Coffee Works Project

Islington

Upper Street and its tributaries have more than their fair share of cafés and restaurants, but a decent coffee shop is still hard to find there. Coffee Works Project is the first proper new-wave coffee bar to spill its beans near the Angel, drawing in a mix of chatty families and creatives hunched over their laptops.

A changing selection of three filter coffees is advertised on a blackboard above the bar, and friendly staff are happy to explain their distinct flavours. A caramel-coloured Ethiopian Yirgacheffe (served in a glass jug) was so light that it looked more like a black tea. We were advised not to add any milk to it, since this would hide its delicate floral notes. The brew didn’t need any sugar either – it was inherently sweet. But for a proper caffeine hit, choose the flat white. Served in a glass, the Kiwi classic was strong and smooth without any trace of bitterness.

Behind the bar, a windowed fridge reveals British charcuterie (from Moons Green) and Neal’s Yard Dairy cheeses, which are used in the café’s sandwiches, salads and on cheese and charcuterie boards.

There’s also a selection of cakes: the ginger and cardamom cake sprinkled with pomegranate aril, looked pretty but disappointed with its crumbly dryness. Better though was a thick slice of banana and chocolate cake: it was moist and generously crammed with dark chocolate chunks.

The decor is kept simple: white walls, reclaimed school chairs and tables, and a vast wooden bar in the current coffee shop fashion. On sunny days, the big window frontage floods the vast premises with light, and there are plans for opening the garden at the back – hopefully in time for the Indian summer.

Venue name: Coffee Works Project
Contact:
Address: 96-98 Islington High St
London
N1 8EG
Opening hours: Open 7.30am-6pm Mon-Fri; 9am-6pm Sat
Transport: Tube: Angel tube
Price: Meal for two with drinks and service: around £15

Average User Rating

3.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:5
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:2
LiveReviews|14
2 people listening
Sophie I

Best flat white coffee I have tasted by far. Their cold brew is to die for. If you're ever in Islington, you have to go and give it a try!

Sarah L

I love this place. The staff are amazing and friendly, the coffee is great, and the vibe is completely relaxed. Great place to go and read / work / study. Yes it's trendy but not at the expense of humanity - the staff genuinely seem to enjoy chatting to the customers and it always gives me a lift. Compared with other coffee places the prices are normal for London. But yes above all else they coffee is always good, and that's by Melbourne standards.

JP

Not only is CoffeeWorks undoubtedly the best coffee in Islington, it’s one of the best in London! The coffee is skilfully made by experienced barristers who are friendly, welcoming and always happy to see you again upon your return! If you want Starbucks, this isn’t the place for you because CoffeeWorks is about real coffee for genuine coffee lovers! A must on any trip to Islington!

Daniel

One of my favourite spots in not just Islington but London! Great coffee, lovely staff, and amazing atmosphere! ...and did I mention the eye candy that passes through the door...I will be back very soon.

Julien

The place has a urban cool touch and that is probably about it. The coffee is no better than elsewhere, it took ages to be served a simple take-away latte by rather condescending staff members, who are feeling cool because they are behind the bar or serving you and you're not. Don't bother, there are many nicer places in the area.

Chloe

I've never seen a place so hipster-targeted. You have to order from a woman with an iPad even though the space is small and she could just say the orders to the guy making the coffee next to her... Also the only place where i've ever seen an americano is more expensive than cappuccino. Overpriced and overrated.

hot chocolate fiend

Closes at 6pm which is odd given that London is an international city - probably losing a lot of custom because of that. They've just started doing hot chocolate.

Lucy

Love this place - a cool, little hangout with great 'light bite' food, savoury and sweet. Pared down, warehouse interiors and great for people watching.

Lyn B

At last a good proper coffee shop! Only down side was that they close at 6pm.....at the moment!

lovecake

Great little spot with super friendly staff. The coffee and pastries - especially the brownies and Eccles cakes - are excellent, though I can't imagine who is forking out the 4 (FOUR) pounds they charge for some of their filter coffees, no matter how slopey or shade-grown their origins, or how hand-brewed the individual serving. I stick to the £2.50 flat whites and cappuccinos. They come with some lovely foam art. Wifi can be spotty, but the ambiance makes up for it (unless you need to submit a job application in the next hour).

Nanci

The coffee was terrible, it tasted like just milk. The staff were slow and condescending it took way too long to make two take away coffees which were a waste of £5. I expect somewhere with such a "trendy" look to provide a decent service but I am obviously mistaken.

Jem

Site is great, space is nice, coffee improving but let down badly by putting chairs up on tables while customers sitting there are still drinking!

Goose

Coffee (black americano) was strong and well made but the waitress that took our order clearly got out of the wrong side of the bed. Would go again though, just for a well made strong coffee.