I don’t know the reason why the founders of Prufrock chose that name for their café. I have to assume the name is taken from the title character of the great T.S. Eliot poem, in which case it’s natural to single out the line “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons” as the motivation (but who knows, maybe they wear the bottoms of their trousers rolled). How appropriate, then, to come at last to mentioning them here: a blog in which I am, quite literally, measuring out my life with coffee spoons. Or Rocket Cups, at any rate.
Prufrock is easily one of the most iconic purveyors of espresso in London, a true institution. It was one of the first recommendations I received (from a friend who had also spent a sabbatical in central London). It was also the place where I first picked up the Specialty Coffee Map of London, which led to the app, which led to this whole ridiculous enterprise.
The space is bright and airy; on the day of my photo shoot I sat in the front window, with bright sunlight streaming in. It’s also a constant hive of activity. And I love the location. The shop sits on the wonderfully named Leather Lane, and is surrounded by other great establishments. There’s the previously blogged Department of Coffee and Social Affairs, but also Pieminister just up the road. I also quite liked the salad bar Ptooch, and there are any number of other delicious looking restaurants that I’m sure I won’t have time to visit.
Needless to say the espresso is excellent, the product of great attention to detail. I really should go more often. It’s just a little bit too far from my usual commute—roughly halfway between Cannon Street and Tottenham Court Road, and far enough from both that I end up needing to take the tube there and then again to get to work. But it’s one of a cluster of excellent espresso bars within walking distance of St. Paul’s, and would make a lovely precursor to a visit to the cathedral.
The Rocket Cup World Tour has inevitably turned me into a big old social media whore. I tweet these posts at the shops, and feel genuine delight when they retweet (hi, Prufrockers!). But this was the first visit where they beat me to it. While I was sitting at my seat, the awesome barista was instagramming the Cup’s refuelling process. Thanks, Heidi!