, 2013, 10:25am Subject: Re: Best coffee in London ?
I used to work in Lantana Cafe just off Goodge St. They also just opened a second store in Shoreditch called Salvation Jane. Aussie run and owned! Great cakes and food also. Other great one would be Flat White!
bngrdn Senior Member Joined: 13 Dec 2007 Posts: 55 Location: Denver, CO, USA Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Quickmill Alexia Dual PID Grinder: Anfim Best
Posted Tue Sep 10, 2013, 8:15pm Subject: Re: Best coffee in London ?
Just came back from a week in London and thought that I would post about my experience because I perused this thread before my trip and wanted to give my feedback.
First, in response to the last post, Talkhouse Coffee (http://talkhousecoffee.com/) was one of the best shops that I visited. They employ the reining UK AeroPress and Latte Art champions. It's a beautiful shop at the edge of the Portobello Road Market in Notting Hill. If you visit it, you should also check out Honest Jon's Records (278 Portobello Road), which is just up the street and is one of the best record shops in London.
Workshop Coffee in Clerkenwell was probably my favorite shop because, well, I love Clerkenwell and the food was excellent too. I actually had one of the best meals of my life there, which is a first in a coffee shop. The atmosphere is quite chic but the staff are very friendly.
Prufrock in Clerkenwell is very good too. Gwilym Davies, a former world barista champion, supposedly trains all of the baristas. I was a little disappointed with the coffee, probably because I had world barista champion expectations, but it was very good nonetheless.
The best cappuccino, which is what I drink when I go to coffee shops, was actually at the Espresso Room, yes, again in Clerkenwell near Russel Square. An interesting tidbit I discovered while drinking my way across London was that shops owned by expat Aussi or New Zealanders put coco powder on top of cappuccinos while those owned by the English do not. I don't like that because it's like ordering a mocha so I had to ask when I ordered my drinks not to sprinkle my caps with coco.
Embassy East in Shoreditch was my third favorite shop. It would have ranked higher but it's a little bit out of the way. The coffee, however, was excellent. It's owned and operated by Chris and Tommy who used to work at Flat Cap in SoHo. Supposedly, Flat Cap is not owned by the original owner anymore who gave it its good name. I went to Flat Cap and Monmouth too and thought they were way behind the competition. I was told by a barista that Monmouth is the Starbucks of London in so far as it started the specialty coffee movement but it's fallen way behind.
I'm told that Association Coffee in the financial district is very good too but I didn't get to try it. London has one of the best coffee scenes, if the not the best, that I have ever seen. At Prufrock I picked up a Specialty Coffee Map of London for a couple pounds, which was really valuable and a great keepsake. I'm told you can also download "London's Best Coffee" app for iPhone and Android. Anyway, I hope my experience is useful to anyone visiting London!
Posted Sat Oct 19, 2013, 9:20am Subject: Re: Best coffee in London ?
Visited London again last month and got to try some old favourites (Monmouth, milkbar, Fernandez & Wells) and even visited a Caffe Nero just to remind myself of what I used to drink when living there years ago...how tastes can change over the years. :P
This year the top new spots I enjoyed were:
- Speakeasy, off Carnaby Street. Serving the Coffeesmiths espresso blend roasted by Climpson and Sons. Really nice flat white with the best soy milk I've tried - Bonsoy. Bought some beans for the road and pulled some of the best shots ever with this stuff, was very pleased.
- Espresso Room, Great Ormond Street. Visited twice and really enjoyed both times. They were pulling Red Brick espresso by Square Mile and were consistently great. Nice little spot if you're in the area.
Also visited Notes, Sacred and Nude Espresso, all of whom roast their own beans and all of which were pretty good but not quite top drawer. New Row was pretty good as well, they were pulling Union Hand Roasted.
The one place I visited that I probably wouldn't return to was Camden Coffee House. Friendly staff and nice little spot in Camden but my drink wasn't great. They were pulling Hasbean but then again I had a soy macchiato so can't be too critical of the beans.
All in all, London's coffee scene continues to amaze me...what a transformation from ten years ago, there are so many quality places in town. Some are standouts and worth trekking halfway across London for but it is good to know that you're never too far from a good coffee.
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