Espresso Joe and the top Notes
This post was first published in NZ News UK 24 March, 2011
Great coffee? Check.
Good cafe food? Check.
What else can one ask for?
Good service is a must and the staff at Notes Music and Coffee in Covent Garden come up with the goods every time. Little things like staff dropping their own conversations to serve customers should be a given and yet rarely are. The staff at Notes put their customers first.
The little things at Notes really do count, like having someone walk round the cafe with a water jug automatically refilling glasses. Is it necessary? No. Is it a simple service that anyone can put into practice? Yes. Do we like it? Of course.
Naturally you’ll be wanting to know about the coffee. Notes has the knack for making great coffee from their Square Mile beans. Sure, some would argue that if you start with a great product you will drink a decent coffee at the end of the chain. Alas, some cafes have the knack for turning quality beans into pond scum. This would appear to be unlikely to happen at Notes any time soon.
I have never seen a barista concentrate so intensely while pouring milk for a flat white as I have at Notes. These baristas are serious about good coffee. And it’s not just espresso based coffee that they serve. They also have a good range of single origin beans for filtering on site, complete with extensive tasting notes. Coffee is on show here, something rare for the Covent Garden area. Ask the staff about aspects of coffee making and be prepared for some intelligent discourse.
There is also a good range of coffee paraphernalia, like siphons and french presses, for sale.
And for those people who find their interest waning from coffee (apparently this can happen. Who knew!), Notes also doubles as a CD and DVD store specialising in ballet, Jazz, Blues and World music. It’s also worth grabbing a table under the skylight with its views of the Coliseum’s revolving orb.
Notes Music and Coffee is located on St. Martin’s Lane next door to the Coliseum. It can seat 35 people comfortably, the music is eclectic and quiet enough not to drown out your own conversation. There are plenty of mirrors on the walls to surreptitiously watch your fellow coffee drinkers (and be watched). The range of food is the expected cafe mix of sandwiches, salads and slices but the star here is the coffee – and the staff.
Top marks for Notes Music and Coffee. It’s busy without feeling rushed; it’s filled with light and quite frankly just a great place to drop in for a coffee and a bite to eat. I’ve made three visits here and will happily return.
Notes Music and Coffee
31 St. Martin’s Lane.
London. WC2N 4ER