A few coffee and tea places, London
• Long White Cloud, Hackney
Good flavour in the apple and ginger juice, tart and sweet, with a moderate level of gingery spice.
• Caffe In, Hackney
A newly opened cafe on hackney Road, across from the Hackney City Farm. A not bad macchiato, a with a sour fruity finish, occasional whiffs of almond, and a moderate bitterness. Sort of between the light fruity Square Mile roasts (e.g. from places like Lantana) and the more earthy robust Nude roasts (e.g. Federation) The room smelled of wonderful rich chicken stock. Didn't try but willing to bet the chicken soup is good.
• Grind, Shoreditch
The macchiato is dark and bitter, with an acidic finish, very very slightly burnt and astringent to my taste.
• High Tea of Highgate, Highgate
A pretty good Darjeeling, while not the most aromatic of its kind, compares well with that served in many tea rooms at higher prices. A smallish scone, gently moist, and very light, the middle point between fluffy and crumbly. Good simple strawberry jam, dense stiff creamy clotted cream (pre-packaged but more than serviceable). I liked the calibrated subtlety of lavender in the lavender cake, the herbal/floral fragrance carried well by the sweet icing.
• Leila's Shop, Shoreditch
Great milky coffee (the menu lists just "black coffee" or "milky coffee") -- somewhat similar to a latte. Very silky foam, with the tiniest bubbles. A fair amount of milk indeed, but the underlying coffee stands out smoothly with mellow fruit and acidity, balanced by the milk.