Afternoon tea may be big business in London but the capital's coffee culture is buzzing and the city is home to an ever growing number of quality coffee shops. We've combed the capital to serve up the finest cups of Joe in town.
Part of the Hoxton Hotel in Holborn, this hipster java joint serves early morning lattes right through to late-night coffee-infused cocktails. Prime signature coffee blends are served alongside an edited breakfast menu featuring smashed avocado on toasted sourdough and porridge with coconut milk. Snacks are available throughout the day. In the evening, take a seat at the long bar and sip an espresso martini or a flat white Russian.
Nearest tube station: Holborn.
This Scandinavian-style cafe on Golden Square is a great choice for a fika fix (the Swedish tradition of pairing coffee and cake). The cool, minimalist interiors provide a calm escape from nearby Soho's neon-lit streets but the coffee is served hot and strong. Nordic treats including rye bread sandwiches, oven pancakes with blueberry jam and cinnamon buns are served from the in-house bakery.
Nearest tube station: Piccadilly Circus.
Expect to wait in line for a caffeine fix at this Covent Garden hot spot. The shop may be small but it's been a major player on the coffee scene since it first started serving strong brews in 1978. The fine roasted filter coffees are all ethically sourced from single farms, estates and cooperatives and there's always a tasty selection of cakes and pastries on offer. There are additional shops in Borough Market and Bermondsey. Monmouth's HQ and roastery on Maltby Street can be visited by appointment only.
Nearest tube station: Covent Garden.
This buzzy coffee shop near Old Street's Silicon Roundabout has been energizing the neighborhood's tech start ups since 2012. Beans are roasted in the industrial-chic basement which is decked out with exposed brickwork, brushed metal and leather booth seating. A traditional drum roaster is used to create their own blends and the shop serves a tempting selection of brunch dishes.
Nearest tube station: Old Street.
When it comes to coffee culture, Australia is way ahead of the game so it's no surprise that some of London's best coffee shops are run by Aussies. One of central London's finest Antipodean outfits is Kaffeine, a smart spot in the heart of Fitzrovia. The potent brews are made using a Synesso Cyncra machine (known in the industry as the holy grail of espresso machines). There's a weekly changing menu of savory dishes and a counter piled high with baked treats.
Nearest tube station: Tottenham Court Road.
As hip as the namesake magazine, this stylish cafe sits on a beautiful street in village-like Marylebone. The brews are from London-based Allpress Espresso and the food has been sourced from all over the world, including pastries from Stockholm's Fabrique bakery and cakes from Japanese-run patisserie, Lanka. The Scandinavian blonde-wood interiors provide a serene pit stop from nearby Oxford Street.
Nearest tube station: Baker Street.
Bar Italia, Soho
Open 24 hours a day, this Soho stalwart is the perfect spot for a late night (or early morning) pick me up. Opened in 1949 by Lou and Caterina Polledri, it soon became a hub for London's Italian community and many of the original fixtures including the red and white formica tables and the Gaggia espresso machine remain. It's a popular spot to watch European football matches as the lively crowds often spill onto the streets of Soho.
Nearest tube station: Leicester Square.
Federation Coffee, Brixton
This small but perfectly formed spot in Brixton Village may have a laid-back vibe but it's serious about coffee. The espresso menu changes constantly to keep things interesting for curious caffeine heads and the beans are roasted at a nearby market unit. Pastries come courtesy of the Brixton-based Brick House Bakery and heartier dishes are from Salon Brixton.
Nearest tube station: Brixton.