I think it’s important at this time of year, to create meaningless ‘Top 5’ lists. And so, here are my top 5 (London) coffees of 2010.
5. Monmouth Coffee
Monmouth Coffee is kind of a given on any coffee list. If you’re buying ground coffee, this has always been the place to go.
Recently they refurbished their Covent Garden branch, and its a pretty nice place to sit if you like being surrounded by wood, which I do.
That being said, the best place to drink Monmouth out, is still at Cafe Oto, in Dalston. Oto offers free (if a little wobbly) wi-fi, and is relatively toddler free, making it a nice place to work from. It also turns into a music venue most evenings; hence the name ‘Oto’, meaning ‘Sound’ in Japanese.
Kaffiene is a great little place to escape to when you’re in central London. It offers great Aussie Coffee alongside the best pastries I’ve found west of Covent Garden.
Like most centrally located coffee houses, Kaffiene doesn’t offer much in the way of space, but is still a great place to meet for quick chats and meetings.
For a bit of joy, try their portuguese tarts.
3. Rough Trade East
The best record store in London, if not the world. Rough Trade East also boasts a little coffee bar at the front of the shop.
Perhaps it was more that I was surprised by the standard of my first coffee than its actual quality, but I’ve never been let down since. And besides, what could be better than listening to new music with a good coffee in hand?
2. Super Pizza
This is a surprising little place. The outside boasts an ancient ‘Antiques’ sign, and the only clue that anything else may lie inside are the words ‘Super Pizza, £3′, scribbled in white across the window.
Pass through the doors though, and you’ll find yourself in a lovely little cafe, somewhere between Twin Peaks’ Mar-T Cafe and the Shining’s Overlook Hotel. No really, go there, and you’ll see what I mean.
They serve great coffee, have free wi-fi, and yes, the pizza is super. It’s also pretty quiet during the daytime, so ideal for both meetings and work.
Winning factor: they put cucumber in the water.
1. Fernandez & Wells
Winner! This has always been my favorite place to get coffee in London, having discovered it shortly after moving here. I rarely get to visit now, as it tends to be out of my way, but when I do I’m reminded quite how good their coffee is.
Another Australian place, they were doing the best flat white’s long before most people even knew what one was. They also do the best espresso’s I’ve found; with the strongest taste without being slightest bit bitter. Fantastic.
It’s a small shop, and is crammed most hours of the day, so your best bet is to purchase your coffee and take it for a walk. If however, you’re lucky enough to get a seat at the window, you can simply watch the world and their shopping bags pass by… Lovely.