Costa Rica in London: Coffee at Taylor St Baristas

Please note this blog is no longer active. This post was last updated 5 years, 11 months ago and may contain out of date prices, opening times, links and information. Go to for the lastest visitor information for London.

Costa Rica’s well-known for its coffee, and you can taste some of the best right here in London.

We wanted to find out more for our World in London series, so we tracked down coffee expert Andrew Tolley of Taylor St Baristas, who was a judge at this week’s UK Barista Championship.

“It’s more complex than wine in terms of the flavours you can pick out of coffee,” he told us. “You can travel the world in a cup.”

Tell us about your Costa Rican coffees

“The high quality Costa Rican coffees have a nice Demerara sugar sweetness up front with a tangy green apple and balanced finish. Santa Lucia has some really nice taste notes. We choose coffee from some of England’s best roasters, Union Hand-Roasted Coffee, Square Mile, Has Bean and Peter Jones Gourmet Coffee.”

How long have you been in business?

“Five years. We started in Richmond in a little coffee concession inside a food store, Source Food.”

How did you become a barista?

“I’ve been making coffee since I was about 18. I worked my way through uni and got more and more heavily involved.”

Do you run coffee courses?

“We do home barista courses where we teach people how to taste coffee and prepare coffee in different methods – how to make a flat white or a latte. It’s based around tasting all the different flavours in coffee and how to explore them at home. They keep on selling out.”

What makes a great coffee?

“It has to be within about 20 days of roast – so fresh. Coffee that’s got clean, distinctive flavours and that suits your mood for the time of day. It’s hard to describe, because there are so many different flavours in coffee.”

What’s your advice for budding coffee connoisseurs?

“Go into a café and talk to the barista and try different things.”

Please share any other ways you can get a taste of Costa Rica without leaving London in the comments below


  1. Tee says:

    Andrew Tolley is correct in that for Costa Rican coffee there are varietal bean types, each with their own taste and flavor, respecting different regions as well as growth elements. For more information see the “Coffee” section of

    – Tee

    Tee is the founder and senior editor of Costa Rica CLOSEUP a Travel Guide to Costa Rica with Events, Articles and Information for everyone traveling, retiring and/or purchasing real estate in Costa Rica. Please visit for more information.

  2. Nic says:

    Home barista courses are a fab idea, no wonder they sell out. Coffee is such a gorgeous thing done well.

  3. I am very pleased that the people of London are moving away from big chains and are finally embracing new and exciting coffee’s. This city has so much more to offer than Starbucks and Costa. Like Andrew says, go talk to your barista and get them to recommend something new. Variety is the spice of life!