In the past two years, Australians have been making their presence felt in New York’s cafe culture, opening a slew of well-received venues inspired by those at home. But across the Atlantic, our roots run deeper. With Soho’s well-documented Flat White cafe now a decade old, we’ve been on the scene long enough that it’s hard to remember London coffee before the Australian influence.
Melburnian Peter Dore-Smith founded Kaffeine in 2009, with his hometown’s “style and friendly, efficient service” at the heart of the business. He keeps up to date with Australia’s coffee scene, but says there are plenty of great things happening in the industry worldwide. “There is inspiration in coffee, food and design everywhere you look,” he says.
As for trends in London, “cold brew has kicked off a bit, but with two days of summer this year it did not go very far. I do see more shops opening, including some bigger stores with a lot of investment behind them.”
Workshop Coffee Co.
Workshop originally opened in 2011 under the St. ALi banner. A year later the UK owners chose to go out on their own by becoming Workshop Coffee Co., and now there are four outposts around London.
Executive director James Dickson thinks London coffee drinkers are becoming ever-more discerning, eschewing trends and gimmicks in favour of integrity. “They’re now focused on the quality of London roasters and the ingredients used,” he says. “We aim to source better, improve our roast profiling and we are looking into gravimetric espresso technology, overhauling our grinders and researching cold brew.”
Other Antipodean coffee houses to check out in London:
Caravan – www.workshopcoffee.com
Brickwood Coffee & Bread – www.brickwoodlondon.com
Flat White – www.flatwhitesoho.co.uk
The Borough Barista – www.theboroughbarista.com