Monmouth is regularly touted as the best coffee shop in London. There is much hype surrounding the place, which usually means only one thing… an earth shattering disappointment is in store.
A coffee shop attracting such acclaim from caffeine fuelled Londoners can’t be bad, can it? Can we believe the hype?
There’s only one way to find out, one must sample their delicious brewed nectar. Easier said than done, the queue here oft stretches to the very ends of the Earth.
So, before you even try the coffee you must assess whether the coffee is worth queuing for. This can cause quite a predicament.
Whilst in the queue I made my assessment, an assessment which turned out to be of even greater importance than first imagined because, shortly afterwards, it began to piss it down with lovely wet rain all over my head.
Here’s what I came up with:
1) Everyone says it’s good.
2) It’s in Borough Market. Everything in Borough Market is good.
3) There’s always a queue.
4) They do nice patterns in your flat white.
So I decided that yes, I would queue. A decision which really wasn’t mine to make, because they cunningly take your order whilst you’re standing there trying not to drown, trapping you.
We went for a flat white (of course) and a cappuccino – both £2.25.
As you inch ever closer to the front you are smacked in the face by the smell of coffee and awakeness. It smells delicious and delectable and a whole lot better than other coffee shops.
Once you have smelled this smell you are forever trapped. A similar to the tactic to that of McDonald’s and Subway – but here the smell is of fresh coffee, rather than three day old lard and all the world’s calories.
The queue moves along the Monmouth conveyor belt, entertaining the masses with the sleek operation they’ve got going on. An army of baristas buzz about preparing coffee for half of the city, whilst the other side of the shop is taken up by a big wooden table where you can sit and stuff yourself with bread and jam for £3.10. A bread and jam buffet, if you will.
The coffee is made with organic Jersey whole milk made by a specific person called Jeff in Somerset – and that’s that. No skimmed, semi-skimmed and definitely no soy. If you’re lactose intolerant Monmouth don’t care. They also have special sugar, obviously, which is organic, of course. It’s from Assukkar, Costa Rica, FYI.
When the coffee arrives a lady in WILD glasses pours milk in and does a little pattern for you. Then you trot off out to assess ‘the best coffee in London’.
Not being a coffee connoisseur I cannot comment using the particular coffee type words such as ‘notes of dark chocolate and glorious summer days’ or ‘nods to pencil lead, oak and sumptuous leather furnishings’, but I can tell you it was a bloody good coffee. Would I queue in the rain for another one? Possibly.
The Verdict: Could be the best coffee in London. I’ll continue the research.
7/10 – (Points deducted for lack of milk options. I like a skinny latte, alright?)
Monmouth Coffee Company
2 Park Street
London SE1 9AB