Espresso Joe and the Department of Coffee
This post was first published in NZ News UK on 10 December, 2010
December 7 – a date that will live in infamy. Thankfully, the Department of Coffee and Social Affairs was launched on December 4, a date that we will celebrate great coffee coming to Leather Lane in London.
Located at the southern end of Leather Lane, the coffee-house is set to provide coffee fans with a daily dose of espresso during these cold winter months and is very handy for the legal crowd of Holburn and Chancery Lane. The café is a part of the Coffeesmith’s Collective.
The launch was a great way to open up the La Marzocco machine and test drive the coffee beans – and sample some of the great food that the café will be offering.
Business partners and Kiwis Tim Ridley and Chris McKie were both very happy to get the project up and running. This week has seen a soft launch, with the doors opening without too much fanfare but Friday 10 December and the new week should see a whole lot more traffic through the place. My suggestion? Get there this Friday before everyone discovers this place. It’s going to be awesome.
So, what was the coffee like?
The espresso was a smooth, mid-roast cup with hints of spice and a mid-length finish. My latte lost the flavour of the coffee in the milk but my flat white was perfect. Chris and Tim both stressed that it would take a touch of experimentation on the part of customers to discover ‘their’ coffee, with the milder latte generally proving more popular amongst the English coffee drinkers. The beans are roasted by the small roastery Climpson and Sons.
If you’re looking for a place to have a business meeting over coffee then this could be an ideal place to come. There are four areas of seating ranging from a large meeting table down to a tiny, confessional-like cubby-hole for a touch of intimacy. The look of the place could be described as ‘rustic modern’ with some nice Victorian brick walls featuring against some 2010 plaster.
At the moment, there is no signage on the shop – this requires the temperature to remain over 5 degrees before the adhesives can be applied, which is not likely to happen soon in London. However, if you are passing by then try the door. The coffee is outstanding, the food and service are excellent and Leather Lane is just 100 metres away from the Chancery Lane Tube Station. And Leather Lane Market just might offer up a Christmas bargain or two while you’re at it.
What: The Department of Coffee and Social Affairs
Where: 14-16 Leather Lane, Farringdon, EC1N 7SU