By Koray Hussein
Okay, so this is going to be a weird one.
When I first visited The Department of Coffee in St Martin’s Courtyard, I had absolutely no intention of reviewing the place. It was just a suggested meet up spot with our Maybe Ambassador Richard Harris and another Instagrammer (@dasnapper), but after that first visit I oddly found myself coming back time and time again. It’s hard to pinpoint the exact reason why although it’s quite possibly a mashup of The Department’s location to where I usually shoot, the staff and the amazing coffee & tea.
It’s become my almost daily stop off point in central and I’ve now found myself shooting on multiple occasions with one of the members of staff (Yo Brenda!), going to watch another staff member perform comedy (You alright Taco?) and spouting shit with the manager (How you doing Mark?).
Hopefully that doesn’t read like I’m now incredibly biased towards the place because it’s actually the complete opposite. It’s no secret that I’m an incredibly antisocial asshole and it takes a lot for me to warm to people, so for The Department of Coffee & Social Affairs to have an entire set of staff that I can not only stomach (seems a little harsh but it’s the truth) but actually get along with says a lot about the people this place employs.
It’s clearly not just me either as, just like in The Coffee Jar in Camden, I’ve noticed countless people come in and address the workers by name and converse as if the guys behind the counter are friends instead of “the guys who make my coffee” like you would find in other coffee establishments (I want to point the finger at Starbucks here but their brown cups of what-the-fuck-is-this-shit shouldn’t be put in the same category as what’s on offer here).
Whilst I’m flapping my gums, I should probably get to what most people would consider to be the most important thing about a coffee shop review… the actual coffee.
I have to admit that I’m not a massive coffee drinker and given the choice will almost always stump for tea (the ice tea here is ridiculously addictive) but I’ve had the filter coffee here on more than one occasion and was certainly impressed. I’ve previously said that the coffee over at The Coffee Jar and Daisy Green were my favourite cups in London but The Department is up there. I’d be lying if I said that the coffee here is definitely better than those two but that’s only because it’s been a hell of a long time since I last visited either Daisy Green or The Coffee Jar but maybe that fact alone says it all.
The food here isn’t anything to scoff at either (Ha! Get it? Scoff? Food? As in you scoff down foo– nevermind) as I’ve had the three cheese toasted sandwich is a must for any cheese lover and the sausage rolls on offer here are not only tasty bastards but probably weigh more than I do after two rounds at Umut’s.
All in all, this is probably the easiest recommendation I’ve ever had to make here on Maybe It’s Because as not only do I visit this place more than I’d care to admit but it’s clearly a favourite for all of the people who work in the area.
Oh and they serve cold brew… If that’s your jam.