Yes Folks it’s that time again, it’s Coffee Time!
Once again we have been out scouring the streets of London looking for the best little Coffee Shop there is, just for you!
We’re not talking the Starbuck’s and Costa’s of the capital, we mean those little indy shops and then not those ‘Artisan’ places, that sell a thimble sized cup of all froth and burnt beans, in the name of being trendy. No we want a large cup of a Soya Mocha, with a good taste and not a ton of bitter chocolate sitting at the bottom of the cup. Not a lot to ask, but seriously the struggle to find it does continue, mostly in vain. But here is what we found.
Crussh The Brunswick Centre.
There is a lot of activity in The Brunswick Centre suddenly, more shops are open and a number of eateries have open up, we have tried a few of them in the past , so we thought we’d try Crussh, as we like the one in Rathbone Place.
This is a simple kiosk kind of shop, a few seats, but nothing to chill out in and watch the day go by. We ordered the standard Soya Mochas and took a seat, the barista took him time making the drinks but did then bring them to the table with a smile and the drinks were pretty good, we also had food a spinach, cheese and jalapeño toasty which was yum and a sandwich which was missing a certain something, but when you combined the two was really good! I do remember it was cold that day and the seating though basic was welcomed, the coffee’s heat was also pleasing.
We eventually left to brace the cold once more, travel mugs in hand and sipped the coffee. It was a bit (overly) frothy though and we ended up with the froth, powder residue in the bottom of the cup.
Hotel Chocolat Angel.
This is another new shop, having taking over from Barclay’s or something, it looks well appointed, all clean and organised, there are a few seats at the front and a coffee machine in the back, but it does feel very much like you’re trying to buy coffee from Body Shop or an Apothecary, with its rows of chocolates, bottles of chocolate flavoured Gin and present ideas.
It doesn’t feel inviting. But two Oat Hot Chocolates (one Dark, one Mint) were purchased and we sat at the front window and sipped, the chocolate as you’d expect was good, the coffee choices did seem lacking and hidden on the menu, it felt like going to a Steak House and ordering the fish! We don’t know if we would go back, maybe for a Hot Choc to go, but not to sit in and drink.
The Espresso Room Great Ormand St.
This tiny little shop opposite the kids hospital boasts a sign stating;
It turns out that is just a google review, taken off the search engine by one random customer, (probably the owner) and not any official or unbiased opinion, all in all a sneaky trick. But we tried it anyway.
It certainly seems popular though, we had a bit of a wait as the single barista served teas and flat whites to the locals before starting on two Oat Mochas in our Travel Mugs (which got us 40p off each coffee, or paid for the milk alternatives!) It has a couple of seats by the window and a table outside but that is it, these are mostly for waiting customers and given the wait, you’ll need the seat.
Eventually we got our coffees and started walking and sipping. It was certainly frothy, very frothy and with that lacking in any real coffee flavour, certainly no chocolatiness. We sipped and fought our way through to the bottom and then, oh dear Lord, we found the Chocolate and really wished we hadn’t!
Oh it was gross, what the hell is that sloppy, powdery gunk? It was so incredibly bitter, if that’s what they use for chocolate, no wonder he left it unstirred in the bottom, hoping the lack of coffee flavour above it was enough to stop anyone getting that far down.
Beara & Beara Islington Green
We have looked at this little shop since it opened and kept meaning to go in, but we always end up in the Caffe Nero on the other side of the road. But the other day we decided to try it.
It’s very busy and finding a table was the first issue, then we realised it’s a shop selling brown leather shoulder bags and a coffee shop (weird combo!) Then we looked at the cups and quickly changed our mind and left. The cups were tiny bowls, think finger bowls in a Chinese Restaurant.
Bird and Blend
Just a little add-in here, this isn’t coffee, in fact we don’t think they even sell coffee and we have reviewed this place before, that is we reviewed Bluebird, not Bird and Blend, this chain has changed its name probably to not be confused with the Fulham Road Restaurant and we popped in last week for an alternative to the usual mochas.
There is a lot of choice in the teas, Black, Red, White, Green and seemingly Yellow too! You kind of choose the tea by smell, the staff tip a selection of the leaves and fruit out onto the unturned lid of the large tins and you take a big sniff. Bob knew what she wanted, the Blue Raspberry Unicorn Tea, it changes colour as you drink it! As a cold tea in a glass it looks more like a cocktail than a tea! Ash stuck to a Black Tea, a Lavender infused drink (I think). We waited downstairs in the seating area and the teas were brought to us, while we listened to some of the worst music we have heard in a long time, badly written, soul music, Put it this way, Baby Shark would have been preferable to that!
We drank and the tastes were interesting, though Ash wasn’t convinced and may, only may) have had a reaction to the ingredients (not for the first time), a violent headache that made him feel sick. It is the problem that if you do have allergies then sometimes you don’t know what may trigger them.
Well that’s another round-up for you, we hope these are helpful to all of you who want a bit of uniqueness to your daily coffee.
Come back next week and read another review about something else!