WordMonkey’s father was a head coffee roaster for one of Britain’s most established coffee houses in his previous life. And if I had any doubt that he knew his coffee, the photographs of the huge antique coffee roaster he had installed in his garage would put an end to that (who cares about putting a car in there when you had a roasting beast to look after). I have a Guest Post from him coming up from him soon on the very subject.
He had heard all of our stories from Melbourne and the coffee lifestyle we lead but had no real context to put it in. Until recently London has not heard the terms Cold Drip and aeropress and the like so I felt it my duty to take them to London and show him St ALi’s compact espresso bar that is just hidden off the insanely trafficked Oxford Street.
I had quizzed a few of my London friends who know coffee and found that Sensory Lab was part of their daily rounds when at work so I knew that it must be good to get their consistent patronage. It was interesting to hear from them that this was the one place in London that served your coffee with a glass of water. Yes we get it all the time in Melbourne but it was a point that set this place apart.
The space is schmick – designed for you to get a great coffee for your commute and head out the door. No snack menu other than a few pastries under the counter – you come to this place for one thing and one thing only – Good Coffee. You step in and you step out.
The service was fantastic with the baristas willing to strike up a conversation with all those that entered its doors– but there was nowhere else to hide so that has to come part and parcel.
It was great to show Father WordMonkey exactly what a coffee house has transformed into in this day and age. He was mightily impressed, as was I and can rest assured he will continue to pay this place a visit on his excursions to central London.
Sensory Lab has become my favourite place for Coffee on London – and that’s a huge title to give away in what is arguably the best city in the world.