Tina, we salute you
47 King Henry’s Walk, N1 4NH
Nearest tube: Dalston Kingsland
020 3119 0047
Tina, we salute you opened in 2009 and was one of London’s first antipodean-style ”third wave’ coffee shops – the name is a homage to a kitsch painting of Tina which still hangs proudly above the counter. The cafe is small and cosy with a focus on quality coffee and rustic breakfast food. They originally used Square Mile beans but recently started using Alchemy who are a roastery based near Wimbledon that specialise in Guatemalan coffee. The milk treatment on my flat white was good – it had a silky texture and nice creaminess. They are currently using Alchemy’s opus blend which is composed of beans mainly sourced from El Socorro farm in the mountains outside Guatemala City. The espresso was nutty with hints of berries and combined perfectly with the milk.
Coffee score: 7/10
An oasis of calm amidst the shopping hell of Oxford Street, the newest Workshop outlet opened last month. They have dubbed it a “coffeebar” and it is probably geared at takeaway customers but there is space to sit down (for about 15-20 so I think it might get rather crowded). The cafe has two grinders, one offering Workshop’s bog standard cult of done espresso and the other is used for seasonal blends. I had my flat white with a single origin Rwandan coffee which was full of red berry fruits with a strawberry jam finish – truly wonderful. The milk treatment was perfect: soft, smooth and creamy.
Coffee score: 9/10
112A Brixton Hill, SW2 1AH
Nearest tube: Brixton
F Mondays opened just before Christmas in a still insalubrious part of Brixton about 10 minutes’ walk south from the tube station. They have gutted a former estate agents office and created a beautiful, bright space which can seat around 25. Their coffee comes from Alchemy roasters and they have been using the elixir blend which utilises Ethiopian, Guatemalan and Costa Rican beans. The latte art on my flat white was messy but the milk treatment was reasonable (although it had been slightly over-steamed). I really enjoyed the espresso which was citrusy with a touch of peach and stood up well to the milk. A good flat white.
Coffee score: 7/10