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The Coffee Spot Guide to West London

The BT Tower, as seen looking east from the area around Paddington Station.The Coffee Spot Guide to West London includes everything with a postcode starting with W. Other than the two central areas (East Central London and West Central London), this is the most compact of the London postcode areas, a thin strip extending from Soho in central London through the likes of Mayfair, Hyde Park and Notting Hill, then Shepherd’s Bush, Acton and Ealing, all the way to Hanwell, with a small extension to the south to take in Chiswick. If you think in railway lines, then it’s pretty much a wide strip either side of the Great Western Line out of Paddington.

I’ve got a fairly good covering of the Coffee Spots in and around Soho and Mayfair, while the area is also fairly well represented further west since I used to work at Sheldon Square by Paddington Station for almost three years. Even so, as with all of my guides, it should not be taken as, nor does it claim to be, comprehensive.

While you’re here, why not check out the rest of the Coffee Guides to London?

Header image: Hyde Park, looking north towards Lancaster Gate from the Italianate Gardens.

Coffee Spots

Algerian Coffee Stores

Algerian Coffee StoresI’m not going to say it’s the best, since I know there are very many fine purveyors of coffee beans in London, but put simply, the Algerian Coffee Stores on Old Compton Street is my (London) coffee retailer of choice. It has a massive range of coffee, plus various types of tea and an interesting selection of confectionery. If you don’t know what you want, just ask: the staff are very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable.

The Algerian Coffee Stores also serves take-away coffee, which, naturally, is of the highest quality. It also happens to be one of the cheapest cups of coffee you’ll find in London. The only downside is that the coffee can only be served in takeaway cups, so if you’re going to have an espresso, don’t forget to bring your own cup.

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Alex Coffee

The single-origin Brazilian espresso from Red Bank Coffee served in an over-sized, classic white cup at Alex Coffee.Fitzrovia, in London’s West End, has, despite recent closures such as the much-loved Curators Coffee Gallery, a booming speciality coffee scene which comes in all shapes and sizes, including such oddities as Attendant (in an old public lavatory). However, the subject of today’s Coffee Spot is easily the smallest of them all, a title vacant since 2016 when Goodge St Espresso closed.

Alex Coffee is as small as they come, just a door and a window opening onto a simple interior, counter at the back and enough room for two small stools. Indeed, there’s more seating outside at the four-person table in front of the window. The coffee, from the Lake District’s Red Bank, is similarly simple: a concise espresso-based menu, plus batch brew and a cafetiere for two. If you don’t like it hot, there are almost as many iced options, plus hot chocolate and a selection of tea.

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Artisan, Ealing

A "wheel of fortune" style wheel from Artisan, Ealing. When a customer gets enough stamps on a loyalty card, instead of getting a free coffee, a spin of the wheel is offered instead, with eight options ranging from a glass of tap water to a bag of beans or five free coffees.Located on Ealing’s busy New Broadway, with a neat set of tables on the pavement outside, the Ealing branch of Artisan celebrated its first birthday just a couple of weeks ago. Joining the likes of the long-established Electric Coffee Company and fellow newcomers, Café Zee, Artisan is helping make Ealing a place worth visiting just for the coffee.

The third of four Artisans, it follows the original, which opened its doors less than four years ago Putney. Each of the Artisans is very much its own place. This one’s long, although not particularly thin (it’s wide enough for three rows of tables at the back), full of upcycled furniture, wooden floorboards, bare plaster and lights shrouded in paper-bag lampshades. Right at the back is the Artisan Coffee School (which will be the subject of its own Saturday Supplement in due course), which doubles as extra seating when there are no classes going on.

The coffee is from London’s Allpress, with the ubiquitous Redchurch blend on espresso. Filter coffee comes through the V60, with beans from London’s Nude Espresso and Berlin’s The Barn. Food is an equal part of the offering, with decent breakfast and lunch menus, plus lots of cake!

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Attendant Fitzrovia

The entrance to Attendant, in an old men's public lavatory on London's Foley Street.I’ve been to all sorts of coffee spots, in all sorts of places, but I don’t think that I’ve ever been anywhere quite as innovative when it comes the setting as Attendant. As the name hints, Attendant is in a (disused) Victorian (men’s) public lavatory on London’s Foley Street. If that sounds weird, it is, and yet it’s also genius.

The great thing about Attendant is that it’s kept most of the original fittings, incorporating them into the design. The result is a quirky, unique place. For some, that would have been enough, relying on the gimmick alone to draw in the punters. Not, however, Attendant, which has aimed firmly for the top of the speciality coffee market, going with local roasters Caravan, from up the road at Kings Cross. It also offers a wide range of sandwiches and cakes, again with an emphasis on quality and local produce.

Attendant is pretty small and, when I was there, it was very busy. However, a high staff-to-customer ratio, with a minimum three staff on duty during my visit, meant that everything was handled very smoothly. Ironically, for a café in an ex-public lavatory, there’s no toilet!

July 2020: Attendant has reopened, offering sit-in and takeaway services. You can see what I made of it when I visited.

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Bar Italia

A legend in its own considerable lifetime, the family-run Bar Italia in Soho is the closest London gets to a typical, Italian espresso bar, which is probably why I like it so much. The espresso alone is reason enough to come here. It is, for me, pretty much perfect. Strong, very short, smooth and with just a hint of bitterness in the after taste: I really can’t imagine improving on it in any way.

The only problem is that while Soho is a great place, I’ve never had a particular reason to go there. It’s not on my way to anywhere or near anywhere I regularly visit. So, while I’ve been a visitor to Bar Italia for at least 10 years, I didn’t used to go there that often. However, for the last couple of years, I’ve taken to coming here specifically to treat myself, just for the love of the coffee. Really, I can’t give it any higher recommendation than that.

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Beany Green, Paddington

One of Beany Green's A-boards, promising Aussie Coffee, Home-made Banana Bread and FREE hugs!If you’ve talked to me at any length about being the writer of the Coffee Spot, you’ll know that the only downside is that I don’t really have a regular coffee shop I can call my own. The problem is, while I’m out and about, the desire to visit new places for the Coffee Spot trumps visiting old favourites. The closest I had to a regular was Bar des Arts in my home town of Guildford, until, that is, Beany Green turned up in Paddington.

Those who follow me on social media will probably be aware that I spend one day a week in Paddington doing my “proper” job. For a long time, this was a desert when it came to decent coffee. Then, in quick succession, Burito 8 started serving Climpson and Sons, the Can Do Coffee barge turned up and Beany Green opened.

Now, on my weekly visit to the office, I take KeepCup or JOCO Cup to visit Beany Green at least once a day (and usually two or three times). You would think, given the frequency of my visits, that I’d have sampled the entire coffee menu by now, but I usually have a flat white…

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Bica Coffee House

Bica, at Westbourne Park Station. A small serving hatch surrounding by green tiles.Tucked away in Westbourne Park tube station on the Circle and Hammersmith & City Lines, two stops west of Paddington, is the delightful Bica Coffee House. Having bemoaned the absence of top quality coffee in tube stations, I’ve now found two in as many months. However, unlike Piccadilly Grind, which I believe is a pop-up, Bica is here to stay.

Serving takeaway only, It’s a small spot, occupying what could have been an old booking office or kiosk. There is, however, a generous serving hatch and shelf, which is large and deep enough for a decent display of pastries and other baked goodies, as well as affording a view of the bright red two-group La Marzocco.

Unlike many coffee stalls/kiosks at stations, Bica’s commitment to excellence is there at the outset. The coffee is from east London roasters Nude Espresso and there are no 12-second extractions here, despite the steady stream of customers, while the milk is properly steamed, resulting in a great texture. There’s a decent range of espresso-based drinks: espresso and Americano, plus macchiato, cortado, flat white, latte and cappuccino. For those with a sweet tooth, there’s mocha and hot chocolate, plus tea of various types.

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Cable Co., The Aircraft Factory

My decaf flat white on my HuskeeCup, sitting on an old barrel outside Cable Co. in The Aircraft Factory.The Aircraft Factory in Hammersmith first came to the attention of the speciality coffee world as the West London outpost of Origin Coffee. However, in November 2019, it became the second location for Cable Co., which began life in Kensal Rise, and which now has a third coffee shop just off the Portobello Road in Notting Hill. Not that you would necessarily know, since The Aircraft Factory is not the sort of place you stumble upon.

There’s not a lot to Cable Co., which occupies a small, glass-walled spot on the right-hand side at the entrance to The Aircraft Factory. There’s a bench outside and a three-person bar against the wall inside, but that’s it for seating (for now). The coffee menu is similarly concise with an exclusive single-origin Colombian, plus decaf, from Climpson and Sons on espresso, backed up by a selection of pastries and cakes.

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Café Zee

The front of Cafe Zee on Ealing's New Broadway. The roaster can be seen at the back through the door.Café Zee is a recent addition to Ealing’s coffee scene, joining such established players as Munson’s and the Electric Coffee Company. It arrived in July 2014, opening a few weeks before Artisan, which is just across the road on the busy New Broadway, a few minutes’ walk from the station.

From the street, the sumptuously-appointed Café Zee catches the eye and it looks even better inside. Inspired by the Art Deco cafés of Latin America, it really does have a beautifully-done interior, the sort of elegance I’m used to seeing in the likes of Notes on St Martin’s Lane or Paris’ Angelina.

The other thing that catches the eye is the bold pronouncements of artisan coffee, roasted on the premises, which, I must admit, threw me a little. This kind of elegance is not something I normally associate with a café-cum-roaster (somewhere like Glasgow’s Papercup Coffee Company more readily springs to mind). However, head right to the back of the café and there you’ll find a modest 6kg Giesen roaster, surrounded by sacks of green beans.

However, there’s a lot more to Café Zee than mere elegance and freshly-roasted coffee, including a pretty decent menu and an exceptional cake selection!

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CanDo Coffee, Merchant Square

A lovely espresso made using Electric Coffee Company's Rocket 88 blend at Can Do Coffee on Merchant Square, served in my Kaffeeform cup made from recycled coffee grounds.CanDo Coffee was one of many speciality coffee places to spring up around my old stomping grounds of Sheldon Square/the back of Paddington Station once I’d stopped working there at the end of 2015. In the case of CanDo Coffee, it first made a brief appearance in a canal boat in 2014, before reappearing in 2016 with a permanent pitch by the canal outside the back entrance to the station. There was a second CanDo Coffee pitch just over the canal at the western end of Paddington Basin. This slowly migrated eastwards over the next two years, reaching Merchant Square and the Floating Pocket Park at the eastern end of Paddington Basin by the time I returned to the area for a week at the start of June.

Serving espresso-based drinks using the Rocket 88 blend from Ealing’s Electric Coffee Company, it was just outside my hotel, making a perfect early morning coffee stop on my daily walk to the office. CanDo Coffee serves principally takeaway customers and only has takeaway cups, so don’t forget to bring your own. However, if you do want to linger, there are several tables scattered around on the grass of the park.

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Carbon Kopi

The Carbon Kopi logo from the sign above the door.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.

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Chief Coffee (COVID-19)

The front window of Chief Coffee celebrating the opening of the Japanese games arcade on the top floor. These days there’s plenty of good coffee to be had in the neighbourhood, but when Chief Coffee opened in Chiswick back in 2015, it was something of a pioneer, joining the nearby Artisan in bringing speciality coffee to this part of West London. As well as the coffee, however, Chief Coffee also made its name with its pinball lounge, something which makes it stand out from the crowd to this day (the only other speciality coffee and pinball place I am aware of is Birmingham’s Tilt).

As I write, Chief Coffee is restricted to just its outdoor seating, which, in the sheltered Turnham Green Terrace Mews, is a delight. However, as of Monday next week (17th May) it will be re-opening both the first-floor seating area and the ground floor pinball lounge. And, even better, there’s a new Japanese arcade games room on the top floor that will be opening for the very first time!

The coffee is unchanged throughout, with Allpress’s signature blend on espresso, plus a regularly changing pair of contrasting single-origins from Workshop on pour-over through the Kalita Wave. This is backed up by a small selection of tea, plus sandwiches, savouries and cakes if you’re hungry.

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Coffee Notes

A single-origin Guatemalan espresso extracting from a Fracino lever espresso machine and into my Kaffeeform cup at Coffee Notes in Hammersmith.Coffee Notes is a small coffee stand at the front of Ravenscourt Park Station on the District Line. A relatively new addition to Hammersmith, Coffee Notes set up shop in the summer of 2020, just as the area was reopening after the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unusually for a station coffee stand, Coffee Notes is open seven days a week, serving both locals and commuters alike, although if you want to catch Hari, its charismatic owner, note that Sunday is his day off.

There’s not much to Coffee Notes, just a long, thin coffee stand with fold up sides, which means that the focus is firmly on the coffee, which Hari sources himself before having it toll roasted in London. There’s the usual espresso-based menu, with several iced options, plus tea, but otherwise that’s it. Unsurprisingly, it’s takeaway cups only, so don’t forget to bring your own.

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Coffee Station (COVID-19)

A classic flat white, made with Ozone's Empire Blend and served in a classic cup at Coffee Station in Hammersmith.Today’s Coffee Spot was a chance discovery during last week’s Coffee Spot of tour Chiswick. Having been lured over the border into Hammersmith by my friend Adele’s recommendation of Coffee Notes, I was actually on my way there when I walked past Coffee Station and thought “that looks interesting”. So in I went and the rest, as they say, is history.

Coffee Station occupies a modest spot on the south side of King Street in Hammersmith, with a small outside seating area, but the true delight is inside, where the look and feel reminded me of Curio Espresso and Vintage Design in Kanazawa. I visited while Coffee Station was restricted to outside seating only, so was denied the best part of the shop, the large, bright seating area at the back, where the furniture (handmade by the owner) sits under a large skylight with a living wall as a backdrop.

The coffee is from Ozone, the Empire Blend being served from a standard espresso menu, along with a selection of Suki Tea. There are also various smoothies and freshly squeezed juice, while if you’re hungry, there’s a small but classic brunch menu, various salads and a range of cakes.

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Crosstown Doughnuts, Soho

The Crosstown Doughnut logo from outside the coffee shop in Soho.In London, “Crosstown” is synonymous with “doughnut”. You can purchase these delightful creations from various Crosstown Doughnuts market stalls (I’ve visited both King’s Cross and Old Spitalfields) while they’re also available in several speciality coffee shops (again, from personal experience, Notes, King's Cross and Origin at the British Library). However, for the last year, you’ve been able to get them in Crosstown’s own coffee shop in Soho, where you can wash down your doughnut with some excellent Caravan coffee. Or Kokoa Collection hot chocolate if you’ve not had a sufficient sugar rush!

It’s a small place, with enough space for a doughnut-laden counter (right) and a five-person bar (left). However, it’s worth paying a visit, if only because I know of nowhere else where you can sit in such close proximity to so many superb doughnuts. Beware though: Crosstown only has takeaway cups, so don’t forget to bring your own.

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Daisy Green

The letters DAISY, illuminated with light bulbs, with the DIY in green and the AS in redAt last! Normal service has been resumed. After three straight Coffee Spots visiting places in the correct order, the Coffee Spot returns to form…

Regular readers will know that ever since it opened, Beany Green in Paddington has been my local, since it’s on the other side of the square from my office. I’ve also visited the South Bank branch, a quirky little container at the south end of Hungerford Bridge.

However, until last week, I’d never been to where it all began, the wonderful Daisy Green, parent of all the little Beanies spreading around London. So, on Friday, I took the plunge, forsaking lunch at Beany Green, and made the relatively short walk to Seymour Street, where, just a stone’s throw from Marble Arch and two blocks down from The Borough Barista, I visited Daisy Green.

If you’ve never been, you’re missing out. There’s the same Beany Green goodness that I’m used to: coffee from The Roasting Party, a wide range of innovative food and a selection of Aussie-inspired cakes, all in the same quirky surroundings that make the Paddington branch so wonderful. At the same time, Daisy Green is very much its own place, as you will discover…

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Darcie & May Green

Some lovely latte art in a flat white to go, served in my Therma Cup at May Green in Paddington.Like my waistline when I eat their cakes, the Daisy Green/Beany Green chain is rapidly expanding. From its roots as a brunch spot at the original Daisy Green, through its various Beany Green coffee shops, the chain now encompasses everything from cocktails and craft beer to sit-down restaurants, all of which are combined in the (relatively) new Darcie & May Green. Opening late last year, they are a pair of canal boats, moored stern-to-stern on Regent’s Canal , in the heart of my old stomping ground around Sheldon Square. You’ll find them outside the back entrance to Paddington Station (this is the one down the right-hand side of the station by the Hammersmith & City/Circle Line).

May Green is a coffee shop by day and craft beer/cocktail bar by night, while Darcie Green is a restaurant offering breakfast, lunch and dinner. They are joined by a continuous rooftop deck that runs the length of both boats. The coffee, as ever, is by fellow-Aussies, The Roasting Party, with a traditional espresso-based menu available in both May & Darcie Green, while May Green has a takeout window if you need a quick pick-me-up on the way from the station to the office.

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Electric Coffee Co., Goldhawk Road (COVID-19)

A flat white in my HuskeeCup at Electric Coffee Co. on Goldhawk RoadBack in the day, before I’d started the Coffee Spot, Ealing’s Electric Coffee Co. was one of a handful of speciality coffee shops in London. Fast forward 10+ years, and it’s fair to say that it’s now one of a handful of speciality coffee shops in Ealing, such has been the growth of the London scene. And that’s not the only thing that’s been growing. Since opening in 2008, Electric Coffee Co. has expanded its original coffee shop, started its own roasting operation, opened a second location (in St John’s Wood) and now there’s a third, on Goldhawk Road.

When I visited last week, seating was limited to the four outside tables, but as of this morning, the interior seating should be open, including the multi-roomed basement and the sunny room at the back. There are also plans for a small, outdoor terrace accessed through the basement. The coffee offering is fairly simple, with a concise espresso-based menu featuring the Rocket 88 blend. This is backed up by a range of toasted sandwiches and other savouries, plus cakes. Retail bags of coffee are for sale, where they’re joined, unusually, by a small range of Italian groceries.

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Electric Coffee Co., Ealing

A flat white in a classic black cup at the Electric Coffee Company in Ealing.When the history of the recent explosion in speciality coffee in London is written, lots of attention will be given to central London and the influence that the Kiwis and Aussies had on the scene. However, I hope a chapter or two is dedicated the London borough of Ealing, so often overlooked, and to the early home-grown pioneers such as Munson’s and today’s Coffee Spot, Electric Coffee Co.

Sat right outside Ealing Broadway station at the end of the District and Central lines and on the mainline into Paddington, there’s really no excuse for not visiting Electric Coffee Co. (although one might ask where I’ve been in the almost three years since I started the Coffee Spot…). Half of the buses to Ealing also seem to terminate outside its doors, spilling out their passengers and almost begging them to go in for coffee.

For the last seven years, Electric Coffee Co., with husband and wife Simon and Oksana at the helm, has been serving fine coffee to commuters and residents alike. In a recent development, it has also begun roasting its own beans (initially under the name Automaton Precision Roasters, but now under the Electric Coffee Co. brand), in a dedicated roastery down in Sussex.

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Everbean written in a cursive script, blue on brown, with the outline of a bird on the aCompared to some parts of London, Mayfair is a bit bereft of decent coffee, but for the last couple of years, Everbean, along with fellow long(ish)-time resident, Taylor Street Baristas, has been filling the void, supplying the suits and shoppers of the area with fine coffee. I’d been aware of Everbean for a while, but never had the opportunity to visit. Ironic then that I was actually heading for Taylor Street Baristas on Brooks Mews when Everbean jumped out at me as I passed by.

Located in an interesting-shaped building (it used to be a hairdressers), tucked away on the pedestrianised Avery Row, Everbean is a lovely spot, although it took me a second visit before I really fell for the place. Serving no-nonsense Climpson and Sons coffee, along with a wide range of tea and a good selection of cake, sandwiches and other savouries, Everbean has a dedicated band of customers and on both my visits was consistently busy.

Seating is in a mezzanine level above the counter or downstairs on a large, round, communal table or a bar that runs along the inside of the bay window. There is also a table outside if the weather is nice.

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Fade To Black

The Fade to Black logo from the front of the store on Uxbridge Road in Hanwell.A couple of weeks ago, I made a trip to southwest London, taking in the likes of Beanberry Coffee, Woof Coffee and The Press Room in Twickenham. At the end of my trip, I found myself in Ealing and, since I was there, I decided that I would carry on going west. Really west. All the way out to (wait for it…) Hanwell! Well, maybe not that far west, but, as London goes, quite far, and not exactly known as a hot-bed of speciality coffee.

What had dragged me onto the No 427 bus and out along the Uxbridge Road was the prospect of breakfast (and coffee) at the interestingly-named Fade-to-Black, which, since February, has been serving espresso using Ozone’s Empire Blend to the fine folks of Hanwell, with tentative plans to add a single-origin batch-brew. This is backed up with a decent breakfast/lunch menu, complete with sandwiches and a good range of cake.

Fade to Black has a simple, welcoming interior with windows on two sides and a range of seating, including window-bars, should you want to get some people-watching done. There’s also a spacious basement which, while normally off-limits, is used for functions and events such as yoga.

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Farm Girl Café

Thumbnail - Farm Girl Cafe (DSC_3484t)Down an interesting passageway, just off London’s Portobello Road, you’ll find a small, high-walled courtyard and, tucked away on the left-hand side, the wonderful Farm Girl Café. Occupying an amazing space, Farm Girl Café is a real delight. You can sit outside in the courtyard, where the only downside is that, due to the high walls, it doesn’t get the sun. While this means it can be wonderfully cool and shady on the occasional day that the summer decides to turn up, it can also be decidedly chilly. That said, I sat outside on my second visit in November and was fine.

Alternatively, sit inside, either in the main body of the café, or, if there’s a crowd of you, upstairs on the delightful mezzanine above the kitchen at the long communal table. The only downside of the interior is that it can get a bit loud, the beautifully-tiled walls acting as something of an echo chamber.

Farm Girl serves a substantial all-day breakfast menu, joined by a lunch menu from 11 o’clock. The coffee’s from old friends, The Roasting Party, using the standard Party Blend, decaf on the second grinder. Best of all, Farm Girl offers full table service.

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HR Higgins Coffee Room

A V60 of the Galapagos San Cristolbol at HR Higgins, beautifully presented in a carafe, cup on one side, resting on the window-bar in the basement coffee room.HR Higgins in a well-established name in London Coffee circles, celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. It’s also somewhere that’s been on my radar for some time now, so apologies that it’s take me until this week to get around to visiting. In the heart of Mayfair, a few minutes’ walk from Bond Street station, HR Higgins has a lovely, old-fashioned coffee (and tea) merchants’ shop upstairs (which features in its own Meet the Roaster). There’s also a takeaway counter up here, which caters to the morning rush.

However, the subject of today’s Coffee Spot is the lovely basement coffee room, which offers a full coffee shop service. If it’s too busy downstairs, you are always welcome to order your coffee, then take a seat at the window bar upstairs. There’s also a small outside seating area. In some ways, HR Higgins reminded me of the coffee scene in Tokyo, catering to a more traditional market (think dark roasts and multiple blends) and adapting to change (multiple single-origins, working directly with farmers). There’s a single option on espresso with multiple choices on pour-over, while if you’re hungry, HR Higgins tempts you with a small selection of cakes.

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Kaffeine on Great Titchfield Street on a rainy October day.Kaffeine is a legend in the London Coffee scene, one of the original Australian/Kiwi-owned coffee shops that some credit with kicking off the London coffee revolution of the last few years. Just around the corner from BBC Broadcasting House on Great Titchfield Street, Kaffeine is very much known by its reputation as somewhere where you get great coffee.

That’s just as well since Kaffeine’s offering is limited by its size. There’s no Wifi or power for the laptop/internet junkies and seating is at a premium, so Kaffeine is somewhere you come for the coffee, from Square Mile, and the atmosphere created by the friendly and knowledgeable staff.

However, don’t expect fancy pour-over options or Aeropresses with a choice of multiple guest beans. While Kaffeine is definitely third wave in its outlook (no buckets of milk with a dash of coffee here), the menu is espresso-based only. When it opened four years ago, there wasn’t much competition, but now with excellent coffee shops opening left, right and centre, including Attendant a few doors up on Foley Street, Kaffeine needs to be on top of its game to stay at the forefront of the London coffee scene.

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Kaffeine Eastcastle

The front of Kaffeine, door to the left, windows to the right, with a pair of benches in front of the window acting as tables.Kaffeine, with its original store on Great Tichfield Street, is something of a legend in London coffee circles, part of the first wave of Aussie/Kiwi (in this case, Aussie) influenced coffee shops to appear in the capital. The second Kaffeine, a hop, skip and jump away on Eastcastle Street, took a while in coming, but in 2015 it opened its doors, effectively reproducing the original’s successful model in a similarly-sized, but differently-shaped space. This one’s a simple rectangle, with the short-side facing the street, counter on the right, seating on the left. There’s also a window bar and a long bench outside on the relatively quiet street (although I was there on Sunday).

There’s the ubiquitous Red Brick from Square Mile on espresso, all the usual favourites on the menu (the largest drink is a 7.5oz latte) and the added bonus of a coffee-tasting flight. There’s also cascara, a selection of loose-leaf teas and a small range of soft drinks. If you’re hungry, there’s a limited range of three baguettes/brioche (which can be toasted) and three salads, which you can have individually or in combination. Finally, there’s a selection of cakes, including the Aussie staple of toasted banana bread.

September 2020: Kaffeine Eastcastle has followed the original on Great Titchfield Street and reopened after the COVID-19 shutdown over the summer. You can see what I made of it when I visited later on in the month.

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Detail of the wall art in Kafi, Fitzrovia, showing small white flowers on a plain background.Kafi opened in April this year, joining a long list of excellent coffee shops in Fitzrovia, that small slice of central London between Oxford Street and Euston Road. While small, it has high ideals, including a dedication to sustainability, which includes soucing 90% of the material in the shop from recycled or reclaimed material, plus an emphasis (where possible) on local sourcing.

This is allied to a coffee offering of the sort that’s rather rare in London these days. Switching every month between house-roaster, Workshop, and a guest roaster, there’s a range of single-origin coffees, each matched to a specific extraction technique, including espresso, V60, Aeropress and syphon. There’s also cold brew, nitro cold brew, hot chocolate, a choice of 10 teas (plus cold brew, nitro cold brew tea options) and a series of wellness drinks. Finally, if you’re hungry, there are all sorts of cakes and savouries to enjoy.

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A large chalk drawing of an octopus saying "Yo Kin" in a speech bubble, above the handwritten details of Kin's filter of the weekI’m always on the lookout for something slightly out of the ordinary, so I thought it was about time that I paid a visit to Kin, in Fitzrovia. In a city dominated by big-name local roasters such as Allpress, Caravan, Square Mile and Workshop, plus a host of other, smaller roasters, it’s always nice to find something from out of town. In this case it’s Bristol’s Clifton Coffee Roasters, with Kin using Clifton’s seasonal EQ espresso blend, plus a single-origin filter of the week on batch-brew, using the ever-reliable Moccamaster.

Kin, which will be two years old at the end of May, is in good company in this part of Fitzrovia. It’s on Foley Street, just along from Attendant and around the corner from the original Kaffeine. Long and thin, it’s an impressively bright spot, helped by generous windows at the front and a large skylight at the back. The focus at Kin is as much on the food as it is on the coffee (and loose-leaf tea from London’s Postcard Teas). There’s breakfast (served until 11.30) and lunch (12.00 to 15.30), plus copious quantities of cake to fill that awkward half-hour gap (cake is also available at other times).

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A stylised speech bubble drawn as a human face.Kioskafé is the latest venture by Monocle, which London coffee-lovers may know through its café in Marylebone (plus another in Tokyo). Kioskafé differs from its parent in that it’s a hybrid, a cross between a newsgent (the Kiosk part) and a café (the -afé part). On Norfolk Place, it’s also significantly further west (on a central London scale; we’re not talking west, as in Ealing, or, heaven forbid, Bristol, although both are easily reached through nearby Paddington station).

That’s right, Kioskafé is just around the corner from Paddington (and across the road from St Mary’s Hospital), where it joins a small but growing band of speciality coffee shops led by Beany Green and KuPP. Serving Allpress’ Redchurch blend on espresso, Kioskafé also offers some seriously good cinnamon/cardamom buns from Fabrique Bakery, which are well worth trying. I am, by the way, indebted to Adam, a fellow Beany Green addict, for putting me onto these and for reminding me that Kioskafé had actually opened.

An excellent takeaway option if you happen to be passing by, if you’re planning on staying, there’s a choice of a pair of window bars or one of the four tables in the surprisingly comfortable outdoor seating area.

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Kiss the Hippo, Fitzrovia

A gorgeous single-origin Ethiopian espresso, roasted in-house, and served in a classic white cup at Kiss the Hippo, Fitzrovia.Fitzrovia, that small slice of central London between Oxford Street and Euston Road, has more than its fair share of excellent coffee shops. For many years, one of my favourites was Curators Coffee Gallery on Margaret Street, and I was saddened to learn of its closure earlier this year. However, my sadness wasn’t too long-lasting, since wandering around in July, I spotted a welcome sign in the vacant window: Kiss the Hippo.

For those that don’t know, Kiss the Hippo is a coffee shop/roaster with an improbable name and eye-catching logo. It began in 2018 in Richmond, where you’ll find its flagship café, roastery and training centre, all rolled into one, with the Fitzrovia branch, which opened exactly one month ago, being its second location.

Spread over a spacious ground floor and a bright basement, anyone who visited Curators will instantly recognise the layout, although the décor is markedly different. The coffee, all roasted in-house in Richmond, is seasonal, with the George Street house-blend joined by a single-origin and decaf on espresso, with two more on pour-over, plus a batch-brew option. If you’re hungry, there’s brunch until 2 pm (3 pm at weekends), plus cake and toasties throughout the day.

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The KuPP logo in red neon.KuPP is the latest addition to the area around Paddington Station, joining the likes of Beany Green in bringing speciality coffee to this part of London. KuPP, which opened at the end of March, is half-way down Paddington Basin, on the opposite side from Saint Mary’s hospital. All things to all people, KuPP is a Scandinavian-inspired bar, restaurant and coffee shop. Obviously, I’ll be focusing on the coffee shop, but having lunched there, I can also pass comment on the food. As to the bar, I shall leave that to those more qualified than me to judge. It looks impressive though!

KuPP occupies what, in coffee shop terms, is an enormous space. Think Caravan, King's Cross size, but with a more interesting layout. The bulk of KuPP is devoted to a large dining area, with fully-retractable windows that join it up to the outside seating along the quayside. Next to that, there’s a well-stocked bar and, at the far end, a (comparatively) small but beautifully-appointed coffee shop.

The coffee’s a bespoke blend, roasted by Bristol’s Extract Coffee Roasters. There’s a standard espresso-based menu, a second option on bulk-brew filter, plus tea from Canton Tea Co and Kokoa Collection’s hot chocolate.

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Meet the Roaster: HR Higgins Coffee Man

The HR Higgns Coffee-man Ltd logo, from the shop of Duke Street, Mayfair.A well-established name in London Coffee circles, HR Higgins has been going in its current form since 1944. A family-run affair, now onto its third generation, I visited the lovely, old-fashioned store on Mayfair’s Duke Street in September, writing up the delightful basement coffee shop. Now it’s the turn of HR Higgins Coffee Man, which features in today’s Meet the Roaster as both roaster and retailer.

Whereas many modern, speciality coffee roasters have a few blends at most, along with a handful of single-origins, HR Higgins is from an era when coffee merchants carried a wide range of beans, reminding me of the likes of Soho’s Algerian Coffee Stores. HR Higgins currently has beans from 23 origins (two of which are decaffeinated), drawn from all the world’s main coffee growing regions, plus eight different blends. These are roasted anywhere from medium to very dark, and, while HR Higgins hasn’t succumbed to the modern trend of light roasts, it has been developing direct trade relationships with various coffee farmers.

If coffee’s not your thing, HR Higgins is also a tea merchant of some repute, with over 40 different loose-leaf teas available, although it received its Royal Warrant as a coffee merchant.

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Omotesando Koffee, London

A lovely espresso in a classic white cup, made with the bespoke house-blend at Omotesando Koffee, London.In speciality coffee circles, Omotesando Koffee is something of a legend. Named after its home in Tokyo’s Omotesando district, this pop-up coffee shop was credited by some as helping to transform the Tokyo coffee scene. Sadly, it was a relatively short-lived affair and, while I visited its successor, Koffee Mameya, I missed the original (although you can read what my friend Bex made of it when she was there in 2014).

From those humble beginnings, Omotesando Koffee has gone on to spawn a series of coffee shops around the world, including branches in Hong Kong and Singapore. In the summer of 2018, a ripple, for want of a better word, went through the London speciality coffee scene. Omotesando Koffee was opening on Newman Street in Fitzrovia.! Excitement mounted for the rest of the year, until, in the middle of December, Omotesando finally opened its doors, perhaps the most anticipated event in London specialty coffee that year.

A minimalist coffee shop, offering a bespoke house-blend from Assembly (with components from Brazil, Colombia, Uganda and Ethiopian) on espresso and pour-over, plus single-origins on pour-over and batch-brew, it offers a slice of modern Japanese coffee culture. Naturally, I had to take a look…

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Queens of Mayfair

The unassuming façade of Queens of Mayfair, the central door flanked by two tall, square-paned bay windows. There's also a table on the pavement in front of the window to the left of the door.The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic may have caused a country-wide closure of coffee shops this spring, but that hasn’t stopped a growing number of brave entrepreneurs from opening new coffee shops. Chief amongst these are siblings Grace and Victoria, who had originally planned to open Queens of Mayfair, their high-end coffee shop located, appropriated enough, in Mayfair, back in March 2020. Unsurprisingly, this didn’t happen, but despite the COVID-19 setback, they carried on, with Queens opening in August instead.

Queens is an upscale venue, offering table service, a brunch menu until 3:30 pm and a “nibbles” menu in the evening. There’s cake, of course, plus hot chocolate, tea and a fully-stocked bar offering cocktails and other delights. However, it was the coffee that made the headlines, even catching the interest of the mainstream press. The reason? The UK’s most expensive cup of coffee, coming in at £50 a serving!

This is something so special that it has a Saturday Supplement all of its own. In the meantime, this Coffee Spot focuses on Queens as a coffee shop, where you can order from the more affordable espresso-based menu, based around a Brazilian Daterra, roasted for Queens by Difference Coffee.

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Rag & Bone Coffee at Sharps

The menu board from Rag & Bone Coffee at Sharps Coffee Bar in London.Sharps Coffee Bar, on Windmill Street, is something of a fixture in the London speciality coffee scene, having been around almost as long as the Coffee Spot. For those who don’t know, Sharps is a two-for-one, with a barber shop at the back and a lovely coffee bar at the front. It started life with London coffee legends Dunne & Frankowski, but it was taken in-house in 2014, with some equally famous names, such as Michael Cleland (Assembly) and David Robson (ex-Association Coffee) taking over behind the counter.

Fast forward five years and things have, in some ways, come full circle, with Harry and Alfie of Rag & Bone Coffee taking over the coffee operation at the start of February. Superficially, little has changed, with the layout still essentially the same. This includes the iconic Kees van der Western Spirit espresso machine, clearly visible through the window. However, there are subtle changes, including a new menu board, while the coffee has changed, Rag & Bone bringing in its house-blend from Old Spike Roastery on espresso, with various guests on filter, both batch-brew and pour-over through the V60. If you’re hungry, there’s a small range of pastries and several toast-based options.

November 2019: I've learn, via Phil Wain, that Rag & Bone is no longer at Sharps, the coffee operation having been taken over by Good as Gold.

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Scarlett Green

Your Banana Needs You. One of the two deckchairs outside Scarlett Green in Soho.Regular readers will know that I’ve been following the rise of London-based/Aussie-inspired mini-chain Daisy Green ever since it opened a branch next to my office in Sheldon Square, Paddington. Since then, Daisy Green has grown rapid, first through its Beany Green coffee shops, and then through restaurants, such as Timmy Green in Victoria and Darcie & May Green, the narrow boats tied up outside Paddington Station.

Scarlett Green is the latest addition to the family, which now numbers nine coffee shops and restaurants. It follows in the footsteps of Timmy Green, offering full table service for food (breakfast, lunch and dinner), plus wine and cocktails, while still remaining true to its coffee roots, serving a house-blend from long-time partners, The Roasting Party.

Scarlett Green is the biggest yet, occupying the ground floor and basement of a tall, narrow building on Noel Street, in the heart of Soho. Open from 07:00 to midnight, it’s there for your morning coffee and a late-night cocktail, plus everything in between. The décor, as ever, is by the talented Shuby Art, another long-time partner and collaborator. As well as the usual bananas, you can also find a large, pink teddy bear enjoying Bondi Beach.

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Soho Grind

The Soho Grind logo from the back wall of Soho Grind: the word Soho written in black script over GRIND in red capitals.Grind, which started with the original Shoreditch Grind, is a growing London chain of espresso bars by day and cocktail bars by night. Soho Grind was the second, and has since been joined by four others. For six months last summer, there was also the pop-up Piccadilly Grind, the only one I’d visited up until now.

Soho Grind’s a lovely spot: a long, narrow espresso bar upstairs and, in the evenings, a cosy basement which serves as cocktail bar/restaurant with full table service. There’s coffee, Grind’s own bespoke espresso blend, roasted down in Hove by the excellent Small Batch, plus tea and soft drinks. In the evening, there’s wine, a small selection of bottled beer, and cocktails, including a very fine Espresso Martini, one of the few alcoholic drinks I actually enjoy.

In keeping with its siblings, Soho Grind has a small range of (very good) cakes and sandwiches during the day, and a menu of small plates with an Italian theme in the evening. These are tasty, but not particularly filling. I had an excellent crostini with roasted red peppers, rocket and shaved pecorino, which I supplemented with some very moor-ish toasted almonds from the nibbles menu.

January/May 2017: Grind is now roasting its own coffee. You can see what I made of it at London Grind (January) and Exmouth Market Grind (May).

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Sottoscala: Terrone at Pizza Pilgrims

The Terrone & Co logoFrustrated at the London Coffee Festival by the failure of the irrepressible Edy Piro to photobomb my pictures, I went looking for him a couple of weeks later. Having (finally) visited Terrone & Co at Netil Market at the end of last year (and not found him there either!), I decided to head for Kingly Court in Soho, where Terrone & Co (Edy’s Italian coffee roasting company) has an espresso bar called Sottoscala.

For those that don’t know, Kingly Court, sandwiched between Kingly and Carnaby Streets at the western edge of Soho (and just around the corner from Soho Grind), is a marvellous, enclosed courtyard surrounded on all four sides by three storeys of cafés, bars and restaurants, with balconies running around the first/second floors. On the western side of courtyard’s ground floor, you’ll find Pizza Pilgrims, and, attached to that, under the stairs, is Sottoscala. But was Edy there…?

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Tab x Tab

A flat white served in a handmade pottery cup, made with a single-origin Brazilian roasted by Bocca and served in Tab x Tab in London, pulled on a Mavam espresso machine, made in Seattle.Tab x Tab is the latest (and much needed) addition to west London’s speciality coffee scene, opening at the end of July on Westbourne Grove, not far from Paddington Station. The brainchild of husband and wife team Mathew and Charmaine, it brings top quality coffee to an area of London that has, up until now, been sorely lacking it. It’s also got a Mavam espresso machine, which, I believe, is just the second one in the UK.

The shop’s set back from the busy street, so you can walk past it if you’re not paying attention. Long and thin, with the long side running along Westbourne Grove, it’s a bright, open space with plenty of outside seating, features it shares with Treves & Hyde, the home of the UK’s other Mavam.

When it comes to coffee, Tab x Tab has teamed up with local roaster, Ozone and Amsterdam roaster, Bocca, which I’d not come across before. There’s a seasonal house-blend on espresso, plus a single-origin guest, joined by another single-origin on bulk-brew. Currently a selection of pastries and light bites are available, but as the kitchen behind the counter gets up to speed, expect a full brunch menu to appear.

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The Borough Barista

The Borough Barista logoThe Borough Barista, confusingly (for me) nowhere near London’s Borough Market, is actually at the western end of London’s West End. It’s somewhere that I really don’t go very often, so while The Borough Barista has been on my radar for a while, I’ve not had any reason to visit. Until, that is, I landed some work in Paddington, about 20 minutes walk away, and decided it was high time I visited.

Not far from Marble Arch, The Borough Barista sits just off the busy Edgware Road on the corner of Seymour Street and the quieter Seymour Place. It’s fairly unassuming at first glance, but is lovely inside, an oasis of calm and excellent coffee in an area lacking both! With an espresso blend from Yorkshire roasters, Grumpy Mule, that seemed to have been specifically selected to suit my tastes, I can safely say that the espresso was one of the nicest I’ve had in a very long time!

My only problem is that I liked The Borough Barista so much that if I popped out one afternoon for a quick coffee, I’m not convinced I’d actually go back to work! Ever...

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The Coffee Traveller (COVID-19)

A classic espresso in a classic black cup, served at The Coffee Traveller in Chiswick.Having started my coffee tour of Chiswick at Chief Coffee, I then inadvertently spent the rest of it in Hammersmith, so I thought it best that my final stop should be The Coffee Traveller, a lovely spot by the Thames and very much in Chiswick. Located on Thames Road, a quiet street in a residential area, it’s in a row of eight terrace houses with shops on the ground floor and has a lovely, quirky interior which, come Monday, you’ll be able to sit in again. Until then, you have to sit outside, where you’ll find a pair of old school desks on the pavement, under the shade of an awning. Best of all, however, is the secret garden at the back, a wonderfully relaxing spot, the perfect place to end a long day spent visiting coffee shops.

The coffee is from old friends, Caravan, the Daily Blend served from a standard espresso menu, along with tea, hot chocolate and smoothies, plus craft beer and wine by the glass or bottle. Meanwhile, if you’re hungry, the kitchen at the back offers the like of pancakes and omelettes to go with filled croissants, bagels, rolls and sandwiches, plus lots of cake.

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The Fifth Taste

Details from the A-board outside The Fifth Taste at Ealing Common station.I’m not sure why, but I have a soft spot for coffee shops in railway and/or tube stations, so The Fifth Taste, which is in Ealing Common Tube Station on the District and Piccadilly Lines, has been on my radar since it opened in June last year. The only thing that has stopped me is that I don’t get out to Ealing much, but when I was doing my West London swing last month, I made sure to stop by.

There’s not a lot to The Fifth Taste. It’s in the ticket office, tucked away to the left, much in the mould of Bica Coffee House at Westbourne Park or the sadly missed Piccadilly Grind at Piccadilly Circus. Serving a choice on espresso, plus batch-brew, all from old friends The Roasting Party, there’s also a selection of pastries. Unsurprisingly, it’s takeaway cups only, so don’t forget to bring your own.

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The Meal Ticket

The flowchart drinks ordering menu at The Meal Ticket on Sheldon Square.When I first started working in Sheldon Square, behind Paddington Station, in the summer of 2013, there was nothing in the way of good coffee. Then came Beany Green in 2014, followed over the next couple of years by the likes of KuPP and Kioskafé. I stopped working there at the end of the 2015, at which point my office decided to upgrade its in-house café, bringing in Baxter Storey to run the operation, with coffee from Modern Standard. Not that I’m still bitter about that…

I didn’t quite escape Sheldon Square though, since my new job, which sees me travelling all over the world, also means I visit Sheldon Square about once a year, allowing me to keep tabs on the growing coffee scene, including the likes of Can Do Coffee and (the recently closed) Store Street Espresso. I was back there last week, when I found another crop of new places vying for my attention, including Darcie & May Green, twin barges tied up on the canal-side, another Can Do Coffee pitch and the subject of today’s Coffee Spot, The Meal Ticket, which was then into its third week of operation, serving Caravan on espresso and batch-brew…

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The Penny Drop, London

A beautiful cortado, served in a glass on a blue saucer, at The Penny Drop.It feels harsh to call The Penny Drop an international chain, but that’s what you get for having two coffee shops, one in Melbourne and the other in London. Melbourne came first, opening as a pop-up in 2015, before finding a permanent home in 2016. A year later, the penny dropped in London, with the opening in June 2017 of a coffee shop on Tottenham Street, just off Tottenham Court Road. Technically this puts The Penny Drop in Fitzrovia, enhancing the area’s already excellent reputation for speciality coffee.

The two Penny Drops are very different, with Melbourne offering a 100-seat restaurant/coffee shop, while The Penny Drop in London occupies a small space which seats 20 at most, and that includes the benches outside. What’s more, it’s a throw-back to the sort of coffee shop that I remember in the capital 10 years ago, but which now seem increasingly rare. With coffee from a rotating cast of roasters, offering two options on espresso, another on batch brew and more on pour-over through the V60, all of which change every week or so, The Penny Drop is a genuine coffee shop, its food offering limited to a small selection of cakes and pastries.

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Tintico, Greek Street

An espresso, made with the guest coffee, the Los Ancestros, a washed coffee with an extended fermentation stage from Guatemala and roasted by 39 Steps Coffee, served in a classic black cup at Tintico on Greek Street.I’ve been meaning to visit Tintico ever since it opened in Finchley in November 2014. Sadly, my trips to London’s northern suburbs are rare, so when Tintico opened a second shop in Soho in May 2019, my chances improved dramatically. However, it wasn’t until last week, when walking to Euston from Waterloo on my way to my Dad’s, that I finally made it.

On Greek Street, in the Soho’s northeastern corner, Tintico’s in an area which used to be a hotbed of London’s speciality coffee scene when I started the Coffee Spot almost 10 years ago. Sadly, many of those pioneers are gone, with Milk Bar the latest casualty. In that respect, Tintico is a fine addition to the neighbourhood, reminding me of those early coffee shops in style and spirit.

A small spot, with a single table outside and a handful more in the compact interior, Tintico offers a seasonal single-origin house espresso from Campbell & Syme (currently the Sonsón Reserve, a washed coffee from Colombia), along with a guest espresso, which doubles as the pour-over option via the Hario Switch. There’s also a tapas-style food menu, plenty of cake, plus beer, wine and a selection of brunch cocktails.

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Upstairs at The Pilgrm

Some lovely latte art in my flat white upstairs at the Pilgrm, made with Workshop's Los Naranjos single-origin Colombian espresso.The Pilgrm is a small, boutique hotel almost directly opposite the front of Paddington station which just happens to have a speciality coffee counter in the lobby downstairs, run by Workshop. If that’s all there was to it, it would be pretty awesome, but there’s more. The Pilgrm also has an upstairs lounge and terrace, which, while catering primarily to hotel guests, is also open to the public, serving breakfast, lunch and, in the afternoon/evening, a range of small plates and drinks. And then there’s the coffee…

While the coffee counter works as a standalone operation, you can take your coffee and sit upstairs, or, alternative, sit upstairs, where there’s full table service, and order your coffee there, the barista bringing it up to you. Having spent most of my week in the Paddington area popping into Workshop for either an espresso or a flat white, usually on my way to the office, I decided I had to try the lounge, popping by on Friday afternoon for coffee and returning on Saturday morning for breakfast.

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Workshop Coffee at The Pilgrm

The Workshop Coffee logo from the front of the counter at The Pilgrm.The Pilgrm is a small, boutique hotel in an old townhouse on London Street, almost directly opposite the front of Paddington station. In itself, it makes for quite an attractive hotel, but the icing on the cake is that in August last year, Workshop took over the coffee operation, installing itself behind the counter in the simple, well-appointed lobby, which is effectively a small (and beautiful) coffee shop. The coffee offering is equally simple, well-appointed and beautiful, with a concise espresso menu (with decaf getting equal billing with a single-origin option) backed up with another single-origin on batch-brew, both changing roughly once a week.

If coffee’s not your thing, there’s a small selection of tea and Pump Street hot chocolate, while if you’re hungry, Workshop has a small selection of cake, but nothing else. That said, The Pilgrm has a first-floor public lounge and terrace which serves a full brunch menu until 3pm each day, with snacks served thereafter. You can take your coffee up upstairs if you like, although it’s not very clear if you just wander in off the street. Alternatively, just take a seat upstairs and order your coffee there, which is just what I did at the weekend.

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Workshop Coffee, Fitzrovia

The Workshop logo, a diamond inside a circle.The latest addition to the suddenly-expanding Workshop Coffee chain (now four and counting) is in fashionable Fitzrovia on Mortimer Street. Just around the corner from Broadcasting House, it joins a growing band of speciality coffee shops that include old stalwart, Kaffeine plus (relative) newcomers, Attendant, Mother’s Milk (now closed) and the recently-opened Curators Coffee Gallery. The one advantage it has over its near-neighbours, other than the novelty value of being new, is that it stays open until seven o’clock, making it the ideal spot to retire to before attending recordings of BBC Radio shows in the Radio Theatre at Broadcasting House.

Unsurprisingly, given that this is Workshop, the coffee is all from the Workshop roastery in Clerkenwell, with the Cult of Done house-blend and a single-origin on espresso plus a choice of two single-origins on filter (one bulk-brew and one through the Aeropress). There’s also decaf, loose-leaf tea and a small range of sandwiches and cake.

The new Workshop’s not a huge place, with the front half given over to the counter and the seating in a separate area at the back, the two connected by a short corridor. You might be able to squeeze 15 people in all told.

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Workshop Coffee, Marylebone

The front of Workshop Coffee, Marylebone, tucked away in St Christopher's Place.Workshop Coffee is one of London’s better-known (and original) roaster/café chains. Starting from its flagship branch in Clerkenwell, where, until recently, all the roasting was done, it’s slowly expanded, now with a total of four London coffee shops. I first really came across it (other than as a roaster) when it opened its Fitzrovia coffee bar in 2014, but I’ve taken my sweet time in popping into the other branches, finally making to the Marylebone branch last week. At some point I’ll have to drag myself over to Holborn and Clerkenwell, which has seen a few changes since the roaster moved out.

The Marylebone branch is on St Christopher’s Place, just a stone’s throw from the busy Oxford Street. Tucked away in the eastern arm (St Christopher’s Place is cross-shaped), it’s an oasis of calm, which is also open until seven in the evening. Simple in layout, there’s a bench along the wall providing most of the seating. The coffee offering is excellent, with two single-origins and decaf on espresso, plus two or three single-origins available through the Aeropress, with one of them on bulk-brew. If you’re hungry, there’s a wide selection of cake and a limited range of sandwiches.

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If you don’t like lists or just want to see where everything is, you can use the map to find your way around. Note that this shows the closest 50 Coffee Spots to the centre of the W postcode region, not just those Coffee Spots in West London.

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