London’s best iced coffee

London’s best iced coffee

London’s cafes have pretty much nailed good quality hot coffee, but what about it’s cold counterpart? here’s where to get your coffee on the rocks


It’s easy to find a hot cup of joe in London, we’re nearly drowning in the stuff, from soya flat whites to strong cortados, there’s so much choice of good coffee out there. But because the seasonal window for iced coffee is far smaller than for its warming counterpart, we’ve not taken as much notice of quality coffee at zero degrees.

But times are a-changing and cafés are starting to serve high quality cold coffee, just as we’re starting to see some sunny weather.

Icing coffee can impair flavour and cause all sorts of problems in terms of acidity and staleness, so while many bean lovers may draw the line at the sugared-up Frappuccino, it’s generally conceded there’s more of an allowance for sweetness and meddling to correct the flavours when working over ice.

Kaffiene in Great Titchfield Street does iced coffee without damaging the depth and character too much, though founder Peter Dore-Smith admits the chilling process still has an effect on its elegance. The baristas make it with either espresso and milk or espresso and water (but they will allow you a scoop of ice-cream in it if you ask nicely) and they keep cups pre-iced to cool the espresso down quickly without ruining the taste.

Ice, ice baby: siblings Jim and Suzie Cregan, who run Jimmy's Iced Coffee Pic: Rebecca Reid
Ice, ice baby: siblings Jim and Suzie Cregan, who run Jimmy’s Iced Coffee Pic: Rebecca Reid

Jim Cregan, of Jimmy’s Iced Coffee, the supermarket-stocked cold coffee says the way it’s served is important too. “If you’re having a milky iced coffee, it’s best served straight up, ice cold from the fridge. If you’re having it cold brewed or as an iced espresso, it’s ace straight from the fridge but poured over proper ice cubes,”

Square-cut cubes of ice are essential. “Crushed is not an option. Smoothie style is also not an option,” says Cregan. “We’re not drinking desserts, here, we’re drinking refreshments – the clue is in the title.”

Cold brewing coffee involves steeping coffee grounds in room temperature or cold water for an extended period of 12 hours or more. The long filtering process keeps a measured balance and leaves the taste unadulterated, like an espresso.

But whether we want a cold, delicate version of the drink or are happy to pair decent stuff with a few extra delights, London’s coffee is better prepared for summer than ever before.

Here are some of the best places to get it:

Nude Espresso

With skilled baristas, its own micro-brewery and bottles of fine cold brew, Nude Espresso is unavoidable when thirsty, tired, and very much in Shoreditch.
26 Hanbury Street, E1 6QR,


The Australian-come-Kiwi café knows its coffee, and it’s not just good for a flat white.
66 Great Titchfield Street, W1W 7QJ,

Addie’s Thai

Thailand is known for its wonderful iced coffee. Over there it’s flavoured with chicory and grains, a recurrent theme in more sophisticated iced coffee traditions. Addie’s Thai makes a sweet and fragrant iced drink that makes for a great hangover cure.

121 Earls Court Road, SW5 9RL,


A big player on the cold brew scene. It’s clean, precise, and allows the zesty fruits and chocolatey perfumes of the coffee beans to play a part.

61-67 Old Street, EC1V 9HW,

Vagabond N7

Vagabond stocks cold brew, made by Sandows London, the latest addition to London’s cold brew purveyors.

105 Holloway Road, N7 8LT@VagabondN7

Speakeasy Espresso Bar

Perhaps best known for its coffee school, the cold dripper stuff is light and if any preserve the fruity notes and finer details of standard coffee, Speakeasy’s does so.

3 Lowndes Court, W1F 7HD,

Flat White

Brings a wonderfully creamy iced coffee to the table.

17 Berwick Street, WIF 0PT,

Fee and Brown

Flying the flag for deep, dark south London, Beckenham’s joint has superb coffee, good in iced form; delicious when poured over vanilla ice cream as an affogato.

50 High Street, Beckenham, BR3 1AY,



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