Top 3 Coffee Shops in Soho

Top 3 Coffee Shops in Soho
TOP 3 COFFEE SHOPS IN SOHO

There many great coffee shops in Soho. People that work in the area really are spoilt for choice. However, unless you like working in these coffee shops, you’ll probably only end up going to one or maybe two on a regular basis. So where are the best places to go?

Number 1

Having thought long and hard about which cafe merits the top spot, Milk Bar is a deserving winner. What I love about this cafe is its modesty and the quiet but friendly atmosphere. It’s the perfect place for a bit of peace and tranquility in a very busy area of London. They serve Square Mile coffee, have good baristas, and a good menu too. A minutes walk from Soho Square, come get your caffeine fix here!

Coffee shop in Soho

Number 2

Tapped and Packed No. 193 is in at second. It is the brainchild of the Tapped & Packed team who were part of the group that pioneered the emergence of great quality, specialty coffee shops in London. They have two other cafes in the area but this is their latest venture. They roast the coffee on site and offer a nice variety of fresh food that tastes as delicious as it looks! With plenty of seating this is a great place to come in groups or by yourself.

Coffee Shop in Soho

Number 3

Speakeasy Espresso & Brew Bar is just off Carnaby Street and is a great place to sip on excellent coffee if you need a break from a hard day of work (or shopping!). Being part of the Coffeesmiths Collective, you expect high standards and they are well met in this cafe. With a nice array of food on offer and friendly service, it’s a great place to go if you’re near Carnaby Street. They serve Climpson & Sons coffee as their main blend and there’s always a tasty guest espresso on offer. They also hold free drop in coffee training sessions on Thursday evenings if you want to perfect your home brewing skills!

Coffee Shop in Soho

What do you think? Do you have a favourite coffee shop in Soho?

Stepney City Farm Cafe

Stepney City Farm Cafe
STEPNEY CITY FARM CAFE

Stepney City Farm Cafe

Enter Stepney City Farm and you’ll find a lovely cafe immediately on your right. Before visiting the cafe, I had a little wander around the farm, where there is a good variety of animals and an array of allotments. It was really wonderful to see some farm animals in the middle of a big city! I was given a spring onion by one of the allotment owners, which made a tasty addition to the salad I made when I got back home…nothing better than a bit of fresh veg. If you have green fingers and want to get involved with an allotment yourself, you’ll have to sign up to the waiting list, as they’re in high demand!

The cafe is simple and honest serving goods from the farm or the local area. The tea is from a company called Joe’s Tea based over in Shoreditch, and the coffee from the Climpson & Sons roastery just off London Fields. I went for a double espresso and a pain au chocolat. I got some nice fruity notes from the coffee and it had a nice sharpness, which was very pleasant on a sunny day. It was however a little over extracted. It appeared that the barista who made it seemed to be pretty new to the trade so hopefully that won’t be the case much longer. The service was very friendly and the whole experience of the place makes the cafe well worth a visit.

PS If you visit on Saturday make sure you don’t miss the farmers market!

Address: Stepney Way, E1 3DG, London.

Email and/or Twitter: info@stepneycityfarm.org and Stepney City Farm’s Facebook & Twitter,

Website: http://stepneycityfarm.org/

Opening times: Wednesday-Friday 9.30am to 2.30pm & Saturday-Sunday 10.30am to 4pm.

Price of a double espresso: £1.80

Outdoor Seating (important for those tobacco lovers): A bench and a table and some chairs

Stepney City Farm

Stepney City Farm

Stepney City Farm

Animals

Animals

Fresh spring onion from the garden

Stepney City Farm Cafe

Cafe

Coffee machine

pastries

Joe's tea

Joe's tea

Coffee

Chutney

Friends of the farm

Cafe interior

Farm cafe interior

Stepney City Farm

Croissant and Espresso

Stepney City Farm Cafe

Glass of Water

How to buy coffee beans

How to buy coffee beans
HOW TO BUY COFFEE BEANS

How to buy coffee beans

In response to the British public’s insatiable demand for speciality coffee, more and more coffee shops have popped pop across the UK. People have been dragged away from their old habits of drinking instant in the office or at home and are now more than willing to walk that extra ten minutes to buy better coffee.

With this, Brits have become more discerning coffee consumers and have higher expectations of a quality cup of coffee. A friend of mine who only recently got the ‘coffee bug’ says he now can’t drink a Starbucks or Costa espresso.

The problem is, if your favourite cafe is shut on the weekends or you’re looking to save a bit of cash & want to make coffee at home, unless you have an idea about home brewing you’re in trouble. This issue came to my attention the other day when a friend of mine was complaining that he had to drink instant at home on the weekends, while in the week he would have his customary flat white at a local Kiwi cafe next to work.

How do you achieve a good cup of coffee if you’re making it yourself? There are many methods to making coffee at home (watch this space), but to start you off I will give you some tips on buying high quality beans.

Buying coffee may seem simple, but it’s actually quite easy to get wrong. Even if you have an excellent machine or filter, if you use bad coffee, guess what… the end product will taste bad.

I advised a friend of mine to buy a V60 and he bought some Square Mile coffee to go with it. He loved it but confessed that when it ran out, he went to Tesco’s (not sure out of convenience or price) and said that it was just awful. He asked me to write a few tips on buying great coffee so below you have three golden rules to buying beans:

1. Make sure that the coffee has a roast date and that you consume the coffee within a month post roast. Generally, the flavour rapidly starts to deteriorate after that time period.

2. Pick a good roaster. A lot of coffee shops will sell the coffee they use wholesale so this is usually a good bet if you like their coffee (always ask for recommendations, they will differ depending on how you brew the coffee at home). Alternatively, you can always buy online. Has Bean offers a wide variety of coffees and a selection that are very affordable but still quality if you’re on a tight budget.

3. Espresso or Filter? A common assumption with home brewing is that it doesn’t matter what coffee you use. Wrong. Just how if you put diesel in a petrol car, if you put espresso coffee beans into a French Press, you’re in trouble (arguably more so in the first example, depending on who you speak to…) Make sure that you find out whether or not the coffee you are buying is made for espresso, filter or can be used with both methods.

You now know how to buy coffee beans! Stick to these principles, and you should have a smile on your face next time you make coffee at home.

If you feel like I’ve missed anything out, leave a comment below!

 

Fernandez and Wells St Anne’s Court

Fernandez and Wells St Anne’s Court
FERNANDEZ & WELLS ST ANNE’S COURT

Fernandez and Wells St Anne's Court

Fernandez and Wells St Anne’s Court is F & W’s Espresso Bar. Many great coffee houses shut up shop around 6pm so it’s a nice that there’s a place in Soho where you can get a quality shot of espresso late in the evening. Like in their other shops, they use Has Bean coffee and the particular blend I tried was one from El Salvador. I went for a macchiato, which was nice but not as good as I was expecting. After the friendly barista advised me that with this blend, adding milk might mask the flavour of the coffee a bit much, I decided to try an espresso. She was absolutely right as it worked a lot better!

As is the case with all F & W establishments, the food on offer looked fantastic and was coupled with a well stocked wine list. The design of the shop is smart and elegant, however its rectangular shape and small tables make it best suited to groups of no more than three. It’s the perfect place to bring a paper or book and get a bit of peace and quiet in such a busy part of London. I sat there on a sunny afternoon and the the exposed brick, stylish decor and large Spanish ham towards the entrance, together with the beaming sun made it feel as if I could be in Madrid.

The staff are very friendly and the coffee is good. However, this is one of the priciest places in London to get a shot of double espresso and doesn’t necessarily warrant the heavy price tag. I’ll definitely be coming back, but not too often.

ESSENTIAL BEANS

Address: 16a St Anne’s Court, W1F 0BH, London.

Email and/or Twitter: taste@fernandezandwells.com and https://twitter.com/fandwcoffee

Website: http://www.fernandezandwells.com/st-annes.php

Opening times: Monday-Friday 8am to 10pm & Saturday 12pm to 10pm.

Price of a double espresso: £2.40

Outdoor Seating (important for those tobacco lovers): A table and a few chairs

Fernandez and Wells St Anne's Court

Camden beer

Camden beer

Coffee interior

Coffee menu

Coffee beans

Coffee machine

White coffee cups

glasses of water

cup of coffee

cup of coffee and water   Meat and cheese board    Spanish ham

Spanish ham

The Attendant

The Attendant
THE ATTENDANT

The Attendant Coffee Shop

The Attendant cafe opened in January 2013 and is one of London’s most original spaces. Built around 1890, it is an old Victorian toilet, which the owners have spent the last two years planning and converting into the stylish cafe that you see today.

The Attendant has managed to preserve a lot of the old features of the Victorian space, with added bits and pieces that make it a very intriguing space. The old urinals now function as spaces where you can perch to indulge in coffee and cake and there’s a square table at the back for larger groups.

The coffee beans are from Caravan and I tried the current Market blend; a Brazilian/Colombian blend that had a nice light citrus acidity to accompany the lovely dark chocolate and nutty undertones.

There are many independent coffee shops popping up in London and all around the UK that share similar characteristics; some of these desirable: high quality coffee, friendly service and great food, some slightly repetitive: such as exposed brick walls. While I have to admit I do love exposed brick walls (there’s a reason they’re so prevalent), what is so pleasant about the Attendant is that they share characteristics such as quality coffee and great service, while also also offering a truly unique space to enjoy your coffee. Make sure you stop by!

ESSENTIAL BEANS

Address: Downstairs, 27A Foley Street, W1W 6DY, London.

Email, Facebook and Twitter: pete@the-attendant.com, The Attendants’s Facebook & Twitter.

Website: http://www.the-attendant.com/

Opening times: Monday-Friday 8am to 6pm.

Price of a double espresso: £2.20

Card?: Everything but Amex

Outdoor Seating (important for those tobacco lovers): Yes, a bench going around the entrance.

The attendant Cafe Coffee shop sign

Flowers Coffee Shop

The Attendant Cafe            The Attendant Coffee Shop     Coffee Machine  Cafe interior

cup of coffee and book

cafe interior

cafe interior

Coffee Shop

Coffee Shop

Urinals in a coffee shop

Urinals in a coffee shop

Cafe interior

Steps in London

Have you been to the Attendant? What did you think?

Coffee at Love Supreme Jazz Festival

Coffee at Love Supreme Jazz Festival
COFFEE AT LOVE SUPREME JAZZ FESTIVAL

Last weekend I went to Love Supreme Jazz Festival, sponsored by Jazz FM. As a jazz lover, I was very excited to go to the first large open air jazz festival with camping to take place in the UK in over 20 years! It was a magical weekend of sunshine and great music in the wonderful leafy-green setting of Glynde, East Sussex (the village next to the famous opera house Glyndebourne).

Great acts such as Chic, Gregory Porter, Courtney Pine, Marcus Miller and Michael Kiwanuka, to name but a few, lit up the weekend with magical performances. The music on show wasn’t all strictly jazz, with acts extending into the genres of funk, soul, blues and fusion, which provided for an eclectic mix of acts to keep everyone excited. Love Supreme aim to provide a set list of artists for music lovers of all ages to enjoy. Fingers crossed, it will be a regular on the UK music festival scene in years to come.

Love Supreme Jazz Festival Campsite

COFFEE PREP

As I knew I would be embarking on three nights of camping, I was keen to plan a way to have great coffee to accompany the music. I wrote a memo in my phone to pack my Aeropress and grinder but unfortunately neglected to remember all my coffee paraphernalia, arriving at the gate empty-handed.

I did a quick run round the festival site to survey my options and immediately noticed a vendor selling Nescafe for £2 a pop. Disappointed, I was all prepared to have a coffee-free weekend.

Coffee at Love Supreme Jazz Festival

However, on entering the arena on Saturday morning, I came across a friendly sight – the black and white logo of Henry’s Coffee Bar! As you can imagine, my face lit up. As I approached the pop-up coffee tent, I glimpsed Lee, the owner, handing out a fresh croissant to a happy camper looking for some quality pastry and coffee.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Lee’s son Henry, whom the company is named after. He seemed very excited to be at Love Supreme and recommended going on the Helter Skelter. In the end, I opted for a ride on the swing, which gave me a pretty great view of the festival and its beautiful surroundings.

Love Supreme Jazz Festival Bandstand Glynde

Conveniently Henry’s was located right next to the bandstand, so I made a fair few trips back over the weekend to indulge my passion! It’s great to see the Third Wave of Coffee spreading to music festivals. Hopefully this is a trend that will continue so that more festival goers will have the opportunity to buy great tasting coffee.

You can find out more info on Henry’s Coffee Bar on their website.

Have you been to a festival recently? What coffee did you drink?

Tim Wendelboe: Finca Tamana

Tim Wendelboe: Finca Tamana
FINCA TAMANA TIM WENDELBOE

Tim Wendelboe coffee finca tamana

Tim Wendelboe is a big name in the coffee industry. He opened the eponymous “Tim Wendelboe” roasting company. He’s an ex World Barista Champion (2004). He is also at the forefront of flavour innovation, pushing the boundaries of taste by micro managing each segment of the supply chain from bean to cup. Since opening, his roastery has won the Nordic Roaster competition three years running.

Based in the suburbs of Olso, Norway, Tim Wendelboe’s coffee presence is felt all around the globe. To date, his most celebrated impact on the food and drinks industry has been his collaboration with Danish chef René Redzepi and relaunching the way that Noma serves coffee.

What makes Tim Wendelboe stand out is his acute attention to detail on the coffee production process. Yes, Tim Wendelboe is a coffee roaster but that does not mean they just roast coffee. They strive to improve the quality of coffee that they receive so that the chances of achieveing amazing flavour are enhanced. No coffee in their range illustrates that more than this one. The Finca Tamana is from a coffee farm in Colombia run by a man called Don Elias. Don Elias and Tim have been pioneering new methods of making coffee production both more efficient & ethical, whilst enhancing the quality of the beans for the consumer. For more details and videos of the farm, go here.

ESSENTIAL BEANS

Origin: El Pital, Huila, Colombia.

Farm: Finca Tamana

Processing: The coffee is hand picked by qualified pickers under the guidance and supervision of Elias. The cherries are sorted prior to processing so that only the ripest of cherries are processed together. After depulping, the parchment coffee is dry-fermented for 2 hours before being rinsed in clean water. The water is then drained and the parchment is fermented for another 12 to 14 hours. After fermentation the coffee is washed and rinsed in clean water 4 times. Any floaters are removed prior to the washing process. Finally, the parchment is soaked for 24 hours in clean water before it is dried under shaded parabolic dryers for about 30 days.

Altitude: 1650-1750 metres above sea level

Cost: kr 115,00 for 250g (£12.90 on 29/05/13)

Brew Method: Hario V60

THOUGHTS ON THE COFFEE

I picked up strong flavour notes of citrus and apple. The citrus was apparent immediately, mellowing out slightly into apple before finishing up with a subtle berry finish. What struck me most about the coffee was the clean, crisp flavour that was present throughout. The clean flavour coupled with the juicy, refreshing finish left an exciting aftertaste in my mouth. It was one of the the cleanest cups I have brewed on the V60 and was particularly moreish.

LYNDON’S VERDICT

Having heard so much about Tim Wendelboe I was apprehensive that the coffee may not live up to the ‘Noma hype’. Having read how René Redzei is in perpetual pursuit of the best flavours the world has to offer, my expectations were high.

However, I can confirm that they were most definitely met. The coffee was a delight to taste and it offered all the complexities and subtleties that I was hoping for.

If you would like to purchase some of this delicious coffee, check out the Tim Wendelboe website and visit their webshop.

 

 

Speakeasy Espresso and Brew Bar

Speakeasy Espresso and Brew Bar
SPEAKEASY ESPRESSO AND BREW BAR

Speakeasy coffee shop Carnaby Street

Speakeasy Espresso & Brew Bar, a coffee shop just off Carnaby Street is part of the Coffeesmiths Collective. Like Carnaby Street, the shop is a buzzing hub of colour and creativity. I was sat in between two groups of office workers that were having a quick coffee break to discuss business ideas. Having just read Chris Ward’s book Out of Office, I am subconsciously a lot more aware of my fellow coffee drinkers in the many cafes that I frequent.

The shop is reasonably large with a few tables outside on Lowndes Court, a really nice place to sit when the weather is good. Like all coffee shops that are part of the Coffeesmiths Collective, the staff at Speakeasy are extremely friendly and very passionate about making great coffee. They serve Climpson & Sons as their house espresso blend. I had an extremely tasty espresso with some nice chocolatey undertones coming through.

The location of Speakeasy makes it the perfect place to rest your feet from a shopping spree.

PS. Every Thursday from 5-7pm they hold ‘Barista Bar’ which is a free drop in training session where you can hone your home brewing skills and play around with some of the many coffee gadgets that they have in the downstairs part of the shop.

ESSENTIAL BEANS

Address: 3 Lowndes Court, W1F 7HD, London.

Email, Facebook and Twitter: Contact via the website, Alchemy’s Facebook & Twitter.

Website: http://speakeasycoffee.co.uk/

Opening times: Monday-Friday 7.30am to 7pm, Saturday 10am to 8pm & Sunday 10am to 6pm.

Price of a double espresso: £2

Card?: £5 minimum

Outdoor Seating (important for those tobacco lovers): A couple of tables and chairs

Welcome

art in coffee shop

coffee in London

coffee and academiaSpeakeasy coffee shop london    fresh food fresh food  Speakeasy coffee bar   Speakeasy brew bar

Drip coffee

coffee paraphernaliaHas Bean

Has Bean Coffee

teacoffee outside quality coffee

Alchemy Cafe

Alchemy Cafe
ALCHEMY CAFE
Alchemy Cafe

Alchemy Cafe is Alchemy’s flagship store. It is located on a small side street off Ludgate Hill, only a few minutes away from St Paul’s.

I must admit I haven’t had that much coffee from Alchemy but I did have the opportunity to try some of their blends at the London Coffee Festival a few weeks back. I heard they’d opened up a shop about six weeks ago and having seen so many positive reviews on Twitter and Instagram, my anticipation was riding high!

Thankfully Alchemy Cafe does not disappoint. The very knowledgeable and friendly staff exude passion for their coffee and menu, which would make most coffee geeks happy bunnies. The shop was a tad smaller than I expected but I really liked the layout, which allowed lots of natural light to hit the shop.There are two long seating areas straddling the sides of the shop, making it a good place to have coffee by yourself/in a small group.

Not many of the bigger roasteries in London have their own cafes and I enjoyed this experience. I imagine the close relationship between roasters and baristas ensures that the coffee they roast is made in a way that suits it best. I opted for a double espresso of their Ethiopian Tchembe blend and it was the best espresso I have had in a few months. It had some beautiful floral notes with very strong hints of blueberry, which left a great after taste as I left the shop. It really is wonderful when you have a fantastic espresso, I had a smile on my face all day.

As their Twitter handle is AlchemyCafes (plural), I think there’s a strong possibility that another Alchemy Cafe is on the horizon. Watch this space!

ESSENTIAL BEANS

Address: 8 Ludgate Broadway EC4V 6DU, London.

Email, Facebook and Twitter: sales@alchemycoffee.co.uk, Alchemy’s Facebook & Twitter.

Website: http://www.alchemycoffee.co.uk/cafe

Opening times: Monday-Friday 7am to 4pm.

Price of a double espresso: £2

Card?: Yes

Outdoor Seating (important for those tobacco lovers): None

Alchemy Cafe

coffee menu

coffee toffees

food

flowers and coffee

coffee machine coffee shop Alchemy coffee

ethiopian coffee

cup of espresso

coffee toffee

coffee and toffee

red and white chairs         Cold Brew coffee

10 Questions With DunneFrankowski

10 Questions With DunneFrankowski

DunneFrankowski Coffee

10 QUESTIONS WITH DUNNEFRANKOWSKI

Robert Dunne and Victor Frankowski, are the innovative duo behind the creative coffee company, DunneFrankowski.

Rob, hailing from Dublin, competed in the Irish Barista Championship and Latte Art Championship in 2008, reaching the finals in both. He was approached by the coffee roasters Matthew Algie and having spent a couple of years with the company, moved to London in 2010 to improve customer relations and coffee knowledge. After having left them, Protein is his latest project influencing the European coffee scene. He is currently a certified Sensory Judge for the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) UK chapter.

Vic, hailing from Sydney, is also an SCAE Sensory Judge, previously having competed in the UKBC and the Coffee in Good Spirits Competition. He teaches at the London School of Coffee, trained for various specialty roasters in London and has consulted some of the best coffee shops London has to offer. Him and Rob were part of the core group behind Tapped and Packed in its early days. Coffee aside, Vic is a talented photographer, having contributed to various publications, the New York Times and NME, to name a few.
10 QUESTIONS

1. When did you start liking coffee?

Rob – I never drank coffee before the age of 21. I worked in a kitchen and I found the coffee was repulsive. It intrigued me though and I wanted to learn more about it. I was surrounded by cafe culture but the worst thing about the cafe was the coffee! The coffee was being done badly and I thought it could be improved and that’s where my interest started. 

Vic – 10 years ago, I was at uni and needed to make some money. I started in the kitchen and moved to the floor but didn’t really like it and at that point didn’t particularly want to work with alcohol so I got a job as a barista and things progressed from there.

2. How do you take your coffee?

Rob – Single espresso to sip. 

Vic – Black.

3. How did you come up with the idea for Protein?

Vic – Protein & us discussed the possibility of collaboration. We shared similar ideas and one thing led to another.

4. What’s your favourite part of the job?

Rob & Vic – Teaching people.

5. Advice for people new in the world of specialty coffee?

Rob – Be open minded, except differences in taste and explore them.

Vic – Drink as much coffee as possible.

6. Favourite coffee shop in the world?

Rob – I like Bonanza for its simplicity, it’s tiny, but it has achieved so much. It clearly shows that huge capital is not required to build a solid custom base. But being honest I love the space we have created, it opens up the ability to communicate with anyone, and that’s why I make coffee.

Vic – There isn’t one that stands out in particular, I have a lot of places I like.

7. Do you like tea?

Rob – Absolutely, I was studying tea, but got side-tracked by coffee.

Vic – Yes, very much so.

8. Who do you most admire?

Rob – Steve jobs or Ferran Adria.

Vic – My friends, that do the things they love.

9. What advice would you give to your 18 year old self?

Rob – Become a chef, you learn to appreciate taste and are exposed to many different flavours from the start.

Vic – Don’t get yourself into debt, be wise with money. Do the things you enjoy doing.

10. Rolling Stones or the Beatles?

Rob – The Stones

Vic – The Beatles