My coffee addiction has turned into an obsession.
Instead of roaming the streets of London to find new bookshops, galleries or historical sites, I am following my nose to find the freshest grind of coffee. Instead of staring paintings in museums, I find myself admiring the brownish black of a filter brew. Normally, as I roam the streets alone, I do not care of this affliction, but in a company – it is another case.
Even if the company is someone I am married to. Because, if things get too crazy, husbands know how to run too.
It was a sunny Saturday midday, and, to impress his lovely wife, my eternal (fingers crossed) sidekick wanted to bring me to a coffee shop he had visited with his friend.
We were strolling around near Oxford Street, as he wasn’t quite sure where he had been, but we didn’t mind that much of a few extra blocks.
Then, you, yes you who are smugly sipping on your third cup of the day while reading this, you know when a coffee addict hits that point of “for gods sake, this is taking too long.” First comes the shortness of sentences – and this for a Finn means almost utter silence. Then, the snappy answers that miss the target just ever so slightly that you stop being amusing, and are just plain rude instead. And then, when the craving overpowers you completely, even the most sympathetic “we’ll get your coffee soon” feels like a most viscous smite and throws you right on the black abyss of pure anger.
But then, a miracle, a coffee shop is found, and all is good again.
Especially if at the counter you are greeted with not just the option of the usual flat whites and macchiatos, but a TRAY FULL OF COFFEE. Three little cups to gain your serene posture again, and become the natural angel you’d always be – if there were an everlasting supply of good coffee constantly on your disposal. With Kaffeine’s tasting plate, you get an espresso, miniature flat white and a cascara.
With Kaffeine’s tasting plate, you get an espresso, miniature flat white and a cascara.
Peace fell on earth again as we sat down cozily to wait for our coffees (yes, three of them!). The other Kaffeine where we had popped in just moments before had been full to the rim, but this one had a few seats available. On the counter there were little cakes as well, and behind the counter, an amazing, bright yellow neon sign wrote the word KAFFEINE on the wall – and as a child of the 80s, I never knew I could enjoy seeing neon again, but here we are.
Cascara is a fairly new acquaintance to me, and I was pleased to find out how it complemented the heavier and richer taste of coffee, and how refreshing it was what it came to the taste and caffeine content. In Kaffeine, cascara is served cold, and I tasted fruity and a little bit marmelady flavours in the tiny glass. I didn’t quite catch where they buy it (I’m sure the very informative barista told me but I was too hype to listen properly) but I know that, for example, Has Bean has been working with cascara some years already. The Red Brick coffee in Kaffeine comes from Square Mile, a London-based award-winning roaster.
The staff was very knowledgeable on their coffee, the décor pleasant and somehow matching the flavours of coffee (that brown, earthy taste) and I’d especially recommend the coffee tasting if you have a coffee-loving friend (or spouse) to impress (or to calm down).
P.S. I have a vague memory that when looking for the Kaffeine fix for the day (well, for the noon anyways) we popped into a very inspiring Getty Images gallery. I am going to visit on another day, when the coffee situation has already been sorted, so I can truly enjoy but meanwhile, go and witness the genius of photography yourself!
P.P.S. You can also read about my coffee adventures in, for example, here:
Coffee madness in Soho: Algerian Coffee Stores
Coffee madness in…um, Finland: Coffee shop Kaneli
…and the perfect cup in Helsinki