The Cafe You’ve Been Looking For
Every urban dweller is searching for the perfect side street: a quiet oasis one step removed from the hustle of the city. Store St. in the heart of Bloomsbury, London might be that perfect side street. It’s home to a handmade bicycle store, plenty of foliage, sidewalk seating, and, most importantly, Store Street Espresso.
The stark white interior and the naturally-finished wooden tables lend Store Street Espresso a certain tranquility. It’s the kind of coffee shop where you can chat with a friend, read a book, or, if you’re the guy at the table next to me, practice your calligraphy. The baristas stay busy serving customers, but I found they were keen to chat during the lulls in traffic.
If the proprietors of Store Street Espresso haven’t read Danny Meyer’s book Setting the Table, they at least share a similar ethos. Every table at Store Street has a small bowl of raw sugar, even though the coffee doesn’t need a smidgen. In other words, each customer is free to enjoy their coffee the way they most enjoy. Accommodating your customer’s desires while staying true to your convictions can be a tightrope act, but Store Street pulls it off in style.
Square Mile in the Square Mile
Like so many other great London cafes, Store Street Espresso serves coffee roasted by London’s Square Mile Roasters and a rotating guest roaster. I enjoyed the guest espresso, but I was more impressed by my shot of the Red Brick espresso. The Red Brick was very sweet with a syrupy mouthfeel and berry flavor notes. Overall, a well-rounded espresso that tasted great straight and in my wife’s flat white.
I also enjoyed a V60 of Square Mile’s La Bolsa, Huehuetenango, Guatemala. I have had coffee from this farm roasted by a couple of other companies (such as Handsome and my own place of employment), but I loved Square Mile’s take on it. It was wonderfully sweet with a creamy body- an absolute joy to drink.
Store Street Espresso is just a few blocks from a number of London’s iconic attractions, including the British Museum, making it a welcoming haven to weary working folk and tourists alike.
Post made beautiful by photography from Ben Willis