03 March 2021

The Caffeine Chronicles: Ozone Coffee Roasters, Emma Street

I've been frequenting Ozone Coffee Roasters' original London coffee shop, near the Old Street roundabout, since 2012, and the Kiwi roaster's second London cafe in Bethnal Green has been on my to-visit list for a while. On Friday, I took advantage of a sunny day off work to divert my daily walk via Ozone II; although London is currently locked down, the cafe is open for coffee and food to take away.

Ozone's coffee shop and eatery is located on the corner of Emma Street and Pritchard's Road, sandwiched between Hackney Road and the Regent's Canal. The forest green building has a handy sign, pointing to the entrance. There's a small, leafy courtyard outside the Emma Street entrance, which was a real sun trap when I visited for an early brunch, and an integrated bench where you can wait for your food and drink after ordering.

Ozone have adapted their food menu for a take-out format, and although the house speciality focaccia sandwiches sounded great, I decided to go for the bacon eggs Benedict bun — not just for alliterative reasons. There are lighter and more breakfast-friendly options on the menu too, from porridge to pastries. You can order online for click-collect, or head to the door, where there's a table set up holding retail bags of various Ozone coffee beans, as well as coffee-making kit and even wine for sale. 

I ordered my sandwich and a flat white, peeking into the airy, modern interiors of the cafe and then heading to the bench where I sat soaking up the sun. The barista brought out my flat white before too long. Ozone's Brothers espresso blend was in the hopper, and it tasted great with milk — sweet and smooth, with the milk chocolate flavours coming through nicely. There were few other people waiting in the courtyard, but people were following physical distancing guidelines and it never got too crowded. 

My food arrived in its to-go box shortly afterwards, and I decamped with my Huskee Cup to nearby Haggerston Park. The brunch sandwich was pretty epic: crispy potato hash with a fried egg, crispy bacon and hollandaise sauce. Much as I'm looking forward to the end of COVID-19 restrictions, one advantage is that no one could come close enough to see me with literal egg on my face, but I always think that the best breakfast sandwiches — and sandwiches generally — are the messiest ones to eat.

Although I've enjoyed sampling the takeout brunch offerings at many of my favourite London coffee shops and cafes over the past year, I'm really looking forward to brunching — and caffeinating — 'in' again. And Ozone is somewhere I'll definitely be revisiting for a seated and plated brunch...in the not-too-distant future, I hope.

Ozone Coffee Roasters. 8 Pritchard's Road, London, E2 9AP (Cambridge Heath Overground). Website. Twitter. Instagram.

For 130+ more of my favourite coffee shops in London, please check out my London speciality coffee guide.

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