I love my coffee. I used to try and stay strong and make my morning coffee at home. But it’s a tough resolution to keep when my walk to work every morning takes me past a number of coffee shops, both the standard chains and some great little independent places. And so, this morning I had to cave in, as a new independent coffee shop called Cortado has just opened on New North Road, between the Canal and Shoreditch Park, which marks the halfway point on my daily commute. One of the reasons I stopped this morning was I’d managed to get myself out of the house more quickly than usual, meaning I had the time to indulge, but also the smiley girls who run Cortado had chalked an enticing pavement sign complete with arrows leading to their door, reading “Yummy Allpress Coffee this way!” It was all it took to push me over the edge of indecision and so I followed the arrows.
Whilst I can’t really write a full review on the basis of one americano, what I can say is that the coffee was indeed yummy and properly made, service was efficient and friendly, and the girls look like they have the makings of a cute little coffee bar – a full coffee menu (including the namesake cortado) at standard prices (£2 for an Americano) together with a couple of countertop cakes on display and a promise of sharing boards along the lines of cheese and charcuterie on the menu – I will have to try the food another time. A unique spin on the coffee loyalty card scheme – Cortado has a loyalty chalk-board, when you buy your first coffee, your name is chalked up on the board and each subsequent coffee marked up until you reach 9 and then your 10th is free!
I know I will definitely be back for a caffeine fix on my morning commute and this makes a welcome addition to an area which is currently somewhat devoid of cafes/coffee bars, straddling as it does the busy road between the centres of Shoreditch and Angel. Hopefully it will attract trade from the attached apartment blocks and passers-by like myself. If you are in the area and in need of a caffeinated pick-me-up and a friendly chat, give it a whirl!
Coffee: £2 for an Americano, but on a quick glance at the menu, flat whites and capuccinos were also around the £2 mark
Value Barometer: Standard London Coffee Prices, on a par with both the chains and independents
How to get there: New North Road (next to Co-op, by bridge over Regents Canal and Gainsborough Studios Apartments) – on bus routes towards Old Street from Angel/Islington/Stoke Newington
Go if: You like independents and service with a smile
Don’t go if: You prefer Starbucks
You may also like: Salvation Jane (Old St/City Rd) and the larger cafe-bars of Allpress on Redchurch Street, Workshop Coffee Co (formerly St Ali) on Clerkenwell Rd, Caravan (Exmouth Market), all of which have on-site coffee roasters and serve a mean brunch (to be reviewed soon!)