In London, it’s no longer just all about tea. Coffee shops have become trendy and hip, a great place to meet up with friends. But they’re not just for backpack toting college students. They can be a great backdrop for pecking out the next great novel on your laptop. They can be alternative office space away from the kids or other co-workers. Or they can just be a great place to sit and enjoy a memorable cup of joe.
Everyone’s criterion for what make a great café is different. Hopefully, the top reason is that it has a spectacular cup. But customers develop a loyalty to their espresso bar for a lot of other reasons. It always nice to go to a place where they know you by name. It’s even better if they know your “usual” order. The best London area coffee shops might be the ones that remember to add those little personal touches. That can sometimes cause you to overlook the fact that they may not have the best java in the city.
And, of course, location is important. When you can walk a few steps to indulge in your favorite brew, you’re not likely to trek a long distance just to try out something new. Don’t forget atmosphere. Your favorite café might be your preference because it makes you feel comfortable and relaxed, exactly how you want to feel when enjoying your down time. Or it might feel vibrant and bustling, which is more suited to someone totally in love with the city vibe.
Some of the best London locations are the ones that diffuse your stress level the minute you walk in the door. The décor is warm and comfortable, the people friendly and the drinks great. Ginger & White is one of those places. The owners support local business by only using beans from a London coffee company. The Hampstead location is just a street away from the noise and traffic and a great place to enjoy one of their outdoor tables. Inside, the couches and communal tables give off that friendly, neighborhood vibe.
Dose Espresso, located on Long Lane, rates a place on the list of best London cafés for its excellent espresso. The passion of the barista has customers raving about this place and their ethical policies satisfy the even the most Eco-conscious patrons.
Highly regarded as the best of the best London coffee shops, Prufrock Coffee is ran by the 2009 World Barista Champion, Gwilym Davies. It’s been referred to as a “mecca for coffee nerds” and it offers a bright and inviting atmosphere. Longtime customers are perfectly willing to travel beyond their neighborhoods to enjoy a flat white. Their second location on Leather Lane has a barista training program to teach anyone how to brew like the pros.
Nude Espresso on Hanbury St. (and another location in Soho Square) is definitely a top contender for the best London Coffee shops. It’s considered to be the top micro-roastery in London. Because of their expert selection of beans from around the world and the fact that they’re roasted right there, it’s not hard to understand why their brews are so full of flavor.
With a trend growing toward micro roasteries, Notes Music & Coffee has joined those shops that roast their own beans. This assures that you get the freshest taste from their espresso based menu. They have three locations, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden and Trinity Leeds as well as four carts throughout London that serve the same roasts that’s made Notes one of the best in London.
This is only a very small sampling of the best London coffee shops. The sudden upswing in the coffee scene over the last few years has created too many great shops to name. It’s apparent that the interest will only continue to grow, giving you the opportunity to find your favorite spot. Visit the local shops, try the java, sample the food, and take in the atmosphere. Whether you’re looking for a cozy, small shop on a quiet street or a sleek designed café in the center of the action, with a little shopping around you’re sure to find the perfect home and the perfect cup.