If there's one thing Monmouth's got going for it, it would have to be heritage. Established in 1978 when they started roasting their own beans the company has gone from strength to strength. Hoards of Londoners with coffee know-how flock to Monmouth's various locations in the city. The original in Covent Garden sits pretty on Monmouth Street (but of course). On a drizzly London afternoon (but isn't that the usual) I came to visit Borough Market (more on that in a later instalment) and came for a caffeine pit stop.
|The straight and narrow - Monmouth in Borough. It wouldn't be London if you didn't use your brolly at least once a day, right?|
On my travels through London Town I can't help but establish a sort of coffee hierarchy in my head. You know how dear coffee is to my heart (see here). I found myself seeking out 'the best' based on recommendations from friends and my reading. It was a grand pursuit seeing how I love this city so much. You'll be pleased to know that Monmouth sits atop the list complete with gilded crown, sceptre and a herald of trumpets. You get my point (Australian expats rejoice!).
|Coffees on the fly. The four baristas work like the clappers all day but are still smiling!|
I have to admit, it's a very charming space and very Melbourne-esque. Apart from the queue, which is sometimes 2-3 people deep - the general hubbub feels like home. The corner block affords views of the market out the tall windows and if you're lucky enough to get a seat on the corner platform you have a bird's-eye view of this wonderful microcosm. On the large communal wooden table which is chock full of goodies, there is a 'smorgasbord' of freshly sliced baguettes, a gigantic slab of butter and a selection of delectable condiments. A group of Italian tourists were happily hoeing into it, all you can eat for £3.
|Cappuccino and espresso made with Monmouth Espresso blend. Tucking into this was like climbing into bed; comforting and smooth. No joke. This blend of beans is constantly evolving, old trusty you might say|
There aren't many bad things I can say about this place other than there's probably not enough seating so people are driven to the streets (and it's cold okay!) and the prices again are sky-high. For coffee that good I don't mind (hah), it just seems a necessary evil. Londoners seem to be slowly coming around to coffee culture (Welcome!). Monmouth is a great place to start but it's a shame they don't open on Sundays. In Oz, cafés are packed on a Sunday for brunch, an Aussie institution. I'd say, watch this space.
|The cool café interior, excuse the blur!|
After we had finished out coffees (boo) we proceeded to the shop counter for a tasting of the Finca Capetillo (Guatemalan). This was unbelievably good. With notes of milk chocolate and citrus supposedly. Whatever it is, it's bloody amazing. I barely ever (basically never) drink espresso but I am SO GLAD I made an exception, a freshly made espresso with a dash of milk. Clutching two bags of beans, I was one happy chappy heading out that roller door. The aroma that permeated through my suitcase was divine let alone sipping that first brew @ home. I can't believe I didn't try Monmouth last time I was here 2 years ago. Idiot.
|The rather mini pastry cabinet. Monmouth is ALL about the coffee and I'm okay with that. Find your eats at the market, but be sure to stop for a drink here!|
Thanks for reading!