Nestled in a quiet street away from the hubbub of Upper Street, Ground Control has been serving coffee to the residents of Amwell Street and visiting coffee enthusiasts for three years. Ground Control is born from the same father of The Ethiopian Coffee Company, undoubtedly the best coffee in London, perhaps even the UK.
Ground Control is a pocket rocket, a small café which packs a lot of punch- just like its coffee. With its industrial style furniture, reclaimed wood and metal table tops you’d think you’d walked right into a Shoreditch café. However no overgrown beards, loafers/moccasins and skin tight jeans were present just the enticing aroma of coffee which drifted into my nostrils long before I had even entered the doors.
Freshly baked cake slices, croissants and sandwiches adorn the counter completing the café’s seduction of the senses. I opted for a coffee classic of a cappuccino and a flaked poach salmon and pickled cucumber sandwich. The coffee, as expected from the Ethiopian Coffee Company, was faultless as always. Smooth and earthy, just a hint of acidity complimented by creamy milk and froth. A well made cappuccino showing that it’s not just the coffee bean alone that makes a great coffee but consistent, well trained and brilliant baristas that bang out an excellent coffee every time. For the last four years, the Ethiopian Coffee Company stall at the Southbank has never made a bad cuppa and that ethos and pride in their coffee has been brought to Ground Control.
My salmon sandwich (a filling which I am not particularly familiar with) was excellent. Embraced by two hand cut slices of a top quality white bloomer, the salmon was creamy with homemade tartare sauce; the pickled cucumber cut through the richness of the pink fishy flesh making it perfectly well balanced. I was impressed; the sandwiches were just as good as the coffee, a standard that’s hard to reach.
Before I left I made sure to get my fix of coffee and ordered almost £30 of freshly ground coffee, three bags worth to be precise. Just like the stall at the Southbank I chose my coffee beans and had it ground just as I wanted for my stove top at home. Yes, I know, three bags and thirty squids is extravagant but I had run out of Ethiopian Coffee for two months now and I wasn’t taking any chances.
Before I left I noticed a wooden poster near the doorway with the words ‘This is where the magic happens’. With a brew that good I guarantee you’ll find yourself nodding as you step out. This is where the magic happens.