Smith Travel BlogTravel tales and hotel news from the boutique hotel experts at Mr & Mrs Smith

Best coffee in London?

Posted by Lucy Fennings on July 11th, 2008

After yet another maddening on-the-way-to-work wait for a gritty, feeble, bitter café latte, I’ve been doing some pondering forward-slash getting angry.

(A) Why is it that so many people who work in cafés in London have absolutely zero interest in actually serving you any coffee? This morning I pretty much had to jump up and down on the spot to get served, before being put through a testing display of incompetence that involved three members of staff and an abused Gaggia machine that sprayed coffee grounds into my to-go. I’d name names, but the coffee shop is the closest one to Smith HQ, and in a caffeine-crash crisis I’d have to go there, and I’d like my coffee to be foaming for all the right reasons.

(B) Why is it that almost every city in Europe (bar London, it would seem) is bursting with amazing cafés – and even rubbish cafés – where you can purchase a hot, smooth cup of simple caffeinated deliciousness without having to select from a ridiculous menu of stupidly named beverages? What kind of person drinks a pint of choca-mocha latte with extra almond syrup anyway? It’s more like a hot, liquid knickerbocker glory than a coffee. In this ‘can’t make a simple coffee’ category, I’m including all those fancy places that ought to know better: you’d be surprised how many ‘it’ restaurants and five-star hotels still can’t make a decent espresso. Way to ruin the end of a great meal. Gahh I’ve worked myself up into a right state just thinking about it!

Conclusion: I’ve decided to set out on a renewed Smith-style quest to find London’s best cafés and superior coffee shops. And then maybe the best café in the world. But let’s not run before we can walk.

To kick things off (and since the topic cropped up in Mrs Smith’s last Inside NYC blog post), I did a little background reading on Oliver Schwaner-Albright’s most excellent New York Times coffee blog. The pictures alone… mmn, it’s like coffee porn. Oliver, we salute you. I never knew there was so much to know! My inept offerings will doubtless by comparison be akin to rummaging blind in a large cloth bag, or trying to select wine from a menu of 350 without offending the sommelier. Oh well. If I could justify the journey (eg: scouting for boutique-hotel openings/checking up on Mr & Mrs Smith’s Danish hotels, Front and Avenue Hotel in Copenhagen), I’d have hied me hither for the World Barista Championships in Copenhagen. Although a quick look at this year’s results ranks the UK as only 10th best in the world as a country of coffeemakers. Which explains a few things

Next time on Coffee Break: we will grill Oliver for his superior coffee knowledge (and just generally have a chat, because he is a top chap), and attempt to find the best coffee in London. Any tips greatly appreciated. And please don’t tell us to go to Starbucks.

PLUS Coming soon: coffee shops we have known and loved, an international guide

Read our posts on the best coffee in Australia; and the best cafés in Melbourne

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74 Responses to “Best coffee in London?”

  1. This blog entry struck a chord with me… we ran out of coffee at home on Friday morning, I purchased a Carluccio’s latte and it basically ruined my day.

    So, here are my suggestions in case you’re fishing for any!
    1. Monmouth Coffee rocks my world and is just up the street from Covent Garden Hotel
    2. Flat White on Berwick Street (they use Monmouth coffee beans) – within walking distance of Soho Hotel and Hazlitt’s.

    Now… can we work on moving our office closer to one of these fine institutions?! Or persuade them to open up shop nearby?

    By Mary

  2. Hmm yes, mentioning no names, obviously! I’ve heard good things about Flat White and Monmouth – will put these suggestions to Oliver Schwaner-Albright when we grill him about superior coffee. I also discovered a great little place on Northcote Road in Clapham called Brew – fantastic breakfasts, and they know how to make a decent latte. Recommended (please don’t all go at once though, it’s really tiny and I will have some sort of nervous breakdown if I go there again and can’t have a sit-in set of blueberry pancakes or eggs benedict).

    By Lucy

  3. Here are some memoirs from my own coffee collection:
    Best coffee in the world: grubby kiosk, Nairobi Airport, Kenya.
    Worst – and most expensive: ****buck’s, Al Jamjoun Centre, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
    Best coffee on the run: a grab-it-and-go Brazilian cafezinho – mini cups of rocket fuel to get you started.
    Most difficult place to order a coffee: Boston, Mass. I went into a corner deli, waited my turn, and asked for a white coffee, with sugar, to take away please. ‘Whaddayawant? Whaddaya? Kantchaspikinglish? Next!’ came the hospitable response. After seeking local advice, I returned, ignored the queue, and shouted ‘Gimmeacawfee,sweet’n’lite–witwheels!’
    That worked fine.

    By Roger

  4. I love the sound of the grab-it-and-go cafezinho! I remember you saying they were lined up on little counters 10 at a time and people literally fling their coins on the counter and grab one. Makes me think of marathon runners scooping up emergency rehydration! Wish there was a cafezinho stall at Clapham Junction station – *sighs*.

    By Lucy

  5. I don’t think you will ever be able to find the best coffee in London, because there are so many different shops making coffee that you will never be able to go to every single one and try their way of making it. The cheapest way for you to make a coffee that will be what you want is at home or at work; shops in London overcharge you for something you can probably make yourself.

    So to conclude, to get the best coffee, you make it, so it will be just as you like it – and you will save your pennies. So you can get the coffee of your dreams without having to leave your office or home.

    By Rob

  6. Yes, DIY is surely the only way to guarantee perfection – actually we’ve just asked Oliver about coffee-making kit in our second superior coffee Q&A, so I’ve no excuses really.

    As for finding the best coffee in London, we certainly can’t hold one-to-one interviews with every barista in the capital, but we can narrow down our choice of cafés according to where they source their coffee (thus being able to conclude that London’s best coffee is likely to be found at Monmouth cafés, or Flat White, which sources from the same roaster!)

    By Lucy

  7. I travel more than most and have lived on 4 continents and in my view the best coffee in the world is in Australia – not Italy or France – in part because, unlike the Italians, they don’t believe they’re born better baristas than everyone else. Coffee-culture in Australia was the product of Italian immigrants (I had the pleasure of being taught to brew by the daughter of the woman who imported the first espresso machines); they see making a fine brew as an homage to the old country.

    That means the best coffee-shops worldwide tend to be run by Aussies and Kiwis (though Seattle has some very, very serious coffee-shops too – unfortunately they’re not typical of the entire US.) Flat White is one of the best coffee-shops on the planet and ‘Milkbar’ – owned by the same crew – is equally excellent. They get bonus points for being friendly, funky and shockingly attractive. They serve a cup that equals anything I’ve drunk anywhere.

    Beyond that, I’d suggest the Deli in Wanaka, NZ, the whole of Seattle, and Istanbul. All very different, all very good.

    Monmouth is cheap and great but not as good as Flat White when it comes to milk handling. Espresso’s relatively easy; milk-based drinks require a different set of skills. Watch them free-pour your cup and you’ll get a sense of how obsessive they are.

    London has world-class coffee. You just have to know where to find it.

    By Samuel Agboola

  8. Undoubtedly the best coffee is at the Kensington Square Cafe W8 where they serve an unbeatable cup made from coffee from The Monmouth Coffee Company.

    By mrstock

  9. I’m loving all this feedback! Samuel, I’d have to agree with you on the milk-handling front, since there are days when I’ll happily take a common-or-garden latte made with something like Illy coffee, so long as the milk has been treated with love and is doing what it’s supposed to.

    A lot of people don’t realise that milk with a lower fat content just won’t foam up in the same creamy way that full-fat will, so anyone ordering skinny caps/lattés should moderate their expectations. As for the Italians and their wiley ways – my partner is 2nd generation Italian Londoner whose family runs delis and cafés, so totally understand about Italian baristas, I assure you! We have a tiny little Bialetti machine at home that he’s fiercely protective of; it’s not great but our kitchen is too small for anything more substantial (plus nasty electric hob rules out stove-top coffee makers).

    Actually there’s a great description of Italian coffee-machine obsession in Rome-set chick-lit novel The Food of Love: he cranks his machine pressure up using spare parts from a van in an attempt to make the tiniest, strongest ristrettos known to mankind.

    Milkbar – will have to check it out, it sounds fantastic. And thanks Mr Stock, we’ll look into the Kensington Square Café as well!

    By Lucy

  10. Listen. This a subject REALLY close to my heart. It’s very hard to find a good (consistently good, I mean) coffee in this capital. But I’ve done it and want to share it with you. BLISS cafe on Exmouth Market makes a caffeine cup with care and attention (and sells records too – with a particularly good reggae section) and Monmouth Coffee is the probably the best bean in London (particularly from the stall on Borough Market in Southwark). There.

    By Mark Espiner

  11. Monmouth’s beans are fabulous and it’s a key luxury for us. We use the Covent Garden store and we consider ourselves lucky to have it.

    By Alison Scott

  12. London doesn’t get cafe culture; perhaps because the institution of the pub is so ingrained in English culture. Thus the only reason why any Londoner would go to a cafe rather than a pub is if they have small children in tow. There aren’t cafes here as in, say, San Francisco or Berlin or Barcelona.

    (This is not counting greasy-spoon “caffs”, an entirely different institution formed in working-class Britain some decades ago. Those are more eateries (think cholesterol-rich fry-ups and “builders’ tea”, eaten on formica tables), a bit like American diners.)

    By acb

  13. I’ve never been to London (though I want to!), but I know of a roaster that has been in the works for a few months now. The company is Square Mile Coffee Roasters, a partnership between 2007 World Barista Champion James Hoffman, 2008 World Barista Champion Stephen Morrissey and 2007 World Coffee Cupping Champion Anette Moldvaer (there are even more credentials I think, but enough of that). From what I can tell, they don’t have a cafe, but Bea’s of Bloomsbury is using their coffee. I suspect with Square Mile supplying them it would be fantastic coffee!

    By Peter V

  14. London’s coffee scene has been a bit of mess for a while now. At Square Mile it has become a kind of mission statement for us to work with clients to help turn London back into a city that is proud of its coffee culture. (It certainly used to be back between 1650 and 1750!)

    Should Mr and Mrs Smith ever be in the Bethnal Green area then feel free to drop us a line and we’d be happy to make you some coffee.

    By James Hoffmann

  15. Seconding Samuel Agboola’s comments about Australian and New Zealand coffee. The reason it’s hard to find good coffee in London (or anywhere in the UK) is that, unlike France, Spain and Portgual, the British Empire didn’t control any coffee producing regions. Most of the largest coffee-producing regions are in Latin America, and unlike the Haitian Revolution, the French controlled the island that produced over half of the world’s coffee in the 18th century. Italy developed a coffee culture through extensive trade within the Mediterranean Basin, despite not having an overseas empire to speak of.

    Britain, on the other hand, produced a lot of sugar islands, and of course India bequeathed a legacy of tea-drinking (you think it’s hard getting good coffee in London? Try getting a decent cuppa anywhere in the United States). Thus, the British never developed a culture for coffee drinking, and haven’t caught up with their former colonies.

    As Samuel mentioned, one of the legacies of Italian immigration into Australia was the importation of a coffee culture. Crucially, this immigration took place after World War 2, when the milk steamer on the espresso machine had been developed — this is why Australians and New Zealanders drink a lot more milk-based espresso drinks than elsewhere, and have their own drink, the flat white (for which the excellent London cafe is named). New Zealand has never had Italian immigration on the same scale as Australia, but absorbed the love of decent coffee through a neighbourly osmosis in the 1990s.

    So, history is to blame, again.

    By Jake

  16. @Peter V, nice blog pics – one for my coffee porn collection! Oliver S-A also tipped Smith onto Square Mile Roaster although we hadn’t yet located a café selling it (your company website not fully live yet?); I’m thinking a Saturday spent in town doing a bit of taste testing is in order.

    @James Hoffmann – genuine barista royalty – welcome to the Smith blog. And yes please, your coffee invitation is very tempting indeed – will you be making?!

    @Jake. Now that you put it like that… Britain is traditionally a nation of tea-drinkers (with tea-time being massively popular thanks to a fashionista-driven revival). Oliver argued that most coffee in Paris is rubbish; bonjour Mariage Frères, say I…

    @all of you: we currently have Smith spies out and about in NY, and heading to Portland soon, so let us know your insider coffee-destination tips and we’ll try to check them out!

    By Lucy

  17. Jake overlooks the fact that our glorious Empire did indeed include Kenya (as in Best Coffee in the World, above). I think we Brits can make coffee – we’re just not very good with machines.

    By Roger

  18. I will indeed be making, or at a push it will be Stephen who works with us and took this year’s World Barista title.

    Recommendations for NY:

    Ninth Street (on Ninth Street)
    Ninth Street (Chelsea Market)
    Cafe Grumpy (Chelsea)
    Gimme! (Mott Street)

    I know I am missing lots, will have a think.

    As for Portland – the Ace is indeed a lovely place to stay, as well as to drink coffee.
    Stumptown has 3 and a half stores, all worth visiting.

    The Albina Press has two stores and a very loyal coffee following, as does the Fresh Pot.

    I really want to go back to Portland!

    By James Hoffmann

  19. Square Mile has our vote for best coffee.
    My head barista will be heading there in three weeks.

    By Andrew Legg

  20. I’ve just got to return to this thread because it struck me that my comment above was basically wrong. As Roger points out, Kenya is a coffee-producing region (although they didn’t get going until the 1890s, which could be fit into my argument with a certain amount of fudging), as is Jamaica (although again I think that didn’t start up until the end of the slave trade made sugar less profitable).

    More importantly, though, is that Coffee Houses were key sites of English culture and politics in the 17th and 18th centuries — the most famous perhaps is Lloyd’s, but there were plenty of others. Perhaps it was all the caffeine, but Reformation England and beyond, they were the places to be if you wanted an argument.

    So, I retract my argument, and don’t know why the English don’t make good coffee.

    By Jake

  21. NEWSFLASH!

    I had a half-decent coffee on my way to work today, from a counter in the under-passage at Clapham Junction. Only Illy, but the nice NZ girls there do know how to get their milk to behave (despite ungodly warmth in their little cubbyhole). So that is convincing me of the innate coffee-making abilities of those lovely kiwi people. And yes, Jake, it appears those born in England may have less of a genetic predisposition to skilful foaming (unless at the mouth). I am now braced for a barrage of hot denial and further invites to drink well-made coffee…

    By Lucy

  22. Monmouth. Monmouth Monmouth Monmouth. I buy most of my coffee from the Borough store (or the Borough Market stand, on days when it’s up, and if the queue is shorter).

    For a straight-up espresso, I’ve not had better than that from the Tasting Room (also by Borough Market, on Stoney Street, near Southwark Street). Dense and powerfully aromatic.

    By Marc

  23. @ Marc – I’m feeling a bit sad inside now because Monmouth is really too far away for me to go to on a daily basis. [lingering sigh]

    By Lucy

  24. PECKHAM!

    Currently known more for gun crime than coffee but Petitou on Choumert Road is well worth a visit for the standard coffees with no funny business.

    By Kate

  25. Scooterworks on Lower Marsh Street, Waterloo.

    With their original 3 group Faema coffee machine built in Milan in 1957, they do both the best coffee I know outside of Italy and know something about café culture too with live jazz on Tuesday or Wednesday lunchtimes. If the urge takes, you can also buy a restored vespa while you’re there! And no, I don’t work there – I’m just a happy happy punter.

    If you’re into coffee in London, it’s definitely worth checking out – http://www.scooterworks-uk.com

    By Chris

  26. I’m a little late on the ball here, but I thought I could add some insight as well. I’m a barista in Portland and am visiting my nearly-native London for the first time in 19 years soon, and happened on this blog when inquiring about quality coffee places around town. I’m glad to hear that it’s not a lost cause, as Monmouth sounds legit, as does Square Mile.

    As far as Portland goes, Stumptown runs the city pretty much, as I work for two places that serve their beans. They are great for french press and espresso, but their milk drinks generally don’t measure up to places like Albina Press and Coffeehouse Northwest, who also serve their beans. It’s truly a privilege to live in a place where I can say that, since Stumptown’s drinks are still stellar compared to lots of other places.

    The absolute number one place in the city is Coffeehouse Northwest. Best knowledge, talent, equipment, and passion. Excellent drinks. Also check out Extracto, Ristretto Roasters, and Spella, which is a cart downtown. Those three all roast their own as well.

    I’m glad to see that Portland was brought up in this discussion, as we’re kind of overlooked a lot of the time, but there’s a lot of great coffee being made here right now, and in such a small area. And I didn’t even mention Courier and Bigfoot coffees, which are great roasters also.

    Um sorry this got a little long, I get pretty geeky when coffee and Portland are concerned. I’m excited to check out what London has to offer.

    Thanks for this post, it’s a great starting point.

    By Luke

  27. @Luke – thanks so much for your lengthy contribution! We heart Portland at Smith and have been looking for hotels there to add to our collection, and we think we’ve found a couple of humdingers. We’ll keep you posted. Have you also checked out our Q&A with Oliver Schwaner-Albright and superior coffee posts?

    @ Coffee fans in general – fear not! You may have thought this coffee trail had gone cold, but it will be revisited in the next few weeks with a few updates.

    By Lucy

  28. hi guys

    great thread!

    Just outside london, in St Albans (20 minutes mainline train from Kings Cross St Pancreas) is a great little coffee company called Soko Coffee.

    They do coffee just like flat white and monmouth – and they are an ethical bunch too, which gets the thumbs up from me.

    Check out http://www.sokocoffee.co.uk for some photos – the van is so cute!

    By Danny

  29. So – this weekend, I was in Covent Garden and so stopped at Monmouth – I can happily report back that it is as good as ever! Not only that but they are selling single source chocolate http://www.chocolats-pralus.com amazing. My favourite was the Colombie.

    By Tamara

  30. Dear Friends,
    As I was in middle of making a decision about opening a coffee shop in Izmir, Turkey, with a brand name specialized on coffee culture from London, Now stuck in the middle of work with which company ?…. Should I go and offer to “Monmouth” or to Flat white or what..?
    Dear guest you tell me !!!
    Tell me the name of the coffee company you want to see when you visit a foreign country (or Turkey) franchised from London ?
    Regards,

    Mr.SEREF BALSAK

    By SEREF MALSAK, Mr

  31. Great discussion – I grew into my love of coffee in Seattle and have spent the last three years in London wondering how the weather can be the same but the cafe culture so barren.

    For those traveling to Los Angeles, here’s a tip. I recently took a friend to King’s Road Cafe which I have always touted as the best coffee in LA. I was a bit nervous – he’s Australian, worked as a barista in Sydney and also worked on an organic coffee plantation. A self-described coffee snob. He ordered a soy-milk latte (notoriously hard to deliver).

    When the mug arrived he grudgingly acknowledged the good colour and skillful design in the perfectly creamy foam. On the first sip, he scrunched up his face for a few seconds of inscrutable agony, then his eyes popped open and he spoke…

    “The best coffee I’ve EVER had!”

    I felt like a proud papa.

    By Michael

  32. Face it – London is a second class city. If you want good food and coffee, take a train to Europe. If you want lot’s of bald people, bad teeth and a sea of overweight women, London’s the spot.

    By Sonya Ragginio

  33. @ Sonya – Not sure when you last visited London, but there have been some changes since Austin Powers’ heyday in 1969, not least of which is the proliferation of cosmopolitan cafés, cultural brilliance and cosmetic dentists. Admittedly, the unlucky visitor can come a cropper in some of London’s overpriced tourist traps/be unimpressed by the less salubrious parts of town, but what city doesn’t have the same problem? London is infinitely varied, dynamic, exciting and has so much to offer that most Londoners haven’t explored a tiny fraction of their home town!

    By Lucy

  34. […] cod and chips – so British.  Followed by a coffee at the Monmouth stall – without doubt the best coffee in London […]

    By Borough Market | Ventana Travel Blog

  35. @Michael, you got my hopes up there when I speed-read the words ‘King’s Road Café’, until they were cruelly dashed by the realisation you were talking LA not London… {wistful sigh}

    By Lucy

  36. Im a real coffee snob, and got so fed up having to give my hard earned money to Flat White that I opened my own cafe in Dalston, East London.
    Square Mile Coffee lovingly made on a 3-group Marzocco. Come and give us a go. Check out the website for details.

    By Steve

  37. […] make sure your hot tip for dining in London isn’t overlooked, recommend the best steak or best coffee in London, and ensure that a restaurant you hate doesn’t make the number-one slot […]

    By Best restaurants in London

  38. […] the best places to eat, drink and make merry (with the occasional lateral slide into topics such as where to get a decent coffee, how to shop smart in NYC, and other stuff you didn’t know you wanted to know). Don’t […]

    By Mr & Mrs Smith

  39. Stumbled upon this string whilst searching for the exact same thing, a decent cup of coffee in London. I am beginning to think that it is a fantasy idea until late last week I found myself with time to kill on Tottenham Court Road, an area I visit perhaps once a year. Will go back soon though, Foyle’s Cafe made it worth the trip.

    One simple Latte, that is all it took. Must be the first time in months that I have seen milk handled well. The machine was lovingly cleaned, so no hot sour milk being added to my drink. Cup warmed before anything was poured. And all at a price which didn’t rip my arm off.

    Just need to find somewhere near Canary Wharf which isn’t awful and I’ll be a happy bunny!

    By philippa

  40. […] I think Smith’s resident coffee expert, Lucy, would be inclined to agree with you there. It’s one of the little touches that mean you can […]

    By Luxury Travel Trends

  41. Something about our country’s obsession with espresso brings out the grumpy old man in me. I grew up in the English countryside, where we had tearooms and coffee shops rather than barista cafes, and coffee came, well made, in a mug. As I grew older, Lavazza posters started appearing in windows and the nearest town got a starbucks. “Look! We do espresso! If you don’t like it then you’re clearly an uncultured fool!” On the bright side, they would put some hot foam in it for you, if you prefered the taste of Horlicks to coffee. But always espresso at the bottom of the cup. Clearly, mixing coffee and water at a normal rate, rather than compressing large amounts of coffee into a small amount of water then worrying about the rest later, is the method of charlatans.
    I lived in London for three years, and by the time I left I was sick of not being able to get a simple cup of coffee, either from a filter or a cafetiere. A coffee that lasts, and stays hot, for more than five minutes. Long enough to enjoy it. Not just a shot of caffeine and superiority.(Having said that, Monmouth’s do an excellent filter coffee.) Espresso is fine, but I didn’t realise that refusing all other forms of coffee (like regular coffee in a mug?) makes one a gourmet. I now live in Paris, having anticipated a more relaxed approach to coffee drinking, and am experiencing the same thing. So I search online for any tips on good coffee shops where I could buy straight forward coffee, and I find scathing blogs – “God, that guy’s never even heard of a latte. Idiot.”

    By Emily

  42. But if espresso it must be, I recommend the stand at exit 6, bank station. He uses an old fashioned mechanical pump and the results are, for me, much better than an electrical machine. (they also use these at Bar Italia in soho – expensive but open 24 hours so good after a night out.)

    By Emily

  43. Check out javabean in gloucester arcade -they roast their own beans – fantastic coffee

    By vaughan

  44. If you are ever in Hackney Wick (E3), The Counter Cafe serves very good coffee, all day brunch and has one of the coolest interiors I have come across in London.

    http://www.thecountercafe.co.uk

    By Wick

  45. I know this post is really old but have just discovered it! Lucy – in case you are still checking the comments, I have created a Google map that I regularly update for great places for coffee in central London plus I blog about coffee (amongst other things):

    http://londonrobstuff.blogspot.com/2009/08/central-london-coffee-survival-guide.html

    By Rob

  46. London is becoming renowned for one of the best coffee cities in the world.

    The current World Barista Champion is from London (as well as the 07).

    The World Barista Championships 2010 are being hosted in London.

    For me, the main ingredient is the beans. If the place has beans from Hasbean, Square Mile or Monmouth – you are generally going to get something that should please you.

    By simon baptist

  47. Hi Rob – thanks for your tips! Perhaps we need to do an updated post on this topic (perhaps with the results of the World Barista Championships 2010?)

    By Lucy

  48. Returning to the earlier theme of DIY coffee, we’ve spotted an excellent gaggia-rivalling gadget for to-go espressos on Oliver Schwaner-Albright’s NY Times coffee blog: read all about the Twist by Mypressi here…

    By Lucy

  49. Allpress is coming!!! Allpress is coming. Aucklanders will know what that means! Yay for Allpress.

    By Joe

  50. Coffee in England is just toasted milk.

    By Ellen

  51. Well don’t leave us hanging Joe – where is Allpress coming to?!

    By Lucy

  52. I just dropped into Java Bean Cafe in Gloucester Road today – superb coffee – they roast in house, had a little fern in my coffee, loved it so much I bought some of their Columbian medium roast.

    By gordon

  53. […] world. Welcome to the official Smith blog: we hope you enjoy your stay Home Previous post: Best coffee in London? Next post: Superior coffee #2: the daily […]

    By Superior coffee: a Q&A with Oliver | Travel Blog - Mr & Mrs Smith Boutique & Luxury Hotels

  54. If you’re in search for great coffee, I highly recommend you head over to Taste of Bitter Love for some great coffee and orgasm-inducing cake!

    http://reikalein.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2010-05-10T18%3A08%3A00%2B02%3A00&max-results=7

    By Reikalein

  55. @ Emily – I feel your pain; and I fear you’ll have to go to rural France or the southern States, where the unremitting tide of espressi hasn’t yet flooded out all the ‘old-fashioned’ coffee, to get your fill of non-Americano-dubbed filter!

    By Lucy

  56. There are plenty of good places to grab coffee in London. There is however too many of those second rate American coffee chain type cafés kicking about.

    And Sonya Ragginio you have obviously never been to London, the coolest city in the world, maybe you were looking in the mirror when you said what you did!

    By William K Wallace

  57. […] hunt for hip hotels is ceaseless, every now and then something comes along and gets in the way. The best coffee in London for example, or the best steak in London, or the best bohemian book launch with cheese (also in […]

    By Ruinart and Miller Harris Sensory Afternoon Tea at the Soho Hotel, London

  58. Tina, We Salute You

    By Steve

  59. Does anybody know if they serve or sell intelligentsia coffee anywhere in London? I’m from Chicago and would love some hometown brew.

    By BenP

  60. Did you ever reach a conclusion over best places to get a coffee? It’d be a crime if Fabio and the lads at Flat Cap didn’t get a mention…

    By Jason B. Standing

  61. I think it’s a bit of a moveable feast so the jury’s still out (and enjoying a nice coffee somewhere, hopefully)! Pick of the day? Gail’s on Chiswick High Road, for its proper-fern-pattern-topped lattes made with Union coffee on a perky little La Marzocco machine. The bakery chain even holds its own Coffee Olympics periodically, to keep its baristas on their toes (as if the caffeine wasn’t enough…)

    By Lucy

  62. Ciao ragazzi, se volete lasciarvi deliziare ed incantare da un caffé italiano veramente good, cercate Felmoka. Lo trovate in tutta la provincia di varese e milano. Utilizzano macchine da caffé Nuova simonelli WBC. Il caffé non é tutto uguale, caffé Felmoka ha qualcosa in più. Contattateli per poterlo degustare anche nella fantastica Londra.

    By fabio

  63. As a self-confessed coffee fiend, I too am in constant search of the best beans in town. Check out the Milk Bar in Soho – none of this mocha-frappa nonsense, just great coffee, great people watching, the true coffee lovers kind of place.

    By Olivia

  64. Check out a link a friend sent me. Very interesting – does anyone know what this ST. Ali thing is?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pu6h-TbbACg

    By Skinner Union

  65. @Skinner Union (not your real name, surely? Or are you genuinely named after the carburetta manufacturer?)

    St. Ali – it’s a coffee shop in Melbourne. One for our Australian comrades to try out I think!

    By Lucy

  66. foxcroft and ginger on berwick street rocks!!! cool interior, great coffee and OMG amazing food.

    By hunt

  67. Newsflash… as a Melbourne resident moving back to London, I’ve been genuinely scared about the lack of great coffee to welcome my return. However, just knowing that St. Ali (one of Melbourne’s best coffee-roasting cafés) has opened in our fine Clerkenwell means I’m actually looking forward to moving home now… . Such incredible news, their blends are wonderful and the industry down here is very serious about all things coffee-related. Deep sigh! See you soon…

    By Sabine

  68. Good Morning Vietnam,

    London is so far and luxury to me! Wish to go there to see my Harry Potter,swim in the Thames and enjoy some London coffee.

    Still, as any time to love to come to sunny Vietnam for unique civet coffee tour and see our Vietnam Cofee Hometown – Cumgar, Daklak, I would love to host and share you all my coffee passion.

    By Hai Van

  69. Dear down-under coffee lovers,

    Check out our latest superior coffee posts on best cafés in Melbourne and best breakfasts in Sydney!

    By Lucy

  70. I want to share a couple of the best coffee places in London, since you seem to possess a genuine interest in the java drink. I would highly recommend Cafe Oporto on 62 Golborne Road and the Coffee Plant on 180 Portobello Road. Cafe Oporto is a Portuguese cafe, so not only do you savour the rich and frothy taste of the coffee, but you can also treat yourself to a typical Portuguese sweet! A bica or a galao are the regular requests in this classic Portuguese cafe.

    The Coffee Plant is a great, less traditional and more of an informal cool vibe on Portobello Road. However, this place is serious about java from the diverse coffee selection that one can purchase at the back! They are categorised by light, medium and dark roast… Moreover, they have coco, which if you put a touch of into your coffee, it is literally a match made in heaven… a taste of summer!

    Both cafes are phenomenal venues that serve an incredible cup of coffee, where one can enjoy amongst the locals in a friendly, informal vibe.

    By Noor Mahmud

  71. If you want GOOD coffee in London; go anywhere. Unless you’re trapped in a shopping centre, eventually you’ll stumble upon somewhere which doesn’t rhyme with nunchucks and neck a decent cup of coffee! However if you want THE BEST cup of coffee London can offer; head to Soho! Big names include Monmouth, Milk Bar/Flat White, Nude (if I do say so myself), ST. ALi and many more!

    By Liane Baio

  72. “This blog entry struck a chord with me… we ran out of coffee at home on Friday morning, I purchased a Carluccio’s latte and it basically ruined my day.”

    I love good coffee – Flat White, Nordic Bakery and Lavish Habit are some of my favourites – but for fucks sake “ruined my day”???? There’s a billion hungry people in this world.

    By Android

  73. @Android Yes, that is the sad truth, but it’s a bit hypocritical – you are reading and commenting on a luxury travel blog, after all, not a UN newsfeed :-)

    Anyone who’d like to do something practical to help those suffering from the devastating effects of famine in East Africa can make a donation via Unicef’s Donate East Africa page, Oxfam’s East Africa appeal or Christian Aid’s East Africa Food Crisis appeal.

    By Lucy

  74. I have been going to a little Italian cafe in Swiss Cottage recently which is newly opened. It’s called Gastronomia la Delizia. The coffee there is very delicious, the best I’ve had in North London – and it’s so hard to find a good coffee in North London!!! So this place has become my regular. They have a deli there with Italian meats and cheeses and I’ve also sampled some of their pasta dishes, which were again really delicious – simple but extremely well done, for example the gnocchi with pesto gives me cravings whenever I think of it now! This is a great place with friendly staff who are passionate about Italian food and coffee. It should be tried by many!! It’s on Fairfax road in Swiss Cottage if you fancy trying it out!

    By Katie

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