Over Under Coffee, which seems to specialise in tiny coffee shops, has done much to bring speciality coffee to Earl’s Court/Hammersmith in West London, starting in 2017 with the original, opposite Earl’s Court Station. After branching out with a slightly larger coffee shop in Ham Yard, just off Piccadilly, which closed almost exactly two years ago at the end of October 2018, Over Under returned to its roots, the subject of today’s Saturday Short opening just outside West Brompton Station in January 2019. Since then, there have been two more Over Unders in London (Ladbroke Grove and Wandsworth Town) and one in Manchester (which, sadly, has not reopened following the COVID-19 pandemic).
Over Under Coffee at West Brompton is even smaller than the ones that came before it, the tiny interior offering standing room only, with just two small stools on the pavement outside. Despite this, there’s a concise espresso-based menu, backed up with batch brew filter, the coffee, as always, coming from Assembly. Even more impressively, given the size, is the brunch menu, cooked in the kitchen downstairs, plus various pastries and filled croissants.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Over Under Coffee is on the north side of Lillie Road, a couple of minutes’ walk from West Brompton Station (turn left as you come out). It occupies a somewhat incongruous black cube that looks as if it was accidentally left at the front of the local pub, The Prince. From unpromising beginnings, Over Under has produced a lovely little coffee bar, primarily catering for the takeaway trade, so don’t forget to bring your own cup.
It is very much a case of blink and you’ll miss it though. That said, Over Under does a good job with a large sign saying “Coffee” plus an arrow pointing towards the door, while the A-board stands out for those on the same side of the street. The façade is simple, however, with a single large window to the left and the glass door on the right.
Inside, there’s just enough space for the counter, which runs the full width of Over Under at the back, the La Marzocco Strada on the left and the pastries in a display case on the right. The menu, unusually, is off to the left at the front of the wall by the window, while to the right are a pair of retail shelves. Finally, there’s a very narrow bar running the width of the window, but that’s about it. It’s not really a space made for lingering.
Over Under’s house espresso is from Assembly, although it’s not a blend in the typical sense. As I understand it, it’s a washed coffee, the output of a range of farms in the Risaralda region of Colombia. Available on both espresso and as batch brew filter, you can also buy bags of it to take home, along with Over Under’s decaf, also from Assembly. This is the El Carmen, another Colombian coffee, decaffeinated using the Sugar Cane EA method.
I was very tempted by the brunch menu, the avocado toast and American pancakes standing out, but I’d already breakfasted and it was too early for lunch, so I settled for a flat white, served in my Global WAKEcup. This was a lovely, smooth drink, milk and coffee in perfect harmony.
While West Brompton primarily serves the takeaway trade, since the COVID-19 pandemic, this has been increasingly in the form of the Deliveroo and Uber Eats services, with both brunch and coffee being ordered. I’d never really thought of coffee being a delivery item, but this is clearly the future for some, with two orders being picked up while I was there! If you’re worried about your coffee spilling, Over Under has a neat system with a plastic disc (which is nothing more complex than the sort butchers use to keep slices of meat separate) going under the lid, which completely seals the cup. Ingenious!
December 2020: Over Under Coffee, West Brompton has won the 2020 Smallest Coffee Spot Award.
|12 LILLIE ROAD • HAMMERSMITH • LONDON • SW6 1TU|
|https://overundercoffee.com||+44 (0) 20 3807 8019|
|Monday||07:00 – 13:00||Roaster||Assembly (espresso + batch brew)|
|Tuesday||07:00 – 13:00||Seating||Stools (outside)|
|Wednesday||07:00 – 13:00||Food||Breakfast, Lunch, Sandwiches, Cake|
|Thursday||07:00 – 13:00||Service||Counter|
|Friday||07:00 – 13:00||Payment||Card Only (COVID-19)|
|Saturday||08:00 – 14:00||Wifi||No|
|Sunday||08:00 – 14:00||Power||No|
|Chain||Local||Visits||20th October 2020|
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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