I left London in 2008, and every time I go back to visit, it’s great to see the independent (read non-Costa) coffee scene continues to expand and thrive. Opened in August 2009, Kaffeine made its home in Fitzrovia West, a stones throw from the craziness of Oxford Circus and the throngs of tourists and out of town shoppers along Oxford Street. Independently owned by Australian Peter Dore-Smith, the Synesso Cyncra espresso machine, artfully manned by mainly Antipodean baristas, continually pumps out flat whites and other legitimate espresso drinks from 7:30 in the morning, supplying locals and those BBC journalist with their quick caffeine fix before heading back to work on Breakfast. The light, fresh menu changes weekly, but normally includes the standard breakfast muesli, various sandwiches on different kinds of bread, salads, pastries, and baked treats (brownies, blondies, and ANZAC biscuits anyone?). As this is London, you can’t run a cafe without loose leaf tea and scones on offer to please the more traditional set. For the aspiring home baristas, Kaffeine runs a Latte Art course twice a month. After forking over a Bullseye or £50, you can learn the basics of espresso, and receive hands-on instruction on milk production, temperatures, microfoam, pouring, and artwork. Next time you find yourself needing a break from the over enthusiastic toy sellers at Hamleys, walk about 10 minutes north, pull up a wood bench, and relax with a cuppa or even a cold brew (coffee that is) from Kaffeine.