Did you know that two out of the last eight World Barista Champions are British and work in London? When it comes of the cup o’Joe, the UK capital does unique like nowhere else.
Here is our top ten of the cream of the crema of London : independent coffee shops that combine truly special coffee with stand-out atmosphere.
The first bricks-and-mortar coffee shop opened by World Barista Champion @gwilymbarista. This is a discerning coffee drinker’s playground, serving some of the best coffee in London. Numerous beans and blends on the go, and a comprehensive chart to help you decide what to go for.
Prufrock Coffee Shop- 23 Leather Lane, EC1
Prufrock at Present, 140 Shoreditch High Street, E1
This 65-year old Soho institution is open 24 hours a day, ensuring you’re never too far away from an espresso. Don’t bother with the handful of pavement tables outside; instead, squeeze into the teensy, gloriously retro interior to enjoy a strong espresso, plus maybe a ciabatta sandwich or Italian pastry. Above all, enjoy one the last remaining pockets of Italian coffee shop culture that’s quietly being lost among the Costas, CaffeNeros, and Starbucks.
22 Frith Street, W1D
Tapped & Packed
People come to this original rustic Fitzrovia hideaway to hang out and talk about their favourite drink.TAP is very much focused on the coffee making at the front of the store, be it espresso-based drinks (Simonelli machine), brewed coffees made in a drip cone or the increasingly popular Aeropress. Teas are from Postcard Teas and sandwiches, salads and soups are made in-house apart from bread from Seven Seeds.
26 Rathbone Place, W1T
Just around the corner from BBC Broadcasting House on Great Titchfield Street, this micro-chain has a borderline cult going on. The coffee is made by baristas who must have three years of training. They also do a coffee ‘flight’ (shot of espresso, cappuccino and a cold-brew cascara) and some of the most intriguing cold-brew coffees London has to offer. You’ll also find much to croon over in the food, which comes up from the basement kitchen.
66 Great Titchfield Street, W1W
Originally built in 1890, the former Victorian lavatory was closed for more than fifty years before it was restored and opened as a teeny tiny daytime café and kitchen. Diners sip impressively strong espresso surrounded by original features like the porcelain urinals, turned pretty counter, vintage lampshades and original Victorian tiles. The brunch menu (cereals, pastries, toast) and lunch offering (soups, salads, sandwiches) are definitely worth spending a penny in.
27A Foley Street, London W1W