Part of the motivation behind Bean Thinking is to slow down and notice things. What better way to do this than a “cafe-physics” review? If you find a good cafe, take some time to sit down and notice the science that is going on around you. If you have a cafe-physics review that you want to add to the map, click here.
All cafes that get a cafe-physics review have to have good coffee and are independent (with a few very rare exceptions). Please click the links below to access the cafe-physics review of a cafe near you.
Caravan, Kings Cross
It is a Saturday morning as I write this while sitting in Granary Square in Kings Cross, London. I’ve just enjoyed an Ethiopean filter coffee at Caravan. If only more cafes offered the possibility of sampling single estate coffees rather than the espressos that are otherwise so popular in London....
Granary Square, London N1C 4AA, United Kingdom
Brunswick House, Vauxhall
Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to try the coffee at Brunswick House. The old building which houses this cafe/restaurant sits on the corner of a major junction two minutes walk from Vauxhall tube station and feels somewhat out of place with the buildings around it. Inside, the incongruity continues with quirky decor and...
London SW8 2LG, United Kingdom
Esters, Stoke Newington
As a website based on the physics inside a coffee cup, it was only a matter of time before I visited Esters in Stoke Newington. The name has significance to anyone interested in the physics (or chemistry) of coffee and the signboard outside the shop confirmed it. Under the name, there is a zig zag underline that represents...
London N16 0EB, United Kingdom
|Arepa & Co|
Arepa & Co
Edmond Halley (of comet fame) was born in the London district of Haggerston in 1656. More recently, Arepa and Co a Venezuelan cafe located alongside the canal that runs through the district, has just celebrated its first birthday there. This cafe serves a variety.......
London N1 5SB, United Kingdom
Brutti & Boni
Brutti & Boni is a fairly new Italian cafe in South Kensington. Located at the less busy end of Gloucester Road, it was quiet when we popped in to try it a couple of weeks ago. The bright interior has light coming from a roof window at the back of the shop, though it seems that many people opt to sit outside with their espresso in the morning, watching the traffic go past. They serve Caffe Molinari....
London SW7 4RB, United Kingdom
|Joe's Espresso Bar|
Joe's Espresso Bar
A few weeks ago I happened to be near Joe’s espresso café bar on the corner of Medway St. and Horseferry Road, with around twenty minutes to spare. Joe’s is an old-style independent café, very focused on their lunch menu and take away coffees. Nonetheless, there is a decent sized seating area in a room adjacent to the ‘bar’ where you can sit with your coffee and watch the world go by......
London SW1P 2EF, United Kingdom
|Red Door, Greenwich|
Red Door, Greenwich
Red Door in Greenwich is a great escape from the bustle of the busy streets surrounding it. Although it was crowded when we visited, it was still possible to find a table and have a conversation without too much background noise. I had heard good things about Red Door and wasn’t disappointed. Good coffee (from Monmouth), nice cake and warm surroundings. Definitely a place....
London SE10 9JA, United Kingdom
|Notes, Covent Garden|
Notes, Covent Garden
*** NOW CLOSED ***
It was a cold and wet afternoon in early January when I finally had the opportunity to try Notes (Covent Garden branch). Inside, there were plenty of places to sit while warming up and drying off enjoying a coffee...
London WC2E 7BD, United Kingdom
|The Corner One|
The Corner One, Camden
While browsing London’s Best Coffee, I came across a recommendation for The Corner One in Camden. The Corner One is tucked away on a side street near Camden Lock. What a great recommendation. The café itself is quite small and could be described as ‘cosy’...
London NW1 7DJ, United Kingdom
Knockbox, Lamb's Conduit St.
Knockbox coffee is on the corner of Lamb’s Conduit Street and Dombey Street. It is a small place and we had to go twice in order to get a seat, though the compensation is that there are views all around the cafe (it being on a corner). I enjoyed a very good americano, made using Workshop coffee....
London WC1N 3NG, United Kingdom
|Iris & June|
Iris & June, Victoria
This post has been a long time coming. Over the past few months I’ve been popping into Iris&June to get take away coffee now and then and have got quite fond of the friendly service and good coffee. What I have not really had the opportunity to do (until recently) was sit and enjoy a coffee inside. Fortunately that’s now changed and I can add Iris&June to the Daily Grind...
London SW1P 1WG, United Kingdom
It was a few weeks ago now that I dropped into Coffee Affair on a Saturday afternoon and met Michael (who runs Coffee Affair along with ‘Mags’). What can I say? This place is worth visiting for so many reasons. Firstly of course there is the coffee, so much care and attention to detail...
London SW8 4LP, United Kingdom
|The Turkish Deli|
The Turkish Deli, Borough Market,
“Just as the air is more dense at sea-level than on a mountain top, so the granules of an emulsion, whatever may be their initial distribution, will attain a permanent state where the concentration will go on diminishing as a function of the height from the lower layers, and the law of rarefaction will be the same as for the air” (Jean Perrin)
London SE1 9AA, United Kingdom
|E & J's Pantry|
E & J's Pantry
*** NOW CLOSED ***
There are still a few areas of central London which seem a little short on good cafés. One such area lies just east of Covent Garden. So it was very fortunate that, on arranging to meet a friend nearby, I came across E&J’s Pantry on Endell St...
London WC2H 9AJ, United Kingdom
Skylark Cafe, Wandsworth Common
It is late spring in the northern hemisphere and when the weather is fine, what better way to spend it than with a coffee in the middle of Wandsworth Common at the Skylark Cafe? With a number of tables outside and, if the weather turns bad, several more tables inside, Skylark is a lovely place to spend some time...
London SW18 3RT, United Kingdom
The brand identifier of Workshop coffee is a diamond, a representation of which hangs on the wall as soon as you enter the Holborn branch. I had arrived at Workshop in order to try their coffee after I’d had a great espresso made with beans roasted by Workshop at Knockbox in Lamb’s Conduit Street...
London EC1A 2FD, United Kingdom
Espresso Base, Bloomsbury
Espresso Base is exactly the sort of café that you want to make sure that you know about, but part of you is selfishly quite happy if not too many others do. It is not that the the place is small, far from it. There is plenty of space in the courtyard at Espresso Base, beside St George’s Church....
London WC1A 2SE, United Kingdom
|Straits Times Kopitiam|
Straits Times Kopitiam, Aldgate
Despite the name, “Straits Times Kopitiam” is in Aldgate, London. Kopitiam translates to “coffee shop” and they can be found throughout Singapore and Malaysia. It’s not just coffee though, Kopitiams traditionally sell a wide range of fantastic noodles & rice dishes....
London E1 7PL, United Kingdom
White Mulberries, St Katherine's Docks
Five minutes walk from the Tower of London is an area that feels far removed, physically and metaphorically, from the crowds swarming around the central tourist sights. St Katherine’s Docks offer a peaceful retreat a stone’s throw away from the bustle of the Tower. And if you are in this area...
London E1W 1AT, United Kingdom
Violet is not quite where I expected it to be. I had expected it to be in a row of shops on a main street, instead it is tucked away, a little cafe in a back street in Hackney. Despite the relative anonymity, Violet has won awards for the quality of its cakes. Award winning cakes are hard to resist....
London E8 3ED, United Kingdom
Timberyard, Seven Dials
It is not often that you come across an independent café in central London that has great coffee, a good deal of space and seats available and so I found myself very happy to have come across Timberyard near Seven Dials. As I ordered my long black, I was presented with a choice of bean...
London WC2H 9DL, United Kingdom
|Damson & Co|
Damson & Co, Soho
At approximately this time of year, it is possible to start foraging for damsons in the UK countryside. These small plums make lovely cakes and muffins and, very importantly, great damson gin. A bit like sloe gin but, in my opinion, better. All this is a digression. When I found out about a cafe called Damson & Co I had to...
W1F 0RL, United Kingdom
OJO Coffee, KL
It is very easy to sit for a long time watching the people and the surroundings at OJO Coffee in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur. Initially I had thought that this medium-sized café with an impressive number of power points dotted around it was an independent. However similarities with CoffeaCoffee....
Jalan Telawi 3 Bangsar Baru Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
|Coffee Geek & Friends|
Coffee Geek & Friends
Earlier this year, a new café opened up in Victoria. Coffee Geek and Friends is located at the far end of Cardinal Place as you enter from Victoria Street. Cardinal Place is an odd sort of shopping centre, a small collection of shops with a glass roof. The building site near Coffee Geek...
London SW1E 5JL, United Kingdom
123 Gasing, PJ, KL
There are times when you can sit and observe things for quite a while before noticing the physics that becomes a cafe-physics review. There are other occasions when the subject of the review is staring you in the face indeed, it is practically there written for you, on a noticeboard in black and white....
123 Jalan Gasing Petaling Jaya Selangor Malaysia
There is a lot to like about the Wren cafe. Firstly, there is the space that it occupies (inside St Nicholas Cole Abbey). I went at lunchtime when the way that the light came through the stained glass windows made the cafe a very relaxing and open space. The coffee is from Workshop, complementary water ....
London EC4V 4BJ, United Kingdom
It is just possible that the name ‘Sarnies‘ may suggest a speciality at this cafe in Telok Ayer St. Singapore. And the sandwiches are definitely very good (I happened to visit one lunchtime), but don’t let this deceive you, the coffee is very good too and indeed Sarnies ...
136 Telok Ayer Street Singapore
Alchemy, St Pauls
Alchemy, “a seemingly magical process of transformation, creation or combination”, is certainly a cafe that lives up to the dictionary definition of its name. The branch, on Ludgate Broadway near St Pauls, is the outlet that ‘showcases’ the coffee of Alchemy Roasters. On walking into this cafe...
EC4V 6DU, United Kingdom
Mace, Damansara Uptown, KL
Perhaps Mace by Coffee Chemistry Signature in Kuala Lumpur should really have a “cafe-art” review rather than a “cafe-physics” review. Indeed, it was because of its latte art that Mace, which operates from a light and airy building in Damansara Uptown, Kuala Lumpur, had been recommended ...
42 Jalan SS 21/58 Damansara Utama Petaling Jaya Selangor Malaysia
J+A Cafe, Clerkenwell
Tucked down a little alley, in the back streets of Clerkenwell is the J+A Cafe. Not just a cafe, but also a bar, J+A is a satisfying place to find, particularly if you happen to find it serendipitously. As you head down the alley, the café is on your right ...
Sutton Lane, London EC1M 5PU, United Kingdom
The Devereux (pub), Fleet St.
The Grecian is steeped in history. One of London’s early Coffee Houses, it counted Isaac Newton and Edmond Halley among its regulars. Today it is the site of a pub, “The Devereux“, owned by Taylor-Walker. The building itself dates from the nineteenth century ...
Devereux Court, London WC2R 3JJ, United Kingdom
Ground Control, Clerkenwell,
Ground Control is a small little cafe on Amwell St. If you are in the Angel/Clerkenwell area it is well worth stopping by this interesting cafe which serves a variety of Ethiopian coffees. Of course they offer the normal espresso, Americano ....
Amwell Street, London EC1R 1UR, United Kingdom
|Briki, Exmouth Market|
Briki, Exmouth Market,
Traditionally made coffee always appeals to my sense of coffee history. Coffee made its way out of Ethiopea via Turkey and the method of brewing the finely ground coffee in a ‘cezve’ or ‘briki’ is one that goes back a long way. It’s therefore always interesting when a new cafe arrives on the scene that offers “Greek” or “Turkish” coffee on its menu. Briki, in Exmouth Market, opened in May...
Exmouth Market, London EC1R 4QL, United Kingdom
I came across Lumberjack last week while spending an afternoon in Camberwell looking for interesting cafes to “cafe-physics” review. I was actually on my way to a cafe further along the road when a couple of wooden structures in the window....
Camberwell Church Street, London SE5 8QZ, United Kingdom
|Brill, Exmouth Market|
Brill, Exmouth Market
Brill on Exmouth Market has quite a history. Originally a record store, it has evolved into a music shop/cafe more recently. On my recent visit, I ordered a very good Americano (beans from Officina Coffee Roasters) and although cakes were on sale...
Exmouth Market, London EC1R 4QL, United Kingdom
Amoret is a new addition to the coffee scene over in Hammersmith. Just up the road from the Hammersmith & City line entrance of Hammersmith tube station, I nearly missed this....
Beadon Road, London W6 0EA, United Kingdom
|Store St Espresso|
Store St Espresso, Bloomsbury
I finally got around to visiting Store St Espresso two weeks ago while visiting the nearby Institute of Making’s 3rd birthday science-outreach party. Although the café was crowded, we managed to find a place to perch while we enjoyed a soya hot chocolate, caffé latte and my V60. Beans are from Square Mile while the V60 and filter coffee options....
Store Street, London WC1E 7DB, United Kingdom
Black Penny, Great Queen St.
Back in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, coffee houses were places to go for debate, discussion or even to learn something new. The Grecian was known for science. Maths instruction (particularly for gambling) could be found with Abraham de Moivre (1667-1754) at Old Slaughter’s on St Martin’s Lane. Other coffee houses were meeting centres....
Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AA, United Kingdom
I was not initially going to do a cafe-physics review of Attendant. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy the coffee, I did. I had a very well prepared V60 which went very well with a lovely chocolate brownie. Nor was it that there was nothing to see at Attendant. No, it was quite the opposite. Part of the point of the Attendant seems to be....
Foley Street, London W1W 6DY, United Kingdom
|Fleet St Press|
Fleet St Press,
As the name suggests, there is a lot of history behind the café at 3 Fleet St (the Fleet Street Press). Not only is it just around the corner from the Devereux (which was once the “Grecian” where Halley met Newton), it is a few doors down from
Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1AU, United Kingdom
|Bond St, Brighton|
Bond St, Brighton,
A couple of weeks back, I tried the lovely Bond St. Coffee in Brighton on the recommendation of @paullovestea from Twitter. It was a Saturday with good weather and it turns out that this particular café is (understandably) very popular and so, sadly, to begin with we could only sit outside. That said, it was a lovely spring day (sunny but a bit chilly) and so it was quite pleasant ......
Bond Street, Brighton BN1 1RD, United Kingdom
There is something somehow inviting in the minimalism that greets you as you walk into Wa Café in Ealing. Behind the glass counter on your left are a series of colourful cakes along with pastries and buns containing more Japanese-style treats such as the Sakura Anpan (a roll filled with red bean paste). The drinks menu features the usual set of coffees with a more extensive tea ...
Haven Green, London W5 2NX, United Kingdom
|The Lanes Coffee House|
The Lanes Coffee House,
Hidden somewhere deep in “The Lanes” in Brighton is a great little café that goes by the (somewhat appropriate) name “The Lanes Coffee House". The Lanes is a set of old, narrow streets that form quite a maze, a great place to explore if you are a visitor to Brighton. There are two entrances to The Lanes Coffee House, which is fortunate ....
Ship Street, Brighton BN1 1AE, United Kingdom
Kaffeine, Eastcastle St,
It’s nearly 7 years since Kaffeine first opened its doors on Great Titchfield St, but Kaffeine on Eastcastle Street is a new addition having opened just over a year ago. We visited the younger Kaffeine a couple of weekends ago when looking for a coffee in the Oxford St area. Along with an iced coffee, an Americano and a long black, we had a raspberry/cashew slice and a slice of ...
London W1T 3AY, United Kingdom
Brickwood, Clapham Common,
It was raining heavily as we met friends for coffee at Brickwood, near Clapham Common, a few weeks back. Inside it was fairly crowded so we were shown to a cosy little area downstairs where we found a table. The staff were all friendly and with coffee roasted by Caravan, it was easy to sit and enjoy a great Americano while waiting for the others to arrive...
Clapham Common South Side, London SW4 7AB, United Kingdom
Kin Cafe, Fitzrovia,
I had been waiting for an opportunity to try Kin Cafe in Fitzrovia for a while. Having followed them on Twitter, I had been tempted by the large selection of great-looking vegetarian and vegan food choices tweeted almost daily. Although I’m no longer a vegetarian, appetising meat-free meals are always appealing. So it had been on my “to try” list ....
Foley Street, London W1W 6DT, United Kingdom
|Coffee Jar, Camden|
The Coffee Jar, Camden,
I had been waiting for an opportunity to try the Coffee Jar for a fair while. It is not that it is in a remote location, it is in fact situated on Parkway just five minutes walk from Camden or Primrose Hill. Nonetheless it feels as if it needed a special trip to get there (and, though this is pre-empting the end of this cafe-physics review, it does deserve such a ‘special trip’)....
Parkway, London NW1 7PP, United Kingdom
|Jaz + Jul's, Chapel Market|
Jaz & Jul's Chocolate House,
The London coffee houses of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries have entered history as Penny Universities, places of debate and centres of news. Together with the (scientifically based) Grecian, there was Jonathan’s in Exchange Alley (origin of the stock exchange) and Lloyd’s on Tower Street (associated with insurance). But along side....
Chapel Market, London N1 9EZ, United Kingdom
|Chin Chin Labs|
Chin Chin Labs, Camden Lock,
It is true that Chin Chin Labs is not really a coffee-based café (although it does serve decently prepared, Monmouth roasted, coffee). Nonetheless, there is no question but that it has to be included as a cafe-physics review on Bean Thinking. Why? The answer is in the photo of the coffee grinder, though you may have to look carefully. You see, Chin Chin Labs...
Camden Lock Place, London NW1 8AF, United Kingdom
Of all the senses, our sense of smell is probably the one that is most likely to evoke memories that can take us right back to our childhood. One whiff of something as we walk past a café can, almost magically, transport us back many years and to a quite different time and place.....
4 Aldwych England, United Kingdom
|Farmstand, Covent Garden|
Farmstand, Covent Garden,
How can we live sustainably, buying locally, being mindful of our ecological footprint and still drink coffee? A recent trip to Farmstand on Drury Lane revealed a café conscious of its environmental responsibilities, somewhere that is trying to help us to make a difference while still enjoying good food and great coffee....
London United Kingdom
|Ginger and White, Hampstead|
Ginger and White, Hampstead,
It was late afternoon by the time we stopped by Ginger and White in Hampstead. The warm weather meant that we could enjoy time spent sitting outdoors in the little alleyway in front of the café. We had been taking a friend around the various sights (and foodie places)...
Perrin's Court England, United Kingdom
|Rag & Bone Coffee, Westminster|
Rag and Bone Coffee, Westminster,
Can a coffee cart provide the time and space for reflection and enjoyment of a coffee just as a sit-down cafe can? In seeking an answer to this question (as well as on a quest to find more great coffee in the Victoria/Westminster area), I turned up at Rag & Bone coffee on Great Peter St. It was quiet when I arrived in the courtyard of St Matthew’s Church,
Great Peter Street England, United Kingdom
|Pattern, Kings Cross, |
Pattern, Kings Cross,
In 2018, the Institute of Physics will move to Kings Cross and into what is being called the “Knowledge Quarter”, an area incorporating the British Library, the newly opened Francis Crick Institute and the University of the Arts, among others. Coffee houses have, in the past, been integral to the development of knowledge, places where scientists, artists and the generally interested would meet to discuss....
Caledonian Road England, United Kingdom
|Muni, Fulham Road|
Muni, Fulham Road,
The area around Fulham Road and Chelsea & Westminster hospital is one that has long been fairly empty of speciality coffee establishments. Then, in June this year, Muni opened up on Fulham Road (just over 200 m from the main entrance of the hospital, in case you are visiting and looking for a good café nearby)...
166 Fulham Road England, United Kingdom
|Artisan, East Sheen|
Artisan, East Sheen,
139 East Sheen Lane, SW14 8LR
Artisan, on East Sheen Lane, is one café in a small chain of coffee shops in West London (four cafés at the time of writing). Although there was plenty of seating inside, most tables were already taken when I arrived shortly after lunch suggesting that this is a very popular local café....
London United Kingdom
|Pulp, Bangsar, KL|
29-01 Jalan Riong, Bangsar, KL,
There have been a few great cafés opening up recently in Kuala Lumpur, including Pulp by Papa Palheta in Lucky Gardens. However the space that Pulp occupies is unrivalled: The old cutting room of the Art Printing Works. It really is geek meets....
Pulp by Papa Palheta Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
8 Lengkok Abdullah, Bangsar,
The first thing that struck me as I entered Bean Reserve in KL was the geometry. Somewhat hidden along a street behind Jalan Maarof, Bean Reserve offers a quiet space amidst the bustle of Bangsar. The 2D representation of a 3D object that is Bean Reserve’s logo....
8 Lengkok Abdulah Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
4 Bridge House, Chamberlayne Road, NW10 3NR
It was fairly late on a February afternoon that we came upon Cable Co on Chamberlayne Road, (opposite Kensal Rise station). With a fairly ‘industrial’ type look, there are plenty of tables at the edge (and in the window) of the café at which to enjoy your coffee....
Chamberlayne Road England, United Kingdom
|Le Peche Mignon|
Le Péché Mignon
6 Roland's Road, N5 1XH
It was a balmy February morning when I met an old friend at Le Péché Mignon on Ronalds Road near Highbury and Islington. I had first come across Le Péché Mignon a few months ago when I had had a lovely coffee (and a great cake, I remember the staff being very helpful....
Ronalds Road England, United Kingdom
|Over Under Coffee|
Over Under Coffee,
181A Earls Court Road, SW5 9RB
Whenever I’m heading somewhere that I haven’t been to for a while, I check the London’s Best Coffee app to see if any new cafés have popped up in the area since my last visit. So when I was in Earls Court recently....
Earl's Court Road England, United Kingdom
A long black, flat white (with soya milk) and a tea. Yes, you could say we spent a fair while at Vagabond in Highbury the other week. It was a lovely space to catch up with an old friend again.....
Holloway Road England, Vereinigtes Königreich
One motivation behind Bean Thinking is to explore those connections that can be found when we stop to really look around us. Whether your interest is in history, philosophy or science, something in a café will prompt a train of reflections that can lead to interesting and surprising thought journeys. This is surely true for anybody in any café, if we just take the time to slow down....
St. John Street England, United Kingdom
|A Wanted Man, Chelsea|
A Wanted Man, Chelsea,
“We cannot do without a view, and we put up with an illusion, when we cannot get at a truth“.
A Wanted Man on Chelsea’s Kings Road is unusual in many respects. Firstly, never before have I been to an espresso ‘canteen’, but then, neither have I had a coffee in a café that is part coffee-shop part waxing salon. While both wax.....
King's Road England, United Kingdom
|Coffee is my cup of tea, Hackney|
Coffee is my cup of tea, Hackney,
There is a lot of truth in the name of this café. “Coffee is my cup of tea” in Hackney is a lovely retreat, a place where you can take time to enjoy whatever drink is your cup of tea. Walking through the door, you are presented with a few wooden tables and a cocktail menu on the wall. A breath of calm....
Dalston Lane England, United Kingdom
|Wilton Way, Hackney|
Wilton Way cafe, Hackney,
There are two things that may strike you as you walk past Wilton Way café. The first is the prominent La Marzocco espresso machine on the counter. The second is the “ON AIR” sign in the corner next to the window. Indeed, it is best to look out for these two as there didn’t seem to be any other sign indicating that this café was the Wilton Way cafe, home to the London Fields Radio that is broadcast...
Wilton Way England, United Kingdom
|Batch & Co, Streatham|
Batch & Co, Streatham Hill,
A short while ago, on the advice of London’s Best Coffee(and Beanthere.at), I headed along to Streatham to try a couple of cafés including Batch & Co along Streatham Hill Road. The café is quite modern and cubic with plenty of tables at which to sit and enjoy some good coffee and food. Another interesting recommendation from these sites to add to....
Streatham Hill England, United Kingdom
|Estate Office Coffee, Streatham|
Estate Office Coffee, Streatham.
Could it really be true that the tables were reclaimed school science desks? I had read a review of Estate Office Coffee by Beanthere.at on London’s Best Coffee that had made this surprising claim (together with favourable comments about the coffee and cakes). Like a red flag to a bull, a visit was inevitable. Would there be any clues left on the tables as reminders of the past history? In the absence of many photos of the interior of the café, my mind wandered....
Drewstead Road England, United Kingdom
|Penny, Old Vic|
Penny, Old Vic
A café with good coffee in a theatre? I admit to being a little dubious when I first read about Penny at the Old Vic. Fortunately, there was no reason to be concerned. Penny serves Workshop coffee in an unusual setting (even accounting for the fact it is in a theatre). Going through the doors to the Old Vic, you turn left and head down a staircase to the basement where a long counter stretches out in front of you and to your right...
The Cut England, United Kingdom