United Kingdom (UK) drinks 55 millions cups of coffee every day. There’s plenty of coffee shops in London alone served your favorite espresso, latte, or even macchiato. Here we pick the best from the crop and present you with some of the best coffee shops in London.
Why go? Because Aussies know coffee. If you’ve ever travelled down under, you will already know that when it comes to java our Antipodean cousins don’t play around. If you haven’t been, just check out Kaffeine.
Open since 2009 and now with two branches, this all-day Australian/New Zealand-style café does serve some food (salads, soups, sangers), but the coffee is the star of the show with talented baristas making beautiful music from the Synesso Cyncra espresso machines.
What’s the coffee like? Well, it comes from Square Mile Coffee, London’s award-winning roaster, and Kaffeine is ALWAYS busy. What do you think it’s like? Paul Henderson
Wilton Way Café
Why go? Just north of London Fields in the hipster ground zero that is E8 on an otherwise undistinguished parade of shops you will find the Wilton Way, which – unlikely as it seems at first sight – was named by Vanity Fair as one of the coolest streets in the world.
This is home to London Fields Radio, a micro local station that “creates podcasts for the creative community of London Fields”. In such a small place the results can be a little like sit-com, but never dull. The food is good, too.
What’s the coffee like? The vibe is ersatz Australian and the beans come from near neighbours Climpson & Sons, so expect a bonzer flat white. Robert Johnston
Monmouth Coffee Company
Why go? This Covent Garden institution has customers queueing out the door, possibly because there are a very few places to sit inside, hence the long bench out front.
They sell organic beans (whole and ground) from hand-picked single farms, estates and cooperatives that will appeal to the caffeine connoisseur.
All the staff wear hemp aprons and will never, ever write your name on your cup. Get there early or you’ll miss out on the other main draw: the pastries.
What’s the coffee like? Real coffee: this is a mocha-frappu free zone. Jessica Punter
Rapha Cycle Club London (CCLDN)
Why go? The only thing cyclists take more interest in than their bikes (and riding gear) is their coffee.
The pre-, post- and even mid-ride caffeine hit is nothing less than performance enhancing rocket fuel, and the Rapha Cycle Club Café in Soho – it takes up half of the biking boutique – offers NASA-grade java, using beans from Germany and Sweden, plus regular guest coffees provided by Workshop for those serious about their blackstuff. They also serve cake, which is nice.
What’s the coffee like? ‘Black as midnight on a moonless night.’ Paul Henderson
Why Go? A row of red Vespas line up outside this quiet corner spot, located close to busy Clapham Junction.
Story Coffee is the shop to go to for a very green brunch and creamy coffee. Decorated with handmade wooden benches and stalls, the minimal Scandinavian vibe still lends a comforting air.
Story Coffee opens its doors at 7am for the early birds who like a Piccolo while they watch the city wake up. Liberty Dye
Why go? Flat White is precisely what you want out of your local, hipster coffee den: neither too friendly nor too aloof – I want a coffee not a therapy session to iron out my anxiety –
the tiny nook found in the pulsing heart of Soho will quickly become a place you will never tell anyone about for fear of breaking the caffeine-bolstered solace you find here.
Oh, and they can make you a cortado which is, like, the new’ double shot, skinny dry macchiato’. But then you knew that, right?
What’s the coffee like? Punchy. Textured. Short. Jonathan Heaf
Taylor Street Barista
Why go? For the joe of course, which is as stridently on trend and true to the specialty coffee culture as it gets. (It also sells a small range of do it yourself kits for the budding barista in you.)
But that’s just the beverage side: the snug, hole-in-the-wall café is a Mayfair melting pot of hedgies, Bond Street boulevardiers and lost tourists in need of a jolt – and the freshly prepared food and multi-part soup offerings ensure they keep coming back.
What’s the coffee like? Excellent – and served with a side of tap water. Bill Prince
Back On Track Coffee
Why go? For such a small space (we’re talking four or five tables) it’s surprising how easy it is to find space to sit – and especially so when you sample the coffee.
Rumour has it this is a popular spot with a nearby literary agent, so if you’re touting a manuscript be sure to bring it with you.
What’s the coffee like? It’s dark and rich, and yet still as smooth as the low-volume jazz that commonly plays. Aaron Callow
But First, Coffee
Why go? This independent coffee shop has become a neighbourhood hub since it opened eighteen months ago, providing a morning caffeine fix for North London commuters and a relaxing space to spend a lazy Saturday morning.
It’s run by a local couple who manage to make make the cosy space feel more like a friend’s living room than a shop
Their coffee is provided by Ozone Coffee Roasters and is the best in the area – including nearby Crouch End’s numerous offerings – as are their cinnamon pastries (if you can get one before they disappear).
What’s the coffee like? Smooth, served with a smile. John Hitchcox