Double Knot

The words "Double Knot" written with the picture of a piece of rope tied into a Double Knot in the middle.Philadelphia’s Double Knot is a collaboration between local restaurateur, Michael Schulson, and Evan Inatone, the man behind Elixr, which roasts all the coffee. From the outside, Double Knot seems a very modest place, but step inside and you’ll soon realise that no expense has been spared! The sumptuous interior is gorgeous, while Double Knot boasts a full Modbar installation.

It doesn’t stop there. Double Knot also has a full service restaurant downstairs in the basement (which is bigger than the coffee bar upstairs!) which, from 5 o’clock onwards, serves Sushi & izakaya. If you get a chance, do pop down, since it’s as sumptuously-appointed as the upstairs.

Talking of which, upstairs starts the day as a coffee bar, with cakes and breakfast on offer, while at lunchtime, there’s a small (but excellent) menu from the kitchen downstairs. Then, mid-afternoon, it starts its transformation, becoming a cosy bar in the evening, although the coffee and food are available all day.

The coffee just as impressive, with a house-blend and single-origin joined by a decaf on espresso, plus four single-origins on filter which change every month or so. If that wasn’t enough, there’s a fully stocked bar and, naturally enough, coffee cocktails!

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Can Do Coffee, Paddington

An A-board showing two stick figures talking. The first asks "So where do the profits go?" and the second answers "All our profits are spent on training and giving jobs to people that need it!". Underneath it says "100% non-profit coffee project using Monmouth espresso".I first discovered Can Do Coffee in 2014, when it popped up on a canal boat moored outside the rear entrance to London’s Paddington Station. However, that was a short-lived appearance and I heard no more about Can Do until word reached me that it had returned with a more permanent-looking pitch a little further down the canal in the direction of Paddington Basin.

I popped back to my old haunts a couple of weeks ago to check out old favourite Beany Green and also to track down the new Can Do. Tucked away on the tow path, it’s a delightful spot with a couple of outside tables, serving excellent Monmouth espresso, with a few treats thrown in for good measure. There’s also a motorised trike on the other side of the canal, but it’s only open from 07:30 – 11:30 on weekdays and I was too late to catch it.

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Modern Society

A gleaming, chrome Modbar grouphead in action at Modern Society on London's Redchurch Street.I first discovered Modern Society in March when I was invited by roasters, Assembly, to a talk by Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood on speciality coffee in capsules. Modern Society, on Redchurch Street in the heart of Shoreditch, is a life-style store with an excellent coffee bar at the front, one of a growing band of speciality coffee shops sharing space with other businesses. Sometimes the coffee side can be a separate business, although in this case, it’s fully integrated with Modern Society.

The result is a delightful, open, relaxed space, although if you think the coffee bar might be a bolt on or after-thought, think again. Modern Society has gone with cutting-edge roasters, Assembly, and has, to my knowledge, the first complete Modbar installation in the UK, with espresso, steam and pour-over modules. There’s also batch-brew through a Moccamaster.

To go with the excellent coffee, served from a very minimalist/concise menu which eschews names and simply lists sizes (espresso, black, 4oz, 6oz, 8oz), Modern Society also offers loose-leaf tea (prepared using the Modbar’s pour-over module) and a similarly-concise food menu, with breakfast and lunch options, all prepared on the counter, where you can sit and watch what’s going on if you like.

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Brunch at Beany Green, Paddington

Brunch at Beany Green (Liverpool Street) - Shakshouka (Baked Eggs) and Sour Dough ToastThis Saturday Supplement is actually a two-for-the-price-of-one deal: it’s a Coffee Spot Update on what used to be my local, the Beany Green branch at Paddington (aka Sheldon Square, aka Little Venice), plus I take a look at Beany Green’s (relatively) new brunch service (available until 3pm, all-day at weekends).

From the summer of 2013, until the end of 2015, when my contract finished, I worked in Sheldon Square, just around the corner from Paddington Station. When Beany Green opened in early 2014, it immediately became my local, coffee trips from the office forming a vital part of my working day. Although it’s only been seven months since I left, Beany Green has made plenty of changes. There’s been an extensive refurbishment, while the opening hours have been extended into the evenings, when Beany Green morphs into a wine bar. Keen to check it out, I returned to my old haunt last weekend for coffee (Friday) and breakfast (Saturday).

Meanwhile, there have also been changes to the menu. Always known for its food, Beany Green has gone one step further with an impressive brunch menu. I tried this out at the end of March over in the Liverpool Street branch.

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Copenhagen Coffee Lab, Copenhagen

"Copenhagen Coffee Lab" written above "Kaffebar & Mikroristeri" on an A-board made of five, vertical wooden planks.You would think that it goes without saying that the Copenhagen Coffee Lab is in Copenhagen, wouldn’t you? However, I first came across it in Lisbon of all places, where it has the most unlikely of outposts. However, Copenhagen Coffee Lab’s home is in Copenhagen, where you’ll find both the roastery and the subject of today’s Coffee Spot, Copenhagen Coffee Lab’s only coffee shop.

This is located right in the heart of Copenhagen, within sight of the famous Christiansborg Palace and a few steps from tourist central where the canal boat tours vie for your business. Despite this, it feels off the beaten track, aided by being tucked away in a basement, with just some tables on the pavement outside to advertise its presence. Well, that and an A-board. And a trike at the end of the street.

However, it’s worth finding, both for the space, and for the excellent coffee. The Copenhagen Coffee Lab roasts all its own coffee, with a pair of single origins on espresso and, usually three more options on filter through V60, Kalita, Aeropress. The aim is to have an African and South American coffee on espresso and at least one of each on filter.

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Yorks Café & Coffee Roasters (Yorks Bakery Café Update)

Detail of the Yorks sign which used to hang above the door at Yorks Bakery Cafe, Stephenson Street, and now occupies the back wall of the newly expanded Yorks Cafe & Coffee Roasters.I visited Yorks Bakery Café on Birmingham’s Stephenson Street in January this year, not long after it had opened, replacing the original on Newhall Street, which is currently closed for a major refurbishment. Even then, changes were afoot at Stephenson Street since the neighbouring unit had become available, giving Yorks the chance to expand. I wrote up my original visit, intending this post to be a short update describing the new space.  However, on my return last month, I found the newly-expanded Yorks to be so radically different that I scrapped that plan and decided to start from scratch…

Also worked subtly into the expansion was a name-change from Yorks Bakery Café to Yorks Café & Coffee Roasters, reflecting Yorks move into roasting its own coffee. As well as plenty of additional seating, Yorks has used the extra space to install a very shiny Probat roaster. There’s also a fabulous basement which houses more much-needed seating and a large kitchen. This is now turning out a really impressive (and expanded) breakfast & brunch menu, plus an equally impressive lunch menu. Currently, Yorks just has espresso-based drinks and bulk-brew filter, but expect pour-over to return to the menu at some point.

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The World of Coffee 2016: Meet the Roasters

An El Salvador single-origin espresso at the World of Coffee 2016, roasted by Cork's The Golden Bean, and served in my Kaffeeform cup, made from recycled coffee grounds.Welcome to the last of my three reports from the World of Coffee Event at Dublin. Since it was my first time at World of Coffee, I started off with a round-up two weeks ago, where I looked the event itself, which I liked to a cross between the London Coffee Festival and Caffè Culture, incorporating the best of both events. I followed that up last weekend with a look at some of the (many) espresso machines that were on display, plus a look at the Travel Press from Espro, which was my surprise discovery at World of Coffee.

However, most of the time I was at The Village, an area reserved for various small batch speciality roasters. I used this as an opportunity to catching up with various European roasters that I otherwise wouldn’t get to meet, including several Irish roasters who were out in force.

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Origin at the British Library

The words "ORigiN coffee roasters" in illuminated white on a black backgroundIn the foyer of the British Library on Euston Road, on the right of the doors, opposite the gift shop and next to the Friends of the British Library desk, you’ll find the second London outpost of Cornwall’s Origin. Although calling itself an espresso bar, it’s considerably more than this, and while not quite reaching the heights of the output of Origin’s flagship on Charlotte Road, it’s nonetheless very impressive.

From a small counter in the corner, Origin manages to deliver its seasonal Pathfinder espresso, as well as decaf, plus, (hopefully) by the time you read this, a single-origin espresso too. During the week there’s another single-origin filter on bulk-brew, while at weekends, it’s available through the Aeropress. For those not interested in coffee, there’s a wide range of Canton Tea.

And, on top of all that, well-stocked retail shelves have bags of beans and coffee kit for sale. There’s also food, both sweet and savoury. The sweet comes in the form of cookies, plus Crosstown Doughnuts, while for the savoury, Origin eschews the usual format of sandwiches in favour of a sausage roll for the meat-eaters and a Homity Pie for the vegetarians, which makes a welcome change.

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Coffee Angel HQ

Detail from a box of Coffee Angel coffee, a Kainamui AA from Kenyan.Coffee Angel is a well-established chain of Dublin speciality coffee shops that started with a coffee cart on Howth’s East Pier and now consists of two carts/kiosks and four shops. I failed to visit Coffee Angel on my first trip to Dublin in 2014, so on my return last month for the World of Coffee, I was determined to pop in. In true Coffee Spot fashion, having never visited any branch of Coffee Angel before, I decided to start with Coffee Angel HQ, which stands in the heart of Dublin on Trinity Street, and which had opened a mere three days before my visit…

Coffee Angel HQ is unusual in that it’s standing room only, its relatively spacious downstairs uncluttered by tables and chairs. Please don’t let that put you off though, since the coffee, all roasted by Belfast’s Bailies Coffee Roasters, is excellent and served in proper cups (while you can’t sit down, you can stand at one of several broad counters to drink it). There’s the seasonal house espresso-blend, Fórsa Gála, plus decaf and a pair of single-origins which can be had as either espresso or pour-over. There’s also tea, hot chocolate and a selection of cake.

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Espresso by K2

"Aussie bros, slinin' epic espresso | Espresso by K2 (just around the corner)"Once upon a time, there wasn’t a lot of good coffee around Fulham. In fact, once you’d crossed the river at Putney, it was a bit of desert all the way to the West End. How things have changed! One of the more recent additions is Espresso by K2, just around the corner from Parsons Green tube station on the District Line and practically on Parsons Green itself.

It opened in October 2015 and, despite being tucked away down a dead-end street (Heathman’s Road) off the busy Parsons Green Lane, it has already built up a loyal following of locals and is starting to attract people from further afield. It’s a fairly small spot, with seating for seven inside, and maybe another three on the bench outside, but don’t let that put you off.

The coffee is from Winchester’s The Roasting Party, the Captain blend & decaf on espresso, plus, during the week, single-origin filter on batch-brew courtesy of the ever-popular Moccamaster. If coffee’s not your thing, there are loose-leaf teas from Scotland’s Jenier, a new name to me. There is also a wide range of cakes and pastries, and, joining the Moccamaster during the week, a selection of sandwiches.

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