London is buzzing! Coffee culture continues to grow and the so-called ‘Third Wave’ movement – which focuses on producing high-quality coffee to be savoured, appreciated and taken as seriously as wine – has swept through the nation.
With the help of a vibrant Australian and New Zealand population in the city, there are coffee shops throughout London that take coffee-drinking to a new level, many of which have their own in-house roasteries and where customers can try out ‘cupping’, tasting sessions that help you to get more depth from your brew.
Here are some great coffee shops in London that offer bean-lovers and first-timers alike unique caffeine experiences:
The Attendant, Fitzrovia
Probably one of the most novel venues to serve up steaming mugs of coffee, The Attendant was formerly a late 19th-century gentlemen’s toilet…stay with us here! You can sit at authentic porcelain fixtures for artisan Caravan coffee (blended from green coffee beans from single estates and farms) with milk that comes from a small dairy farm in Somerset, southwest England. There’s another branch in east-London neighbourhood Shoreditch, too.
Climpson & Sons
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It is home from home here – Climpson & Sons’ coffee in Hackney, east London, is supplied by their eponymous roasters, located close by. It’s here they roast espresso blends and a range of single origin beans. At the café you’ll find a breakfast and lunch menu using produce sourced from nearby businesses, to complete the local experience.
Coffee is taken very seriously at Timberyard, where a Jabberwocky blend is used for its espresso-based drinks, and baristas can prepare single-origin coffee should you prefer. Describing itself as a ‘versatile lifestyle space’ you’ll be sipping your chosen brew in a large 2-storey space with colourful furnishings. There are teas and organic hot chocolate to tempt the tastebuds too.
Department of Coffee and Social Affairs
Proving that they are indeed serious about their caffeine, the coffee here is produced by some of the most passionate farmers on the planet. Quality coffees with unique personalities are handpicked, ensuring that they are worthy of your attention. The funky café is part of the Coffeesmiths Collective run by New Zealanders Time Ridley and Chris Mckie. There are several locations across London including Leather Lane, Spitalfields, Carnaby Street, Croydon and a new location in Canary Wharf coming soon.
The search for better coffee is never ending at Workshop. Since 2011, the Clerkenwell Cafe branch has been intent on bringing the very best coffee possible to the neighbourhood. The venue offers a relaxed and friendly atmosphere to enjoy both coffee and food from early morning right through to the evening. Other locations include Fitzrovia, Marylebone and Holborn.
Paper & Cup
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Offering an intimate space in Shoreditch, Paper & Cup bring a range of delectable coffees, books and finger-licking treats to the table. If you’re looking for somewhere to hideaway and lose yourself in a novel or grab a latte with friends, then this is the spot for you. This not-for-profit social enterprise café was created by locally based charity, the Spitalfields Crypt Trust.
Flat White is now introducing a weekend brunch combo deal for just £12. Grab you favourite coffee or tea along with fresh pressed orange juice, granola with yogurt and scrambled or poached eggs on toast. For pastry lovers an alternative option with fresh backed croissant is available. #flatwhitesoho #brunch #berwickstreet
Flat White is located in the vibrant heart of Soho amidst the Berwick Street Market: A frontier land between the Old Soho of street traders, fabric stores and vinyl shops and the New Soho of creative industries, media and fashion. Flat White was established in September 2005 to bring the refined artisan style coffee prevalent in Australian and New Zealand cafes to London. Serving simple and delicious cafe food, with a nod to our Aussie/Kiwi Heritage.
Caravan King’s Cross
Housed within an old granary building, the industrial chic décor was designed with the Victorian buildings history in mind. Set up by 3 Aussies, here you’ll find an upbeat vibe, an electic cooking style and an onsite coffee roastery. The outdoor terrace sits directly on Granary Square at the heart of the King’s Cross quarter.
Another Aussie-inspired coffee shop, Grind in Shoreditch has sat on Old Street Roundabout since 2011, and is now considered a bit of landmark. Since opening, it is now home to an international-grade recording studio upstairs along with a full service kitchen, transforming into an all-day espresso and cocktail bar. Grind has since opened espresso bars, cocktail bars, and restaurants across London in Soho, Holborn, Covent Garden, Exmouth, Whitechapel and Clerkenwell.
Originally hailing from Melbourne, the expertly prepared espresso and single origin filter brews from a rotating roster of flavoursome beans have proved to be a winner in Shoreditch’s well-populated café scene. Allpress caters for all sorts, from local businesses or galleries, to families with young children and those residents look to relax with the morning paper.
A small group of antipodeans devoted to great-tasting coffee opened the first Curators Coffee Studio in 2012 in the City of London. This speciality coffee house has since moved to its current location near the heart of Oxford Circus. A must-try is the exclusive house espresso, ‘Exhibition’, by the world-renowned Colonna Coffee. Or if coffee isn’t your brew of choice, try one of the artisan or loose-leaf tea selections.
Ozone Coffee Roasters
This coffee company originally started out as a trio of passionate people roasting out of a small New Zealand surf town. Try your hand at ‘cupping’ at this trendy Shoreditch café who are ‘committed to the pursuit of coffee excellence.’ Its Leonard Street London branch is a short stroll from Old Street tube station.