If you're a coffee nut, then the recent opening of Le Café Alain Ducasse at Coal Drops Yard will not have passed you by. If, however, you aren't as au fait with all the latest London coffee news as you might be, then let us enlighten you.
As the name suggests, this is the multi Michelin-starred chef's first UK opening of this particular cafe - he has another in Paris, where he also has a roastery. And while they may lure you in the door with a £2.50 espresso, if you really want to try some of the more interesting coffees on offer here, things are going to get a bit pricier.
We popped along for a tasting with Monsieur Ducasse and Le Café’s Head Roaster Veda Veraswami (pictured above) who took us through the various ways you could imbibe caffeine here. If you start with the espresso, know that here it's served up with a teeny bar of their own chocolate (you could, of course, go crazy on the chocolate at the adjoining chocolatier here at King's Cross).
Filter coffees here range from their signature one (£3.50), which was created to be served up at Ducasse's restaurants, right the way through to coffee with beans from Yemen which is £15 a go. We tried some of the £13 coffee from the French island of Reunion - and it was a very fine cup of coffee, incredibly smooth and nuanced and slightly less caffeinated than the other choices.
The whole thing is a very precise process - with filter jugs sitting on electronic scales as the water is poured over the ground beans using a Japanese method. Best of all - when the coffee does come, it's served alongside one of their super-fresh French madeleines.
Everything here, from the cups of their own design through to the milk has been considered and sourced impeccably. The dairy milk comes from Normandy, the almond milk from a producer in Montpellier who uses Sicilian almonds. And if you order a cappuccino with almond milk, they'll pop a couple of those almonds, roasted, on a saucer for you to try.
One word of warning - drinking coffee here is going to ruin other coffee for you. Your usual morning cup of Joe is never going to taste quite as good after this.
Hot Dinners were invited to Le Cafe Alain Ducasse. Prices are correct at the time of writing.
More about Le Café Alain Ducasse
Where is it? Unit 16, Bagley Walk Arches, Coal Drops Yard, London N1C 4DH
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