Two London coffee bars
I recently travelled to London on business and arrived with plenty of time to spare so decided to investigate the two coffee bars I knew were within walking distance of Grosvenor Square.
I almost missed this little gem. It does not announce itself other than with a small font on the shop front and a wooden A-frame sign on the pavement. It doesn’t need to be in your face as it’s reputation is excellent and those seeking it will find it and locals and regulars will know where it is.
Inside it is neither cluttered nor minimalist but a happy compromise. The walls are a restful sage green with floors that are bare boards. There is a bar and stools along the window and along the wall opposite the counter.
They use a coffee roasted by their own roaster and are careful and precise in their preparation of your drink. The coffee, I noticed, is weighed on electronic scales after grinding to get a precise amount. The baristas are very knowledgeable and are very helpful when it comes to selling you either coffee beans, ground coffee or your espresso. I eavesdropped on two or three coffee conversations with the baristas and was mightily impressed.
When it comes to your coffee they discuss how you would like it before preparing it in an effort to make it just as you want it. The staff take time to discuss anything to do with coffee. I ordered a flat white, my coffee of choice and the standard I use to judge each coffee bar.
When it came it was served with a glass of sparkling mineral water to clear the palate. That was an unexpected surprise and much appreciated. The flat white was silky and mellow with a smooth nutty flavour. Too often a mellow coffee is also weak; this was not.
This coffee bar is definitely one you should seek out if in the area; no, make that seek it out even if you are not in the area, it’s that good.
75 Wigmore Street, W1U 1QD
Taylor Street Baristas (Mayfair)
Finding Brooks Mews was quite a challenge but well worth it in the end. This is a very popular coffee bar with local businesses so don’t be fooled by the nearly empty street; they are are all enjoying the coffee and the extensive choice of good food inside.
The decor is cream with plenty of dark wood benches and chairs around equally dark tables. They have also used dark antique style furniture for some of the counters. There is also a small bar with stools making maximum use of the space available for when it gets crowded from 10:00 in the morning onwards.
There is a definite buzz about the place with plenty of suits and ties from local offices networking or having informal meetings over a coffee. It is obviously a favourite with the local workforce.
As usual I ordered a flat white. Taylor Street Baristas (Mayfair) use a Union roasted coffee with a Hasbean coffee as an alternative choice. The flat white’s steamed milk on top was not as dense as it could have been. I do prefer a full-bodied flat white so this was a little disappointing. Although a touch weak for my liking it had a pleasant fruity (raspberries perhaps) taste.
Although the coffee was not 100% to my liking I liked the atmosphere and would have stayed here and worked all day if I did not have several appointments lined up for the rest of the day.
22 Brooks Mews, London W1K 4DY