This is what a coffee shop should look like. The New (Coffee) Republic!

Posted: November 17, 2016 in Writing

coffee-repIt’s no secret that I spend a lot of time in coffee bars. I write in them, I stop off for a quick espresso during long runs, I eavesdrop the conversations of random weirdos. And I like the indies and I like the big guys, but rarely does one place get everything right: great coffee, happy staff, nice décor, good food and so on.

I think Coffee Republic gets the closest.  I reviewed the Finchley branch a while back, but just a few weeks ago we got one in Muswell Hill. They’re competing against the big three¹  all within a few hundred yards and they win on most counts. Starbucks usually feels spacious and Californian², Costa has the best coffee and Nero has the nicest food but has ridiculous opening hours (6pm? Really? You’re kicking me out at 6pm? So, like, I’ve got to go home now?³)  Coffee Republic has good coffee, the politest and most affable staff and the food is really good. It’s just variations on the panini kind of thing, but I haven’t hit a bad sandwich yet. This one img_4121281 was the ham hock and mustard, the least exciting I’ve had so far and still really tasty. The Muswell Hill branch doesn’t have the bare brickwork and stripped wood NYC feel of the Finchley branch  and tbh the lighting’s a little brutal, but it’s still my no.1  choice in the N10 ‘hood right now. Go take a look, if only for the charming barista crew!

¹That’s Nero, Costa and ‘Bucks not Woodrow Wilson, David Lloyd George and Georges Clemenceau, the key players at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, in case there was some confusion.

²I know they’re from Seattle, I’m just saying it feels Californian.

³And they can be a little, you know, brusque about it too!

 

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