A decade ago, coffee drinkers in London may have been content with beans roasted, ground, and shipped in from abroad. But as tastes have evolved, the capital’s coffee shops and cafes are increasingly taking quality control into their own hands, travelling to far-flung climes to select their beans and roasting them themselves. It’s all in a bid to deliver London’s java sippers the very best brews, and the difference is palpable (and delicious).
As London’s many ‘caficianados’ gear up to attend the 2017 edition of the London Coffee Festival (held on 6th – 9th April), we’re celebrating the destination-worthy cafés and roasteries that are creating the best artisan coffee in the city — all of which are within reach of our London hotels. But to really test oneself (or learn some new skills) before hitting one of these cool joints, enthusiasts should book a place on the Montague Coffee Experience – the ultimate masterclass.
One of the pioneers of London’s coffee revolution, Monmouth Coffee Company has been roasting its own beans since 1987. Though it started as a small basement roaster in Covent Garden, Monmouth now has several outlets in prime locations around the city, including Bermondsey — where the roasting operation is now based — and the famous Borough Market. Monmouth imports single-origin beans from carefully selected farms, estates, and cooperatives around the world, working with farmers to ensure that they’re all harvested sustainably. Coffee lovers can purchase bags of whole or ground beans, or enjoy a coffee made by Monmouth’s expert baristas.
Caravan is at once a popular restaurant and a specialty roasting company, with a flagship location in the historic Granary Building in King’s Cross. It supplies coffee for myriad restaurants and cafés around the city, as well as keen java lovers who wish to brew at home. Using beans sourced from sustainable, environmentally friendly farms around the Americas and Africa, the roastery offers a unique range of coffee and espresso that’s some of the most delicious in the city. Perhaps the most exciting (and priciest) variety is the Finca Deborah Geisha, which is roasted in limited-edition batches and which features high-quality Geisha varietal beans from Panama.
Workshop Coffee showcases the finest flavours of South America and Africa in its beans, which are imported from a hand-picked selection of single-estate farms and roasted in the capital to strict quality control guidelines. With coffee bars in Clerkenwell (the flagship venue where the roasting takes place), Fitzrovia, Holborn, and Marylebone, Workshop’s outlets are all within easy reach of our London hotels. Not sure where to start? Opt for a Gitesi Espresso, and pay attention to the notes of dried flowers, baking spice, apricot and cherry that come through with every sip. To continue your coffee journey, book a workshop at the Holborn outpost and learn the tricks behind making the perfect home brew.
Square Mile Coffee Roasters is a multi-award-winning roasting company that supplies coffee to businesses and coffee lovers around the city. The team source, import and roast the best beans available, going as far afield as Brazil, Burundi and Ethiopia. One of Square Mile’s most popular blends is Red Brick: a seasonal espresso from Colombia that features notes of hazelnut, banoffee, clementine and cream. On one Saturday a month, Square Mile also hosts Home Espresso Classes, during which visitors can gain insider knowledge from the experts on how to choose the right beans, brew coffee at home, and even perfect their latte art.