Last month I was in London again, partly because our daughter graduated from her masters in sustainable development – proud parents, praise God. Naturally, the graduation was one day but of course I took advantage of staying in freezing London for at least 6 days before heading back to Dubai to spend time with family and friends and drink good coffee of course.
Brickwood Cafe, 21 Battersea Rise, Clapham
I stopped in here for my first coffee of my trip to meet with my sister briefly as she was about to fly back to the States, so I ordered a corn bread benedict and a flat white. Brickwood still use Ozone Coffee, so you know it’s going to satisfy not just your caffeine thirst but your taste buds too. I’ve been here a few times as it’s just around the corner from where I stay in London.
The Gentlemen Baristas, 162 Piccadilly, Green Park
After an early start, where I had to meet a client, I opted to meet my wife and daughter at this cafe, where I’ve been before. As you enter, it is quite busy but what I liked was the Italian style greeting by one of the staff, who took our order due to the long lunch time queue and served us as we seated by the window. I opted for a cappuccino and my daughter for an Americano – her new go to for coffee. Their coffee is more on the dark roasted side, so expect dark chocolate notes with milk based coffee. Prego.
Arome Bakery, 27 Duke Street – opposite Selfridges – West End
Hanging out with my daughter, a keen foodie, I gracefully accompanied her to a Japanese bakery on her list. Sadly most of the delicious pastries and cakes that grace their instagram feed had sold out, so whilst she opted for a Japanese chicken savoury croissant, I noted that they had a three group La Marzocco Linea at the back, asked them about their coffee and ordered a cortado. The Japanese tend to favour a darker roast for espresso based coffee so I knew it would be give me a milk chocolate vibe, which it did. Good for pastry and coffee.
Kafi Cafe, 20 Cleveland Street, West End
Last summer I stopped at their pop-up shop at Lush on Oxford Street and decided this time to visit their actually coffee shop, which is quite quaint (attractively unusual) and small that you could easily walk past it. Hanging out with my brother on yet another sub-zero day in London, we ordered a cortado for me and a flat white for him. Kafi brew espresso on a La Marzocco Strada and use HasBean coffees – one of the OGs of specialty coffee in the UK so you won’t be disappointed. They have a strong vegan feel and some small bites, so stop here to grab coffee as sitting will be difficult – they literally have space for about 6 people inside and bench outside (good for the summer and spring I guess).
Rosslyn Coffee, 118 London Wall, City of London
So, I’ve saved the best for last. I first heard of Rosslyn a few years back and made a coffee geek inspired journey to their first coffee shop a few years back – read here. Recently voted best independent coffee shop in Europe, they now have three shops, centred in the City of London – i.e. where all the top banks, law firms, hedge funds are located. So, if you are having a high powered meeting and trying to cut a deal in a friendly good coffee setting, try their branch at Moorgate Station or London Wall. My daughter and I ordered a Long Black and Flat White respectively.
For milk based it was deffo milk chocolate with hints of hazelnuts. I went over to the head barista, Miles, and after highlighting my coffee geekiness, he took me around the back to show me their newish La Marzocco KB90 and their work flow. The most intrigue g thing for me and for him too, was the Uber Milk machine, which can now froth milk to a very high barista standard automatically, lessen the work flow when they have a huge influx of customers at peak times – they already have like 2/3 baristi. I was glad for the tour, walked around a bit, shot a video and left.
There you have it, a quick tour guide of some new places to drink coffee when you’re out and about in London. Please share any new places in the comments below.