This month we’ve been raising awareness of how much people spend on coffee. We heard that people spend upwards of £50 over 30 days, for some that extended into the 100s! So we launched #BudBuys where we pick up the tab for four people’s coffee expenditure for the month of December.
If you’re going to spend some cash on espressos and cappuccinos you might as well do it in some of the best places in London. Whether you’re a serious coffee maestro, or a greenhorn looking to cast your net wider than the Pret round the corner, you are in luck. This list will help you navigate the raddest roasteries, coolest cafes and bossest ‘black gold’ dispensaries this city has to offer.
Twist up your moustache, settle down in your reclaimed school-house chair and dig into this list of foam-art laden froth houses.
Nestled just south of Old Street Roundabout (or silicon roundabout if you’re one of those people) this place has so much going for it. The first thing you notice when you walk through the door? Well, just some stairs down to a huge coffee roaster. Patrons can head down and speak with the experts about the process, or you could just take a seat and dig into the good stuff. The menu normally boasts three ‘brewed’ coffees by region. Perfect if, like me, you enjoy sounding like you know what you’re talking about:
“I’ll have the Colombian brew please, Colombia is a great region for coffee” I’d say, smugly.
The truth is, all the coffee here is great, and you can navigate the menu by their tasting notes. And although this post is about coffee I have to talk about the food here too, it’s unreal. The combination of great coffee and enjoyable breakfast food makes this place. Definitely check it out.
The London Bridge incarnation of the original cinema-sign-clad Shoreditch Grind. This one is my preferred location of the hip ‘Grind’ chain of shops. Situated pretty much on the river, by London Bridge it’s long galleon shape means it can sit more people that it’s Shoreditch forefather and makes it a slightly less stressful experience. This chain recently raised enough money via Crowdcube to build their own roaster in London, which is important to note because: the fresher the roast the better the taste. This coffee shop doesn’t leave you dripping with coffee snobbery, but it does leave you with a cool aura that sticks with you for as long as you hold on to your stamped take-away cup. If you are looking for a spot later in the day this is the place. It quickly shape shifts into a bar with platters of cheese and ham to compliment an old fashioned or glass of wine.
If you’re up on your coffee, then the first two places were probably not new news to you, but this little spot is much ore off the beaten track. This unassuming place at the corner of Fitzroy Square instantly leaves an impression. Before we get onto the coffee, the highlight of this place are the people. It really feels like you are entering someone’s home, such is the level of niceties and attention. The cafe contains a collection of London made produce curated by Ben, the owner, from magazines to booze, cheese, wine, cakes and bread as well as some of the best made coffee in London. The brand: Volcano. A gourmet blend of beans, small-batch roasted in an antique roaster in the heart of Brixton. It’s great coffee. But honestly, it tastes better than other places that sell Volcano. I think it’s the atmosphere and the - I’m going to say it - ‘love’ they put in that makes a difference. Ben is always up for a chat, and if you ask, he’ll introduce you to loads of new London makers and produce that are on the up in the big city.
I have waited 30 minutes for an Allures coffee. I’m not proud. But that’s how popular this place is. And rightly so, this is no-frills great coffee. Based on Redchurch Street, between Brick Lane and Shoreditch High Street, its premium produced cups of joe are in keeping with the surround area. The beans are roasted up the road in a large warehouse Dalson-way so you know you are always getting the freshest coffee in the cup. This is the perfect kick off spot before a Sunday stroll through the markets of Brick Lane and Spitalfields.
The final spot on my list is on here for one reason. Lantana is a dual location chain, one in Old Street and one in NoHo - near Goodge Street / Charlotte Street. The one I recommend is the latter. Down a wee pedestrianised passageway this shop has two entrances: one with ‘IN’ branded on the swing board, the other ‘OUT’. Walking in you’ll see a wall covered in stamped loyalty cards. It shows how popular the place is, but also, it makes you want to be part of the gang and get a card up there with your name on it - very clever.
This imported Melbourne-inspired place serves a great flat white, but it’s the cold brew that earns them a spot on this list. Brewed - or steeped - overnight and dripped painfully slow in what looks like a comedy-sized chemistry set, this stuff is rocket fuel. Each ‘shot’ is the same as drinking 3 coffees. A bottle contains six shots. For a fiver a pop you could say it’s great value. But you’ve to be quick, they only make a certain amount each day and often, you can leave disappointed and empty handed.
There you have it. Where to spend your star bucks in London. Why not try one of these spots, and send us a picture if you do. Or if you have a favourite, let us know in the comments. We’re always on the lookout for new java joints.
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