I’ve known about Carbon Kopi ever since it opened almost exactly a year ago, on October 8th, 2019. The owners invited me to visit, but my travel schedule being what it was, I couldn’t take them up on the offer. Then, on Tuesday, I unexpectedly found myself in Earl’s Court, a 15-minute walk from Carbon Kopi, so I knew what I had to do.
Carbon Kopi is on Margravine Road, in a quiet, residential part of Hammersmith, standing on a shady corner at the junction with Gastein Road. There’s a small outdoor seating area at the front, a light-filled main area, with a cosy nook off to the side, and a larger, partially-covered outdoor seating area at the back.
Square Mile is on espresso, although rather than the ubiquitous Red Brick, there’s a seasonal single-origin which changes every two to three months. A monthly guest roaster provides two batch brew options, while if you’re hungry, there’s soup of the day, a small selection of toasted sandwiches and a range of very tempting cakes, all on display on the counter. Just be aware that because of COVID-19 restrictions, Carbon Kopi only uses disposable cups, so don’t forget to bring your own.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Although the address is Margravine Road, Caron Kopi sits at the end of a terrace of two storey houses on the south side of Gastein Road, which meets Margravine Road at an angle of about 135°, giving Carbon Kopi a wonderful, open frontage. The door is on the corner, showing no favouritism to either road, flanked by two long, tall windows, each with three vertical panes. The area in front of the right-hand window is separated from the street by low railings (which double as cycle parking), forming a small, outdoor seating area with a pair of two-person tables.
Inside, you start in what would have been the front room of the house, only the back wall on the right has been knocked through to accommodate the counter, with the seating spreading out in front of it. To the right, there’s a two-person window-bar, a pair of three-person tables between it and the counter. To the left is another two-person window-bar, with a third three-person table against what was the room’s back wall, the menus above.
The counter, as I’ve said, is at the back on the right, a large, tiled affair which runs from where the wall of the front room would have been all the way to the back of the house. You order down the left-hand side, where you’ll find the cakes and toasties in a large display case, although from here you can’t see the menus, which are directly ahead of you when you enter.
There’s more seating opposite the counter, behind the back wall of the front room. This would have been a parlour or sitting room and now has a tall, six-person communal table and red leather sofa in the back corner by the window.
However, the best is yet to come. A door beyond the counter, in the middle of the back wall, leads to the back yard and a second outdoor seating area. There are four picnic tables, one against the back wall of Carbon Kopi, to your left as you come through the door, with three more along the wall opposite. Each can seat four on wooden benches, although you might get six in if you all know each other really well. The first table, directly opposite the door, is also under cover, a glass roof extending from the door to the back wall, but the other three, all the left of it, are open to the elements, although the high walls give the yard a really secluded feel and provides shelter from the worse of the elements.
I arrived, as I always do, unannounced, and so managed to miss the owners, one of whom was in the back yard, but left soon after I arrived. Instead, I was well looked after by the manager, Hiro, and the staff, who were all wonderful.
When it came to coffee, I was torn. The guest roaster was Prolog, whose wonderful coffee shop I visited when I was in Copenhagen in 2016. I’d not had Prolog’s coffee since, and there was a choice of two single-origins on batch brew. However, I was in the mood for espresso. Had it been Red Brick, I’d have passed, but instead it was a single-origin, the Red de Mujeres, a washed coffee from Guatemala, which I opted for, handing over my Kaffeeform cup.
It was an inspired choice, one of a series of excellent espressos I’ve had in the last month, sweet and well-rounded with classic chocolate notes. I paired it with a cheese and truffle oil toastie, the perfect light lunch. All-in-all, definitely worth waiting a year for!
December 2020: Carbon Kopi has won the 2020 Best Outdoor Seating Award.
|11 MARGRAVINE ROAD • HAMMERSMITH • LONDON • W6 8LS|
|www.carbonkopi.com||+44 (0) 20 7381 8715|
|Monday||07:30 – 17:00||Roaster||Square Mile (espresso) + Guest (filter)|
|Tuesday||07:30 – 17:00||Seating||Tables, Window-bars, Sofa; Tables (outside)|
|Wednesday||07:30 – 17:00||Food||Toasties, Soup, Cake|
|Thursday||07:30 – 17:00||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||07:30 – 17:00||Payment||Card Only|
|Saturday||07:30 – 17:00||Wifi||Free (with login)|
|Sunday||07:30 – 17:00||Power||Limited|
|Chain||No||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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