This week I went to learn all about coffee brewing at Coffee Island. Coffee Island is a Greek coffee chain which has its only London branch in Upper Saint Martin’s Lane, just behind Leicester Square station.
Coffee Island is not like any other coffee shop I’ve ever been to. I was completely blown away by the amount of coffee science I witnessed. You can have your coffee brewed in five different ways! Say what? What Sam the barista did was make us the same coffee but brewed in all the different ways so we would could taste the difference.
Aeropress — Like a cafetiere but portable!
Chemex — Using a thick filter paper and a glass vessel, designed by a chemist in the 30’s it gives your coffee a cleaner, smoother texture. Stronger taste than using an AeroPress.
V60 — Also using filter paper, this produced a stronger flavour than the above two methods.
Syphon — Oldest way to brew coffee and the most fun to watch!
Ibrik ( aka Turkish/Sand Coffee)— My favourite out of the lot. A grainy coffee, much hotter and full of flavour with a thick crema.
Coffee Island sell all the brewing machines too which is handy if you fall in love with a particular type. As well as different brewing methods, you can of course choose from a number of different beans including flavoured coffees. Not only that a range of teas and iced coffees are also on the menu. There is so much, that it is slightly overwhelming knowing what to order but that’s why the super knowledgable baristas are on hand to help you out. These guys know their coffee. When I mean know, they really know everything (as you can see from the videos) and are so passionate about it.
As well as this, the barista can make you a custom blend of beans (whole, ground or in Nespresso compatible capsules) based on what kinda notes and type of coffee you like. Here is my custom blend:
For a minute I thought I’d been transported back to Chemistry A-Level lessons what with all the filter paper and bunsen burner type flames. Totally awesome. After all that coffee tasting I wanted something a bit different so I had the iced coffee (see pic below) which was super rich and delicious.
Coffee Island is like a science lab which doubles up as a cafe with lots of goodies like yummy cakes (Bakewell tart deserves a special mention), pastries, sandwiches and salads.
The science behind coffee is truly incredible — this place is a must visit for anybody who loves coffee.
Open from 7am-9pm every day. Free Wifi.
Halal Status: No halal meat. Alcohol: N, Pork:Y
Address: 5 Upper St Martin’s Ln, London WC2H9NY, UK. Nearest Station: Leicester Square.