Ozone Coffee Roasters

A lovely Kenyan Githaka AB Estate V60, roasted and served at Ozone in Shoreditch, the coffee presented on a tray, with a short mug next to the carafe.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, a familiar sight on Leonard Street in Shoreditch since 2012.
  • The door is at the far, left-hand end, next to a wide, open stairwell to the basement.
  • And, looking down, this is what you seen when you come in. It's the roaster!
  • Back upstairs, and Ozone stretches out ahead of you, seating at three window bays.
  • The left-hand side of one of the window bars at the front in a rare, unoccupied moment!
  • Meanwhile, to your left, there's more seating at the end of the central island counter.
  • And even more seating at the back.
  • This includes a four-person bar tucked away in the back corner, overlooking the roaster.
  • However, the main option is this row of six four-person booths along the back wall.
  • One of the booths in more detail.
  • Come evening, by the way, the staff put candles out on all the tables.
  • Heading back the other way...
  • ... and down to the far end of the counter...
  • ... where you'll find more seating along the counter's right-hand side...
  • ... which extends along the back of the counter...
  • ... and all the way to the other end!
  • Sit here, by the way, if you want to watch the chefs in action.
  • Of course, this brings us back to the front again and the open stairwell...
  • ... which has a massive, nine-part mirror on the wall, giving some good views of Ozone.
  • Of course, the best view is straight down, where you can see the roaster in action.
  • Even better, the toilets are down here, along with some more seating...
  • ... starting with this booth in the front wall at the bottom of the stairs.
  • Next comes a long, thin communal table...
  • ... beyond which, in the far corner...
  • ... comes a second booth.
  • A view of the basement seating from the far end.
  • There's also a training room/lab down here...
  • ... and, of course, the roaster, a vintage, 22kg Probat.
  • Let's go back up, shall we?
  • Ozone has some nice touches of green, including this, which hangs from the ceiling...
  • ... and this, which grows on one of the pillars.
  • There's a retail section at the far end at the front...
  • ... with beans below and coffee equipment up top.
  • Hanging above the shelves are these two lovely light-fittings.
  • Indeed, Ozone does well for lights, including these at the back, hanging from pulleys...
  • ... while these hang over the counter.
  • Last one, I promise, although this is more to illustrate how high the ceilings are.
  • To business. A coffee menu hangs above the counter, although it's really only for takeaway.
  • The espresso machine is a brand new La Marzocco KB90.
  • Installed last month, the baristas love it.
  • If you want to see it in action, grab a seat at the near end of the counter.
  • There are two espresso blends, one for milk-based drinks...
  • ... and one for espressos, long blacks and Americanos.
  • There are also various single-origins, including cold brew.
  • If that doesn't take your fancy, Ozone has a well-stocked bar...
  • ... although by five o'clock in the afternoon, the cakes were rather depleted.
  • Ozone offers full table service, where you get a bottle of water and lots of menus.
  • There's a dedicated coffee menu...
  • ... with tea, hot chocolate and other drinks on the back.
  • Breakfast is served until four o'clock. Naturally, I arrived at quarter past...
  • ... so had to make do with the lunch menu!
  • There's also a dinner menu from five o'clock onwards.
  • Finally, all the alcoholic drinks are on the back.
  • I went for the Kenyan Githaka Estate through the V60, my coffee arriving with an...
  • ... information card, comlpete with notes about the farm on the back.
  • The coffee came in a carafe, with a short mug on the side.
  • It was every bit as good as it looked.
  • My lunch: a zucchini, feta and quinoa tortilla with poached egg on top.
  • In closing, I was in Ozone in January 2015, when I had a flat white and, for breakfast...
  • ... poached eggs on toast. Sadly those are all the photos I have from that visit!
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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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