COFFEE SHOPS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM

I don’t know about you guys, but I cannot function in the morning till I’ve had coffee. Perhaps having coffee daily has become habitual or potentially I have an addiction to caffeine.. either way I bloody love coffee. Now, as I am a ‘coffee snob’ I decided to review some local and reputable coffee shops within London. To ensure consistency in my reviews I had a soya flat white in each shop, this way I can score on the quality of coffee and the price.

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FABRIQUE

Fabrique is the first coffee shop I decided to try, it’s located in Notting Hill on Portobello Road. The beautiful rustic interior created a good first impression and was followed by good service. The flat white was reasonably priced at £2.75 with no extra charge for soya milk. My only qualm is that the last couple of times I went back again they had run out of soya milk and filter coffee by late afternoon, however this is probably due to how popular they are. I rate Fabrique as a 4/5 for the great coffee and fair price, but leaving some room for improvement.

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MONMOUTH COFFEE COMPANY

Monmouth has a couple of shops located in London, the one I visited was in Covent Garden on Monmouth Street. The sole reason I went to Monmouth was due to it’s alleged high reputation but I was greatly disappointed. To begin with, the queue was extremely long and going out the door. Usually a good sign but not in this case as by the time you get inside the shop it is extremely crowded with next to no seating. To make matters worse when I asked for a soya flat white the staff informed me that they don’t serve soya milk. Of all the other coffee shops I have visited this is the only one that does not cater for lactose intolerance or dietary requirements. As I had queued for so long I decided upon a black filter coffee which was yet another overpriced disappointment, the coffee itself was watery and very weak. I enjoy strong black coffee so this certainly did not meet expectations. I would give Monmouth Coffee a 1/5 due to the lack of soya milk and bad coffee.

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JOE AND THE JUICE

Joe and the Juice should simply be called Juice, as coffee is certainly not their strong suit. I had previously seen a few of these ‘coffee’ shops dotted around London so as I was nearby one in Notting Hill I thought I would give it a chance. The coffee was extremely thin and weak only made worse by there being too much milk for a flat white which effectively made it a latte. They cater for dietary requirements as they serve soya and almond milk at no extra charge, however they might as well have not bothered due to the poor coffee. It was only £2.60 but if I ever went back I would rather pay more to have juice and avoid the coffee altogether. My rating for Joe and the Juice is 1/5.

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FERNANDEZ & WELLS

Fernandez & Wells has a few shops located around London, I visited the one on Exhibition Road in South Kensington. Much like Fabrique, Fernandez & Wells has a beautiful interior and exterior shop front, regrettably though I was not impressed by the taste. The inflated price of the coffee is certainly in tone with the location. They charged 50p extra for soya milk with the overall cost at £3.45, as the taste was mediocre it was not worth the price. The quality of the coffee entirely depends on the staff that happen to be in as I have received both good and poor service. I would give Fernandez & Wells a generous 3/5.

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VINYL CAFE

The Vinyl Cafe is situated on Portobello Road in Notting Hill. An unintentional find that turned out to have exceptional coffee. The shop, as the name suggests, is filled with vinyl of varying categories and prints all for sale. A very comforting atmosphere to sit and enjoy coffee with great service. There was a 40p charge for soya milk with the final price at £2.90, which I consider fair due to the high quality. I would rate Vinyl Cafe a 4/5 as the coffee, price and service were all impressive.

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DEPARTMENT OF COFFEE AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS

Naturally I saved the best for last. Department of Coffee and Social Affairs is by far my favourite coffee shop that I have tried. Dept of Coffee have many shops around London so I frequented a few to see if the quality remained consistent, and I am pleased to say that it did. The Carnaby Street branch is the one I have been to the most and each time I have thoroughly enjoyed my coffee. There are a wide variety of coffees to try with different milk options and although there is a 50p charge for soya you do get what you pay for with the high quality. A soya flat white is £3.50, it might be the most expensive I have reviewed but it is entirely worth the money. Another factor that won me over were the exceptional bags of coffee beans for sale, each time you buy a bag you get a free coffee to go with too. In my opinion Department of Coffee and Social Affairs is a 5/5.

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Let me know if you like any of these places too and where do you guys enjoy going for coffee?

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Tiggen.

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