31 March 2016

The Caffeine Chronicles: Origin Coffee

At 3 pm on Easter Sunday the music was blaring from one of the bars on Rivington Street, in the heart of Shoreditch. But the scene was much more serene at Origin Coffee, just around the corner on Charlotte Road. Origin roast their coffee in deepest Cornwall — Helston, to be more exact. Charlotte Road is currently their only London outpost, although they are opening a second café at the British Library, just a hop, skip and an ambitious leap from my office.

Origin's shop front is very pared down: brown bricks and large windows that let in the light even on this relatively shaded side street. Inside, the décor is similarly minimalist: white walls, black lights and a sexy dark-wood coffee bar. Thoughtfully chosen framed art work and some monochrome illustrations add character. There are a couple of seats at the bar, a few more just opposite and some tables at the back. They have a downstairs too but it's for their barista training lab.

The brew bar sits just next to the gorgeous black espresso machine and on Sunday, there were a couple of espressos on offer and three filter coffees — one batch-brew and one pourover. I ordered the Ethiopian Nefas coffee brewed as a pourover. There were a few sandwiches and some Crosstown doughnuts on offer too, but I'd already had a filling brunch, so I just took a seat opposite the bar.

At £4.50, the pourover was one of the most expensive I have had in London but it was also among the best. The Nefas coffee has very delicate flavour notes, which include jasmine, bergamot and white peach, all of which came through beautifully, especially the bergamot. I don't always have a good memory for coffees past, but this reminded me of a lovely Ethiopian coffee I had at Little Collins in New York a few years ago. It was light, refreshing and just delightful.

After my brief respite at Origin, I headed back out into Shoreditch where the party was still going strong. I don't make it to Shoreditch that often so I'm really looking forward to Origin's new British Library café; there's always room for another great coffee bar in the King's Cross area!

Origin Coffee. 65 Charlotte Road, London, EC2A 3PE (Tube: Old Street, or Shoreditch High Street Overground). Website. Twitter.


  1. Hi Bex,

    Glad you found and liked Origin. It's a lovely spot, isn't it? I particularly enjoyed sitting at the counter and watching my pour-over being made, asking the barista lots of questions along the way (it's basically how I learnt to make pour-over!).

    We shall have to check out the new place in the British Library once it's open. Talking of which, did you know Origin also has a spot in Selfridges?


    1. Hi Brian,

      Yes, I'd have liked to sit at the counter but others had had the same idea and there was no space. Let's definitely find a time to check out the new British Library spot. I didn't know about the Selfridges location, but that is very good to know!

      Thanks for stopping by,