Coffee Island, Upper St Martin’s Lane

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Coffee Island is new café near Leicester Square aims to provide customers with sustainably sourced coffee brewed in a variety of methods and offered as customised blends.

I paid a looksee visit to the month-old Coffee Island last week, tried some treats in store and took home a bag of beans blended with my preferences considered. Whether you’re just after a quick and inexpensive takeaway cup (get an Americano for under £2), you’re out to discover the depths of your coffee obsession, or you shopping for geeky home brewing gadgets and gifts, Coffee Island is a smart stop for all coffee lover needs.

Most of the shop’s beans come from farms with which Coffee Island has signed long-term, exclusive contracts, with specialty coffee producers in Brazil, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala. But Coffee Island also works with microfarms across the coffee-growing world to mix things up a bit.

Speaking of mixing things up, my custom blend based on my suggestions (round acidity, creamy body, complex aftertaste, with floral, nutty and chocolate notes) came extremely close to meeting my expectations for a perfect cup.

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How you like your coffee made is really up to you: espresso, ibrik, Chemex
pour over, AeroPress, syphon, cold drip … you name it.

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In addition to the coffee, the shop serves a broad range of teas. One herbal tea that’s new to me (and now a favourite) is cascara, made from dried coffee bean cherries. Mild and sweet it’s a refreshing drink. Food was good too. I loved the blueberry and pistachio Chelsea bun, thought the ham sandwich I had was as tasty as any you can expect on the go.

Coffee Island already has seen success across the Mediterrean with more than 300 outlets already opened (mostly in Greece). This new London shop is the first in the UK.

The concept behind the brand is simple enough: great coffee served however anyone might like it. But I can imagine a visit to the café could cause a bit of a head spin if you show up not really certain you what you want. I recommend going with a caffeinating goal to accomplish or an open mind when have some free time.

Coffee Island is located at 5 Upper St Martin’s Lane, WC2H 9NY. Find out more at coffeeisland.co.uk.

About tikichris

London-Based Writer/Photographer

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