Date January 8, 2010 | Map

Now that I have sort of re-launched my blog, I thought it is time to enliven it with new features: welcome to my first non-regular themed article series. commoncoffee will report on the coffee culture in London and feature the good and bad of London’s coffee-making scene. Because I like my coffee, though I admit this was not always the case.

commoncoffeeWhen I arrived in London about five years ago, I was in my third year of complete coffee abstinence. I used to drink a lot and could hardly tell the quality differences between ground supermarket blends and an average espresso. And I didn’t really care much. But at some point, I stopped drinking coffee altogether. And I did not miss it much, because frankly, the coffee I had had was more often than not straight from the ugly department.

commonliner's coffee mug

commonliner's coffee bucket

Then I moved to London, and a few months later, our director purchased a Jura Impressa X7, one of these do-it-all espresso machines. It still provided an option to perform parts of the process yourself. Milk frothing, for example. And I had so much fun frothing my own milk with properly hissing steam emerging from the machine’s slim nozzle that I eventually gave in: I started to drink coffee again. One per day at first, but now I am on a daily dose of two. Enough to earn an office-wide reputation as Master Milk Frother and Expert Cappuccino Maker, one step short of a semi-professional barista. Nobody can play the X7 quite like I can. Ask my colleagues.

And finally, in sync with the growth of London’s gourmet coffee scene, I discovered the delights of properly and skillfully prepared coffee, the best of which is based on beans freshly roasted by local London roasters! And while the number of places where you can get truly good coffee is increasing rapidly, you still have to know where to find those little independent cafés run by passionate and very knowledgeable baristas. I already know a number of these cafés, and I will get to know more. Assembling an anecdotal annotated list of good coffee places over time is the goal of this series:


Because I like my coffee.

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