29 April 2015

The Caffeine Chronicles: Small White Elephant

UPDATE (February 2019): Sadly, Small White Elephant has now permanently closed.

I must have walked past Small White Elephant, a petite and pretty cafe on Choumert Road in Peckham, while walking between Rye Lane and Bellenden Road, but had never visited. Then, an Oxford friend liked their Facebook page last week and I decided to stop by last weekend.

Small White Elephant is pretty close to Cafe Viva — so close, in fact, that until I double-checked the address on my phone, I wondered if it was a new incarnation of the latter. There are similarities between the two: super-friendly staff, a cosy, homey ambiance, and local art on the walls. But although I had a very good macchiato at Cafe Viva, Small White Elephant's coffee menu was more my cup of tea.

For a moment, I was tempted to order the Al Pacino (great name!) — a cappuccino with almond milk — but I went with the single-origin V60 pourover instead. Their coffee is from south London roaster, Alchemy, and the coffee du jour was a Colombian variety (possibly this one). I had already eaten lunch, and so brunch was out for me (I will have to go back to try the avo toast and the coconut toast with maple syrup), but I did go for one of the OMG brownies that were sitting temptingly on the counter. Unusually, they were served with a dollop of frosting on top, and sprinklings of cranberry and white chocolate — definitely a good idea, because my brownie was delicious!

The coffee itself, served in a cheerful yellow cup, was also very tasty: smooth, rich and flavoursome. Small White Elephant also serves cold brew, which I will have to bear in mind when the weather warms up a little.

I didn't realise until I got there, but Small White Elephant has just made its debut in the new 2015 edition of the London Coffee Guide, and they have copies of this and the latest issue of Caffeine magazine available inside. This may also explain why it was pretty busy inside: there are only a few small tables anyway, but most of them were occupied for the majority of my visit. But don't let this put you off: if you're in the Peckham area and looking for great coffee and/or brunch, do check out Small White Elephant.

Small White Elephant. 28 Choumert Road, London, SE15 4SE (Tube: Peckham Rye Overground). Website. Twitter.

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