The city of London is home to many burgeoning food trends. Londoners have adopted innovative fads such as the veggie-friendly pulled jackfruit to the terrifyingly monstrous freakshakes. However, no other trend has hit quite as hard or sustained its popularity for as long as the Aussie- and Kiwi-born artisan coffee shops and roasteries.
It makes sense, really, because good coffee isn’t so much a movement as it is an evolution in taste and preparation. Unlike kelp fettuccine and rainbow-colored bagels, people will never tire of kicking off their mornings with a properly brewed cup of Joe.
That being said, there remains a disproportionate number of cafés and restaurants that wouldn’t know their head from their ass. So, how do you find the best coffee shops in London? We’re glad you asked. Here is a list of five of our favorite coffee shops in London to curb your caffeine cravings.
Roast Back in Time Monmouth Coffee is more than 35 years old and remains a firm favorite among London’s artisan coffee scene. High-quality coffees ensure this stalwart’s indentured popularity among the city’s coffee aficionados, and their prime locations mean that they’re also usually heaving with a high tourist footfall. Shops can be found in Bermondsey, London Bridge, and the original Monmouth Street branch in Covent Garden. They serve everything from divinely extracted espressos and French press filters to the more innovative Aeropress and Chemex trends. Food-wise, it’s basic café fare with crusty loaves of bread and decadent pastries and cakes. If you’re in the mood for a bit of a natter, the affable staff will be more than happy to talk you through the current blends on offer and the flavor expressions in each.
Address: 27 Monmouth St, London WC2H 9EU
Get the Scoop Kiwi-run Caravan is another all-time fave, with its King’s Cross branch boasting its own in-house roaster. If you love all flavors Australasian and you have a weak spot for prosecco-fueled brunch, then this is your place. Not only do they have two immensely popular branches in King’s Cross and Exmouth Market, but they also distribute their beans to independent cafés around the city. True to their Southern Hemisphere counterparts, their brand of coffee favors slightly more acidic notes — something that if you’re not used to can taste a little funky at first, but once you’ve developed a palate for it, it’s a flavor that will keep you coming back for more and more and more… The food is fantastic. Think hearty breakfasts that will give even the worst of hangovers a reason to get out of bed in the morning and tapas-style dinner plates that have kept London’s fickle foodies in rapture for years.
Address: 1 Granary Square, King’s Cross, London N1C 4AA
Press for More AAllpress is another popular roasting giant among London’s artisan coffee scene. They use only pure Arabica beans, and their namesake Redchurch Espresso Blend offers notes of lemon and caramel. The original Redchurch branch in Shoreditch is a conveniently located corner spot in an airy, light-filled room and features a smattering of tables with a counter at one end and a coffee roaster at the other. No matter which way you take it — whether you prefer a cappuccino topped with silky microfoam or a filter — the coffee is superb. Not unlike Monmouth, the food is simple but delicious. The baked goods are wonderful, and the innovative sandwiches are a far cry from the drab high street options.
Address: 58 Redchurch St, Shoreditch E2 7DP
Put On your Birthday Suite Nude in Soho and Shoreditch are industry favorites. Not only do they smash out fantastic coffee, but they also seem to get an equilibrating mix of highly trained and friendly staff; unobtrusive yet cool music; trendy interiors; chilled clientele; and a laid-back vibe. The Shoreditch branch is big enough to (usually) find a seat at any hour but still small enough to feel cozy. Their East Blend espresso offers up a high kick but remains mellow enough to retain a neutral and smooth aftertaste. What many like about Nude’s setup is that it’s easy enough to drop in for a quick takeaway without feeling like you’re just standing in the middle of a restaurant but also inviting enough to while away the afternoon uploading various latte art onto Instagram.
Address: 25 Hanbury St, London E1 6QR
Visit the Hospitality Experts Another top Kiwi-owned roaster is Ozone Coffee, located off the Old Street roundabout. As a tech-savvy hot spot, a lot of office entrepreneurs seek out their morning, mid-morning, afternoon and evening coffee hit at this caffeine hub. Often, this means that the place is busy, so if you can’t manage to find a spot, head downstairs to their in-house roastery where there are likely a lot of empty seats. In addition to offering the traditional espresso-based drinks, Ozone also prepares a duo of slow-brew specials that change daily and are well worth a punt. The food is inventive and fun. If you want to tantalize your taste buds, get the tomato, chickpea and fenugreek tortilla with melted leeks or the halloumi, kasundi and a poached egg.
Address: 11 Leonard St, London EC2A 4AQ
Now that you know how to properly start your day in The Big Smoke, note it down in your BUCKiTDREAM diary, then check out London’s Secret Cocktail Bars: Everything You Need To Know and 5 Of London’s Best Sky-Scraping Restaurants.