London is going crazy for artisan coffee ; so where's the best place for your skinny latte or your rare bean cappuccino? Coffee aficionado Phil Wain shares his favourite cafes in the capital.
Owner Peter Dore-Smith, originally from Melbourne used to manage hospitality at Lords Cricket Ground. A lover of coffee, he opened this Fitzrovia spot in 2009. The coffee from London roasters Square Mile is always great, but Kaffeine is in the hospitality business rather than the coffee business. You’ll be welcomed, looked after, and leave having had your day brightened – all for the price of a flat white.
Location: 66 Great Titchfield St, Fitzrovia, London W1W 7QJ
Again in Fitzrovia, Workshop’s a real gem. Regulars love to stand at the bar and chat with the baristas. They roast some of London’s best coffee and their friendly staff are of the highest order. If you don't fancy standing at the bar there is an elegant seating area reminiscent of a Victorian waiting room.
Location: 80A Mortimer Street, Fitzrovia, London W1W 7FE
Former World Barista Champion Gwilym Davies and top UK coffee trainer Jeremy Challender opened Prufrock in 2009. Nowhere takes coffee more seriously and, if you love coffee, this place has all the gear, all the training and all the beans. At the same time, it’s a friendly place and spacious enough to relax and enjoy a lengthy conversation.
Location: 23-25 Leather Lane, London EC1N 7TE
What’s it like? Set in the narrow streets of Shoreditch, Origin opened this bright, accessible coffeshop to feature their stunning single origin coffees. This means you won’t find any blends here: the café traces each coffee to a particular farm. Origin Coffee Roasters were founded in deepest Cornwall in 2004 but have risen to prominence recently with superb coffee roasts.
Location: 65 Charlotte Road, Shoreditch, London EC2A 3PE
Store Street itself is unique. It has a curated feel due to the Duke of Bedford’s enlightened ownership and is very much a chain-free zone. Store Street Espresso is a friendly space that doubles as an art gallery. It manages to be ahead of the game, both in terms of the great coffee, and in suiting the needs of a wide range of locals, students and workers.
Location: 40 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7DB