We’ve collaborated with Perfect Daily Grind to identify five of the best specialist coffee shops in London. These independent gems each excel at one particular aspect of coffee making, so you’ll know where to head when the afternoon slump creeps in.
Store Street Espresso: The Espresso Experts
Tucked away behind the British Museum, Store Street Espresso is an excellent choice all through the year but particularly in summer, when the seating area outside is a real suntrap.
Their house blend is Red Brick by Square Mile, a multi award winning east London roastery, but they also always offer a guest espresso blend, a guest filter blend, and plenty of advice should you need any. Sandwiches and cakes are all made in store and they serve an awesome brunch. As a non-coffee related bonus, their matcha green tea latte is incredible.
Store Street Espresso, 40 Store Street, WC1E 7DB (with other branches in Tavistock Place and Kingdom Street).
Kaffeine: The Flat White Aficionados
You’ll find this Aussie-inspired coffee shop five minutes away from Oxford Circus, making it ideal for a quick coffee break while shopping. Their house blend is, again, Red Brick from Square Mile and, true to its Aussie heritage, this place makes a sublime flat white.
For those of you in serious need of caffeine (Oxford Street on a Saturday? We get it!), try their flight of coffee (£6): one single espresso, one shot flat white, and a cascara palate cleanser (coffee cherry tea). They also have an ever-changing list of healthy lunch options and sweet treats, all of which are made in house.
Kaffeine, 66 Great Titchfield Street, W1W 7QJ (with another branch on Eastcastle Street).
Curators Coffee Gallery: The Chemex Showcase
Another central London haunt just off North Regent Street, this is a great spot to settle down with a Chemex pour over. But wait, what’s a Chemex? What’s a pour over for that matter? These are different ways to brew coffee, and Chemex is a great way to really enjoy the whole flavour of the bean – especially as the filter helps to remove any imperfections and oils from the coffee. These guys offer three speciality coffees blends from artisanal roasters.
Curators Coffee Gallery, 51 Margaret Street, W1W 8SG (with another branch in the City, and a Camden outpost opening soon).
Vagabond: The Local Roastery
Vagabond started in north London, and has since grown into a small chain. We recommend their Highbury and Islington branch, since on Monday and Wednesday they roast their own beans. You can also purchase it to brew at home.
With a relaxed neighbourhood vibe, this is somewhere you can settle in with a good book. Their brunch options and sweet treats are all made in-store from local producers and come summer, they serve cold brew coffee on ice in their garden.
Vagabond, 105 Holloway Road, N7 8LT
Prufrock: The Home of World Class Baristas
In the barista world, Prufrock is the crème de la crème of coffee shops. They offer barista and latte art courses for other baristas and a ‘brew bar’ dedicated to hand-brewing different blends, with their house blend from (again) Square Mile.
Prufrock, 23-25 Leather Lane, London EC1N 7TE
Written by Jess Ansell and Tanya Newton of Perfect Daily Grind