12 June 2015

The Caffeine Chronicles: Old Spike Roastery Review

Back in March, I spotted a new coffee shop and roastery on Peckham Rye, a few doors down from Pedler. Old Spike Roastery had only been open for a couple of weeks, but they'd already nailed the macchiato. Now that they've been open a bit longer, I decided to check back in.

They roast their own coffee in-house on a petite roaster they call 'Torberg'. I started off with a cortado (£2.50), which was brewed with a blend of Colombian coffee.

I don't often drink coffee with this much milk and my coffee-tastebuds aren't quite so sensitive to the notes, but it was smooth, rich and chocolatey. It went very well with the vanilla glazed Crosstown doughnut I tried. I like Crosstown doughnuts a lot but a lot of their flavour combos aren't my cup of tea — you can't go too far wrong with a classic vanilla, though.

I had asked earlier whether they served pourovers, which they don't (they take too long to make), but they do have a small machine for making brew-to-order coffee. Initially, I was that irritating coffee snob who rejected this idea, but, feeling guilty, I did try to order one. The machine was being used to produce a small batch of cold brew, though, so the barista made me an Aeropress-brewed coffee instead (£2.50). It was an African variety — I forget which — and had a very subtle, fruity acidity, so light and refreshing that it almost reminded me of tea.

Old Spike is only open at the weekends at the moment. There are a few seats inside, the best of which provide a great vantage point to watch the peeps of Peckham go about their weekending. If you can't make it out to Peckham, you can buy their coffee online instead.

So far, so standard. But what makes Old Spike more interesting than a lot of the other new coffee shops on the block is that they combine coffee with social enterprise. They are not-for-profit and set up to support local homeless people by providing jobs, training and housing. A pretty awesome initiative, that also makes pretty awesome coffee.

Old Spike Roastery. 54 Peckham Rye, London, SE15 4JR (Peckham Rye Overground). Website. Twitter.

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