I’m going to put my hands up and admit that I’m a coffee snob and I’ve done some slightly ridiculous things in the pursuit of a good coffee. This includes, walking 15 minutes out of my way (and more when I’ve taken an unexpected detour), being late for work, being late for meeting friends and almost missing our train to Birmingham at Christmas. James and I even have an ongoing joke about how I don’t like Pret coffee and it looks like I will never live down my snobbery.
So I thought I’d set the record straight about why I love London coffee shops, and how after drinking it on a regular basis it’s hard to go back.
1. It has encouraged me to explore new places. I started writing this blog about four years ago and coffee shops were one of the first things I went to as a way to explore the city. I quickly noticed that it took me to so many new areas without breaking the bank. Since then it has helped me gain my bearings in the city and I even find other new places to visit along the way. This happens when I leave the city too and I’ll often check out Brian and Giulia’s blogs to see if there’s anywhere I should check out. Next stop ~ Colona & Smalls (I’m heading to Bath in Spring).
2. It tastes better. I still drink coffee at Starbucks and Costa but it’s just not the same. The coffee from London coffee shops has a much more silky and smooth texture, a less bitter taste and just generally more flavour. I haven’t got a refined pallet to be able to make out all of the coffee notes just yet but I’d love to do a cupping class.
3. It’s pretty. I’m not going to deny that part of the reason I drink what is slightly more expensive coffee (by about 50p -£1) is because of the latte art, it’s so pretty! Throw in a colourful cup and it’s irresistable to Instagram. Follow ~ @LondonCoffeeShops on Instagram for more.
4. There’s usually delicious sweet treats or a brunch/ lunch option on offer. Most cafes in London either have an amazing kitchen or have teamed up with a great bakery. I’m particularly partial to banana bread (this could easily be a future feature), but offer me a hunk of carrot cake, a freshly baked flaky pastry or a tasty toastie oozing with melted cheese and my money is yours.
5. The cafes are often very lovely, inside and out. The promise of latte art with a colourful background makes it almost impossible for any colour magpies like myself to miss it. Next stop ~ Paper + Cup and Hej Coffee.
6. The people are nice. It takes some real guts to set up shop in London. Not only is it SO expensive and you’d need to put some serious lifetime savings on the line, but it’s competitive too. This usually means the people behind the scenes have a real passion for what they’re doing, what they’re serving and they expect it to come across in the people who work for them. Despite it being a competitive industry in London, they’re usually super nice about other cafes too!
7. You’ll get a nice atmosphere with your coffee. Add all of the above together and you’ll find a pretty nice place to enjoy a coffee or two.
_ _ _ _
Do you love London coffee shops? What do you love most about them?