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7 June 2013

The Caffeine Chronicles: Association Coffee Review

Sorry, Prufrock, but I think I've found a new favourite coffee bar. I recently picked up a copy of the 2013 edition of The London Coffee Guide and was surprised to find out that I had apparently missed on a real gem of a coffee bar in the form of Association Coffee. Located near the Gherkin in Creechurch Lane, it's about equidistant from my home and my office, and last Saturday I decided to pay a visit. Unfortunately, when I got there, The Association was closed: it doesn't open at the weekend and only opens from 7.30 am until 5 pm during the week. But after recommendations from the coffee guide and Dr E, I was determined to try it out.

Association Coffee: my new favourite London coffee bar?

It's lovely inside. I arrived before the rush.

So, this morning, I skipped breakfast at home, and enjoyed a brisk 30-minute walk over Tower Bridge to The Association. I ordered a croissant with my double macchiato. The latter was particularly excellent. The coffee was smooth, rich, slightly fruity and very slightly sweet, and with just the right amount of crema for me.

Breakfast...oh, and a croissant.
The double macchiato at Association Coffee

I was tempted to order the espresso flight — a single-shot espresso and a single-shot cappuccino — but I had other coffee plans. After eyeing up the filter coffee menu (they offer a regularly changing selection of single-origin coffees) and seeking the barista's recommendation, I ordered a Kiawamururu coffee from Kenya to take away. They made it in an Aeropress and I think it was double-filtered, although I may have misheard. Now that I own Aeropresses, I do slightly resent paying £3.50 for a small cup of coffee, but it was really good.

Serious coffee-making kit

Spot the blogger

It was lucky that I ordered the second cup, because after an epic one-hour bus journey to take me my King's Cross office, two miles away (I could have walked it in 35 minutes), I arrived at work to find out that the cause of all the traffic was a burst water main just down the road, which also meant we had no drinking water — read: no way for me to Aeropress myself some coffee — all day. Suddenly, I didn't mind paying £3.50 at all, given the relatively poor coffee options in King's Cross (with a few notable exceptions).

Reading matter.

The Association is a really lovely coffee bar. The design is flawless — I particularly like the fancy magazine rack filled with just the kind of publications to give the mostly City-worker clientèle the escapism they crave — the staff are friendly and knowledgable, and most importantly, the coffee is great. I'll just have to schedule some more breakfast dates there in the future.

Association Coffee. 10-12 Creechurch Lane, London, EC3A 5AY (Tube: Aldgate). Website. Twitter.

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