Department of Coffee & Social Affairs

14-16 Leather Lane , London, EC1N 7SU

Department of Coffee and Social Affairs London cafe bar restaurant work space

SquareMeal Review of Department of Coffee & Social Affairs

It may be stuck with a kooky and rather ponderous bureaucratic moniker, but black-fronted DCSA is essentially a new-breed coffee shop set up by a couple of young guys from down under. Once an ironmonger’s, it has been recast and reconfigured as an uncluttered, caffeine-focused social hub supported by local designers and artists (their works are displayed on the café’s bare brick walls). As well as a range of coffees ground from seasonal beans, the drinks list also runs to hand-blended, loose-leaf teas, hot chocolate and juices. If solids are required, there are croissants and bowls of muesli for breakfast, followed by sandwiches, bagels and quiche at lunchtime; during the afternoon, caramel slices, Portuguese tarts and ricciarelli cookies come into their own. You can also hire the Department’s private room for coffee-fuelled meetings around a communal table.

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Nearby Tube/Rail Stations

Farringdon Tube Station 239m

Farringdon Station 245m


Address: 14-16 Leather Lane , London EC1N 7SU

Area: Clerkenwell Barbican

Opening times

Mon-Sun 7am-6pm (Sat-Sun 10am-7pm)


Food & Drink: 8.5

Service: 9.5

Atmosphere: 8.5

Value: 8.5

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Marc K. 07 June 2013

New to the area and always struggle to find a good coffee, especially one that will do soya or rice mile alternatives. This place is the third one I tried and from entering the building, you know they do good coffee., you get the aorma of burnt toffee, which I always associate with Fernandez & Wells. The coffee choices are great, the portuguese tarts are amazing, the sandwiches look ok (but I don't eat bread). The only thing they need is an alternative food to bread and sweet treats, like a good soup or stew or salad range, would make it for me. Otherwise, great place.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Richard E. platinum reviewer 18 April 2011

Kiwis – check Flat White – check Bare brick walls and trendy art – check Cool location – er, no. Yes, all the classic combinations for an achingly hip and trendy, so cool it hurts coffee shop are present but, instead of being in Hoxton or Soho, it is in a Leather Lane. Home to a daily tat market that makes Petticoat Lane market look like Harrods. The cool kids’ loss is the City’s gain. The coffee is seasonal, freshly roasted, ground in front of you and really rather good. Service is individual, with each cup/glass being lovingly created, so the wait is longer than at Starbucks. But hell, you get coffee here, not some hot, brown milk with shed-loads of syrup added to disguise the disgusting muck being served. Food is croissant and muesli (organic and free range, a bien sur), lunch is bagels and the like and afternoons come with lemon drizzle cake and Pasteis de Nata. Go. We need more coffee nerds like the founders: with any luck they’ll be taking over disused Starbucks and Costa Coffee venues soon.

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