A beacon of coffee gorgeousness on little Leather Lane is Prufrock, a new offering on London’s coffee tour.
Opened in 2011, Prufrock is headed by 2009 World Barista Champion Gwilym Davies, though the be-capped guru was absent during my visit.
It’s on Leather Lane, an up-and-coming spot away from the crowds. The Department of Coffee & Social Affairs is another cool cafe just down the road.
In the capital’s increasingly crowded coffee scene, Prufrock sparkles with originality.
It’s not, for example, the first to offer coffee by “siphon“, but it’s the first to rejoice in it, with these exotic chemistry sets greeting visitors before the more traditional espresso machine.
It all points to a place where coffee is king.
Despite this, I’m delighted to report that I didn’t experience any coffee snobbery (and boy, is there anything I hate more than coffee snobbery). The barista preparing the siphon asked if I’d had it before, and she suggested I let it cool for a few minutes to taste it at its best. Friendly advice.
So I let it cool, and it was terrific. Siphon coffee is beautifully crisp and clear, similar to coffee bewed in a Chemex and not a million miles from a cup of tea. If you prefer flat whites and espressos, these and more are available too, along with cakes and other sweet treats.
So it’s the ideal place for expanding coffee horizons, but it’s also a perfectly nice spot for nattering, whether you’re a coffee person or not. The stripped floorboards, a mix of paleness and colour, paraphernalia and funky chairs contribute to a pleasant environment.
I was chatting to one of the baristas about this blog. He seemed worried that Prufrock wouldn’t live up to the “cosy” requirement. What I really look for is character, friendliness and atmosphere, and I’m glad to say that Prufrock seems to have all these things.
With all that, plus superb coffee and a bit of imagination, it has to be up there with the very best in London.
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23 Leather Lane
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We visited on 12 April 2011.