Prufrock Coffee is home to Gwilym Davies, 2009 World Barista Champion. The affable, scruffy bearded barista who lives on a boat has assembled a talented supporting cast at two locations in London. My favorite is Prufrock Cafe on Leather Lane, a large, airy and colorful space, inviting you to linger and enjoy one of the delicious savory quiches or sweet pastries prepared by baker Klaus Kuhnke.

But the star here is obviously the coffee. As has become the trend at busier specialty cafes, you’re given a choice between queueing for espresso based drinks, or jockeying for a stool at a “brew bar.” The slower moving brew bar has an array of siphons and other manual brewers. The watch-and-see theatre of brewing expertise on display also gives you space to ask questions, chat, and learn something from the pros. For the truly curious or geeky, there’s a downstairs space called the “London B.R.A.T” – Barista Resource & Training, where a number of compelling classes are available to hone your coffee brewing skills, guided by Prufrock’s capable staff. Check their website for more details.

The coffee on offer when I visited was a mix of the standard Square Mile roasts, and leftovers from the previous week’s Coffee Common event. I hadn’t really cared for the Square Mile summer espresso blend, but out of all the shops that I tried, the best shots came from Prufrock. Mattias Bjorklund, Sweden’s 2009 Barista Cup winner and Prufrock barista, served me the best rendition of the blend, finding a balanced sweetness and acidity that no other shop did. The focus on quality, coupled with the relaxed and inviting vibe, makes Prufrock at Leather Lane the kind of place that’s equally worthy as a destination for reverent coffee pilgrims and as a familiar spot to get comfortable with a cup of coffee.


Prufrock also has a coffee bar at Present, a menswear store in Shoreditch. With nowhere to sit, save a bench outside, I don’t think I’d go out of my way to visit unless I happened to be in the area, or had a few hundred dollars pounds burning a hole in my pocket. The espresso is good, though.


Map / Directions / Info:

Phone: + 44 (0) 207 404 3597 + 44 (0) 7853483479

Prufrock Leather Lane Address:
23-25 Leather Lane, London EC1N 7TE

Weekdays: 8AM – 6PM
Saturday: 10AM – 4PM
Sunday: Closed

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Prufrock at Present Address:
140 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6JE

Weekdays: 10.30AM – 6PM
Saturday: 11AM – 5PM
Sunday: 11AM – 4PM

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