05 April 2012

The Caffeine Chronicles Part I

It is now the Easter bank holiday weekend in the UK and I should probably be celebrating chocolate but instead, I have a few coffee-related posts planned. This is the first, part II is here, part III is here and this is part IV.

It was too cold for eat.st today and I needed some ground coffee for my new caffeine toy, so we decided to hike down to Clerkenwell to try out a new (to me) coffee shop on Leather Lane, the Department of Coffee and Social Affairs. It sounded a little too leftie for a reformed Torygraph reader like me ("the site is a collaboration of coffee professionals, designers and artists who aspire to build a coffee-focused social hub for residents and office workers in the area"), but I liked the look of the place and a promising Time Out review suggested there would be high levels of caffeine satisfaction.

Lunchtime at the Dept. of Coffee & Social Affairs

Leather Lane was busy and hard to navigate this lunchtime and DoCaSA was also bustling but we managed to grab a partial table and ordered a pair of double macchiatos and some sandwiches. The sarnies were nice, if a little pricey for their size: I had mozzarella, tomato and basil on focaccia (£4), which was tasty but probably wouldn't have been filling enough had I not been on my third coffee of the day by this point. As for the macchiato it was pretty good, although it felt as though too much water had been run through and there was a very slight burnt taste to my drink. I might have fared better with a single, perhaps. Overall, the coffee was still good but not NYC-standard.

DoCaSA's double macchiato
With its exposed-brick walls DoCaSA is a funky, friendly place to caffeinate or take lunch. I wouldn't necessarily go out of my way to go there for the coffee (there are plenty of great espresso bars in the area) but DoCaSA has been added to my London database as a cool place to hang out with a macchiato and/or refreshments.

The Department of Coffee and Social Affairs. 14-16 Leather Lane, London EC1N 7SU (Tube: Farringdon or Chancery Lane). WebsiteTwitter.

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