Continuing with my monthly roundups of the London scene…
August has seen new openings already and some coffeeshops have come to my attention….
The opening of Lanark Coffee on Hackney Road is one that has been long awaited by those of us who’ve appreciated Greg Boyce’s coffee-making abilities and barista wit and banter at Alchemy and Black Box. Armed with a Victoria Arduino lever espresso machine, EK43 and various filter malarkey, Greg plans to vary the roasters he uses. When I visited Alchemy coffees(no surprise there) were on the menu as well as the Roundhill Chelelectu. Greg plans to feature Dear Green coffee (from Glasgow) among a rotation of guest roasters. Hackney Road was historically the ‘spiritual’ home of London coffee and it’s good a place this good return to the area. Even better, the premises is shared (as the Manufactory Collective) with three different innovative furniture designers downstairs. Still a work in process, this is a simple cafe. A few seats are set along a slim, stylish wooden bar and a bench outside is available for those braving the Hackney Road traffic fumes.
Daily Goods was the other opening that we were waiting for. Carter established his reputation at his concession inside Kinoko Cycles in Golden Square making superb Workshop coffee and there was always stimulating chat to be had. Moving to this largish premise allows him to take things to another level. South London has been crying out for a coffeeshop of this quality: the coffee is reliably good and the space is well designed – classier than some might expect in Camberwell but accessible and welcoming enough for those South Londoners in search of quality. Carter ensures there is a hint of New York, especially in the stunning photo print on a skateboard theme that adorns the wall opposite the bar.
Kin opened a while back but somehow slipped under my radar. Opening weekdays only at present it’s yet another Fitzrovia cafe but definitely another with plenty to offer and as much as Fitzrovia can take, coffeeshops will continue to open. The six quality coffeeshops with spitting distance here are each distinct – indeed none even shares a roaster: there’s The Attendant with Caravan, Workshop with errr…Workshop, Curators with Nude etc, Kaffeine with Square Mile and guests, Mother’s Milk with JB Kaffee and Kin with rotating roasters including Roundhill and Notes.
Kin has already developed a regular following, coffee is good as you would expect managed by Sarah (Taylor St, Espresso Room) and head barista Lucy (Rapha, Look Mum, Prufrock) but there the vegan and vegetarian food and cleverly designed fresh fruit juice combinations are equally a draw. There is a clear focus on sustainability here underlying sourcing of coffee, tea, food, furniture, even crockery. It remains to be seen if this immediate area will support any more than six quality coffeeshops!
In other news, Drink Shop and Dash (the little sister of Drink Shop and Do in Kings Cross) have switched to Alchemy Roasters and have a surprisingly wide coffee offer for a small shop as well as weekly cupping/coffee education sessions. David Robson is establishing himself at Sharps as Dunne and Frankowski continue to focus on their consultancy work and freelance barista project . Beagle in Hoxton have switched to Workshop and are attempting to improve their coffee offer. I had the chance to visit Ben Presland at Tate Roastery this month. He has been roasting some superb coffees for Tate, Department of Coffee and especially for Maxwell Colonna Dashwood in the Barista Championships. We will miss Ben as he moves to Sydney to start his new roastery.
Last month saw Annette Moldvaer’s coffee book for DK which would be the perfect present for many exploring the world of coffee and expanding their awareness. This month’s news is that James Hoffman is also to release a book, ‘The World Atlas of Coffee’ which, from that description, looks fascinating – especially if it explores fully the political, trade and colonial aspects as it promises to. Also well worth a read this month was Victor Frankowski’s interview with Lyle Restaurant’s chef James Low for Sprudge which explored Lyle’s decision to take coffee seriously and serve it well in a London restaurant.
Edy Piro’s Terrone Coffee are popping up everywhere this month. As well as their regular Saturday spot at Netil Market and a brief pop-up in Eat Chic Cafe in CamdenCollective, they have launched at Pizza Pilgrims in Kingly Court off Carnaby Street. Caffeine Magazine appointed Chloe Callow as Associate Editor and the August/September edition is a cracker, well worth picking up if you’re in London.
So what’s coming? Well word is that unsurprisingly more roasters will join the market, so many UK roasters now – but relatively few roasting consistently well. It’s still great to have a wider range of roasts though. Weanie Beans, veterans of the West London market scene, are beginning roasting in North London and I’ve heard of one or two more. Someone is opening a cafe in the tiny Victorian building by the church at the end of Bermondsey Street in September, no word who yet. Several cafes are planning a new or second or third or otherwise new venture. Craving Coffee are opening in Tottenham in September following the success of their cart. Also, given the high reputation M1LK in Balham is held in, their Clapham Common venture Fields Cafe is eagerly anticipated. Wine bar Sager and Wilde are reportedly expanding their food, tea and coffee offer at their new venture Mission.
Press Coffee, known for their subscription service offering coffees roasted from around the world are doing a cupping at Fingers Crossed in Stoke Newington September 2nd. Coffee Cupping UK’s next session is on Monday 18th August at the Proud Archivist in Hoxton. New reviews up on London’s Best Coffee App include Kin, Lanark, Drink Shop & Dash, Daily Goods, The Little One, The Corner One and Dark Fluid at Wapping Market.
Phil Wain created the original London Coffee googlemap and writes for Caffeine Magazine and London’s Best Coffee App. His jazz trio plays regularly at Notes Covent Garden.
Lanark Coffee, 262 Hackney Road, 8-8 Tuesday-Friday. 10-8 Saturday-Sunday. Mondays closed!
Daily Goods, 36 Camberwell Church Street, Monday to Friday 7:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m, Saturday 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m,
Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m
Kin, 22 Foley Street, Monday – Friday 8am – 6pm