Where To Drink The Best Coffee In London

London loves its independents, whether it’s menswear stores or, in this case, coffee shops. And while the UK capital might not be up there with the big dogs in Melbourne and Seattle, there’s a lot to shout about in this caffeinated wonderland. Locked in the grip of a flat white craze, the espresso-focused offering has reached overwhelming levels of choice; from obscure artisan roasters to laboratory-style equipment to mind-boggling latte art. If it weren’t such a risk to your internal organs, we’d recommend a crawl around these best London coffee shops, but perhaps it’s best to take them one day at a time, savouring each sip of that liquid sunshine.

The Best Coffee Shops In London

Prufrock

Prufrock’s expert barista team have enough accolades to warrant a trophy shelf in the spacious, low-key shop off Leather Lane. ‘Best independent coffee shop in Europe’ is their latest title, with plenty more likely to follow. The winning formula? According to an interview on the Daily Espresso, zero pretension, meticulous customer service and serious love for the bean. Whether you have a penchant for pourover, or want a wild card cup of joe picked out by connoisseurs, Prufrock’s the place. What to order: Prufrock’s bespoke espresso, the San Jeronimo Miramar from Guatemala, sourced with the help of long-term partners. 23-25 Leather Lane, EC1N 7TE prufrockcoffee.com

Kaffeine

Props to Kaffeine for staying fresh in the coffee game for so long. This pint-sized pitstop off Oxford Street is around a decade old, and trade has barely let up since day dot. One of the earliest patrons of Square Mile roasters, expect a stellar selection of espresso drinks with exciting guest brews showcased at weekends. You can’t go wrong with a slice of toasted banana bread and a slick of Lescure butter either. What to order: Despite its Antipodean roots, Kaffeine does the best cortado outside of Spain, but the almond flat white is pretty life-changing too. 66 Great Titchfield Street, W1W 7QJ kaffeine.co.uk

Shoreditch Grind

There’s a criminal lack of late-night coffee joints in London, but Grind & Co. has been tooting the horn for nocturnal caffeine consumption since 2011. The firm now has eight addresses dotted about, but the flagship on the Old Street roundabout is open 18 hours day, serving ace coffee, plus cocktails and food. The brand is well-loved by Londoners, evidenced by its successful £1.3 million crowdfunding campaign to expand to travel hubs and airports. Move over, Costa. What to order: A long black (like a supercharged Americano) to get you through the day, then a killer espresso martini when the clock strikes six. 213 Old Street, EC1V 9NR grind.co.uk/shoreditchgrind/

Jacob The Angel

Named after the man who opened England’s very first coffee shop in 1651, Jacob the Angel is a seat worth fighting for. Tucked away in Covent Garden’s Neal’s Yard, it boasts a superlative view over the area’s colourful courtyard. Plus, it’s right next to sister restaurant The Barbary, so expect mouthwatering platters to float by as you sip your java juice, by Square Mile Coffee Roasters. What to order: A cappuccino (made with a double shot no less) and a tahini madeleine for dipping. 16A Neal’s Yard, WC2H 9DP jacobtheangel.co.uk

Black Swan Yard Coffee

Bermondsey’s best-kept secret, this hole-in-the-wall coffee spot serves up covetable guest roasters from across the world, like Belleville from Paris and Five Elephant from Berlin, with their staple offering being Margate’s Curve Roasters. Don’t miss the cardamom buns from almost-neighbours, The Snapery. A dark horse worth rerouting your commute for. Just make sure to keep this one to yourself. What to order: A flat white with cashew milk, best enjoyed alone on the bench just outside. And one of those heavenly buns, of course. 37 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3XF

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