One of London’s outstanding coffee shops will open its second café in the city. Three high-profile sources in the coffee industry tell Eater that Kiss the Hippo, which is based in Richmond, will open on Margaret Street in Fitzrovia. It will take over from Curators Coffee Gallery, which closed on 22 March after five years in the area; the opening has now been confirmed for late September 2019.
Kiss the Hippo — a roastery, as well as coffee shop — opened in June 2018, founded by entrepreneur Can Eren. Its Richmond flagship store and coffee roastery has quickly attracted some of the industry’s brightest talent, with 2018 U.K. Barista Championship winner Joshua Tarlo joining as head of coffee from Origin, and Paul Ross and Roosa Jalonen joining the roastery team. Jalonen is the current Finnish Cup Tasters’ champion — a discipline in which competitors identify the odd one out from three cups of coffee, with the differences getting increasingly subtle — while Ross is the current U.K. Barista champion, with Tarlo placing 2nd.
It moves into an area whose concentration of quality coffee shops is getting ever denser — starting as a place of early adoption and now bringing in a range of operations that reflect a speciality scene that grows broader. Lantana, Kaffeine, and Tap Coffee — recently bought out by Department of Coffee and Social Affairs — have been joined by Curators, Attendant, Coffee Works Project, Kin — now closed — and Omotesando Koffee. Elan and Jolt — focussing more on aesthetics and inventive drinks, particularly as a social hub for non-drinkers — are recent arrivals, with Mother’s Milk, which served some of the city’s best coffee from an awkwardly-shaped nook on Little Portland Street.
Updated 28 August 2019 to include the planned opening time.