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Rob Greig

It's International Coffee Day! Here's how to celebrate

By Nicola Arencibia

Since the capital’s hipsters turned from Colombian marching powder to matcha green juice, toting a cult cup of coffee in all its caffeinated glory has become somewhat rock 'n' roll. But you have to make your coffee count – and International Coffee Day is here once again to give a shout-out to the best beans, blends and baristas London has to offer.

Kaffeine’s latte-art smackdown is perhaps generating the biggest buzz. 48 of the capital’s top baristas will go head-to-head to have their rosettas, tulips and hearts assessed under pressure. It’s a (semi) serious matter, with contestants rated not only for the consistency and symmetry of their design, but also on the volume of wastage they produce. The winner pockets a £680 prize – follow the final via @kaffeinelondon or see (and drink) the results for yourself at Square Mile Coffee Roasters on October 6.

Over at Prufrock in Clerkenwell, it’s all about the high-end high, with cinema, jazz and martinis to accompany tastings of Has Bean coffee and expert-led workshops. The coffee shop will screen the premiere of ‘Caffeinated’, a film depicting the lives of key people within the coffee-production cycle; it will also host experts and past competition champions to lead workshops and serve up killer espresso martinis – plus, Prufrock’s director will stage a performance with his jazz trio (October 1, from 6.30pm).

Finally, fans of Pact’s subscription coffee beans will be stoked about the company’s first in-the-flesh pop-up, at 45 Brushfield Street, E1 6AA (October 1, 8am-6pm). As well as Pact’s signature blends, the pop-up will offer free masterclasses, caffeinated ice lollies, and a competition to win a year’s supply of beans delivered straight to your home. 

We may be part of a nation of tea drinkers, but we’re a capital full of coffee connoisseurs.

Take a look at the best coffee shops in London.

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