Hello, my name is Sarah and I am a coffee addict. Ever since experiencing seriously good coffee in Vancouver last year, I have been on the hunt for The Best Cup of Coffee. Moving to London has made my job considerably easier. Since this is a highly-scientific caffeine-fuelled experiment, I’ll keep the parameters the same, rating each coffee on taste and latte art, noting the size, price and beans used. Since the environment is half of the experience, I’ll also sum up the decor and any food available, along with what I like to call the Linger Factor®. Part of the joy of coffee shops is sitting down with a good friend (or book), settling back and letting the buzzing background noise wash over you, lulling you into a caffeine-induced relaxation. Or alternatively, for many-a-freelancer (myself included), setting up shop with your Mac and seeing how long you can use it as an office space before you have to buy another coffee.
Once I have tried every single coffee shop in London, I’ll give you my final verdict. Or you could just use my thoughts as a launching pad to go on your own coffee-exploration. Please, pass on your recommendations. All I ask is that it’s within the M25 and it’s not Costa or any other establishment that serves up coffee-flavoured milk. So, for the first review: Cocorino Focaccia & Gelato.
Cocorino Focaccia & Gelato
Coffee ordered: Flat white
Flavours: Smooth caramel notes, roasted hazelnuts with a lovely late bitter aftertaste.
Latte art: Despite a good crema, there was a bit too much foam, resulting in a bit of a squiggle. If you squinted, it could be a swan, maybe, but it was a wasted opportunity.
Size: 8oz/227ml glass
Beans: Drury Coffee
Decor: Simple, pared-back wooden floorboards and panelling, with a tiny bench and space for sitting along the wall. Really, the whole Focaccia side of the café is only about 4m wide, and half of that is taken up by the counter.
Linger Factor: Low. The limited space means you’re probably going to be facing a wall with other customers queuing along the counter close behind you. The wooden stools suggest it’s a nice place to stop and sip, but once you’re done, move on.
Food: I probably didn’t visit at the best time of day (just before closing) but what was left looked incredible- big bowls of glistening roasted veg, focaccias packed to bursting with mozarella, sundried tomatoes and pesto. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the menu includes salads, pastas and focaccia, along with daily specials such as slow-cooked ox tail. They also have a selection of cakes – I had a gloriously dense, chewy slice of banana bread.
Verdict: If you’re in the area, and can get a seat, it’s a nice place to pop in for lunch or coffee and cake. It’s good value, too: a flat white under £2 is a rare thing. They also have a fantastic gelataria next door, which is worth checking out!
Location: 18 Thayer St, W1U 3JY. 5 minute walk from Bond Street.
Contact: 020 7935 0810, cocorino.co.uk