Living in East London it seems as though a new coffee shop is popping up every five minutes. With so many cafes vying for your affections it can be a little confusing which one you should visit. There are books out there and even festivals, all hoping to point you in the right direction. So I thought I’d add my two cents and let you know about my favourite coffee spots in East London. The one thing that makes this post stand out from all the others? I can’t drink caffeine. You’re probably sat there with a look of shock on your face, wondering how I can even begin to explain myself. Well I’ve actually come upon some amazing cafes that also offer decaffeinated coffee. In the self-confessed land of coffee snobs, that’s a pretty big feat! It’s also not that easy to find decafe coffee that actually tastes like, well, coffee. Ben is usually in tow too though, and he does drink coffee, so I always end up asking him “Hows’ the coffee?” Boy do I miss coffee!
Anyway, sit back, relax and enjoy my alternative guide to coffee in East London.
Yellow Warbler – Northwold Road, Stoke Newington
YW is new to the world of coffee and to Stoke Newington. It’s off the main high street but that doesn’t mean that it packs any less of a punch. Looking at the menu you wouldn’t expect any decafe, however their table menu would prove you wrong. I ordered a cappuccino and found it to be chocolatey and sweet. Still, it had a genuine coffee taste to it, rather than an artificial flavour like some decafe. The South American street food on offer is also worth a mention, although it is a little on the pricey side.
Brick Lane Coffee – Brick Lane
Whilst you’re browsing the numerous vintage clothing stores on Brick Lane you may find yourself a little thirsty. Luckily, Brick Lane Coffee is smack bang in the middle of all the excitement. Their choice of coffee is impressive, ranging from banana frappes (which are amazing in the current heatwave) to a dirty chai (that’s a chai latte with a shot of espresso). They do also offer decafe and soya milk options for those who may not want to partake though. The coffee ‘alternatives’ are delicious and are definitely worth trying out.
Beyond Retro Cafe – Stoke Newington High St, Dalston
Beyond Retro don’t only cater to vintage loving fashionistas. Their Dalston store also offers somewhere for you to put your feet up after you’ve had a tough day shopping. They offer a variety of coffee-centric drinks, as well as decafe and soya options. The drinks are reasonably priced without forgoing quality. I also love their gluten-free food options, and the free Wi-Fi, of course.
The Hawkhurst Vault – Brick Lane
Ok ok, THV is actually a tea room, but it does also sell coffee. So what better alternative for the non-coffee drinker than tea? That way you and your coffee loving friends can enjoy the best of both worlds. Shhh don’t tell the coffee lovers I mentioned tea.
Ozone Coffee Roasters – Leonard St, Shoreditch
Ozone take coffee pretty seriously, which can be a little daunting for those who don’t drink it regularly. However the surroundings in Ozone’s Shoreditch cafe will definitely put any worries to rest. With two massive floors there’s plenty of space and atmosphere to soak up. I couldn’t see any decafe options on their menu, but I did love their inclusion of hot chocolate – my caffeine-free choice when decafe isn’t around. The chilli hot chocolate is to die for, and their coffee certainly impressed my friends.
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed my mini round-up of the best alternative coffee stops in East London. If you’ve enjoyed it and are still on somewhat of a caffeine high, check out Currys post about the UK’s love for coffee.