Well, the theme continues. After yesterdays over day trip to Amsterdam I decided to take a day in London doing what I did most of yesterday: looking for and enjoying great coffee. With that as my main purpose for the day, I just had to go to one of my absolute favourite places, Monmouth Coffee by Borough Market.
Monmouth’s London roasted coffee is among the best you can get in the Big Smoke. I first came across it a couple of years ago when regularly frequenting a little coffee stall on Whitecross Street, close to the Barbican in the City. Before that I always had had to suffer the putrid liquids from Costa, Nero and other similar places. Not good, neither for heart nor soul. Now though, Monmouth Coffee is what I crave while in London.
The company started out on Monmouth Street, Covent Garden in 1978 and have ever since devoted as much time to fair trading and own sourcing as to the quality which the customers gets in the end. This, the care for coffee farmers in places like Colombia, Brazil, Kenya and Guatemala is what I find really great. If only other companies did the same. I know the big companies say they make an effort, but really, how personal can the guys from Starbucks really be when they visit Kenya to look for coffee beans? I can only guess.
So, when you’re in London I can’t stress strongly enough how much I think you should pay a visit to Monmouth for some great coffee. Take the Tube to London Bridge, walk out of the entrance and turn left in the direction of Borough Market. When you’re by the main entrance to the market you’ll find Monmouth Coffee opposite. It’s not even five minutes on foot from the station. They have really made the place cosy with the big till, lots of efficient and really nice staff and lush artisan bread and pastries which are so popular in London at the moment (and has been so for some time now, so I wonder what the next big thing will be. I have noticed an increasing interest for Afternoon tea among the people-who-count, so, might that be it?). The bare brick wall behind the till and deep forest green colour of the panelling and metal lamp shades create a wonderful, homely feel to the place regardless of the big opening towards the street outside. It fills a purpose in the summer though. With the marquee out it’s nice to stand out on the street and look at people as well as sit inside. And with a bit of luck you might catch a whiff from the sausage stall further up the road, serving up fresh and just-recently-grilled British sausages. If that can’t trigger your appetite and make for a great start for the rest of your day, nothing can.