Coffee Guide: Founder of London Coffee Festival, Jeffrey YoungBy Alicia Grimshaw
If you’re not familiar with London Coffee Festival, here’s what you need to know: the festival is the largest gathering of coffee lovers in Western Europe. Taking place at The Old Truman Brewery in Shoreditch from 6th– 9th April, there’s everything from latte art workshops to beans and quirky caffeine creations. For more information or to purchase tickets, see here. And in the spirit of all things caffeinated, Jeffrey Young, Founder of London Coffee Festival picks his five favourite London coffee shops:
The Lowdown: Inhabiting a monolithic former granary building, Caravan has graduated to the major league in both London’s coffee and casual dining arenas. The unabashed use of concrete and other reclaimed materials combined with its chic décor creates an industrial atmosphere on a grand scale. The knowledgeable baristas are happy to offer advice on their seasonal blends, which are freshly roasted on the premises, the worldly food menu and wide range of coffees offer an excellent opportunity to experiment with coffee and food pairings.
What to Order: Caravan roasts small batches daily using speciality coffee beans sourced from all around the world. The focus on these farms is on quality, provenance, sustainability, freshness and fair trade; so you know you’re going to get a good cup.
For espresso lovers, their espresso is made using the freshest and tastiest crops of the season. The filter coffees on offer are excellent too – a mix of single origins and blends have been chosen specifically for their unique flavour characteristics and quality.
Favourite bite: If you’re going for an indulgent breakfast, the Caravan Fry or baked eggs are fantastic. For those seeking a healthier option, they do some great poached eggs on sourdough or grain toast.
Where: Granary Square, 1 Granary Square, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AA
The Lowdown: Allpress Espresso has coffee shops in Australia, New Zealand and Tokyo, but in London you can find them in Dalston and Shoreditch. Light and airy, Allpress is the perfect place to relax with a newspaper but it’s equally as good for business meetings or to visit with family and friends.
What to Order: Both their espressos and single origin filtered coffees are excellent, so it’s really down to personal taste. I personally tend to go for a flat white.
Favourite Bite: Allpress has a great lunchtime offering, with a range of unique sandwiches including smoked salmon tartine, salt beef Russian dressing and Catalana – so not your usual ham and cheese! It’s always nice to try something a little bit different.
Where: Locations here
The Lowdown: Founded in New Zealand in 1998, Ozone is a well-established speciality coffee roaster, meaning the coffee served in its Shoreditch shop is delicious. With an endearing, un-refurbished basement, it’s a unique and fun place to visit and offers interesting workshops on different topics for those looking to learn more about coffee.
What to Order: There are separate brunch, lunch and evening menus, each one as good as the last. Ozone endeavours to use sustainable and whole-cycle cooking methods with the aim of maximising healthiness without sacrificing flavour. The result is wholesome, tasty dishes.
Favourite bite: Their Green Brekkie is amazing – and it’s healthy too! Smoked cauliflower with lamb lettuce, avocado, sprouted grains, spiced kumara and a poached egg.
Where: 11 Leonard St, London EC2A 4AQ
The Lowdown: Origin has coffee shops in London and Cornwall, as well as a stand in the British Library. Each is minimalistic and specialises in carefully sourced, single origin coffees.
What to Order: Origin offers a range of coffees and snacks, and their beans are available for purchase too.
Favourite bite: Their avocado on sourdough bread is really tasty. They add pretty, colourful herbs to make it look beautiful too – very Instagram worthy.
Where: Locations here
The Lowdown: LMNH has two permanent cafes – one in Old Street and one in Whitechapel. Old Street is their original shop, where everything kick-started in 2010. As well as serving brilliant coffee and food, it’s home to a workshop which fixes everything from carbon speed machines to old bikes – so has a really cool, alternative vibe.
What to Order: Since day one they’ve served Square Mile Coffee and it’s still on offer today. However, if you’d like to try something new, ask one of their baristas about their guest espresso. As well as serving great coffee, they also have a range of craft beers on offer from their favourite UK-based brewers.
Favourite Bite: They serve a range of lovely salads, pastas and burgers. Their LMNH burger is absolutely out of this world – 42-day aged beef with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, gherkin and aioli. What’s not to like?
Where: Locations here