Poured into a sliver of a unit on the side of the Broadgate Tower, The Liberty of Norton Folgate is part of the Coffeesmiths Collective, whose growing dominion of London coffee shops include Speakeasy Espresso and Department of Coffee and Social Affairs.
The cafe’s elongated shape is divided into two sections, with takeaway orders on the left and a seated area on the right. There’s proper table service here, with a verbose menu guiding you through the caffeinated offerings. The slightly unusual experience of sitting down to order a coffee is mitigated by the friendliness of the staff, who pour out a pre-drink palate-cleansing glass of water, and are knowledgeable about the drinks on offer. We tried the guest espresso, a brew from Burundi, on our visit: as promised it was quite acidic on its own, but came into its own in an excellent piccolo (short latte). The two drinks came to a total of £2.90. Coffee aside, they also do a range of teas, and some pricey pastries; it’ll be a long time before we ever accept that £3.50 for a blueberry muffin is okay.
A quick word on the unusual name: it refers to the ancient liberty, and was also purloined by Madness for a well-received album. It was also the site of the East London Aquarium, the site of a horrific disaster in 1884.
The cafe is at Norton Folgate, EC2M 3UG. Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 07.00-17.30, weekends 10.00-16.00. Follow them on Twitter @LoNF201
Disclaimer: We review anonymously and pay for all our meals / drinks.