20 November 2018

The Caffeine Chronicles: Origin Coffee, Southwark

As I take a seat at one of the small wooden tables at Origin Coffee's new coffee shop in Scoresby Street, Southwark, the card from the Third Wave Coffee Tour I took in Portland, Oregon, falls out. It is an apt coincidence because the latest Origin shop, located inside one of the railway arches just east of Waterloo East, reminds me a lot of the laid-back, industrial-chic coffee shops I visited in the City of Roses, particularly those east of the Willamette River.

Like the other Origin coffee shops I've visited, in Shoreditch and on the Euston Road, Scoresby Street is beautifully designed, with its interiors showcasing the cafe's arched ceiling. A quartet of four Modbar espresso units hold court on the right-hand side of the counter, while the left-hand side — painted forest green and with three wooden stools — hosts the brew bar.

There's another forest green perching section near the door for those who like geometric designs. Wooden tables of various sizes fill most of the rest of the space. As usual, the petite posies that adorn most of the tables are really on point. If you ever need tips for small-scale flower arrangement, look no further than Origin!

There are the usual espresso-based drinks on the coffee menu, as well as a batch-brew filter and a special coffee available as a pourover: a Finca Nuguo Geisha natural coffee from Panama (near the Costa Rican coffee). I enjoy the coffee from the first sip, but it really comes into its own as it cools, the raspberry and chocolate notes coming through nicely. I keep raising the black ceramic tumbler to my face so I can keep inhaling the gorgeous scents. For those in the mood for a boozier brunch, there are a couple of cocktails on the menu, including one featuring a drink from Dan Fellows' recent World Coffee in Good Spirits victory.

I've arrived in time for brunch, which is served all day on Saturdays and Sundays. The brunch menu is fairly extensive, with nine dishes on the list, plus two specials. The brioche tartine (£6.50), with roast plum, vanilla ricotta, hazelnut butter and almonds, sounds delicious but I'm in the market for something more substantial. I order the brunch club (£10), a slightly fancier, brunchier take on the classic breakfast sandwich. Generous hunks of sourdough, spread with tabasco-mayo, share the plate with streaky bacon, a fried egg, roast tomato, avocado and rocket. I'm glad it is served as more of a deconstructed sandwich, because I think I would struggle to eat it with my hands. It tastes great and I leave a very clean plate.

I was pleased when Origin opened a coffee shop so close to my office in King's Cross, and now this latest addition is rather closer to him — and about midway along my commute to work. Given how bad the traffic has been on Blackfriars Road lately, perhaps I'll have to start breaking the journey at Scoresby Street.

Origin Coffee. 84 Scoresby Street, London, SE1 0XN (Tube: Southwark). Website. Twitter. Instagram.

For 100+ more of my favourite coffee shops in London, please check out my speciality coffee guide.

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