Barlove: London Coffee Society

I must confess to being immune to most modern diet fads- and am proud of it too. Just the other day, when a creative cook sneaked super healthy broccoli onto my otherwise excellent ravioli I felt as happy as a T-Rex ogling the horizon to discover a giant ball of hell’s fire headed straight for the valley where it was peacefully feasting on some smaller, (un)luckier dinosaurs. Thus, I was somewhat hesitant when upon my first visit to the recently opened London Coffee Society I was faced with a lactose and gluten free pomegranate and orange cake- though at least it wasn’t paleo, for paleo is my sworn enemy. Firstly, because two paleo coconut rolls made an attempt on my life and secondly because I find it pretty presumptuous on our side to assume we know exactly what people ate during the Paleolithic. (Apparently that’s very expensive cookies wrapped in recycled paper.)

Returning to the serious matter of the pomegranate-orange cake, and also mentioning that pomegranate is probably the only ‘super food’ I like, and liked even before it was cool, I have to confess it was quite exquisite. The polenta cake sounded a bit scary as well- but was very tasty too. We even got free pumpkin muffin samples from the absolutely lovely staff, and of course no one in their right might can resist a free sample, especially if it’s delicious.

We could thus conclude that London Coffee Society fares pretty well on the cake front, but the essential question was still left to be answered, namely, what about the coffee? When the first specialty coffee bars opened in Budapest the quality was pretty high no matter which one you chose, but as newer and newer ones kept popping up some were just simply not up to the mark. It was therefore a great relief to discover that the coffee is at least as good as the cakes- and it comes without the baggage of a long lecture about which beans to choose. There is nothing inherently wrong with specialist coffee banter, but some baristas just can’t hold back from waxing lyrical about the peachy notes of a particular harvest when all you want is your well-deserved shot of (excellent) caffeine. Since that was exactly what I received, and it also came in a fetching little glass, happiness was therefore complete.

The interior is quite clean and functional with some English touches, but mercifully not overwhelmingly many and he location doesn’t hurt either- Dohány street is smack in the middle of my daily route, but just far enough from other approved coffee spots to become an essential addition to the life sustaining network. I might have preferred an earlier opening hour (they operate from 8 on weekdays and 9 in the weekend), but of course not everyone is crazed enough to patrol the city at the ungodly hours of dawn, so I’ll keep London Coffee Society in store for that mid-morning/early afternoon spot when a quirky cake and great coffee are absolute musts.

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