Seeing as many of our clients are from the insurance industry which, with Lloyd's being built up around the legend of Edward Lloyd & his coffee house and most of us using the mighty coffee bean as a staple of our working day, we consider ourselves fortunate to be situated in Spitalfields within walking distance of many top-draw establishments. We thought we'd give a run down of our own top 5 places to grab a fine coffee around our office.
Straight in at number 5 with their no nonsense Italian approach of keeping it simple and doing it well – it's got to be Carluccio's. With a choice of 2 blends of coffee bean to choose from it's great for a quick take away en route to the office, even better when the sun is shining and the outside tables suddenly become a lot more appealing.
4. Mr Coffee
Generally you wouldn't think you'd get particularly good coffee from a mobile barista but trust us, Mr Coffee consistently serves up great coffee. Situated on Brushfield Street outside the RBS building this humble looking little coffee van does both a very good espresso and Italian cappuccino. None of the bucket sized portions being sold in the adjacent Starbucks - Mr Coffee keeps its drinks small and intense. Mr Coffee - He's so Frothy.
If there's a better way to start the day than with an Albion coffee and one of their freshly baked cheese and marmite rolls then we can't publish it here. The latest in Terrence Conran's offerings this Quaker/Shaker style minimalist all-day café has a real focus on great British food and drink. There is some great quality produce on offer as you enter along with freshly prepared food to takeaway or, if you have the time, then the sit down restaurant also serves some great British fare.
2. Foxcroft & Ginger
The new kid on the block - Foxcroft & Ginger are at the top of Commercial Street on Shoreditch High Street. They've had a shop on Soho's Berwick Street for a while and recently opened up in one of the containers in the new Shoreditch Boxpark pop-up mall a few months ago. The Boxpark itself is an experience worth visiting – a collection of shipping freight containers converted into retail spaces and offered out to companies on short-term lets. Using the Monmouth coffee blend they serve their coffee in a mismatch of china and glassware all adding to the quirkiness of it all. We're not sure what the deal is with the short-term lets but hopefully they will remain there for a good time to come.
1. Nude Espresso
Lamb's unanimous number one had to go to our old favourite a few doors up from us on Hanbury Street. Nude Espresso serves up delicious coffee made with their own signature blend roasted just around the corner in part of the old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane.
The most important thing is it is close by and it serves excellent coffee. They do great food too especially the biscotti and a particularly cheeky almond croissant incase you're in an indulgent mood. Run by Rich, a Kiwi who is passionate about his coffee. If you get the chance then make sure you try their flat white guaranteed to satisfy even the most pickiest of coffee snobs. In an area with some great coffee on offer Nude Espresso stands out amongst them all as one of London's best.
Tea Smith - not a coffee house so we couldn't include it in our top 5 but really worth a visit if you're ever in the area. They take making a brew to a new level at their teabar style shop, great tea, relaxing atmosphere and very informative when they are preparing your drinks. Exceptional teas indeed.
Market Coffee House - an old stable of the area, it hasn't lost any of its old school charm whilst the surrounding area has continuously modernised.
The Daily Grind - situated in Spitalfields market this place is always busy and bustling and has been the same ever since we've been here - great atmosphere.
Are there any coffee shops that we have missed off our list that you recommend we go and investigate? Leave us a comment and we will be sure to check it out.