15 January 2016

The Caffeine Chronicles: Macintyre Coffee

Update (January 2019): Macintyre Coffee has now closed. In its place is coffee and cocktail bar Near & Far Cafe.

I didn't visit Macintyre Coffee in its original Hoxton home but when I heard that they had moved to a new location in Angel, I added it to my list of coffee shops to try during my lunch break. The new café is at the top of St John Street, near the junction with Pentonville Road and little more than a stone's throw from Angel Tube station.

Inside, the décor is extremely understated: there are a couple of small, white coffee tables and the coffee bar at the back. The interiors are so wood-heavy that you almost feel as though you are in a particularly cosy shed — a very nice shed, of course, and with excellent coffee.

The menu, like the décor, is maximally minimalist: there is a filter coffee and a small selection of the standard espresso-based drinks, all of which are listed on an old-school monochrome board. There were a few amazing-looking filled croissants on offer too but nothing more substantial. I ordered a piccolo (£2.50) and took a seat at the only free table while I waited for my drink.

The coffee is from Modern Standard, an Essex-based roaster whose coffee I hadn't sampled before. The Momentum Espresso Blend — brewed with a Modbar espresso module — worked really well as a piccolo, with its rich, full-bodied flavours. The latte art was impressive too, especially for such a small drink.

I noticed the very cool Alpha Dominche Steampunk coffee machine too late for this visit — you can see its tall, clear cylinders and plungers rising above the pastries in the photograph below — which uses a siphon method to brew filter coffee. I'm definitely hitting that up next time and now that I've heard rumours of their peanut butter and maple bacon croissants, Macintyre may well become my favourite spot for a pre-work breakfast treat.

Macintyre Coffee. 428 St John Street, London, EC1V 4NJ (Tube: Angel). Website. Twitter.

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