5 London Coffee Joints To Feel Good About Visiting While Looking Kinda Cool

Londoners love coffee… or at least they love telling everyone they love coffee… or at the very least they love telling everyone that they love this little known coffee place where the beans are blessed by the most spiritual of Tibetan monks before being ground up, exposed to hot water and sold to advertising creatives for £4.17 (the 17 pence actually goes to helping stray dogs learn crochet :’-).

You on the other hand just want to have a good cup of coffee and to know that your money is doing something better than paying the most tax evasive accountants that Seattle has to offer. So here are just a handful of options for you:

Old Spike Roastery, Peckham

As if it wasn’t enough to double as a coffee shop and coffee roasters, Old Spike Roastery offers job opportunities and training to people experiencing or transitioning out of homelessness.

Not only can you grab yourself a fresh cup of joe whilst taking a break from frolicking around Peckham Rye Common, but these guys will deliver, too. When you sign up to their subscription service, a package of their in-house roasted coffee will land on the doormat of your humble abode at a frequency of your choosing.



Change Please, London Bridge and Canary Wharf

You’re a Londoner so are probably living a pretty on-the-go kind of lifestyle; no time for pushing on the “PULL” door or running the gauntlet between small tables packed with “writers” and groups of tourists in impossibly puffy jackets and bulging backpacks (you need all that stuff on a day trip to gawk at telephone boxes???!!!).

Change Please and their nifty little Piaggio vans can be found parked up on the streets of a couple of busy-commuter London locations. Backed by the Big Issue, the vans are manned/womanned by members of the homeless community, who not only make a ruddy lovely coffee but are gosh darn friendly too.

The coffee is produced specially for them by (you guessed it) our friends at Old Spike Roastery. 



Kahaila Café, Brick Lane

From taking pictures of yourself not buying things at a vintage shop to proudly (and loudly) recognizing the work of a well-known street artist who isn’t Banksy, the offerings of activities, food and culture around Brick Lane are seemingly endless. At some point you’ll need a little pick me up and maybe a nice sit down. 

The relaxed atmosphere of Kahaila café is inviting to say the least. Not only home to an excellent cup of coffee but also a delectable range of baked goods, freshly produced by affiliate charity, Luminary Bakery (who you can read about here).

This café is certainly suitable for researching your creative-content-agency-social-enterprise-startup. And every procrastination inducing cup of the good stuff will contribute to local community projects such as Ella’s Home and Kahaila Reflex.



Brewbird, Camberwell

“I am more than just coffee” states the Brewbird website proudly… Yep you usually get a mug, too.

Seriously though, this is the social enterprise arm of the St Giles Trust and they give invaluable employment and training opportunities to some of the most socially excluded people in our localities. Their main focus is to tackle the reoffending that is endemic to the population of ex-offenders in the UK. The product of this is a welcoming coffee shop staffed by a community of people who really care about what they do.

Not only can you stop by their home base in Camberwell, but they also offer coffee services for your corporate events, private functions and of course film sets.



Paper and Cup, Shoreditch

Locally sourced artwork, books, curated charity shop items and coffee all brought to you by a social enterprise to help the homeless. Yes this really does tick all your Instagram Story boxes.

Set up by the Spitalfields Crypt Trust, the cafe helps to fund their work supporting London’s homeless population.

Paper and Cup’s bookcase lined walls offer up a modestly beautiful space to slurp thoughtfully at a fine coffee, nibble at a range of tasty treats and ponder the positive implications that your purchases will have on the community.


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