London’s coffee purists stick to simple little spots that fully concentrate on quality in the cup. Lanark is one of those cafes with the shortest menus ever: espresso, espresso with milk or filter. It is a perfect spot to hide from hustle and bustle of Columbian Road and Broadway Market as its minimalist design and simple menu help guests to turn their attention to the complexity of specialty coffee.
True coffee guru would know Greg Boyce’s coffee-making abilities from Alchemy and Black Box. Lanark Coffee is his new coffee venture launched in 2014. Greg does not settle with one kind of beans but you can fully rely on his selected coffee from top micro-roasters. At the time of my arrival, behind the counter Greg has got beautiful Rwandan roast from Alchemy and East London’s Dark Arts Coffee waiting for its turn. Lanark is a coffee bar with its particular pure coffee approach: no soya milk or tea options here and sugar is available only on request.
A tiny coffee bar inside is a stunning combination of great coffee, design and concept. The shop is part of the Manufactory collective with three furniture designers downstairs. White walls play a nice contrast with turquoise floor and greenery. The front window wall is designed to allow light and breezes into a space, without compromising privacy.
While Greg Boyce is the star of Lanark, everyone’s eyes settle on the exquisite lever-operated espresso machine, Victoria Arduino Athena Leva. While its luscious chrome body structure with beautiful hammered metal work is beautiful to watch, most importantly it produces a great espresso. No matter if it is latte, flat white or espresso – Greg has mastered them all.
Hackney Road is home to many independent shops and Lanark is a great addition to Hackney’s coffee scene. It particularly stands out with its youthful atmosphere and relaxed style but at the same time serious approach to our caffeine fix.
Verdict: Lanark is an absolute The Curiosity‘s favourite on Hackney Road.