20 June 2017

The Caffeine Chronicles: Half Cup

With so many great coffee shops in the immediate vicinity of King’s Cross these days, it’s rare that I venture down into Bloomsbury on my lunch break. Half Cup is close enough to St Pancras station to count as being part of the King’s Cross neighbourhood in some classifications, although I still think of it as being in Bloomsbury.

Geography aside, I wandered over for coffee and all-day breakfast on the day after the recent UK election. I had stayed up way too late watching the results come in and by lunchtime, I was in need of caffeine and comfort food. Happily, Half Cup provided both in equal measures.

The coffee shop is located a few blocks south of Euston Road on a smart, red-brick block on Judd Street. There are a few tables out on the broad pavement for days when the weather has been as pleasant as this week. In less clement climes, there is a whole room in Half Cup — decorated with colourful, vibrant murals on the walls — dedicated to customer seating. It’s a bright and funky space, as conducive to working as it is to chats with friends and small meetings.

To get to the seating area, you will need to enter the antechamber, which houses the coffee bar where you can order Nude coffee, all-day breakfast, snacks and sweet treats. I ordered a piccolo (£2.50) and the coffee of the day was Nude’s East Blend, a chocolatey, nutty El Salvador–Brazil combination. They also had a Colombian decaf espresso in the hopper. There aren't any hand-brewed filter options available but they do serve matcha, beetroot or turmeric lattes (£3), if they are your thing. The food menu looked good too, and the breakfast brioche (£6) seemed to satisfy all of my basic breakfast food groups — avocado, poached egg and bacon — so I ordered one of those. 

My piccolo was good, if perhaps slightly under-extracted. The East Blend worked well with milk, though, and had a smooth, creamy taste. The breakfast brioche was everything I wanted from a post-election lunch: the bacon was crispy, the egg suitably runny and the avocado flavoursome.

I didn’t realise while I was there, but Half Cup also serves craft beers, including their own Half Cup Pilsner, and a range of bottle beers and wines — handy if you’re there later in the day than I was, or don't have to go back to the office; they open until 7 pm on weekdays and 5 pm at weekends. The staff were very friendly and the bustling ambiance made it a lovely place to spend a lunch break, and the visit has encouraged me to try to venture out of King’s Cross more often at lunchtime, which is much easier some days than others…

Half Cup. 100–102 Judd Street, London, WC1H 9NT (Tube: King's Cross). Website. Twitter. Instagram.

For more great coffee spots near King's Cross, check out my King's Cross coffee guide.

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