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Cafe Frei

Restaurants, Coffeeshops Aldgate
3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

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Café Frei is a colourful, globally-minded coffee shop, located down a dingy Aldgate back street. Its remit is interesting. The menu is a sort of coffee world tour, with drinks drawn from every continent. Therefore, you can get regional Italian espressos (is that a thing? Here it is); Japanese Kyoto plum cream coffee; orange-and-cocoa-flecked Botswanan ‘missionary’ coffee; an Omani Advocaat latte, and so on. Even the Arctic gets a look in – though they’ve cheated and simply included iced coffees for that part of the very far north. Are all the drinks authentic? Don’t bet on it, but the commitment to geographic comprehensiveness – there are 65 drinks on offer! – is impressive, at least. Décor is appropriately vivid, with bright walls, illustrations of exotic wildlife and a coffee station plonked in a fake pagoda.

My Scandinavian ‘multicult’ coffee was okay. Though subtly spiced with vanilla, cardamom and nutmeg (among other bits), the actual caffeinated element was rather insipid. More satisfying was a slice of Afghan poppy seed cake. Grainy and floral, it was quite unlike any cake I’d eaten before (and I’d happily scoff it again). All in all, Café Frei is not one to travel the world for, but fine for a passing pit-stop.

Details

Address: 61A Alie St
London
E1 8EB
Transport: Tube: Aldgate East
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 7.30am-6pm
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