Morning has kicked off in the trendy Helsinki district of Kallio but the coffee shop stays quiet even though eight of its dozen or so tables are occupied by eleven o’clock. Van Morrison’s soft voice floats somewhere at the background, and on the walls, Eric Dolphy and Gene Taylor have frozen in a black and white, pixelated pose. Occasionally cups clink against the saucers and the grinder and espresso machine whizzes and hisses.
As we all know, London is a huge, huge city, with a lot of different and unique areas. So how to choose the 10 best cups of coffee I had the pleasure and joy to sip while in London? Why even to try and do it? Surely there would be better things to do on a Thursday evening you might wonder. Yes, surely there is – but I don’t know what.
“As long as there is good coffee, I am happy.”
Said my sidekick, happily, after a visit to Turku’s CaféArt.
I have recently moved to what is said to be the most beautiful town in Finland, Naantali, after a year in London, where I started to write a book about London’s coffee scene. Needless to say, in London you find any kind of cup of coffee your soul might desire: you get your regular flat whites, innovative derivatives of flat whites (such as Fernandez & Welles stumpy coffee), you get your quick fixes of espressos from roadside shacks, slick urban spaces, decades old Italians, and industrial warehouses alike. You get your luxurious porcelain cups while porches speed pass, and you get your sophisticated mugs with twittering tweeds around.
But all this is only decorum around the main issues, quality coffee.
Finding the essence of Finland – one coffee cup at a time
The question ‘where to get the best cup of coffee in London,’ might get a different answer depending on when you ask. Now that I am pondering this question in a quiet Finnish market town – unable to get my weekend morning fix anywhere within 100 km radius – I am declined to answer: from Monmouth Coffee.
London’s best pizza has been found from a colourful, hidden piazza in Covent Garden!
As the Swedish fika is conquering the world, there is something undefinable and unique in the Finnish coffee break, kahvitauko.
Fun Foodie Facts, part I:
I found a Venetian restaurant which is located in the same building where the Venetian painter Canaletto once lived.
As today was hot, I needed an excuse to leave my desk and venture out of Brixton. But being a hard working, over-conscientious nerd I needed an excuse even my sub-conscious self would buy. So I spread out my Speciality Coffee Map and started plotting.