It’s the world’s most popular drink - 55 million cups of coffee are consumed each day.
But even those who mass produce a basic cup of Joe get it badly wrong. We’ll never forget an article by A.A. Gill about Starbucks. He wrote: “I can’t remember the last time I was served something as foul as its version of a cappuccino.
“How can anyone sell this stuff? How can anyone buy this twice? And this was only a small one – a baby. The adult version must be like sucking the outlet of a nuclear power station.”
Making a good cup of coffee is an artform – good coffee achieves the perfect balance of aroma, body and acidity.
80% of people who visit coffee shops do so at least once a week, whilst 16% of us visit a coffee shop daily. East and North London is not only home to some truly talented baristas but also to first-class coffee roasters who literally travel the world in their quest for the best beans.
We’ve been drinking our way around the area’s best cafes (and bouncing off the walls!) to bring you our favourites. Here, in no particular order, they are:
Climpson & Sons.
This East London company has a café at Broadway Market and a coffee bar at Old Spitalfields Market. They roast and pack their own coffee and their staff travel the world in their quest for the best beans… from the mountains of Kenya and the fields of Costa Rica to Ethiopia, Panama and Guatemala. They offer a barista training course and are at the cutting edge of brew methods. Pop into their Broadway Market café to sample the goods or buy a packet of their award-winning coffee. Local Buyers Club members save 10% on packets of coffee (info here).
The Last Crumb, Stoke Newington.
These are the new kids on the block but they’ve taken their coffee duties seriously. Their beans come from The Roasting Shed, a small-batch coffee roastery in Hackney Wick. Head barista Sara said: “Their medium roasted coffee is full of delicate flowery and fruity flavours and you can definitely expect a beautifully juicy and balanced cup from their espresso blends”. They think about every detail… non-homogenised milk from happy cows and top-notch non-dairy alternatives. Members save 10% on food.
Edith’s House, Crouch End
Few cafes offer as much character, charm and humour as this wonderfully quirky place. Stepping over the threshold is like arriving at your nana’s house. The colour scheme is beige, magnolia and orange, old family pictures adorn the walls and the furniture is suitably twee. When Michael and Eaton set this place up coffee was the first thing on the agenda. They serve Climpson & Sons Estate Blend (an Ethiopian blend with chocolate, toffee and marmalade flavours). And the staff literally obsess about delivering a perfect cup. 15% off Mon-Fri for Buyers Club members (click here)
Craving Coffee, Tottenham.
Founded by self-confessed coffee geeks Matt and Rachel Ho on an industrial estate in South Tottenham (near Markfield Park), this modern, rustic café is a vibrant and arty place to hang out. Matt fell in love with coffee when he bought his first home espresso machine in 2001. After spending several years learning to make the perfect cup whilst working as a barista to supplement his hairdressing income, he traded in his scissors to work in the coffee industry full time.
Craving Coffee is fully licensed and serves fabulous food – their coffee is worth writing home about. Members save 10%.
East End market traders Adam Bernstein and Ben Murtagh dreamed of escaping the cold and pursuing their passion for food and coffee.
Now they run Bernstein’s, one of Clapton’s most popular bars – bringing a taste of Jewish and Middle Eastern cuisine and East London’s finest beers and spirits to Chatsworth Road.
Ben’s love of coffee took him to Costa Rica and Panama, where he sampled some of the world’s best coffee. He describes his coffee as “new style”, “fresh crop” and “seasonal.” We describe it as “flipping good.”
L’epicerie @ 56.
This fabulous deli on Chatsworth Road sources food and drink from ethical suppliers, including Ethical Addictions Coffee… and boy it’s good. Few things beat sitting at their outside tables and watching the world go by while drinking a cup of the world’s finest Arabica coffee and chomping on a pastry!
Win 10 coffees at any of the cafes mentioned in this article. To enter just "Like" our Facebook page and "Tag" 2 friends in the comments on the Facebook post for this article.
Competition closes Sat 24th Feb. Winner announced next day. Runs across Facebook, Twitter and IG. Max £30 value. Good luck!
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We're on a mission to help you discover and support the best local and independent businesses.
We've negotiated discounts for our members at dozens of fantastic restaurants, shops, bars and businesses throughout North and East London. We help promote them and raise awareness of the advantages of shopping locally. We also organise and support community initiatives.
Join Local Buyers Club and, for just £12 per year, you'll be helping to support local business and you'll receive a discount card to use at any of the 100+ businesses listed on the site.
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