Release Date: May 7, 2015
Since the arrival of third-wave coffee shops, specialty coffee has conquered Londoners’ hearts and taste buds. While a perfect extraction is the major factor, independent coffee shops are also appreciated for their beautiful latte art creations. London’s independent cafés turn foam into an artform and coffee into a craft.
While wandering around never-ending number of coffee shops in London, sooner or later you distinguish differences in the techniques of free pouring and milk proportions. But there are some coffee houses that stand out of the crowd with the balance between milk and espresso, between art and taste. Scroll down to find out some of the best latte arts in London’s independent coffee shops.
Department of Coffee and Social Affairs (DCSA)
With the first Department of Coffee and Social Affairs shop opening in charming Leather Lane in 2010, now this London-based coffee company has expanded to nine coffee shops. The latest coffee shop has opened in historical and buzzy Old Spitafields Market, which attracts locals and tourists for its one-off antiques.
Rwandan and Columbian high-quality single origin fermented and washed coffee beans in DCSA are treated with precise care by talented baristas. Small but very important details for perfect extraction are followed each time when making 30ml of espresso. The head barista reveals me the success formula in the Department of Coffee, which is precisely measured 20.4 grams of freshly ground coffee extracted to 30ml in exactly 30 seconds. Latte is usually served with a single shot, but available with double on request.
A new player to London’s coffee scene, Curators Coffee has already been recognized by many coffee lovers and addicts. Extraordinary designs of Curators Coffee and Curators Gallery attract local artists and creative souls. Apart from artistic canvas, another form of art that is taken for granted is the art of coffee. Either coffee extracted by La Marzocco Strada or one of the neatly rowed Chemex, the young staff is extremely passionate of what they are pouring. London’s micro-roastery Nude produces a special signature espresso house blend “Exhibition”, which tastes like marzipan, chocolate and a hint of hazelnut. This roast together with professionally steamed milk tastes absolutely beautiful.
Workshop Coffee Co
It is one of those coffee shops that entirely focus on the quality in the cup. Originally opened by Australians, Workshop Coffee roast is one of the most popular in London. The oldest branch of Workshop in Clerkenwell has won the ‘Best Independent Cafe’ at the 2012 Cafe Society Awards. Workshop’s staff participates in all stages of production, from visiting coffee farms to operating coffee bars. Now Workshop has four successful shops around London and each of them are different in their own way. Vivid coffee cups enhance the beauty of perfectly poured latte art and you feel ashamed every time you ruin it while dissolving sugar.
One of the cutest coffee shops in Islington, Maison d’être is a local independent coffee house on a quest for the best coffee. Kim, a passionate baker, and Kostas, coffee enthusiast, combined their strengths to open a café. Maison d’etre serves well-known Square Mile roasters’ coffee beans and delicious homemade pastries. The interior is beautiful and charming, the same could be said about their latte or cappuccino.
Painted in black and hidden on the corner where Mare Street bridges Regents Canal in East London, this cafe is so invisible that you could easily rename it ‘Detective Bureau’. However, their beautiful latte cannot be hidden between Hackney Bureau’s walls. La Marzocco GB/5 espresso machine and coffee by local roaster Caravan in Hackney Bureau is more acidic than usual, but very well balanced with frothy milk. A latte in here tickles tongue with citric acid, which brings out flavors, such as orange and lemon or sometimes grapefruit. Well-trained and friendly male baristas will make sure you enjoy your latte art as well as creamy balanced coffee that keep you craving for more.
Edit&Photo by Audrey Fiodorenko
Audrey Fiodorenko is a lifestyle blogger and a journalist with a quest for a perfect cup of coffee and unique atmosphere. You can usually find her in London and Japan or somewhere in between.