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London's 8 Hottest Coffee Shops

By Malika Dalamal
February 24, 2014

Call us java snobs, but we think life is too short to drink a bad cup of coffee. Don't waste your precious daily brew on a megachain that can't even spell your name right on the cup - instead, satisfy your craving at one of these top London spots.

  • The Attendant

    Why It's Amazing: It used to be a Victorian toilet (they retained many of the original features such as the 1890s porcelain urinals, which are now tabletops) but don't let novelty fool you into thinking they are not serious about coffee. Coffee beans come from King's Cross Caravan Roastery and milk from the Ivy House Farm in Somerset.

    What to Drink: A "piccolo," which sits somewhere between a macchiato with extra milk and a small latte.

    Perfect Pairing: Start the day with a muffin filled with maple cured bacon, Swiss cheese, egg and spinach - a healthy version of an egg and bacon McMuffin.

    Know Before You Go: Ironically, there are no toilet facilities.

    26-27 Foley St.,W1W 6DY; 020 7637 3794

  • Flat White

    Why It's Amazing: The decor and seating might be basic, but that's because the focus at this tiny Aussie-influenced cafe is firmly on the consistently good coffee.

    What to Drink: A namesake flat white, of course.

    Perfect Pairing: For a breakfast of champions, team your morning brew with a toasty - avocado and goat's cheese or baked beans and chorizo.

    Know Before You Go: They don't have WiFi or take credit cards.

    17 Berwick St., W1F 0PT; 020 7734 0370

  • Tap Coffee (Previously Tapped & Packed)

    Why It's Amazing: This coffee shop is for serious coffee drinkers with beans sourced from roasters including Has Bean and Square Mile, and espresso-based drinks made in the Nuova Simonelli machine or brewed coffee made in a cafetière, siphon or Aeropress - all served with a smile.

    What to Drink: The flat white is said to be one of the best in town.

    Perfect Pairing: Toasted banana bread and jam

    Know Before you Go: Look for the number on the door - there is no sign, just a picture of a bicycle.

    Various locations

  • Notes Music & Coffee

    Why It's Amazing:
    There's a dedicated espresso menu, brew bar for tasting (they recently opened their own roastery), music and DVD shop, and a private room available to rent.

    What to Drink: Surprise yourself with the brewed coffee of the day.

    Perfect Pairing: Don't miss the brownies and blondies (brownies made with white chocolate).

    Know Before You Go: A spot at the bar in full view of the baristas is the best seat in the house.

    31 St. Martin's Ln., WC2N 4ER; 020 7240 0424

  • Prufrock Coffee

    Why It's Amazing: Coffee nerds flock to this buzzing cafe (also home to London barista training centre) for an excellent espresso and to check out the alternative brewing gadgets.

    What to Drink: Cafe latte (to fully experience the latte art) in a beautifully illustrated paper cup.

    Perfect Pairing: If the coffee doesn't make you go back, the homemade lemon tart will.

    Know Before You Go: To keep customers drinking artisanal coffee (and away from Starbucks), they offer a disloyalty card rewarding customers who try other quality coffee shops in the area with a free drink.

    23-25 Leather Ln., EC1N 7TE; 020 7242 0467

  • Kaffeine

    Why It's Amazing: This tiny spot brings a bit of the Aussie coffee culture to London with minimalist decor and strong, rich, no-fuss coffee. Beans come from Square Mile Coffee, the milk is always organic, and plenty of thought goes into everything from the cup size to the baked goods, salads and snacks.

    What to Drink: Try the coffee flight - a single shot of espresso, a single shot of cappuccino and a piccolo glass of cold-brew cascara palate cleanser.

    Perfect Pairing: The menu changes weekly, but try to catch the popular Portuguese custard tarts before they run out.

    Know Before You Go: Don't miss the "blackboard of knowledge" on your way in.

    66 Great Titchfield St., W1W 7QJ; 020 7580 6755

  • Allpress Espresso

    Why It's Amazing: One of New Zealand's most popular coffee brands is behind this cool Shoreditch specialty coffee roaster. Beans are roasted on the premises (they also offer a roasting class), and there is plenty of seating if you want to try the sandwiches, scones and other baked goods.

    What to Drink: An espresso served with a pot of hot water so you can dilute to taste.

    Perfect Pairing: Coffee and cinnamon madeleines for an extra buzz.

    Know Before You Go: Leave your laptop at home, there's no WiFi here.

    58 Redchurch St., E2 7DP

  • Ginger & White

    Why It's Amazing: Their motto, 'We Don't Do Grande' pretty much sums up this charming British coffee shop (now with branches in Belsize Park and Hampstead) where the coffee served in china cups is Square Mile and baked goods are all freshly made on-site.

    What to Drink: The flat white is spot on.

    Perfect Pairing: Ginger stem cake with white chocolate buttercream icing tastes like Christmas.

    Know Before You Go: Bring the kids to this child-friendly environment where they offer a kids' menu and crayons to distract the little ones while you drink your coffee.

    Various locations

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Places Mentioned

Flat White

Coffee Shop • Soho

Food24 Decor17 Service20 Cost£9
 
 
 
 
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