With eight locations scattered around London, (seven that are accessible to the public) Department of Coffee and Social Affairs is definitely the coffee shop where edgy Londoners enjoy hanging out. The Covent Garden location was pretty small and crowded, but was able to cater to its many customers by offering outdoor seating and a little extra space in the basement. I really enjoyed the atmosphere of this shop, tucked around the corner providing an escape from the shoppers and tourists where one can meet with friends for coffee while listening to some rock music.
While Department of Coffee and Social Affairs roasts their own coffee blends at what they call “The Department of Roasting”, you could tell there was more of an emphasis on espresso drinks (like in most London coffee shops) than on brewed coffee. That said, this coffee shop did offer filter coffee and a two cup pour over. I decided to try the flat white, which had a very pleasant taste. The drink was very balanced and had just the right amount of espresso flavor. The milk, which tasted pretty different from milk used in the U.S., created a very suave aftertaste, which kept me continuously sipping and finishing my drink faster than I had wanted to.
After stopping here, I passed by other Department of Coffee and Social Affairs locations which all seemed pretty similar, but had very different surroundings. All in all, I really enjoyed this shop, but would not stay long as it was pretty loud and crowded. It is the perfect shop for a quick caffeine kick before continuing on your day.