While other major cities around the continent – such as Paris and Milan – may be more synonymous with the art of drinking coffee than London, one trip to the capital will quickly teach you that there is far more variety here in terms of café styles than anywhere else in Europe.
Indeed, the Italians, French and Spanish may have their specific ways of drinking coffee – and this is part of what makes their cultures so iconic – but the fact that there is no defined London coffee style is something that actually works in the city’s favour, as it means you’re likely to find a much broader range of options on offer here.
And if you thought the big chains like Starbucks, Costa and Pret a Manger were the only places to get a good cup of the black stuff then you couldn’t be wider of the mark, because London is absolutely brimming with terrific coffee shops that encapsulate the multi-faceted nature of the city’s culture.
For example, with cycling having become an increasingly integral part of the London way of life in recent years, several new venues have opened up that are half bike repair shop, half coffee shop.
Look Mum No Hands! is a terrific example of such a place, and is a great choice for a hot drink whether you happen to be a cyclist or not. Located on Old Street, this quirky café attracts a vibrant and trendy crowd, and is close to the stylish areas of Shoreditch and Hoxton.
Elsewhere, the Lock 7 Cycle Café can be found just next to the Regent’s Canal, between Haggerston Park and Victoria Park, and is an excellent place to stop for a cuppa while cycling or strolling along the canal.
The use of high-quality, Fair Trade coffee beans is also something that has become an increasingly essential component of London’s coffee culture, and you’ll find several cafes around the city that use these ingredients to create a fantastic flavour. Freestate Coffee on Southampton Row and Nude Espresso on Hanbury Street are just two examples of where you can go for a great tasting, eco-friendly hot drink.