So unless you've really not been listening, you'll know that I'm super fascinated in the history of coffeehouses. So much so that I wrote my Bachelors dissertation on London Coffeehouses, as well as recently joining forces with Airbnb in offering an awesome-tastic coffeehouse history tour in London.
So you can simple imagine my surprise and happiness when I heard that a coffee shop had opened up right in Neal's Yard (one of my favourite places ever), taking interior design inspiration from 17th century coffeehouses.
I present to you: Jacob the Angel.
These guys serve the coffee royalty known as Square Mile's Red Brick - but for any of you who know me relatively well you'll know that I'm not blown away by this espresso. It almost makes my heart sink to think that they've missed those last couple of points because the espresso wasn't up to my taste, but that's why I'm here. It's great when coffee shops experiment with lesser heard of beans, and they're usually much easier on the wallet too!
I ordered a flat white, and although the latte art wasn't top notch, it was steamed well and was at the perfect temperature. The barista was super lovely too, and chatted to me whilst making the coffee, which always helps. However, I did find it strange that they didn't deliver the coffee to your table in what was a very small shop - you had to wait and collect it at the till: uncommon in the speciality coffee industry in London.
I'm very sorry to say that I didn't order food this time round (and thus don't have any photos available), but the last time I visited this place was for my birthday breakfast with a very good friend of mine. Although reflective in price of the area (it's quite pricey around Neal's Yard!), it was definitely not overpriced, and the serving you received was better than most places in the vicinity.
Service and Atmosphere: 8/10
I felt terrible when I was in the line ordering as I thought I'd be rating these guys lower than I had. The line of two people in front of me took much longer than I would have expected, but once I was served I completely understood why. I thought the two people in front of me had been local regulars of the place, but turns out they were visiting for the first time. I knew this from the way the guys behind the bar spoke to me too, as if we were old chums rather than simply going through a commercial transaction. You all know I would rate a coffee shop entirely on their customer service if I could, and if that was the case these would have won in quite a large line up.
The only thing I would say on top of this regarding atmosphere is that it's very small, and comprises of double seat tables and bars. Don't try to go here in a group, you'll just annoy yourselves (and everyone else in the shop).
This place is definitely worth a visit, as you can guess from my high scoring on all of the above. What I love about these guys is how wonderful they are across many platforms. Their food, coffee and customer service was brilliant - and usually you don't get the pleasure of having all three with a coffee trip (maybe I'm just usually too hard to please).