On a recent visit to London, I was on Store Street in Camden when I decided I wanted to get a coffee and do some work. The Caffè Paradiso was one of many coffee shops close by, but I chose it, partly as it had free wifi, but mainly as it looked like it served decent coffee.
Well the wifi was free and reasonably fast. The coffee was also really good. I also had a plain croissant and it took a while to get some butter. Though the croissant was fresh, it tasted a little too much of almond as though it had been stored too close to the almond croissants.
What I like about these independent coffee shops is they have character and soul. They have a personality which is missing from the high street chains. Of course the reason why high street chains are successful is that they appear to offer consistency and reliability. Though generally I have had excellent coffee from most independent places I have been to, I have on the odd occasion been disappointed. I think this is the reason why people sometimes are a little bit wary of independence and go with a chain. Of course in some places you have no choice and you can only go to a chain. Regular readers of this blog will know from my posts on coffee that chains, which should be consistent can sometimes disappoint. So the next time I am in the area I will hopefully have a repeat visit to Caffè Paradiso for some excellent coffee.