Though most people think of tea when thinking of London, the capital City is not lacking in artisanal and delicious coffee! Below is our guide that will ensure a great caffeine kick before embarking on a great London Walking tour.
The first Attendant Coffee opened in a subterranean gentleman’s toilets in Fitzrovia, serving expertly-made coffees using the café’s own-roast beans. If you’re keen on novelty and quirk, this flagship is the Attendant to visit, but it’s especially tiny even by central London standards, and so we recommend heading east to the Shoreditch branch. Set on Great Eastern Street, the light-filled, Victorian-inspired space has plants hanging from the ceiling, a green-tiled bar, copper light fixtures and loads of space to spread out. Pair your flat white with something from the food menu: the banana bread is toasted and topped with sticky berry and elderflower compote and creamy maple and vanilla mascarpone. Come on a weekday for a chilled-out coffee-while-you-work vibe, or on weekends for a buzzier brunch
Tucked away on a quiet lane off frenetic Old Street, Origin is where Shoreditch’s true coffee devotees go for their daily brew. The coffee is artisanal. Breathing in the grassy aromas as each carefully-sourced sack of green beans is first opened. Constantly monitoring the controlled atmosphere and consistent roasting capability of their two Loring Smart roasters. Checking colour, form and smell as the coffee beans develop. Diligently tasting each roast, over a number of days, to hit the perfect flavour note. It’s a complex process with infinite variables, but one thing is always the same: the relentless pursuit of quality dominates every stage. Bringing out the best of each coffee bean is as much about harnessing our senses, as it is using the best engineering and equipment. they pour their all into both, to create a cup that will exceed expectations.
Prufrock were dominating the artisan coffee game way before #latteart was a thing. The coffee here has won awards, and the extensive menu goes beyond espresso-based drinks – there’s also a lovingly curated list of filter coffees on offer at the brew bar which changes its menu weekly. The almond croissant is very good, and if you’re stopping for brunch, try the Field Mushrooms with aioli and Graceburn cheese. T
There’s no sign outside of this Kingsland Road coffee shop, but don’t let the air of exclusivity fool you. In the summer, they throw open the windows so that East Londoners spill onto the street. In the winter, on the weekends, the cosy, slightly rickety café fills up hastily. The indoors are pastiche: there are doors with stripped-back paint nailed to the walls, vintage TVs and radios on the shelves and neon script signs plonked on the office-style cabinets which are dotted about at random. The coffee is extraordinarily nice, and the food menu includes fresh toasted croissants, and a long list of toasties from simple (cheese and onion) to posh (smoked duck with fig and ricotta).
Created from a simple passion for quality bread and the joys of a back garden wood fired oven. Slowly, over the past few years they have grown organically; new elements added, recipes honed and with the help of their loyal customers the Bakehouse has flourished. With a strong desire to involve our surrounding community, they have learnt our trade though collaboration, study and experimentation and the support and feedback of the local neighborhood. It is an ongoing process which they have hopes to continue through work with local schools, community projects, artists and entrepreneurs.
The Towpath Cafe
Head to the Towpath Cafe for al fresco excellence.
Daffodils, the dawn chorus, and cherry blossom mania: there are many sure signs of the impending arrival of spring. Go ahead and add the Towpath Cafe to the spring portents, because when this charming little caff throws open their doors, the sun is here to stay.Just as nature doesn’t follow a set schedule for spring arrival, neither does Towpath Cafe – there’s no grand announcement, just a quiet opening of the doors and firing up of the grills. Indeed, the place flies neatly under the radar; located in a series of unassuming shutters along the so-called ‘Haggerston Riviera’. Since there’s only a small space to work with, tables spill out on to the towpath, which is just terrible when the sun shines.
Flying Horse Coffee
Owners Jack and Phillip came together after “coffee dating” on Coffee Jobs Board. Jack was in Melbourne working as a roaster and Phillip was busy setting up Mare Street Market, where Flying Horse Coffee resides. It turns out they had lots in common including Jack having worked for Phillip’s brother years previously.
Flying Horse is primarily a roastery but they have a hole in the wall where they can serve you a variety of coffee drinks from flat white to filter to cold brew. If you want to sit down there’s a lovely seating area outside that has plenty of space.
Whether you want a speciality coffee or great service, Flying Horse can offer you a great experience. If you’re in the mood for food, there’s lots on offer in Mare Street Market, too.
For nearly a decade Caravan has been the linchpin of foodie hub Exmouth Market, pouring Antipodean-style coffee for Londoners (and delighted Kiwi expats) long before the trend caught on. Every cup is treated with care, with every possible step taken to achieve the best flavour – from beans lovingly laboured over in the café’s own roastery to meticulously measured serves. Its success has seen Caravan pop up in several other spots around London over the years (most recently King’s Cross and Fitzrovia) but the Exmouth Market original remains a firm favourite. Visit on a clear-skied day when happy punters fill the tables that spill out onto the sun-dappled pedestrianised street.
As a coffee company ozne prides itself on getting to build friendships with a huge variety of interesting & talented people who are embarking on new adventures every day. From coffee lovers through to coffee farmers, they get to connect these people & it is such a humbling & inspiring privilege. Since starting out in 1998, Ozone has invested in their product, people & community. Back then they were just three passionate people roasting out of a small shop in a provincial New Zealand surf town. Today, the only real difference is that they have a lot more friends around the globe to learn things from & to share ideas with.
Aussie Brunswick East is artists heaven. There’s homemade cashew milk for the vegans and even a Nutella on the menu, with a yoga/brunch combo that teams up with yoga studio Yoke each Sunday to tempt Dalston’s hungover millennials out of bed. Hidden away on a calm courtyard with local art on the walls and a bookshop inside, the cakes are homemade, and the baristas expertly serve up Alchemy coffee.
This tiny white-washed café in the original hipster HQ has its own radio station, it’s that cool. And when the crowd is mostly Antipodean, you know it has good coffee too (locally roasted Climpsons & Sons). Tables are upcycled from old greengrocers’ crates and works by local artists brighten up the walls. Start the day with a dip in London Fields lido then come here for a crispy-bacon bap and a long black.
The coffee itself, rather than the shop, is the thing here. Aiming to create the best possible brew available each year, Workshop pushed our caffeine habit to addiction when we subscribed to its delivery service to receive an always satisfying surprise bag through the door every month. Each one arrived with a neat postcard showing where our coffee had hailed from, detailing the p
lace and people behind it, from Rwanda to El Salvador and Brazil to Ethiopia. The central London shop, one of five Workshops in London, is more of a stop-and-hop sort of joint but there is a communal space out back, bordered by benches and with a library vibe, should you fancy some quiet time with your cup and a book.
Eiichi Kunitomo-san opened the first Omotesando Koffee in Tokyo’s Omotesando Hills. It was a spartan space in an old tatami house, but when word got round about the quality of his coffee he ended up serving hundreds of people a day, one by one. Since then he’s closed the original and opened a few branches in Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok. And they all look beautiful in that pared back, Japanese way.