In the 15 years since I moved to London, the city has really upped its game when it comes to coffee. I consider myself fortunate to be able to find a genuine Italian caffe’, and that there are so many wonderful artisanal coffee shops that offer a relieving alternative to the coffee conglomerates of the world.
One of my latest favourites is Workshop Coffee.
Mind you, there are a handful of branches and I’ve tried more than one, but my recent favourite happens to be the one in Holborn. I’ve been coming here weekly for a few weeks now, and I’m impressed at how the barista Judd already knows me by name and has my order memorised (which just happens to be a flat white with brownie bite, every time).
So, it almost goes without saying that the coffee is delightfully delicious. What’s more, there is a consistency to it that isn’t something I’ve seen before. In part because they weigh their ground coffee to ensure each portion is the same. (I’m sure that’s done as much to accurately forecast inventory orders and such, but it also ensures your coffee tastes the same every time.)
The coffee to milk proportion is perfect, and the milk artwork is beautiful. It’s a perfect flat white, every time. But you know, that brownie bite is just as amazing. I always feel like brownie bites – partly because of their smaller size – tend to get quite dry. The brownie bite at Workshop Coffee is soft and moist, and the chocolate is so rich that you really only need a “bite” (which to me feels more like two or three bites). And, it’s served on a lovely dessert dish which makes it feel all the more like a real treat.
They offer a much wider selection of pastries and cakes, all which look delicious – but I haven’t yet been able to bring myself to start the day with such a guilty treat. One day, no doubt!
Because of their location, they tend to cater more for the working professional community in the area: that’s why they open as early as 7am and close at 6pm. It’s also why much of their space is designed for a quick coffee rather than a long stay. Besides a couple of stools in the front and some standing tables in front of the counter, there are some seats in the back which are a little more comfortable. This includes some soft benches and about four armchairs. But the area faces the open door and on a winter day that’s not the most inviting thing for a long stay.
The flat white and the brownie bite come to a total of 3.95 GBP. I can’t recall the split between the two items, but it feels a little on the high side. I’ve found on average that an artisanal coffee in the City will come to about 2.79, give or take a few cents. So, if the rest of that is the brownie then it seems a bit much; if instead the coffee is a bit more then it is higher than many competitors. I’m not saying it isn’t worth it! But I am noting it for both my own as well as your benefit as something to bear in mind.
All that said, I really do love a coffee from Workshop Coffee. It’s the weekly treat I’ve since learned to look forward to, and should you find yourself in the vicinity of one of their branches, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed if you treat yourselves to their delights as well.
*Calories: A flat white has been roughly estimated at 75-85 calories; the brownie bite at about 60, but I have a feeling I might be under by around 10%. As a result, I’d err on the side of caution if you’re calorie counting.
Food taste: 4 / 5 (both coffee and brownie bite)
Food/table presentation: 4 / 5 (mainly focused on food presentation as there is no true table service or dining tables)
Service: 4 / 5 (friendly staff that remembers locals)
Atmosphere/decor: 3 / 5 (clean and modern but relatively bare)
Value for money: 3.5 / 5 (on the higher than average side, but it IS really good)
Overall rating: 3.7 / 5