Exam season might have been and gone, but the passion for coffee is still alive and present even in the summer time. To satisfy your caffeine needs, we’ve pulled together a list of the best spots to get your daily fix in and around London, whether you’re an espresso advocate or an iced latte lover!
1. Second Shot Coffee, Bethnal Green
Bethnal Green’s Second Shot not only serves up an amazing variety of yummy coffees: they also use their business to bring change to the East London community where they reside. Second Shot helps to ‘tackle homelessness one espresso at a time’ by employing people affected by homelessness and training them to transition into long-term roles elsewhere. The shop also offers customers the opportunity to prepay for a coffee or a hot meal for someone in need while placing their own order, inspiring others to make a positive change in their morning routine.
2. The Shed, Guy’s Campus
If you’re passing through London Bridge and need a quick caffeine boost, pop into The Shed to try some great student-priced iced coffee! One of the KCLSU’s first alcohol-free spaces, the Shed is the perfect spot to take some time out and chill over a yummy pastry or two. And the best part? All profits from the café go right back into the students’ union to provide more amazing student spaces and resources in the future.
3. Grind, Shoreditch
Grind is possibly one of the most Instagrammable coffee shops in the city, featuring vintage neon signs, marble tables, and tasty coffee with intricate foam designs. The café serves up a wide variety of hot and cold coffees during the day, and other locations around London that double as into restaurants/bars in the evening. Espresso martini, anyone?
4. El&n, Belgravia
Another contender for most Instagram-friendly interior is El&n. A popular celebrity hotspot, El&n gives your morning coffee the makeover it deserves, from designing latte art of your face to their famous glittery pink ‘ruby latte’ which can only be described as the drink of choice for the Mean Girls. If a cerise brew isn’t your thing, the café can also whip up red, green, black and blue coffees from their funky menu!
5. The Shack, Bush House
Bang in the middle of Strand and Charing Cross, The Shack is the place to be if you want delicious, fresh and cheap coffee around Strand campus. Along with their amazing brews, the cafe has a good selection of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free snacks so that everyone can have their cake and eat it too (literally). Though the prices are already a fraction of what you will find in the area, you can get an even bigger discount on your daily cuppa by showing your TOTUM student card at the till.
6. Palm Vaults, Hackney
Any description we attempted for this independent café would not do it justice. Palm Vaults not only has the millennial pink décor of your Pantone dreams, but also serves pink dishes and drinks to match their interior (with vegetarian and vegan friendly options of course!) In the heart of Hackney, this East London café welcomes people and pets, encouraging owners to swap their laptops and tablets for their pups. If you want to enjoy some quality time with your canine over a cup of something picturesque, this is the place to be.
7. Aida Café, Shoreditch
Famous for its swirly Rose latte resembling a peppermint sweet, this trendy Shoreditch café has mastered both new and old brews, offering a huge selection of coffees, teas, specialty lattes, iced drinks and fresh smoothies. With a reasonable menu starting at £2.50, Aida is definitely worth a visit. The café is also located inside one of the Aida creative stores, which sell clothing and homeware so you can sip tea and shop as much as your heart desires.
8. Paper & Cup, Shoreditch
Not just another trendy Shoreditch café, Paper & Cup is also a social enterprise charity sending all profits to East London Spitalfields Crypt Trust. This coffee shop makes its mark by offering Fairtrade and ethical snacks along with amazing coffees. Paper & Cup’s simple moniker also symbolises its biggest selling point: you can grab a cup of Fairtrade coffee and enjoy one of the hundreds of second-hand books on the rainbow-organised shelves spread around the space.