I spend too much time reading about coffee.
I have no idea where, when or why I first heard of Prufrock Coffee. Was it when I read about the owner’s decision to start serving coffee by size instead of Italian-coffee name? Was it simply because the owner is a world-barista champion? Or maybe it was when I was looking for places to get coffee in London during my December 2011 trip? Prufrock coffee kept crossing my path because it’s one of the essential London cafes.
Accordingly, it should have been one of the first that I crossed off of my London cafe bucket list. The location on Shoreditch High Street is far away from my usual stomping grounds of West London. I was never in London long enough to justify the trip. When I saw that they had opened a big old cafe in Clerkenwell I was thrilled. This time there would be no excuses.
Prufrock, however, would be worth the long trip to East London. In fact, I’m a bit ashamed I thought it might not be. I missed out on so many brilliant cups of coffee because I was beholden to an imaginary clock? I’m crying inside.
Prufrock’s Leather Lane location is big. Big enough to never worry about finding space to sit down. Big enough to take a couple friends and spread out, perhaps over lunch or a lovely cake. They have a pour over bar up front, but most people were having espresso-based drinks with something to eat in the rear part of the cafe when I went.
I glanced at the drinks board for a moment, but only for a moment before ordering. Four ounces of espresso with milk was calling my name (that is, essentially, a cortado). Despite the fact that it was early afternoon, I got a croissant as well. I can (rarely) say no to a croissant and definitely not on a Sunday.
The espresso was made on a decorated La Marzocco that and served in the perfect duralex glass on a gorgeous robins egg blue plate. I took my bounty to a little table and sat down. I immediately felt at home. If I ever live in London, I’ll spend all my Sunday afternoons at Prufrock.
Of course, the coffee will be the major reason. My four ounce drink was rich and bright. It tasted perfectly purely of coffee, only enhanced by the milk. There was a definite citrus taste to this coffee, but with something a bit deeper and more vinegar-y (in the best way possible). The milk added a lovely richness to the coffee.
My croissant, well, it was a croissant from a coffee shop. It wasn’t great, but perfectly acceptable for dunking. Next time I go to Prufrock I will definitely order a proper meal as their food options look awesome.
There’s no reason a lover of good coffee should skip Prufrock when they’re in London. From the space to the drinks, this cafe offers the best of London’s specialty coffee scene.
Do you feel at home when you go into cafes? Do you like the idea of ordering coffee by size as opposed to name?