If you worship at the altar of caffeine, Brick Lane is your mecca this week: The London Coffee Festival returns to the Old Truman Brewery from Thursday to Sunday. In anticipation of four days of leg-twitching, The Square Meal office is sharing its favourite places for a fix in the capital. We’ll also be teaming up with Lavazza to co-host a Twitter Q&A this Thursday, with Coffee Festival guest speaker and The Guardian food writer Matthew Fort. Jump on our beanwagon and read on…

London Coffee Festival 

With UK Coffee Week kicking off on Monday 4 May, The London Coffee Festival is a good way to work out where and what to drink in the capital, with 160+ exhibitors including suppliers like Climpson & Sons, Allpress and Nude and bean peddlers including Caravan, Gail’s and Notes. Expect approximately 22,000 people to descend on the Old Truman Brewery this week, each one more jittery than the last thanks to the free samples. Get your sweaty palms on a ticket here.

As well as coffee showcasing, the festival hosts a programme of guest speakers in its ‘Lab’ which this year includes The Guardian food writer Matthew Fort (pictured), leading a talk entitled ‘The Place of Coffee in My Life’. In association with Lavazza – who are celebrating 120 years in business this year – we’ve nabbed some Twitter time with Matthew this Thursday from 1-2pm, when we’ll be giving you the chance to put your questions to him. Follow us @SquareMeal and send us questions for Matthew using #AskMatthewFort.

Coffee thirst kicking in? The only way to counteract withdrawal is to dive straight back in, so read on to find out where the Square Meal office goes for a fix.

 

Archer Street, Soho

“The Coco in Acapulco cocktail offers the double whammy of Don Julio tequila and espresso sweetened with agave syrup and a dash of coconut.”

Adam Wyartt, advertising account director

 

Hawksmoor, Air Street, Guildhall, Knightsbridge, Seven Dials, Spitalfields

“The Espresso Martini – enough said.”

Camilla Warr, restaurant relations manager

Twitter @camillawarr


Caravan, King’s Cross

“They have all kinds of cracking, out of the ordinary breakfast choices and excellent cakes, but the cherry on top of it all is always the coffee. It is just amazing.”

Gaëlle Laforest, Imbibe editorial assistant
Twitter @gaellelaforest and Instagram @gaellelaforest


Duck & Waffle, City

“The Ristretto Negroni is made with Bombay Sapphire gin, vermouth, amaro and then it’s all slow-dripped through coffee.”

Sasha Filimonov, Imbibe and Best Bars business development manager
Twitter @sashasips and Instagram @sashasips


L’Anima Café, City

“Affogato is probably the best flipping pudding in the world (a shot of espresso poured over ice cream) and L’Anima Café has delicious vanilla ice cream and great espresso. When combined…good God!!!”

Ed Warr, Square Meal events planner
Twitter @whatmorefood and Instagram @morefromthewarr

 

The Lockhart, Marylebone

“For a splash of crazy, The Lockhart makes a red-eye gravy which is made with espresso and is now on my death-row gravy list.”

Sonja van Praag, Imbibe commercial manager
Instagram @sonantics

 

The London Cocktail Club, Goodge Street, Great Portland Street and Shaftesbury Avenue

“I had one (or three) of the Affogato Martinis recently and they’re immense – a great twist on an Espresso Martini.”

Owen Boniface, advertising account manager
Twitter  @owenboni

 

Monmouth Coffee, Borough Market

“Despite the kaleidoscope of sights and smells coming from the market, somehow the waft of a freshly brewed Monmouth rises above it all and you can’t help but follow your nose…”

Lucy Britner, staff writer and sub editor
Twitter @britner

 

Polpo, Covent Garden, Chelsea, Notting Hill, Shaftesbury Avenue, Smithfield, Soho

“The affogato at Polpo - heaven!”

Nissa Naik, advertising account manager
Twitter
@nissanaik

 

Rabot 1745, Borough Market

“Cracking cocktails with coffee and chocolate. And just great coffee. I had so many once I nearly gave myself a heart attack.”

Millie Milliken, staff writer
Twitter @milliemilliken

 

Soho Grind, Beak Street

“The Grind collective offers coffee/cocktail combos in every branch, but for me Soho wins with a separate basement bar and the spicy Short Mexican cocktail: tequila, cayenne and cracked coffee beans.”

Neil Simpson, Deputy News and Online Editor
Instagram @nrichsimps

 

Zuma, Knightsbridge

“The espresso Martinis here taste great and come lovingly garnished with super-slim, broken fragments of Zuma-branded black chocolate.

Charles Meynell, advertising director

 

Don’t forget to follow us @SquareMeal and send questions to #AskMatthewFort for our Q&A, this Thursday 30 April at 1pm.

 

This article was published 27 April 2015