Kaffeine remains incredibly popular with local, mostly young office workers, who seem to crowd in at every hour of the day and make lunchtime a crush. They can’t be here for the seating: wooden bench-type at tables either high or low. Or for the minimalist decor. It’s the coffee and the food and the buzz. And there certainly is buzz aplenty, especially when the place is crowded. You’ll find much to croon over in the food, which comes up from the basement kitchen constantly as tray after tray sells out.
This is some of the best coffee-bar food in London, whether savoury or sweet, which must explain a lot about the lunchtime crowds. Salads, sandwiches, anything that’s seen the inside of a hot oven – these are all strong points. So it was somewhat shocking, this year, to find ourselves seriously disappointed with the coffee. Two espressos: feeble crema, lacking in body and of a flavour that spoke more of fire than of beans. This was the first poor cup of Kaffeine we’ve ever had. We hope it’s the last.