A Cheeky Coffee @ Doppio Cafe, Kentish Town Road

Anyone for coffee in an industrious space, the opposite of those posy Antipodean places in Soho and Shoreditch?

Cute: the exterior of the new warehouse cafe
Cute: the exterior of the new warehouse cafe

We’ll be honest. The minute Doppio Cafe, in the cute building next to Pizza Express, opened its doors yesterday morning we were straight in there. Coffee is our thing, and we were curious to have a sniff, a poke around – and, of course, a taste.

It’s an interesting place. Just moved from Camden Road, it’s a ‘Coffee Warehouse’, which sounds godawful, but is actually an accurate, if rather prosaic, description of the enterprise: Doppio’s primary business is selling espresso machines and all the accompanying gadgets, as well as four exclusive brands of beans.

At the front of the long narrow room is the cafe, with a handful of sacks that you can sit on and gaze out at Kentish Town Road, superior cup of the brown stuff in hand. It’s a nice idea, and in some ways a similar business model to nearby Arancini Bros: coffee in an industrious space, the opposite of those posy Antipodean places in Soho and Shoreditch (that admittedly we quite love).

So yes, the coffee! How is it? Genial co-owner Carlo explained that they use a Magister machine imported from Milan – not as showy as some machines in hipster London coffeehouses – yet capable, he assured us with a smile, of an espresso of the finest quality.

The four brands are Italian Aroma, Danesi, Diemme (70% Arabica/30% robusta) and Lamborghini (85/15 Arabica/Robusta). If you’re not familiar with the difference between the beans, Arabica is the (generally) higher quality bean with the wider range, more delicate and pricey. Robusta is hardier, cheaper, but has a greater strength and crema. Worth saying too that an inferior Arabica bean will taste worse than a superior Robusta. So don’t get too caught up in any preconceptions.

We tried an espresso (just £1.20) using the Diemme bean: flowery, aromatic, with a nice body. Not too strong, not too bitter. Definitely more-ish.

This is a definite coup for the high street. Plus it’s open at weekends. Go support.

PS – they sell crustless sandwiches in beautiful wrappers. Delicious, but flown in from Italy. Really, boys, air miles, air miles. Mrs Kentishtowner’s mum could cobble them together down the road at a tenth of the price.

Words & Pics: Stephen Emms


  • Show Comments

  • John

    Looks lovely, and I’ll be sure to pop in next time I’m in the area.

    But seriously, they FLY their sandwiches in from ITALY? There must be a better way, surely?

  • Gavin Juniper

    I am going in for a sandwich. maybe they can supply us. Great to do some local trade. Looks excellent.

  • JoSwin

    Am still recovering from the sheer joy of Arancini Factory’s coffee (thanks to the KentishTowner for the heads-up, it’s way off my Tufnell Park beat). Can’t believe Kentish Town now has two serious coffee shops. Go NW5!

    • kd

      Check out ‘Bread and Bean’ which has recently opened just up from Tufnell Park Station on Archway rd. Good coffee and food. It’s great to see that the coffee revolution is making it’s way to K-Town. I think we still need another good cafe/lunch spot to spruce up the high st and drive costa away…for me Kentish Canteen isn’t quite doing it…lacks a bit of atmosphere and their coffee is no way near a good standard but it shows that there is the crowd for it because it’s always busy.

  • Adi

    It is the best coffee in town .the guys are cool and really professional…after a quick check with the owner we fixed the mistake re the sandwiches..it is made by italian shef from Shoreditch Greater London all ingredients are perfectly made as italian style….so no doubt the sandwiches are fresh -italian /London made…I enjoyed! You must try!

  • David

    Went in on a whim. Great chocolatey cappuccino made by the owner I think. All the guys busting to tell the doppio story! Love the Look…..spot on ‘artisan’! I’ll be back for the sarnies.

  • Ian

    I popped in this morning and had a really bitter americano, not too impressed. I’m not convinced by the beans they are using. The warehouse itself is really fascinating though for any coffee geek.

    Arancini and the Bean About Town cart are still the best in the neighbourhood by virtue of caring a bit more than anything else. They use a good roaster and at least go to the effort of keeping the machine clean, the water temperature correct and some consistency in the dose.

    I’d still love one of the ‘posy’ or ‘hipster’ coffee shops referenced in this article in NW5. Posy they may be but they also have well trained barristas pulling shots with some of the best roasted coffee in the world.

  • Jon Simmons

    Popped in here on Friday afternoon for a quick americano and was very impressed. Strong and rich flavours that match any other coffee I’ve had in London. They didn’t have any food when I went though.