14 June 2017

The Caffeine Chronicles: Modern Society

UPDATE. Sadly, Modern Society has now permanently closed.

While carrying out errands in Shoreditch a few weeks ago, I walked past Modern Society on Redchurch Street and remembered that I still hadn't had the chance to visit the small coffee bar located inside the hip lifestyle boutique. I didn't have time that day but when I was back in Shoreditch on Saturday, I made a beeline for Modern Society.

I couldn't have picked a better day for it: the sun streams in through the south-facing front windows on clement days, bathing the cafe and shop in light. After the light, the next thing I noticed was the gorgeous, mainly monochrome design. The sleek, marble-topped coffee bar occupies a space near the door, while a trio of small bistro tables — marble again, but this time a dark green — line the front windows. Further into the shop, there is a beautifully curated collection of clothes and homewares. Intentionally, I didn't go to check out the brand of the candle that was burning when I arrived because I'm a sucker for such warm, tobacco-accented scents and I have too many candles already!

The coffee menu is simple: espresso is £2, and you can have a 4-, 6- or 8-oz espresso with milk (for £2.20, £2.60 or £3, respectively), or a filter (£2.50) or Chemex (£3.50). They also offer a few sweet treats and serve a simple food menu with granola, and avocado and/or eggs on toast.

I asked the friendly baristas which coffee they were serving through the Chemex and they showed me the new Kenyan Esme coffee they had just got from Assembly, one of my favourite London roasters. I was sold! I took a seat in the sunshine and caught up with some writing while the baristas prepared my coffee.

The coffee was very good indeed, with some very nice grapefruit and berry notes coming through. I don't drink Chemex-brewed coffee very often but when it's brewed well, as at Modern Society, it produces a really great tasting cup. Unfortunately, my sunny position didn't translate to particularly stunning photos, but I also love Modern Society's presentation, with the brass band wrapping around the glass flask. Plus, I'm a sucker for a good tray.

Although it was never packed, there was a constant stream of customers drawn in by the shop, the beautiful coffee bar — or perhaps the fun signage. The baristas were knowledgeable and very welcoming and it's reassuring to know that even on a sunny Saturday in Shoreditch, it's possible to find somewhere calming and cool to enjoy a great cup of coffee.

Modern Society. 33 Redchurch Street, London, E2 7DJ (Shoreditch High Street Overground). Website. Twitter. Instagram.

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