Coffee of the Day: London

I discovered the huge world of coffee accidentally while working in London. I am aware of how many more coffee shops there are in London, but these are the ones I enjoyed in my time in London.

Bank, Monument, St. Paul’s, Chancery Lane, New Street, Shoreditch, Mayfair, Canary Wharf

I started working in specialty coffee in this Aussie coffee company, so they taught me almost everything I know about coffee. They have a very high level of knowledge and they train people really well. They have 4 different profiles of coffee that they roast, as well as a decaf coffee option and a house espresso which is usually a blend. The people there are really nice (few of them my friends too, so… 🙂 )

23-25 Leather Lane, London, EC1N 7TE (Chancery Lane/Farringdon)

They also have very good training programs and they do talks about interesting coffee topics as well as tea. They have coffee from Square Mile Coffee. I had a filter coffee and a croissant when I was there and it was glorious. The place itself is very spacious and seems very comfortable to bring a laptop and work.

11 Leonard St, London EC2A 4AQ (Old Street)

Company from New Zealand, with a very simple and minimalistic aesthetic (white, grey and green). It has a very chilled and calm vibe. The coffee I had was really good and the music soft, perfect for a catch up with a friend apart from the busy London streets.

Angel, Blackfriars, Oxford Circus…

I haven’t been, but all my coffee colleagues talked about it. I heard both good and bad regarding ways of coffee training, but the final product was a good cup of coffee. I saw it for a year when I was working near Angel and it looked really cozy and nice for a laptop-work time.

Blackhorse Road Workshop, Sutherland Road Path, London, E17 6BX (Blackhorse Road/Walthamstow)

I discovered it while working by my neighbourhood. They have really good brunch options and it was really busy when I was there. However, they served me a very balanced cup of coffee every time. And it was close to my house. (:

Coffee Of The Day: Madrid

Ever since I started working in coffee, I have become that annoying friend who will only have a coffee in a specialty coffee shop. These are the ones I like the most in Madrid.

Calle de la Palma, 49, 28004 Madrid (Malasaña)

It was the first specialty coffee shop in Madrid. I had the opportunity and privilege of working with the owners and it was a dream. They take a lot of care of each coffee they roast, as well as of the customers and the decor in both places they own.

C/ de Embajadores 3, 28012, Madrid, España. (Lavapiés)

A small coffee shop with simple yet cute decoration. They roast their own coffee and have tasty things to eat. They also do coffee and roasting talks (which I haven’t been able to attend just yet).

Calle del Pez, 20, 28004 Madrid (Noviciado)

They use coffee from different companies. You can choose house espresso or a guest espresso. The food menu and the cakes are out of this world and the place it self… I feel like becoming a freelancer so that I can stay working there.

Calle Doctor Fourquet 33, 28012 Madrid (Lavapiés)

It is a small but cozy place. They change the coffee every so often and they have cakes and things to nibble on. I have only been once, but the atmosphere was really nice and I liked the coffee too.

Calle Ruiz, 11, 28004 Madrid (Bilbao)

Old coffee shop with a lot of history. It was recently renovated. I was working there for a few days when they opened and it has a great vibe. They use Toma Café’s coffee and at night it transforms into a very nice bar to grab a drink.

Coffee Of The Day: Taipei

Like the coffee snob that I am, here is the result of the coffee tourism I did in Taipei.

  • Coffee Sweet

No. 3, Alley 20, Lane 33, Section 1, Zhongshan North Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, 10491

I don’t know if it was my sleepy face, a jet lag effect, or the fact that Taiwanese people are just nice, but even though they did not have English menu, the waitress asked me “black” or “white”, I replied “flat white?” and she smiled and told me to sit.

To be honest, when they brought me the coffee I was a bit unimpressed because it did not have latte art on top. Generally, that’s a big sign that you are in a specialty coffee shop. However, it tasted really good. They took their time to bring it to me and they handed it to me very carefully. They told me the coffee was from Brazil and I noted the taste notes of nuts and milk chocolate.

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  • Kiosk

No. 40, Section 1, Xinsheng North Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, 10491

This one was recommended to me and it did not dissapoint. I had a bit of a hard time to find it but when I found it I asked for a piccolo and enjoyed a very chilled time charging my phone and chatting with the barista.

He explained to me that the trend in Taiwan right now is to roast darker because people thought they needed “stronger” coffee. Taiwanese people (and most people in the planet) don’t always realise that darker does not necessarily mean stronger.

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  • Fika Fika Café

No. 33, Yitong Street, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, 104

I was excited to try this particular coffee, it looked good, there was a little terrace and a good colleague had recommended to me. The place itself looked very European. There were lots of people taking pictures. I was really hyped up but unfortunately it was quite disappointing.

I asked for single espresso and it was extremely sour and bitter at the same time. When I entered to tell them that it was not good, I saw that they were cleaning the machine. They asked me if I wanted a new one, but I was on a hurry, so I say thanks, no, but be careful in serving (this sh*t) an espresso.

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  • Oklao

No. 124, Bo’ai Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, 100

The morning I was leaving Taiwan, I found this little gem in the midst of a Taipei’s busy street. Behind the bar, there were people working, the place was not too crowded and the vibe was chilled.

In this place, they have a “normal” coffee menu and specialty coffee, as some others do, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was not that much of a difference in price. I asked for a cappucino and I honestly don’t remember the taste notes but I do remember it was a balanced and complex cup of coffee.

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