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13 August 2012

The Caffeine Chronicles: Shoreditch Grind Review

There are a whole bunch of independent espresso bars in Shoreditch that are on my to-caffeinate list. They're just that bit too far from King's Cross for me to stop by on my lunch break, and I'm not often in that part of town at coffee o'clock at the weekend. On Saturday, I decided it was time to rectify this and headed off to check out Ozone Coffee Roasters. But when the bus deposited me outside Shoreditch Grind on , it seemed careless not to check them out.

Welcome to Shoreditch Grind. I particularly like the stools!

Shoreditch Grind had a very New York feel to it, which, given the accents of the baristas, may make sense. From their sign, you might wonder if it's actually a small cinema, mais non. Inside, it's MacBook central, even on a Saturday, as befits Silicon Roundabout. You can either perch at one of the custom stools or sit at one of the communal tables or even one of the benches outside if the weather is as nice as it was on Saturday. The decor is fairly standard for indie coffee bars, but with a few nice extra touches, like the stools; I also liked the low-hanging lights and the white-painted exposed brick walls.

Macchiato with a persistent heart

As for the coffee, it was great. It's their own blend, apparently, and roasted to their specification. I ordered my usual double macchiato and went to perch in the sunlight. The fact that even when I had almost finished my coffee, the latte art heart was still perfect is a testament to the milk foaming and frothing skills of the barista. The coffee itself was rich and velvety, with that rare almost chocolatey aftertaste I love so much. They also serve some really tasty-looking cakes and pastries--I was very tempted by the brownies--and, unusually for coffee bars, wine and cocktails.

Yummy cakes too...

Overall, I was very impressed. I could imagine Shoreditch Grind being a great place for freelancers and workers-from-home to get a few hours of work done. And it's a lovely place to sit and read or write while caffeinating of a weekend, especially on sunny days when the hue glass windows let a whole load of natural sunlight. They're also open on Sundays, which is surprisingly rare among London indie espresso bars. In short, their tagline 'the coffee of champions' seems perfectly accurate.

Shoreditch Grind. 213 Old Street, London, EC1V 9NR (Tube: Old Street). Website. Twitter.

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