30 July 2014

The Caffeine Chronicles: Curators Coffee Gallery

UPDATE (April 2019): Curators Coffee Gallery has sadly closed, although you can also visit its sister, Curators Coffee Studio, in the City on weekdays.

On Sunday, Magnum were giving away 25,000 ice creams on Oxford Street, making Oxford Circus even more of a nightmare than usual. Luckily, I found a calm refuge on Margaret Street, just two blocks north of the circus, in the form of Curators Coffee Gallery, a shrine dedicated to the art of coffee. Curators opened their first location, the Studio, in the City in 2012 and the Gallery made its d├ębut into London coffee society earlier this month.

Curators takes its coffee and its design seriously, which makes it perfect for me. The Gallery's decor combines Scandi minimalism, with more than a few swatches of decadent purple, including the sexy plum-coloured La Marzocco Strada that occupies centre stage. Geometry is also big here, with rogue tessellations of hexagonal tiles creeping up the walls. Oh, and did I mention the row of Chemexes, each accompanied by a stylish copper pouring kettle?

It was a hot day and I was tempted by the cold-drip coffee and intrigued by one of the daily specials — the Espresso Punch, which involves muddled strawberries, mint, sparkling water and espresso — but I didn't have a lot of time before my cinema screening, so I stuck to a regular Chemex brew.

I didn't have too much trouble choosing an accompaniment for my coffee: the peanut butter and salted caramel crunch bar had my name all over it, and I happily munched my way through it while I waited for my coffee.

The coffee itself was flavoursome and fruity. It came served in a suitably stylish handle-less, grooved cup. The Chemex was £3, but they also do pre-brewed filter coffee for £2.60, and espresso+milk combos for £2.80.

Curators also sell a carefully curated selection of the most stylish variations of the usual coffee-geek kit, including cool copper V60 drippers, and they also run coffee-making classes. I will definitely be back to try some of their coffee 'creations' — and when I've had a close run-in with the nearby TopShop and need somewhere sophisticated and serene to regroup.

Curators Coffee Gallery. 51 Margaret Street, London, W1W 8SG (Tube: Oxford Circus). Website. Twitter.

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