Murray Blake

London food and coffee writer

Coffee reviews – No. 2

1 Comment

Department of Coffee and Social Affairs
14–16 Leather Lane, EC1N 7SU
Nearest tube: Chancery Lane
Department of Coffee and Social Affairs on Urbanspoon
website; map


In spite of the terrible name, they serve outstanding coffee at TDoCaSA.  I went to their original branch on Leather Lane for a pre-work pick me up and was served with a truly beautiful macchiato.  The espresso came from Gedeo in Ethiopia and was called “The Earl’s mistress” due to it’s distinctive bergamot orange nose and dry tannic aftertaste.  It was extremely unusual (though possibly an acquired taste) but I would highly recommend trying this (and please drink it in espresso/machiato form before you add extra water or milk which will dull it’s unique flavour).  Certainly the best macchiato I have had in London.

Coffee score: 9.5/10


Coffee score: 8/10

Rapha cycle club
85, Brewer Street, W1F 9ZN
Nearest tube: Piccadilly Circus
Rapha Cycle Club on Urbanspoon
website; map


Rapha is an upmarket cycling brand (readers in London will probably have seen riders wearing their black jerseys with pink flashes on the road) and it’s flagship store has an attaching cafe.  They screen live cycling throughout the season and along with Look Mum No Hands! this is one of the best places in London to watch a race and drink good quality coffee.  They source their beans from Workshop and treat them well – I opted for a long black made with Cult of Done espresso (a mix of two thirds Ethiopian and one third El Salvador single estate robusta). The resulting cup was citrusy and light, very drinkable, but with only a subtle caffeine hit.  They do a limited range of food and baking which is aimed at fueling the legs with carbs and calories.  The menu is split into three: “pre-ride” sandwiches & eggs,  “on the bike” rice cakes & granola, “post-ride” tuna on rye & minestrone.  I had an unremarkable ham and parmesan sourdough sandwich and if you visit I would recommend sticking to the coffee.

Coffee score: 5/10


Taylor Street Baristas
125 Old Broad Street, EC2N 1AR
Nearest tube: Bank
Taylor Street Baristas on Urbanspoon
website; map

Good coffee is surprisingly hard to find in the City generally, and especially around Bank, but Taylor Street Baristas is a real gem amongst the pebbles.  Started by a couple of Aussies, they now have 9 branches spread across the Square Mile, Canary Wharf and Shoreditch.  Their coffee is sourced via Union Hand Roasted who work directly with coffee farmers in an attempt to bypass big business supply networks.


The Bank branch has table service and the staff place customers at tables; the decor is all wood and mismatched furniture, but manages to achieve both character and comfort.  The espresso used in my flat white was sourced from Central America and was initially zesty, but with rich chocolate undertones.  The milk treatment was reasonable but unfortunately it was served cold.  Overall, my flat white was not as good as the equivalent at Association coffee but it is still the best coffee within walking distance of Bank.

Coffee score: 6.5/10


Author: murraycsblake

London food blogger.

One thought on “Coffee reviews – No. 2

  1. Pingback: Coffee reviews – No. 3 | Murray Blake

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