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    BEST IN SOUTH

    Monmouth Coffee CoEspresso and drip filter done equally well | Soft cane sugar | Emphasis on provenance, sustainability and fair tradeWe rate Monmouth as a true constant in a city that wobbles between excellent and unpalatable coffees. Monmouth always excites too. Currently the house espresso blend is a vibrant yet comforting mixture of red fruits with almondy flavours: Brazilian Fazenda Rainha as a base (for the sweet malty-chocolate notes typically associated with Monmouth blends), Colombian Asociativo Quebradon (bright, ripe fruit flavours) and Guatemalan Finca La Perla to emphasise the cocoa. We’d recommend sampling the drip filter coffees without milk – the Fazenda Rainha is a Yellow Bourbon variety that really captures some lovely fruits. Honeydew, cherries with a drizzle of chocolate and cream; absolutely delicious.2 Park St, Borough Market, SE1 9AB (020 7940 9960). London Bridge tube/rail. 7.30am-6pm Mon-Sat. Espresso £1.30, filter coffee £2.30. Browns of Brockley
    A place to meet other coffee-lovers | Coffee ground to order | Dedicated service
    A special treat in the form of espresso brewed from San Francisco-based Bluebottle Company beans is a change from the usual. It’s slightly oily in mouthfeel, quite viscous and tart on the palate, with intense dark chocolate and citrus rind flavours. A little while later, a distinctive smoky tobacco aftertaste clung to our throats, not necessarily in a bad way. We would have liked its flat white to have had equal verve – it didn’t discern itself much from a regular latte, lacking slightly in body. We give barista Ross extra points for bringing out the deliciously addictive butterscotch and hazelnut flavours in the blend.5 Coulgate St, SE4 2RW (020 8692 0722). Brockley rail. 7am-noon, 5-8pm Mon-Fri; 9am-5pm Sat; 10am-4pm Sun. Espresso £1, flat white £2. Exchange CoffeeLocally roasted coffee | Unbeatable latte art | Filter coffees from Hasbean CoffeeThis coffee stall, pitched on Saturdays at Lewisham’s chaotic street market, is the area’s source of gloriously crafted Monmouth coffees (owners Lynsey Harley and Neil Le Bihan both used to work at Monmouth). The espresso is meticulously extracted, with strong malty-chocolatey notes typical of the Monmouth house, and a latte is creamy and topped with a perfect rosetta. These two are fanatical about latte art (Neil recently took first place at the UK Latte Art championships, with Lynsey collecting bronze). Ask for a double or triple rosetta design, or even a Native American design.Lewisham High St, SE13 6BB (07966 898488/07811 592024). Lewisham DLR/rail or 21, 47, 436 bus. 8am-5pm Sat. Espresso £1, latte £2. ScootercaffèRetro equipment used well | No food – but you can BYO | Unique atmosphereScootercaffè (formerly Scooterworks) breaks with London conventions. Instead of Square Mile or Monmouth, the bean of choice is Londinium. A La Marzocco is shunned for a strikingly retro 1957 Faema espresso machine. And though owner Craig O’Dwyer is a Kiwi, the air of Scootercaffè is old-school Italian. We ordered a latte, which was simple with whispers of toffee and cooking chocolate; milk was creamily textured and served at the right temperature. The espresso was light yet robust with unusual flavours, such as anise, liquorice and grapefruit.132 Lower Marsh, SE1 7AE (020 7620 1421). Waterloo tube/rail. 8.30am-11pm Mon-Thur; 8.30am-midnight Fri; 10am-midnight Sat. Espresso £1.50, latte £1.90. The RoasteryOrganic and fair-trade coffees | Beans roasted in-house | Brilliant browniesThis is the south London outpost of the popular Kiwi-run coffee shop in Covent Garden, Bullet. As its name suggests, the beans are roasted in-store and are freshly ground to order. On our visit, a surprisingly saline Mandheling Sumatra coffee was used: almost sea-salty in flavour, with honey and hickory notes and an elegant smokiness. We relished its syrupy texture and creamy mouthfeel. A flat white was served on the right side of hot, but could have been thicker in texture. It also had an intensity that (fortunately) wasn’t completely mellowed out by the milk.789 Wandsworth Rd, SW8 3JQ (020 7350 1961). Wandsworth Rd rail or 87 bus. 7.30am-3.30pm Mon-Fri, 9am-3.30pm Sat, Sun. Espresso £1.50, flat white £2.30. Central | North | East | South | West | The Winner | Map

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We rate Monmouth as a true constant in a city that wobbles between excellent and unpalatable coffees. Monmouth always excites too. Currently the house espresso blend is a vibrant yet comforting mixture of red fruits with almondy flavours: Brazilian Fazenda Rainha as a base (for the sweet malty-chocolate notes typically associated with Monmouth blends), Colombian Asociativo Quebradon (bright, ripe fruit flavours) and Guatemalan Finca La Perla to emphasise the cocoa. We’d recommend sampling the drip filter coffees without milk – the Fazenda Rainha is a Yellow Bourbon variety that really captures some lovely fruits. Honeydew, cherries with a drizzle of chocolate and cream; absolutely delicious. A special treat in the form of espresso brewed from San Francisco-based Bluebottle Company beans is a change from the usual. It’s slightly oily in mouthfeel, quite viscous and tart on the palate, with intense dark chocolate and citrus rind flavours. A little while later, a distinctive smoky tobacco aftertaste clung to our throats, not necessarily in a bad way. We would have liked its flat white to have had equal verve – it didn’t discern itself much from a regular latte, lacking slightly in body. We give barista Ross extra points for bringing out the deliciously addictive butterscotch and hazelnut flavours in the blend.This coffee stall, pitched on Saturdays at Lewisham’s chaotic street market, is the area’s source of gloriously crafted Monmouth coffees (owners Lynsey Harley and Neil Le Bihan both used to work at Monmouth). The espresso is meticulously extracted, with strong malty-chocolatey notes typical of the Monmouth house, and a latte is creamy and topped with a perfect rosetta. These two are fanatical about latte art (Neil recently took first place at the UK Latte Art championships, with Lynsey collecting bronze). Ask for a double or triple rosetta design, or even a Native American design.Scootercaffè (formerly Scooterworks) breaks with London conventions. Instead of Square Mile or Monmouth, the bean of choice is Londinium. A La Marzocco is shunned for a strikingly retro 1957 Faema espresso machine. And though owner Craig O’Dwyer is a Kiwi, the air of Scootercaffè is old-school Italian. We ordered a latte, which was simple with whispers of toffee and cooking chocolate; milk was creamily textured and served at the right temperature. The espresso was light yet robust with unusual flavours, such as anise, liquorice and grapefruit.This is the south London outpost of the popular Kiwi-run coffee shop in Covent Garden, Bullet. As its name suggests, the beans are roasted in-store and are freshly ground to order. On our visit, a surprisingly saline Mandheling Sumatra coffee was used: almost sea-salty in flavour, with honey and hickory notes and an elegant smokiness. We relished its syrupy texture and creamy mouthfeel. A flat white was served on the right side of hot, but could have been thicker in texture. It also had an intensity that (fortunately) wasn’t completely mellowed out by the milk.Central | North | East | South | West | The Winner | Map

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