London Coffee on Instagram
Back in 2014, Phil Wain wrote an article on lists for Caffeine magazine pointing out that lists often tell us more about the compiler than the subject – infer what you want from his list of nine Instagram accounts to follow...
In the last few years, Instagram has become the social medium du jour, mobile app-focussed (scorning browser functionality), feeding our visual – perhaps superficial culture, and allowing us to take in a great amount of information at pace. At LBC, we’ve had personal Instagram accounts a few years but in January 2016 we realised it was time to create a London’s best Coffee account and make use of its potential for interaction and recommendation.
The power of individual trusted recommendation and the reputation of the endorser come to the fore in Instagram with so little test to support a judgement. We use it to learn of new restaurants, new coffees, new cafes... Of course we can’t taste the food and the coffee we see in the photos so you could argue we are moved by visual cliché, but it’s more than that. Symmetrical latte art, a leather satchel or a smart apron might work as the pied pipers of Instagram likes but we learn whose recommendations to trust. However iconic the images created by the likes of @Clerkenwellboyec1, if his photographs were of inferior food and drink, his followers would be many less. Our role at London’s Best Coffee is to recommend the best coffee so we hope our relatively new Instagram account helps fulfil that role.
Here are nine recommendations based on accounts that mostly feature content relevant to London coffee and share images we hope you’ll enjoy.
Caffeine magazine’s Instagram feed is curated by editor Chloe Callow (whose @faerietalefoody account we’d also recommend) and founder/creative director Scott Bentley. Follow Caffeine for photos from London and their travels around Europe. We’ve also enjoyed the times when Caffeine have handed over the keys to their Instagram to guests such as writer/photographer @sbinlondon (Kate Beard).
The popular coffee cart’s Instagram is somewhat enhanced by having the wonderfully talented photographer Jonny Simpson (@jonnysimpson) on the payroll. Enjoy photos from the travels of surely the world’s most international coffee cart team and the various events they appear at. Of course you should also follow the related @theestatedairy, founder Shaun’s other venture.
As a London based photographer and barista, Anna is a shoe in for this list. Her photos really stand out from the crowd and feature coffee often in imaginative contexts. Anna has worked at Timberyard, Attendant and The Coffee Jar and while her photos are not all coffee themed, they are essential.
Everybody’s favourite irreverent, Scottish hip-hop loving coffee duo Greg and Dom have an account as essential to follow as Will and James’ @mothersmilkcoffee. Follow the adventures of the guys in Hackney and Kings Cross here.
Caravan have established themselves as one of the best London roasteries and also run one of the best London coffee Instagram accounts. Look out for photos from trips to coffee farms, events, cuppings and tastings at their roaster and their neat idea of visualising tasting notes with fruit and other flavours. They also have some very neat packaging concepts and we look forward to pictures of the new roastery soon.
Alice Nedin is head of quality control for Soho House’s coffee operations. Her Instagram account is a veritable feast of coffee related photos beautifully framed and presented. Alice takes a great latte art photo but also features a range of imaginative pictures of filter coffee and a range of settings.
Another account with those tricky underscores. When Dan O’Regan of Store St Espresso followed us, we first misread it as Oregon coffee but Dan is very much London based now. He has a neat eye for a photo and you’ll see a varied selection of imagery on his account although it’s very coffee focussed.
We’ve followed David Robson’s career since he first moved down from Scotland. As coffee operations manager for Soho House UK, he’s in a position that benefits from his take on coffee, service and style. David is one of those coffee professionals who ‘gets’ Instagram. He posts beautiful, carefully chosen images and a recommendation from David in his Instagram feels like a valuable endorsement.
We recently met Vendula Krédlová and have enjoyed her Instagram account. Focussing on fashion, coffee and travelling, barista Vendula features arrangements like coffee still life and unique presentations of latte art.
That’s ten to follow. No doubt we could have featured many more and like any list, those we omit will probably draw amazement from some and bemusement from others. It’s great that there are many more than ten Instagram accounts worth following related to London coffee. For some of you, perhaps ‘list-rage’ might be your reaction but this is not intended to be an exclusive, definitive, ‘best of’ list...merely a recommendation of ten accounts currently featuring some decent photos on the theme of London coffee.
Main photo by Jonny Simpson from Noble Espresso's Instagram feed.
Photos selected by LT and London's Best Coffee