Long after I had started using the London’s Best Coffee App to fuel my Rocket Cup World Tour of London, the developers obviously responded to my psychic messages and added a feature that I had been pining for in secret: a list of the city’s newest espresso bars, sorted in reverse chronological order. It was by examining this list that I discovered a new spot called Four Corners, not far from Waterloo station.
In retrospect, it’s clear that I don’t venture south of the Thames that often (the other espresso bar that comes immediately to mind is Federation Coffee, which I visited as part of a work-related excursion into Brixton). But, this being London, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Four Corners and the espresso I was served.
Four Corners exudes the imprint of a creative firm, for they have a capital-T-theme, namely travel. The name is obviously travel-inspired. The walls are covered with a variety of (very cool) map-based visualizations of London, the UK, and the world. There’s a wall of travel guides, free for borrowing. Even the loyalty card looks like an adorable little passport, in which you collect stamps. As I have said previously, I have this unfounded reverse-psychology hangup where I expect the slickness of the design to correlate negatively with the quality of the coffee, as if good baristas can’t waste time pondering such frivolous topics as wall treatments and furniture. The reality, of course, is that the space is bright, charming, and comfortable, and I’m a hypocrite given that I’m touring around trying to show off the design of the Rocket Cup. Bad designer! No biscuit.
I will add two other quick notes concerning beverages. First, Four Corners is the second place I’ve visited that produces Dark Crema (the other being Department of Coffee and Social Affairs). Perhaps some day physicists will come to understand the mystery of Dark Crema, and its necessary role in tying together the fabric of the universe; until then it will remain a delicious puzzle. The second note is that they offer a variety of flavoured waters in pitchers. I recall at least orange, mint, and cucumber, though there may have been lemon too. I would have called this a gimmick, but man, I forgot how much I love water with cucumber in it. I’m reserving a few pitchers of the stuff for hot summer days back in Canada.