There are a number of cafes I want to highlight from my trip to London that I didn’t get to spend enough time in for a long write-up. Here are some quick impressions, take them for what they are and use them to plan your own trip!
Taylor St. Baristas
Taylor St. has several locations in London each with their own character. The spot photographed below is near Liverpool St. and has a really efficient in-and-out design to keep customers flowing through. And they surely need it given the traffic they get refueling the business & finance types who work in the neighborhood.
Despite being swamped with customers when I stopped in, Dennis, who you see below pouring a latte, made sure I had a great shot. After trying their Union blend and the guest Square Mile blend, I was surprised by Square Mile’s decaf espresso, which was impressively good; in fact I enjoyed it more than the summer blend. With such a high volume of traffic, the guys and girls of Taylor St. have their work cut out for them. This is not really the location to go leisurely nurse a brew, but if you can get a word in between the throngs ordering their latte take-aways, do say hi – for me it led to some great coffee and conversation!
I’d heard good things about Nude, a roaster with several cafes, so I walked over to their Brick Lane location from Taylor St. Baristas. Ambling around Shoreditch is a bit like what I’d imagine a hipster theme park would feel like, and I kinda liked it. Unfortunately the espresso I tried at Nude was roasted darker than I prefer and I didn’t really care for it.
Allpress is a New Zealand transplant that looks like they mean business – outfitted with all the right equipment, from an Uber boiler to an impressive roasting setup, all carefully placed in an attractive, industrial looking space. Unfortunately no amount of investment can survive a barista with poor technique and little desire to prepare a good shot. I took one sip and left the demitasse nearly full. Disappointing. Maybe there are other people on staff that care, but luck wasn’t with me on the day I visited.
Monmouth – Borough Market
Monmouth is something of a London coffee institution, roasting since 1978, with two cafes that pop up in guides and top ten lists all the time. The coffee is quite alright, though it probably won’t excite the most extremist coffee geeks looking for the latest, greatest technique or most interesting and carefully developed flavor profiles. But the coffee was enjoyable, and the environment is great. I only made it to the Borough Market location, and it happened to be pouring rain as I walked there, but I’d definitely like to visit again next time I’m in London – when I’ll hopefully have more time to browse through the large food market across the street.
This isn’t the end – stay tuned for Part 3, where we’ll visit Prufrock and see more of the city :) Also, don’t miss Part 1 from my London trip, featuring Notes Music & Coffee!