06 January 2022

The Caffeine Chronicles: Rosslyn Coffee, Moorgate

The original Rosslyn Coffee has been one of my favourite London coffee shops since I first visited in 2018, thanks to its consistently excellent coffee, warm hospitality and gorgeous design. It's through Rosslyn that I discovered artist Melisa Dora, whose mugs and other ceramics adorn my shelves at home, and it was also thanks to them that I first heard about Saint Nine Coffee, now also a favourite of mine.

When Rosslyn opened a second coffee shop in Moorgate — just around the corner from Moorgate station — in October, it immediately went on my to-visit list. But as it's only open on weekdays and a little too far for a lunch-break walk, I was only able to stop by when I had a day off just before Christmas, after brunch at Where's Fred's, which is a short walk away.

Located on London Wall, just around the corner from Moorgate station and the Barbican, the coffee shop occupies the end of a small period terrace in the shadow of the glistening skyscrapers of the City of London. It's a similar size to the original, although its corner position means the space around the coffee bar is L-shaped, while the floor-to-ceiling windows let in lots of light even on the dreariest of December days.

The new shop brings over one of my favourite features of the original, the wall o'news: pages from the Financial Times pinned to the wall to facilitate reading during busy periods (I always felt this may have been a shout-out to the standing-room-only Patricia Coffee Brewers in Melbourne). The Pink 'Un makes sense for coffee shops based in the City, but Rosslyn also takes its name from the Scottish Gaelic for 'headland', 'pink' and 'waterfall', so pink is a key accent colour (another reason why I'm such a fan). Alongside the news pages, there are sheets of paper with more information about the company, its coffees and its partners.

There are no seats, but you can perch at the raised black tables that run along the edges of the cafe. The counter — sleek black, with ridged glass around the base — occupies much of the space, bearing the La Marzocco espresso machine and the Marco automatic pourover brewer.

The front window features a shelving unit with all of the retail bags of coffee, which first caught my attention when I came in, particularly the packs of coffee with the bright yellow labels. These turned out to be the first in a very special series of exceptional coffees, the Rosslyn Editions range. I didn't need much persuasion to try the naturally processed Colombian coffee from producer Nestor Lasso, but the lovely baristas, Madda and Sophie, really sealed the deal.

Brewed through the Kalita Wave dripper, the coffee had sweet and juicy mango notes that I could smell even through my mask from across the room, and it tasted delicious too. I chatted with Madda and Sophie, about coffee, Christmas and COVID while I waited for my coffee to cool. I already liked it enough to buy a bag of the beans, which added some much-needed tropical flavours to my grey Christmas in Oxford.

There's batch-brew filter coffee too and the usual espresso-based drinks, as well as hot chocolate and tea, and a selection of baked goods in the front window. But as I'd already brunched (at Where's Fred's, which is a short walk away), I took my coffee for a walk through the Barbican Centre instead.

Rosslyn Coffee. 118 London Wall, London, EC2Y 5JA (Tube: Moorgate). Website. Twitter. Instagram.

For 150+ more of my favourite coffee shops in London, you can also check out my London speciality coffee guide.

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