25 August 2020

The Caffeine Chronicles: Amoret Coffee, Notting Hill

By all accounts, 2020 has been a terrible year, but one upshot was that I finally got a bike and started cycling around London while the locked-down streets were much quieter than usual. Another positive was that without having to rely on convoluted public transport routes, I was finally able to visit Amoret Coffee's Notting Hill roastery cafe, which had been on my to-visit list for an embarrassingly long time.

Owner Sadiq opened the first Amoret Coffee in Hammersmith in 2016, and soon acquired a reputation as one of the best speciality coffee shops in London. My coffee blogger friends at Bean There at and Bean Thinking are among those who have regularly sung Amoret's praises. But even in a pre-COVID-19 world, Hammersmith was a rather circuitous journey from Bermondsey and I never managed to visit.

Happily, the Notting Hill cafe, which opened two years ago and brought roasting in house, is only a 40-minute cycle ride for me, through the Royal Parks, and I've now been twice, on quiet Sunday mornings. Located on an attractive stretch of Pembridge Road, just north of Notting Hill Gate, Amoret has a distinctive forest green façade adorned with gorgeous artwork, which is very much in keeping with the characteristic colourful houses of the neighbourhood.

On the ground floor of Amoret, the coffee bar occupies most of the slender main room, with the roaster in the back room. The décor is low-key, allowing the coffee to shine. There are a couple of bench seats, and some more seating options in the light-filled room upstairs — it's possible to drink in at the moment, although there are limits in place to facilitate distancing.

On my first visit, back in July, there were a few other people waiting in line, so in order not to delay proceedings, I ordered a piccolo, which I enjoyed in the sunshine outside. It was impeccably brewed with latte art that lasted all the way to the bottom of the small cup. I also picked up some Ethiopian Worka Wuri beans, with rose, lavender and black tea notes, which made for an ideal summer pourover brew at home.

When I returned, earlier this month, Sadiq himself was there and it was great to meet in person at last. He brewed me a very unusual natural Indonesian Mount Koerintji coffee through the V60, while telling me the story of the coffee and the farm, and why it is so special. The cup profile — chocolate liqueur, maple syrup, Concord grape, winey — is enticing but not something I would necessarily have chosen for myself. As I sipped my coffee in the upstairs room, I found the flavours bold, but with a sweet smoothness, especially as it cooled. I liked it so much I bought some beans.

The Mount Koerintji coffee is almost gone, but at Amoret, where Sadiq puts so much care into the sourcing, roasting and brewing of the coffee he selects, it's hard to go wrong, whichever coffee varieties are on offer when you visit.

After my first visit, fuelled by my coffee, I took a mini cycle tour around the aforementioned colourful houses of Notting Hill. As sunny Sunday mornings go, that was a particularly idyllic one.

Amoret Coffee. 53 Pembridge Road, London W11 3HG (Tube: Notting Hill Gate). Website. Twitter. Instagram.

For 120+ more of my favourite coffee shops in London, please check out my London speciality coffee guide.

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