The Liberty of Norton Folgate occupies a sliver of space at the edge of an office building on Bishopsgate. The interior as a result has a curious shape, being long and narrow, with windows across the entire length of the room between the floor and the high ceilings.
The shop is operated and owned by the Coffeesmiths Collective, who also run the Department of Coffee and Social Affairs on Leather Lane and Speakeasy just off Carnaby Street. All are worth a visit and each has its own distinctive atmosphere and style tailored to the local area and its customers.
The interior is intriguing, making the most of the natural light it enjoys. The light fittings are of particular interest- they are apparently based on the shape of the molecules that make up the coffee beans:
The coffee was excellent. Liberty uses a bespoke blend from local roasters Climpson & Sons. The blend comprises 50% Brazilian and 50% Ethiopian beans. The flat white I had was smooth, slightly sweet and intensely creamy with a long, milk chocolate finish. The cappuccino, I was assured by my companion, was also delightful. The coffees looked as good as they tasted:
The staff are friendly and knowledgeable, and this Saturday (1 September) will be holding an open afternoon between 1pm and 5:30pm during which they will be answering questions and offering guidance on how to make the best coffee at home.
All in all, The Liberty of Norton Folgate offers a very positive experience- good coffee in a pleasantly different setting.