Five London Specialty Coffee Shops Where You Can Track Down a Top-Notch Flat White
So you don't have to go frantically running through the streets of Soho in search of a coffee that's up to par.
Move over tea with the Queen — the coffee in London has improved so much over the last few years even Lizzy would ask for a flat white over an English breakfast. We sacrificed the money we were saving for a house deposit to taste coffee all over the city, and here are five coffee shops worth hunting down while you're in town.
MONMOUTH COFFEE, COVENT GARDEN
Monmouth is the grand old dame of London coffee, and has been pumping out caffeine since 1978. And even though Monmouth likes to keep things fresh with an ever-changing selection of house-roasted beans, some things will never change, like the house blend, the queues and the fact that Monmouth makes the best coffee in Old Blighty. We've heard good things about the filter, but we only tried the flat white, because, well, why change when you're onto a good thing? Queen Lizzy gets it.
THE ESPRESSO ROOM, BLOOMSBURY
The Espresso Room is so small it could double as Harry Potter's cupboard under the stairs, so it's a good thing you don't need much space to pump out great coffee (as the Japanese know). This Bloomsbury coffee shop is unsurprisingly known for its espresso, but for our money (too much of our money, to be honest — coffee here is more expensive than home), the flat white is where the magic is. Not too milky, not too strong — it's the best thing this side of getting a letter from Hogwarts.
You'll need coffee after spending time on London's most insane shopping artery, Oxford Street. Luckily Kaffeine is just a street or two behind the insanity, serving up damn fine coffee in a damn fine looking coffee shop. This is the place to go if you want a taste of classic Australian espresso-based coffee in London; you won't find American- and Scandi- style filter here. You can even grab an Anzac biccie to snack on if you're feeling seriously homesick.
TIMBERYARD, SEVEN DIALS
Timberyard is buzzing at all opening hours, and not just because of the free Wi-Fi — the coffee here, although although on the expensive side of things, hits the spot. The flat white is strong, flavoursome, with just the right kick of calcium. Grab a seat — try for one of the hotly contested window spots — and the staff will bring your coffee over on a wooden chopping board (because timber yard, geddit?). You'll want to stay for coffee number two. Your tastebuds will thank you, even if your wallet does not.
You go to Kaffeine for a taste of Australia, but for a taste of New Zealand, head straight to one of Allpress Espresso's two cafes in Shoreditch. Founded in Auckland, Allpress is swiftly taking over the world, with cafes in Australia, Japan and London. And you can taste exactly why: their coffee is one of the best, wherever in the world you find it. The Shoreditch cafe has the antipodeon design look down-pat, with white walls and exposed pale timber. The espresso-based coffee, which uses Allpress roasted beans, is delicious, of course.
Published on May 20, 2017 by Lauren Whybrow