The Gentlemen Baristas Coffee Store

Detail of the sign hanging above the counter at The Gentlemen Baristas, The Coffee Store.The Gentlemen Baristas, which started life at the end of 2014 on Union Street, just south of the Thames, now boasts four branches, of which this, on nearby Park Street, can legitimately be said to be the baby. In terms of look and feel, however, it very much has the air of a miniature version of the original, albeit with a cut-down coffee menu featuring two options on espresso and another on batch-brew, pour-over having been sacrificed to save space.

This lack of space also means that seating is at a premium, with room for four inside and another four outside on two benches. That said, there’s still the space for a well-stocked set of retail shelves, selling retail bags of coffee/coffee kit on one side, and produce at the other, including pickles, preserves and condiments. Meanwhile if you’re hungry, there’s a range of cakes and sandwiches. Another victim of the lack of space is cups, The Gentlemen Baristas only offering takeaway cups, so bring your own, although there are some espresso cups knocking around.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • The Gentlemen Baristas Coffee Store on Park Street, just west of Borough Market.
  • Inside, and this is the view to the right...
  • ... while this is the view to the left. And that's about it.
  • Oh, and there's the counter, dead ahead at the back of the room.
  • What seating there is you'll find to either side of the doors, starting on the right...
  • ... with this pair of bar stools.
  • Meanwhile. on the left, there is another pair of bar stools...
  • ... sharing the space with this portable air-conditioning unit. Nice hat, by the way.
  • The view out of the window on the right...
  • ... complete with sign-writing and a pair of rather nice lights.
  • However, the view itself is pretty awesome, particularly if you like railway arches...
  • ... or old brick buildings. It's also good for people wataching.
  • Back inside, and the Coffee Store boasts some well-stocked retail shelves.
  • To the left it's coffee and coffee-kit, with various filter methods in the window.
  • There are more on the top shelves...
  • ... while the bottom shelves are the preserve of the coffee itself.
  • Meanwhile, on the other side, you can buy the likes of balsamic vinegar and preserves.
  • I was particularly taken by the lights in the windows on either side of the doors.
  • The previous one was on the right, while this one is on the left.
  • Nice sign. This hangs on the wall behind the counter...
  • ... where it is flanked, to the right, by the sandwich menu...
  • ... and to the left by the coffee menu...
  • ... with the current choices of espresso on the shelf below the sign.
  • This split is mirrored on the counter, with the sandwiches and pastries on the right...
  • ... and the espresso machine and its grinders on the left.
  • I went for a flat white. Since it's takeaway cups only, I had it in my Eco To Go Cup.
  • I'll leave you with a shot of my latte art.
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This latest branch of The Gentlemen Baristas, known as the Coffee Store, opened in mid-May. On Park Street, it’s due west of Borough Market and the likes of Flat Cap Borough, and just down the road from the famous Monmouth Coffee, as well as being a stone’s throw from the original on Union Street. However, while the original had multiple spaces spread over two floors, The Gentlemen Baristas Coffee Store is a single, compact space, although it shares the same colour scheme, with dark woods and a blue-painted counter.

The Coffee Store is twice as wide as it is deep and almost as tall. The counter is at the back, occupying the full width, while on the left and right walls are the retail shelves, coffee-related stuff to the left, everything else to the right. This is mirrored on the counter, where the Faema E71 espresso machine and its two grinders are on the left, with the cakes and sandwiches on the right.

The only seating is at the window bars in the tall windows flanking the central, recessed half-glass door. Each has two bar stools, although during my visit, it was really hot, so the door, which opens to the right, was propped permanently open, effectively taking out one of the seats on that side, while on the left a large, portable air-conditioner unit meant that the two stools there were somewhat cramped. Alternatively, you can sit outside, where there’s a three-person bench under the left-hand window, with a smaller one to the right.

Sometimes small places can be cramped, disorganised affairs. The Gentlemen Baristas, however, is the opposite of this, beautifully designed and well laid out, more like a show-room than a working coffee shop, except that, of course, is it a working coffee shop.

The coffee, all single-origin, is roasted on behalf of The Gentlemen Baristas by Bristol’s Wogan and Liverpool’s Neighbourhood Coffee. The espresso options change on a monthly basis, with Gatsby (Colombia Huila) and Top Hat (Nicaraguan) on during my visit, along with a rotating option on batch-brew. There are two breakfast and two lunch sandwiches, one of each being vegetarian, along with a falafel wrap and a focaccia, all of which can be toasted.

I was there for lunch and had a very nice but spicy falafel wrap. Strategically, this was an error, since I couldn’t taste my coffee for maybe 10 minutes afterwards. I had a flat white, made with the Top Hat, in my Eco To Go Cup and, once my taste buds had recovered, I discovered that it was rather lovely, coffee and milk going very well together. Despite the lack of seats, the staff were happy to let me linger and chat.

11 PARK STREET • LONDON • SE1 9AB
www.thegentlemenbaristas.com +44 (0) 7848 173175
Monday 07:00 – 17:00 Roaster Wogan + Neighbourhood (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 07:00 – 17:00 Seating Window Bars, Bench (outside)
Wednesday 07:00 – 17:00 Food Sandwiches, Cake
Thursday 07:00 – 17:00 Service Counter
Friday 07:00 – 17:00 Cards Amex, Mastercard, Visa
Saturday 07:30 – 17:00 Wifi No
Sunday 09:00 – 16:00 Power No
Chain Local Visits 3rd August 2018

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