It may just be how much I love T.S. Elliot, but I’ve wanted to go to Prufrock Coffee since it opened. The fact that it’s owned and operated by former World Barista Champion Gwilym Davies and was recently named the best coffee shop in London by a leading food blogger… well those are just added incentives.
The shop is located on Leather Lane and is a short (and rather nice) walk from the Farringdon or Chancery Lane tube stops. They serve coffee from Square Mile and Hasbean, have an impressive array of brew options (espresso, siphon, woodneck, v60), really fancy equipment (including a reverse osmosis system for making London tap water more suitable for coffee), and have a friendly and highly trained staff. Unlike some of London’s other leading coffee shops, Prufrock also has a lot of great seating and wifi. I, however, opted to sit at the bar and chat with some of the baristas.
I started out with the Red Brick Espresso, first as a single shot, than in milk. As espresso, it had a nice sweet start with a tart finish that made for an interesting contrast. It tasted even better in milk, as the cherry notes really came through. It wasn’t my favorite espresso I had in London, but it was enjoyable and well prepared.
My favorite coffee I drank at Prufrock was the Ethiopia Kebado Dara I had on siphon. As a brew method I really like siphon (though I’ve yet to add it to my home brewing arsenal). It can really accentuate the more delicate tastes and aromas of a coffee and the cloth filter makes for a very clean cup. But it’s also very finicky (i.e. very easy to mess up) and it’s rare to find a cafe with the expertise or time to offer it on bar. In this case the Kebado Dara was prepared with precision and yielded a sweet mixed-berry juiciness. The mouth feel I thought was a bit thin, but that may just be because I’m an American.