A hidden gem amidst Hackney Wick’s assorted timber merchants, abandoned industrial estates and faceless yuppie new builds, The Counter is a little cafe/art shop/gallery a short walk from the overground station and overlooking the canal. They roast their own beans to produce a blend called Warehouse – the espresso is light and fruity, and ideal for milk based coffees. Unfortunately the milk treatment on my flat white was a bit sloppy and I think the milk had been overheated; the latte art was poor – it seemed like my coffee had been prepared by a barista in training – I would like to go back and see if their execution is better next time. They offer a range of brunch food, including french toast, bagels and salads, and their Mumbai eggs have received a lot of good reviews.
Verdict: good quality coffee that deserved to be treated better 5.5/10
A hipster and art school kids’ enclave just off the main road in rough as old boots New Cross, The London Particular was opened a few years ago by chef Becky Davy. They focus on fresh, healthy, and generally vegetarian food, but also serve decent coffee which they source from H. R. Higgins, an old school coffee roastery in Mayfair. My flat white was served nice and hot, with slightly scrappy latte art but decent milk treatment. The espresso was medium bodied and uncomplicated but worked well with the milk. My coffee was trumped by my lunch of fantastic celeriac fritters, spinach and a snappy horseradish cream.
Verdict: a decent flat white and probably the best coffee east of Peckham 6.5/10