MR.LoNDoN ToP 5 CoFFEE SPoTS
1. MILK BEACH
Milk Beach, a café and wine bar located down a beautiful mews in Queens Park quickly made their way into our favourites during their opening week. The coffee offering is sourced from around the world, working with quality focused farms before being roasted by two-time UK coffee roasting champion, Matthew Robley-Siemonsma. Co-founder Elliot Milne previously worked with the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation to set up The Coffee Initative Project, helping thousands of coffee farmers in East Africa gain access to sustainable financing to improve their coffee and business practices.
Chris Munnings, previously of Duck and Waffle local brings his years of experience to the food menu. We recommend the ham hock benedict with hollandaise, spinach and poached Buford Brown eggs or the acai bowl supplied by Boa Vida - a quality acai with product tractability back to the amazon jungle and the families that harvest it.
It all started as a coffee cart in an east London market for Prufrock. From there the founder, Gwilym Davis, went on to win the World Barista Championship and over time the team built Prufrock into a café and training staff located on Leather Lane in Farringdon. Prufrock has a long history in London’s speciality coffee scene and is in part responsible for some of London’s top baristas. Visit thirsty and tired, this is a space to enjoy an array of great coffee and if you’re open to it the staff here can answer any question you’ll have for them. For this reason we highly recommend sitting on Prufrock’s dedicated brew bar where coffees are brewed in clear view by hand by true coffee expects.
Richie Hayes has been working his magic in the kitchen, transforming the food menu with exciting new dishes that show off quality ingredients and embracing seasonality. We loved the kippers on toast with poached eggs and espresso hollandaise. Keep an eye out for weekend specials like the spiced haricot beans on toast or half smoked mackerel.
If you leave the brew bar with a whole new set of questions about coffee brewing, then make sure to book into Prufrock’s training space located in their basement.
One of our all-time favourite brunch spots in London, Milk is well worth the trip and the queue that’ll greet you on the weekend if you don’t get in early. The team at Milk have turned to one of Europe’s most celebrated speciality coffee roaster, Berlin based The Barn, who make regular trips to coffee farms around the world to source delicious, traceable and sustainable coffee. You’ll also find another of Europe’s top roasters, Sweden based Koppi, who often supplier a variety of incredible filter coffees.
Before planning your weekend visit, make sure to check Milk’s Instagram (@milkcoffeelnd) for a glimpse of their weekend pancake special. These are arguably some of the best-looking pancakes in town and with toppings like coffee parfait, chinotto caramel, yuzu parfait and orange blossom marshmallow they are some of the best tasting you’ll find.
Crispen is the latest opening by Oliver Hiam and Dominic Hamdy, the pair that brought us the central London coffee shop Lundwick and those delicious scotch eggs from Borough Market based Scotchtails.
Simple, seasonal food with provenance is at the core of Crispens ideology with some of London’s best suppliers playing a key role – bread from Dusty Knuckle Bakery, smoked salmon from Secret Smokehouse and coffee from Brixton based Assembly Coffee Roasters. In addition to their house espresso from Assembly, Crispen also offer a rotating guest filter coffee from the likes of Dark Arts and Square Mile Coffee Roasters.
Our must try dish from the menu is the Secret Smokehouse salmon on sourdough with soft cheese, lemon and dill. If you are after something a little more naughty then the smoked ham & cheddar toastie is a must, served with a fried egg rested on beautifully toasted sourdough and generously showered with parmesan cheese. The glass pavilion provides an abundance of natural lighting for your Instagram needs but my favourite spot is nestled towards the back where the warm morning light enters the café.
Ask the staff about their coffees available when you visit, there is bound to be a great filter coffee you won’t want to miss that’ll soon be replaced with another gem.
Caravan, an Antipodean coffee roaster and group of restaurants with locations in Kings Cross, Fitzrovia, Bankside and Exmouth Market is a guarantee for a great brunch and excellent coffee. Caravan source the best quality green coffees through direct trade with coffee farms around the world before roasting these coffees to showcase the care and hard work invested to their product at the farm.
Caravan’s most recent opening in Fitzrovia, located in the former BBC Radio 1 HQ, boasts some of the best coffee and brunch in town. We highly recommend the baked eggs with spiced tomoato, chickpea ragu and rose harissa and one of Caravans rotating filter coffees. For something lighter on-the-go Caravan have invested a great deal of care into producing an impressive range of pastries including a twice-baked matcha cheesecake and cherry compot croissant and the famous lime pie croissant with burnt Italian meringue.
@RobsonBarista is Coffee Editor for our channel @LONDON