28 August 2017

The Caffeine Chronicles: Workshop Coffee, Fitzrovia

When I decided to revisit some of my 'old favourites' from London's speciality coffee scene last year, Workshop Coffee's Clerkenwell café was high on my to-do list. Unfortunately, that branch has now closed — a great shame — and although there's a shiny new location in the White Collar Factory in Old Street, its weekday-only opening hours have meant I haven't had the chance to stop by yet. Instead, I decided to return to one of the company's more established coffee bars, in Fitzrovia, which I've been to before but have never written up for this blog.

The Fitzrovia coffee bar is located on Mortimer Street, just off Upper Regent Street and not far from BBC Broadcasting House. It's only a few blocks north of Oxford Circus, but the small, elegant café could feels a world away from the hubbub and the hullaballoo. Each Workshop coffee bar is beautifully designed but I love the way that each one retains its own specific character. The first room, which houses the espresso machine and brew bar, is long and narrow with a stunning Madagascan granite counter. The counter's colours pair nicely with the vibrant teal coffee cups and saucers (which would also go very nicely in my kitchen, incidentally).

It was late on a sunny Saturday afternoon when I arrived and Workshop was relatively quiet. As usual, the coffee selection was excellent. There was a delicious-sounding Cedral from Costa Rica available as a batch brew but I was in the mood for the more floral and green-tea notes of the Ethiopian Beyene, so I ordered this brewed through the Aeropress (£4). I also ordered a piccolo (£2.80) — there were two Central American varieties in the hoppers, but I'm not sure which one I got.

I took a seat on one of the comfy teal sofas in the back room, which feels like being in the living room of a friend with exceptional, Scandinavian mid-century taste. The coffee tables here are made with the same Madagascan granite as the counter. There's room for about 10 customers — depending on how friendly everyone gets — and a little more perching room the hallway between the brew bar and the seating area.

While I waited, I nibbled on a brownie bite (yummy, and just enough of a sweet treat for me that afternoon). They also had a few other cakes and pastries, as well as a couple of sandwiches on offer.

Both of my coffees were really good, but the filter coffee was particularly well brewed, with the subtler flavour notes of the Beyene coming through very nicely. It was a very refreshing brew for a warm afternoon. The presentation was excellent, of course, with the teal crockery coordinating nicely with the furniture.

I paused to admire the 'merch' on my way out. I rather liked the stackable mugs and was interested to see a Pump Street/Workshop coffee–chocolate collaboration.

Sad as it was to see the Clerkenwell Workshop go, it's great to know that there are still other great Workshop options around town — including a new one for me to try out.

Workshop Coffee. 80 Mortimer Street, London, W1W 7FE (Tube: Oxford Circus). Website. Twitter. Instagram.


  1. Oh! I remember your order! Nice to hear that you liked our coffee bar and coffees. Espresso was propobly Guatemalan La Loma. Unfortunetly not alivalible any more :)
    Feel invited to try our new outstanding Ethiopian Duromina espresso

    1. Thanks, Aleksander, and it was nice to meet you.