Brixton Coffee Guide
I have a long association with Brixton. My first adult trip to London involved staying with a friend on who lived on Effra Road and memorable pre-speciality coffee experiences involved Brixton and Stockwell. I used a music rehearsal studios in the area regularly, quite near Stockwell skateboard park and I used to enjoy hanging out in the area’s Portuguese cafes, drinking a galao and listening to the musical language of the locals – mostly originally from Madeira.
Fast forwarding to the emerging London speciality coffee scene in 2010 and Federation opened in February of that year, bringing great coffee to Brixton for the first time. At that time Federation had different owners and a different site. Federation very much helped lead the way for Brixton as a location for great food in the, then new. Brixton Village Market. For most of the years since, Federation have been the sole speciality coffeeshop in Brixton (apart from Edy Piro’s brief Terrone pop-up some years’ back), but now that’s all changed and there are several decent cafes in Brixton. Notably, none of these are in Brixton’s High Street area which still acts like it’s 2004 but hidden away in Brixton Village Market and residential areas of Brixton some very delightful coffee is to be found.
The aforementioned Brixton pioneers are still very much worth a visit. The current owners also own Salon restaurant and have invested in the food and coffee options. There might have been a little inconsistency in their coffee in years gone by but the current barista team at Federation is focussed on the highest of quality and the coffee experienced on a recent visit here was superb. Federation serve coffee from Campbell and Syme and guest roasters (The Roastery Department on our visit). Head barista Scott is a man on a mission for great coffee.
Unit 77-78 Brixton Village Market Brixton SW9 8PS
Head the opposite way, up Brixton Hill (perhaps by bus) and you will eventually reach Stir Coffee – coffeeshop and craft beer bottlehop. Stir is a lovely large premise focussing very much on the coffee whether filter or espresso. It’s great to see Man vs Machine coffee (from Munich) regularly served in London and you’ll find a range of other roasters’ beans here such as Mission Coffeeworks. Food is good too. Stop and shat to the Stir Coffee team, friendly guys one and all.
111 Brixton Hill, SW2 1AA
F. Mondays sits practically opposite Stir, and you couldn’t get two more different but complementary cafes. F. Mondays features a lush coffee garden, a unique food menu and decent coffee from Alchemy and guests such as Square Mile. It’s one of those quintessential neighbourhood cafes serving up decent coffee on a machine few would envy.
112a Brixton Hill, Brixton, London SW2 1AH
The newest kid on the Brixton block, this cafe on Tulse Hill charmed us on our visit with unpretentious style and well prepared Volcano and Nude coffee. This coffeeshop has a very accessible feel and places like this, in areas quite unused to speciality coffee, play a very important pioneering role in raising customer expectation – kudos to them!
19 Tulse Hill, Brixton, London, SW2 2TH