Posted Wed Jul 1, 2009, 1:57pm Subject: Re: good espresso in London?
To be honest, coffee is pretty variable in most every place in London, particularly if you prefer your coffee unadulterated with milk. I've even experienced poor espresso at Monmouth and Flat White (perhaps their speciality is clued in their name). Admittedly, the chains tend to be more consistently poor than the noted independents. Although the chains (mostly) tend to be better than many of the workaday independent cafes, which can serve complete filth under the guise of "espresso".
FWIW the most consistent quality I've bought in London recently is the spectacularly well located Illy Espressamente booth outside Euston Station. Well drilled staff, who know how to tamp; consistent and acceptable-going-on-good espresso; bit expensive - £1.70 - but worth it because you're never let down.
Having said that, however much we might complain about coffee in London, things get much worse outside. I'm currently working most of the week in Birmingham and, apart from the slightly clinical feeling Caffe Saint on St Paul's Square, the only other even part acceptable espresso comes from the bean to cup machines in the Victoria Square Starbucks (the shame).
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