I don’t quite get the name but I’m always up for a cup of coffee from Workshop Coffee. Formerly St. Ali’s, Workshop may have reinvented itself a bit but it’s kept all the things I’ve come to know and love about this spot.
The coffee remains top notch and the collection of mostly Aussie/Kiwi baristas know their stuff. Each day I’d ask for their recommendation and quiz them on the bean and brewing method. To be fair, they could have made up anything and I’d probably have gone for it, but the fact they could speak passionately and at length over roasting methods, temperature, and different brewing options left me comforted that my cup of joe was in good hands.
I’ve had the good fortune (and need for caffeine) to make it through two iterations of their filter coffees (that’s 6 different beans/blends) over the course of a week and a half while studying for the CFA. All were good and there is enough variety that you can pick a blend that suits you. For mornings, a sharp Colombian to wake up and get those synapse firing. An afternoon of full bodied fruity Bolivians kept me awake but not on edge. And the odd espresso martini in the evening to relax did not go amiss.
Foodwise, the French toast is a winner and the variety of pastries and brownies to snack on are deliciously decadent. I’ve heard great things about the burger (and the ones that went by me did look pretty tasty) but I failed to step up and try it. I will be back for another go at it though soon.
The best part (for me at least) was the atmosphere. The high ceilings and smooth lines of the wood furniture and bar give a great feeling of space and they have enough seating so that you can camp out day after day without feeling like you’ve worn out your welcome. It’s quiet enough where you aren’t annoyed or distracted yet has that comforting background buzz to ward off any awkward silences.
Overall, a winner in my book and my top pick for study spots in East London. And at £2-4 for a cup of top quality coffee, you can afford to feed your daily addiction here.