Knockbox Coffee

A single-origin Colombian espresso from Workshop in a classic white cup at Knockbox Coffee.Knockbox Coffee is one of those legends of London’s speciality coffee scene that I’d assumed had been around forever. It was therefore a bit of a surprise when I finally called in one quiet Bank Holiday Monday in May to discover that it had only been around since 2014, although in today’s fast-moving industry, that makes it pretty venerable.

Located at the southern end of Lamb’s Conduit Street in Bloomsbury, there’s not much to Knockbox, a simple, square space offering limited seating around three of the four walls, while two picnic tables and a bench provide outside seating. The coffee is from local roasters, Workshop, with its seasonal single-origin espresso forming the bedrock of the simple coffee menu. This is joined by a wide array of teas and smoothies, plus an equally wide selection of cakes and toasties, which are joined (at weekends only, I believe) by a two-item brunch menu.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • Knockbox Coffee, on Lamb's Conduit Street in London, on the corner with Dombey Street.
  • And here's the view coming from the other direction.
  • As well as the picnic table in front of the window, there's a bench and table on the...
  • ... far side of the pavement, right where the road narrows.
  • The door is on the right. Stepping inside, this is the view from just inside the door.
  • There's a small bar running along the right-hand wall, with retail shelves above.
  • Another view of the seating against the right-hand wall.
  • Meanwhile, the counter is at the back.
  • Another view of the counter, with a short extension in the window on the left.
  • The remaining seating consists of windows bars in the front and left-hand windows.
  • And then we're back to the door. Small, isn't it?
  • There are two large windows along the left-hand side, and plenty of light bulbs too.
  • To the front, a large, yellow awning provides some shade to the picnic table outside.
  • Obligatory light bulb shot, complete with reflection.
  • Another one.
  • The window on the left-hand side also provided some scope for reflections.
  • Meanwhile, these ones hang over the counter. It's the last one, I promise.
  • I liked the provision of water bottles and glasses on the window bars.
  • The retail shelves along the right-hand wall mostly stock bags of coffee...
  • ... but there's some coffee kit as well. All the coffee is from Workshop, by the way...
  • ... with this El Jardin Colombian single-origin on espresso during my visit.
  • Down to business. The counter is at the back, with the till in the centre...
  • ... and the espresso machine off to the right.
  • Meanwhile, you'll find the cakes to the left in a large display case.
  • There's rather a lot of cake, including these loaves...
  • ... with the toffee cake catching my eye.
  • There are more choices up top...
  • ... with the blueberry crumble standing out.
  • The menus, meanwhile, are high up on the wall behind the counter.
  • There's an impressive range of smoothies...
  • ... and an equally impressive range of toasties, using St John's sourdough.
  • There's also a decent selection of tea, plus a small (weekend only, I think) brunch menu.
  • Finally, between the toasties and the tea, the all important coffee menu.
  • With all that choice, I decided to keep things simple, ordering an espresso...
  • ... and the last cheese and tomato toastie, which is where I'll leave you.
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Knockbox Coffee is on the left-hand side of Lamb’s Conduit Street, on the corner with Dombey Street, just down from relative newcomer, Redemption Coffee, which is on the opposite side, on the corner with Long Yard. A bright, open space, with two large, arched windows along the left-hand side (Dombey Street), while there’s another on Lamb’s Conduit Street itself. The door, meanwhile, is on the right-hand side.

There’s as much seating outside as in, starting with a long, thin picnic-style table with a pair of benches in front of the window on Lamb’s Conduit Street, sheltering under a large, yellow awning. This is joined by a second picnic table on the opposite side of the broad pavement, along with a solitary bench.

Inside, there’s a simple, square layout, with the counter at the back. Directly ahead of you as you enter, a narrow bar with three high, wooden stools runs along the right-hand wall under some retail shelves. Meanwhile, a three-person window-bar with low, wooden stools occupies the window to the left of the door, with another window-bar, this time with four low stools, in the first of two windows down the left-hand side. The counter, which runs the full width of Knockbox at the back, occupies the second window.

You order at the till in the middle of the counter, with the espresso machine, a two-group La Marzocco Linea and its grinder, off to the right. If you’re looking for the menus, they’re high up on the wall behind the counter. The rest of the counter is occupied by a large display case for the cakes and toasties, although the toaster itself is off to the left in the window.

I decided to keep it simple, having an espresso, Workshop’s El Jardín, a single-origin Colombian. This was surprisingly acidic, with a front-of-the-mouth taste that I really enjoyed. I paired this with the last of the cheese and tomato toasties, which was excellent, made with crunchy St John’s sourdough bread and a generous supply of cheese, which had melted out of the sides. Like Knockbox itself, simple and yet perfect.

29 LAMB’S CONDUIT STREET • HOLBORN • LONDON • WC1N 3NG
www.facebook.com/knockboxofficial +44 (0) 20 3489 7325
Monday 07:30 – 17:30 Roaster Workshop (espresso only)
Tuesday 07:30 – 17:30 Seating Window-bars, Tables (outside)
Wednesday 07:30 – 17:30 Food Toasties, Brunch, Cake
Thursday 07:30 – 17:30 Service Order at Counter
Friday 07:30 – 17:30 Cards Amex, Mastercard, Visa
Saturday 07:30 – 17:30 Wifi Free (with code)
Sunday 07:30 – 17:30 Power Yes
Chain No Visits 27th May 2019

For other perspectives on Knockbox, try this from Cosy Coffee Shops, who visited shortly after Knockbox opened, while here’s the view from the Best Coffee App. Finally, take a look at what Workshop have to say about Knockbox.

If you enjoyed this Coffee Spot, then take a look at the rest of London’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to London.


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1 thought on “Knockbox Coffee

  1. Pingback: Redemption Roasters, Lamb’s Conduit Street | Brian's Coffee Spot

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