Ozone Coffee Roasters first opened its doors on Leonard Street in 2012, making it (in the UK at least), as old as the Coffee Spot. That said, Ozone, which started in New Zealand, where it has a roastery and two coffee shops, is approaching its 21st birthday. Back in the UK, Ozone bought fellow roasters, Has Bean, this time last year (although the two still operate as separate brands) and a second coffee shop, this time in Bethnal Green, is opening shortly.
Meanwhile, the original on Leonard Street, a stone’s throw from Old Street roundabout in the heart of Shoreditch, is still going strong, serving excellent coffee and food all day, from breakfast all the way through to dinner. It’s also still roasting in the basement on a 22kg vintage Probat, where there’s additional seating, available from morning to mid-afternoon.
When it comes to the coffee, there are two seasonal espresso blends, Brothers (which goes in milk-based drinks) and Empire (for espressos, long blacks and Americanos) and several single-origins which change on a monthly basis. These can be had on espresso, V60, Aeropress, Syphon and cold brew, with a different one on each. There’s also a daily batch brew.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Ozone Coffee Roasters, on the northern side of the long, narrow Leonard Street, occupies the ground floor and basement of a lovely, old brick building. Long and relatively thin, entry is up a couple of steps and through a pair of double doors on the left. Directly ahead, a waist-high mesh barrier prevents you from rushing headlong into the basement, where Ozone has been roasting since it opened in 2012. This is part of an open stairwell to the basement, occupying much of the left-hand wall, where a large mirror gives you some interesting views.
At this point, your only option is to turn right, where you are faced with Ozone proper, which stretches away in front of you. There’s a sign inviting you to wait to be seating, perched on the front corner of the island counter which dominates Ozone, running almost its full width and effectively splitting it in two. The front is given over to coffee, while to the rear is the large, open kitchen.
At the front of Ozone, three wide, deep window bays run its full width, each seating four people on benches/stools. Each bay has a pair of full height windows which go all the way to the (very high) ceiling, the bays separated by tall, brick pillars. At the far end is a retail section, selling Ozone beans and coffee-making equipment.
If you’d prefer a table, a row of six four-person booths run along the back wall, accessible via either end of the counter, although mind the step (the back is slightly higher than the front). Also at the back, a four-person bar opposite the door looks down into the basement, ideal for watching the roaster, which is directly below you, in action. The final seating is at the counter. You can’t sit at the front, but there are five seats at either end and eight along the back, where you can watch the chefs at work.
That said, from morning to mid-afternoon, you can also sit downstairs, giving you another opportunity to watch the roaster in action. Located at the basement’s left-hand end, all the single-origins are still roasted here (although blends are now roasted at Has Bean). Meanwhile, there’s a lab/training room in the middle/rear of the basement house, leaving the front free for seating, a long, tall, thin 12-person communal table, plus two large booths embedded in the front wall. Each booth can seat eight (ten at a push). Even when the basement’s closed, you can nip down to the toilets, while the smell of the roasting coffee wafts upstairs all day long.
Since Ozone offers full table service, you’ll be shown to a seat, where menus and a bottle of water are left at your table. Ozone has separate breakfast (until four o’clock), lunch (11:45 – 17:00) and dinner (five o’clock onwards) menus, plus a coffee menu. If that’s not your thing, there’s a decent selection of wine, beer and cocktails.
I was there for a very late lunch, arriving just in time to miss the breakfast menu. Instead, I had the zucchini, feta and quinoa tortilla with poached egg on top plus a slice of sourdough toast. Very nice it was too. I paired this with a lovely Kenyan Githaka AB Estate V60, served in a carafe with a short mug on the side, all presented on a silver tray with a handy information card. A full-bodied, fruity coffee, it more than held its own as it cooled, although I believe that since the single-origins change each month, you’ve just missed it!
My notes also show that I visited at the start of 2015, when I recall things being very similar (although the espresso machine was a La Marzocco Strada which has only just been replaced with a brand-new flagship KB90). Back then, I had an excellent flat white which I enjoyed with a pair of poached eggs on ciabatta toast.
|11 LEONARD STREET • LONDON • EC2A 4AQ|
|https://ozonecoffee.co.uk||+44 (0) 20 7490 1039|
|Monday||07:00 – 22:00||Roaster||Ozone (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||07:00 – 22:00||Seating||Window Bar, Counter, Booths, Communal Table|
|Wednesday||07:00 – 22:00||Food||Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Cakes|
|Thursday||07:00 – 22:00||Service||Table|
|Friday||07:00 – 22:00||Cards||Yes|
|Saturday||08:30 – 17:30||Wifi||Free (with registration)|
|Sunday||08:30 – 17:30||Power||Yes|
|Chain||International||Visits||8th January 2015, 30th July 2019|
Liked this? Then take a look at the rest of London’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to London.
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