08 April 2012

The Caffeine Chronicles Part IV: Updated London Espresso Bar Favourites

It's been over a year since I mapped my favourite espresso bars in central London. Since then, I've discovered a number of new places and my coffee standards have also risen--latte art is no longer sufficient to win me over! So, I have revised my previous map and come up with a list of my current top ten favourite espresso bars; four were on my 2011 list and six are new.

The only two coffee bars where I haven't linked to a review or mini-review on my blog are, ironically, the ones I have visited most often. The Espresso Room is a common lunchtime destination for me (and a key source of my ground coffee). They do really great coffee and the staff are very friendly, although a) there is hardly any seating and b) they can get a bit confused if you try to order too many things. On a sunny day when I don't mind perching on a seat on the pavement, the Espresso Room is often my first port of call. As for Fernandez & Wells, this was one of the first purveyors of fine caffeine I discovered in London. Now that there are more options, I don't go there quite so often, although its Beak Street location is very convenient for a post-shopping pit stop.

View Updated London Espresso Bar Favourites in a larger map

On to my top ten (bold represents a new addition to my list):
  • Prufrock Coffee. 23-25 Leather Lane, EC1N 7TE (Tube: Farringdon or Chancery Lane). Website. Twitter. Review.
  • The Espresso Room. 31-35 Great Ormond Street, WC1 3HZ (Tube: Russell Square). Website. Twitter.
  • Tapped & Packed. 114 Tottenham Court Road, W1T 1JD (Tube: Warren Street). Website. TwitterReview.
  • Sensory Lab (soon to be known as Workshop Coffee Co). 75 Wigmore Street, W1U 1QD (Tube: Bond Street). WebsiteTwitterReview.
  • Kaffeine. 66 Great Titchfield Street, W1W 7QJ (Tube: Oxford Circus or Goodge Street). WebsiteTwitterMini-review.
  • St Ali (soon to be renamed Workshop Coffee Co). 27 Clerkenwell Road, EC1M 5RN -- just off the eastern edge of the map above (Tube: Farringdon or Barbican). Website. Twitter. Mini-review.
  • Store Street Espresso. 40 Store Street, WC1E 7DB (Tube: Goodge Street). TwitterReview.
  • Fernandez & Wells. 73 Beak Street, W1F 9SU (Tube: Oxford Circus). Website. Twitter.
  • Borough Barista. 60A Seymour Place, W1H 7JN (Tube: Marble Arch). WebsiteTwitterReview.
  • Flat White. 17 Berwick Street, W1F 0PT (Tube: Tottenham Court Road or Leicester Square). Website. Mini-review
The list is roughly in order but I tend to like each place for different reasons--Flat White is quite low down, for example, because it's so hard to get a seat and the Borough Barista made the list mainly because it is an espresso bar in Marylebone (hooray!). I also created a few sub-categories; it should be easy to see which place is my new favourite!
  • Top three for macchiato: Prufrock, the Espresso Room, Kaffeine
  • Top three for service: Sensory Lab, Prufrock, Store Street Espresso
  • Top three for drinking-in:  Prufrock, Tapped & Packed, Fernandez & Wells
The Caffeine Chronicles Part I: The Department of Coffee & Social Affairs review
The Caffeine Chronicles Part II: AeroPress review
The Caffeine Chronicles Part III: Prufrock Coffee review

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