Sunday, 26 January 2014

Monmouth, Borough Market, Bermondsey, London

Tom and I recently took a trip down to London for a much needed break. We stayed over near London Bridge in a lovely foodie haven called Bermondsey Street. On the top of our list on waking Thursday morning, was a visit to Monmouth Coffee Company on a corner between the amazing old and new Borough market.

A queue outside Monmouth for the perfect filter coffee

Morning rush at Monmouth, Borough Market

Monmouth has been in existence since 1978 and these guys appear to have quality at heart. Originating in Covent Garden as a shop and roasters, the shops were more recently extended to Borough Market, while the coffee is now roasted on nearby Maltby Street, Bermondsey. This new site is under three converted railway arches which act as whole sale market, roasters and training center. With a variety of suppliers, each discovered through extensive travel, the products are sustainable, fair and delicious - the best!

Perfect quality coffee, Monmouth

Coffee is imported from Central and South America, Africa and Asia and each is lovingly described in full detail with changes in single crop supply due to seasonality and flavour. For example - the Monmouth espresso flavour is described as ''Toasted almond with smooth body and balanced fruity acid".
I sampled the coffee of the day, detailed on a chalk board to include origin, name and qualities,

Finca La Pila
Caramelised citrus with medium acidity and body.

Pastries at Monmouth, Bermondsey

 More important perhaps to this journey was the breakfast offering which accompanies the intoxicating smell of freshly brewed coffee. A significant spread of crusty fresh bread, open pots of tempting jam and marmalade and creamy lashings of butter - at a friendly open table, shared by all who wish to tuck in for a bargain three pounds. A stream of newspapers, books and busying notepads are strewn over the table as customers chat and break bread in couples or small groups and in the natural city dweller manner, they are able to sit very cosily together without so much as a wink to their neighbour. Sat amongst the busy bustle and with a view of the queue around the corner, there are as many staff behind the counter as there are customers. Frantically grinding and filtering their wares. A large board on the wall gives a two minute lesson in the perfect brew and a variety of small coffee related gifts sit on the wooden shelves. For the more delicate morning nibble, a selection of fresh pastries, brioches and buns can be picked up and taken out to a convenient bench just outside the door, where a few folk who looked like it wasn't their first time here, had parked themselves for a quick rest before starting a busy day in the capital.

2 min lesson in the perfect filter technique

The place has a sense of urgency, essential in order to meet the needs of the caffeine addicts which frequent this place. But no doubt this is a perfect gem and the kind of place you hear about before you are enticed by the smell of the coffee for yourself.

Monmouth, Coffee Company, Bermondsey.

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