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Cafe Review: Exchange Coffee and the Sausage Man in Lewisham

I have unilaterally decided that there is no one else as dedicated as me in the search for something new in London.  Last weekend involved traipsing around the Docklands to go to The Counter Cafe and its new offshoot (here) and this weekend involved waking up at 9:00am to cycle with some diversions via Blackheath, Greenwich and Wapping 21 miles to Exchange Coffee in Lewisham.

I mean, when we met Neil and Lynsey (a bit about them on their blog here) and they asked where we had cycled from, we said The Barbican, even they said “why didn’t you go to Dose Espresso“.  That said I am really glad we put in the effort.  I won’t speak about the beauty of Lewisham (as it isn’t really too evident) but it is a “real” area with a “proper” street market.  And more enticingly Greenwich with all its glory is just a touch away.

More importantly, the coffee. Well after a very long journey on an empty stomach we were expectant and they delivered.  A great simple flat white with the taste of the coffee shining out.  Given that we also appeared like absolute nutters to cycle all that way we got into a discussion with Neil and Lynsey who are (i) very knowledgable and (ii) very friendly.  We ended up with a variety of tips on how to do a stove top coffee properly (water which is already boiling is the key) and an interesting discussion of a new roaster they had found who using the same beans as Square Mile but treats them a little differently (called Coffee Real).

This was all complemented by the Sausage Man right next door.  Now the Sausage Man is acclaimed to be Lewisham’s best stall, the best German sausage in London, Time Out’s choice etc. etc. etc..  In the end it is crusty reprocessed death knelled German wurst in bread with lots of ketchup,  sauerkraut and mustard.  Just about perfect for two hungry cyclists on an early Saturday morning.  Not diversion worthy though.

Price – £2 for a flat white and £2.50 for a sausage

The Exchange on Urbanspoon


  1. Lizzie

    Lewisham is my hood – it is a bit grotty! I sometimes go there on a Saturday to do some veg shopping. I haven't been recently but I'll seek out the coffee makers next time.

  2. Anette

    Neil and Lynsey do a great job and are two of the most talented baristas in the country! Thanks for pointing out Coffee Real, good to see new roasteries set out to do coffee in a quality driven way, although some of the writings on their website trouble me a little. Wonder where they are based? They do indeed have a Decaf in common with us at Square Mile, and several others coffees in common with great roasters like Monmouth and HasBean. Always interesting to explore how different roasters interpret the same greens- must buy some Coffee Real soon and have a taste!

  3. Tom

    Lizzie – you are super lucky to have those guys round the corner then. They are great and also a great place to stock up on beans

    Anette – we haven't tried the bag of coffee real we got from Neil and Lynsey yet but are looking forward to doing so. I couldn't find an address on their website but would guess Neil and Lynsey would know how to get hold of them as based on our conversations on Saturday they have obviously had some proper chats with them about their beans and were in direct contact with them.

  4. Gary Best

    Hello Tom – Coffee Real are based in Capel, Surrey and you're very welcome here at anytime, although it would be a long ride on your bike! I do hope you enjoy the coffee you bought from Lynsey and Neil – such nice people – in what sometimes can be a fickle industry. Gary

  5. The Grubworm

    Wow – your dedication to coffee knows no bounds! I can only watch in slight awe. Bloody good that you do it o i don't have too. Your Whitecross St tip was invaluable as i have now found the official Best Aussie-London Coffee (TM)

  6. Tom

    Gary – well I like a long ride but that might be a touch far… Still very right about Lynsey and Neil – friendly as hell and a coffee education to boot

    Grubworm – i have to admit I like a cycle so wasn't too much trouble and Rob (in the picture) kept me company : )

  7. Rich

    I think you've done The Sausage Man a disservice – delightfully good wurst!

  8. Tom

    Rich – I love a wurst but a wurst is a wurst. Unless it is in Munich after a lot of weiss beer. Then it is salvation : )

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