Ever on the alert for new places to find good coffee, Greedy Girl and gluttonous husband found themselves wandering down London’s Oxford Street, ready to take the turn into the trendy Fitzrovia area and Kaffeine.

The area is home to lots of wholesale clothes stores and a cafe every few metres – all looking exceedingly groovy although Greedy Girl kept an eagle eye out to gauge the strength of what was in the cups. It all looked a little on the pale side.

Kaffeine London

Ultra-cool cafe, very strong coffee

On arrival at Kaffeine (yet another Australian expat in the coffee business) in Great Titchfield Street, it was like being transported back to Melbourne. Groovy, yet understated shop fittings were the perfect backdrop for uberstylish staff with the females all looking like they were channelling the late Amy Winehouse (in style terms, it should be said) with heavy eyeliner, bouffant rainbow-coloured hair and sporting lots of ink.

The cafe was established in 2009 when antipodean-style coffee would still have been a rarity in the Old Dart, although it came along much later than the New Zealand-themed Flat White, on the Soho side of Oxford Street which is generally accepted as the first such antipodean coffee palace in London. Indeed, there’s now a plethora of Aussie-owned/run cafes in London, particularly around Oxford Street, Soho and in the newly-groovy, edgy East End.

What sets them apart from the chains, locals and the quasi-Italian operators is, for the most part, the strength of the coffee. After some days in London where even a request for a strong caffe latte was just too milky, Greedy Girl decided to try a long macchiato at Kaffeine. It nearly blew her head off and she had to sheepishly wander back to the barista and ask for a small jug of frothed milk.

The coffee looks and tastes great. Macchiatos and espressos are served with a small glass of cold brew cascara on the side to help cleanse the palate afterwards. According to Kaffeine founder Peter Dore-Smith, cascara is the dried coffee cherry that the beans are found in. When Greedy Girl got in touch to ask what the chaser consisted of, he kindly wrote back to say the cherries are soaked overnight in a litre of water spiked with a few earl grey tea leaves. The mixture is strained each morning and kept in the fridge for doling out alongside the incredibly robust coffee. Peter says it’s also offered as a hot tea.

Kaffeine offers a range of snacks, salads, breakfast items and filled rolls. When Greedy Girl and gluttonous husband went back the next day, dragging La Reine Fille behind them, we partook of particularly light and flaky croissants and a decadent serving of banana bread.

Greedy Girl took particular delight in ordering a standard caffe latte (instead of having to ask for a strong brew/less milk). It was perfect.

Kaffeine is a coffee oasis just off one of London’s busiest streets. It’s a destination absolutely worth jumping on a tube train for. You can sit inside at tall benches or out, if the weather permits. At the time of visiting there was no wi-fi available – which is probably just as well. Greedy Girl would probably pull up her bench in the morning and find it hard to leave.


66 Great Titchfield Street, London W1
Kaffeine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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