18 February 2019

The Caffeine Chronicles: I Will Kill Again

UPDATE (April 2022): I Will Kill Again has closed, but you can still get coffee from the Dark Arts roastery at 1–5 Rosina Street, London, E9 6JH.

We have our fair share of railway arches turned eateries here in Bermondsey, but for coffee to die for and a mean weekend brunch, I head north to I Will Kill Again. On Wednesdays through Sundays, Dark Arts Coffee's Homerton roastery turns into a café serving coffee and brunch. It's taken me a while to visit — it's my Apple Watch's overly optimistic activity goal for February that finally prompts me to walk the five miles from home (there are also plenty of buses and two Overground stations).

It's almost 2 pm by the time I reach the arch, which is just off Ponsford Street, which itself straddles Homerton High Street and Morning Lane. I may have missed the worst of the brunch crowds but I've also missed half of the brunch menu, judging by the 'sold out' stamps. The menu isn't fully veggie but there are plenty of veggie and vegan dishes therein, and I decide to go for the muffin with za'atar, rosti, cream cheese, avocado, smoked tempeh, oven-blush tomatoes and kasundi. I also order a piccolo — the usual espresso-based drinks are on offer, as well as a couple of different coffees available as a batch-brew filter coffee.

I take the devilish playing card with my order number and score a seat at the table opposite the counter and next to the coffee roaster. The arch is surprisingly spacious inside, with the kitchen on the small mezzanine area. There are also some tables outside, which were full despite the weather. I love the vintage décor inside, and especially the mural at the back proclaiming, 'Dark Arts Coffee relieves fatigue,' just above a movie poster for The Blood on Satan's Claws.

My coffee arrives promptly and I finish it very quickly. It's a very well-balanced and well-brewed piccolo. My fatigue is indeed relieved. The food takes a little longer but it's worth the wait. The muffin is piled high with smashed avocado, topped with chives and the tomato. The rosti and the smoked tempeh make it even more filling, and although I'm not a fan of cream cheese (vegan or otherwise), the rich tomato kasundi was an excellent condiment.

I've had — and enjoyed — Dark Arts Coffee before, but given how long it took me to visit their Hackney lair, I figured I should buy some beans to take home. There were four varieties available, and I went for the 'Long Gone Daddy', a Peruvian coffee with an "ice cream mouthfeel with orange acidity and cola sweetness." The tasting notes compare it to the best coke float you had as a kid. Well, how could I resist?

I Will Kill Again. Arch 216, 27A Ponsford Street, London, E9 6JU (Homerton or Hackney Central Overground). Website. Twitter. Instagram.

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

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