22 December 2014

The Caffeine Chronicles: Brooklyn Coffee

UPDATE (February 2019): Sadly, Brooklyn Coffee has now permanently closed.

I miss New York; it's been too long. I'm hoping to go back there in the spring, but in the meantime, there is a small patch of one of the five boroughs on Commercial Street, just north of Spitalfields Market: namely, Brooklyn Coffee. As part of my efforts to use up my remaining annual leave, I took an afternoon off work last week and crossed over the Williamsburg Bridge Tower Bridge to pay them a visit.

Brooklyn Coffee certainly looks the part with its monochrome store front and minimalist interiors. It's pretty small inside, with just a few perching spots by the window. They don't do hand-brewed filter coffee, but the barista assured me that their batch brew drip coffee (£3) was pretty darn good so I gave it a go. Brooklyn Coffee uses Caravan coffee and the brew of the day used a Colombian variety whose name I forget.

On the counter, there were numerous tempting treats, including cakes and fancy chocolate bars. In the end, I chose the Oreo brownie bite, which has to be Shoreditch's biggest bargain. As it was only £1.20 and was declared to be only a "bite", I was very pleased that it was about the size of a regular brownie. It also tasted great. Win!

The coffee, meanwhile, was as good as I had been promised. There was a great fruity acidity to the brew and it was strong and flavoursome — just what I needed to get me through a busy afternoon shopping in Shoreditch. As I sat at the snowflake-speckled window sipping my coffee, I could almost pretend I was in New York. Well, other than the very London "bus stop" markings on the road.

In case you were wondering, Brooklyn Coffee does indeed have Brooklyn DNA: the barista, who is also one of the co-owners, is from Brooklyn but moved to London last year to launch this cafe. They also have great merch. How could I not buy one of their mugs (£12 — shown below in my kitchen) when they all had my initial on them? And yes, I already have way too many mugs, but if I really like one, I will occasionally welcome it into my flock. Coffee, shirts and totes are also on sale.

Brooklyn Coffee. 139 Commercial Street, London, E1 6BJ (Shoreditch High Street Overground). Website. Twitter.

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