Coffee: the opiate of the masses?

Lopez and Sons Coffee
Lopez and Sons Coffee

Joe Fox: Do you know what? We are going to seduce them. We’re going to seduce them with our square footage, and our discounts, and our deep armchairs, and…
Kevin: Our cappuccinos!
Joe Fox: That’s right. They’re going to hate us at the beginning, but…
Kevin: … we’ll get ’em in the end.
Joe Fox: Do you know why?
Kevin: Why?
Joe Fox: Because we’re going to sell them cheap books and legal addictive stimulants. 

You’ve Got Mail screenplay by Nora Ephron

In the last 7 days two couples – friends of Hubby and mine – opened coffee shops in London. One in Chelsea and one in Kingston. Both are the fulfilment of long-held dreams.

Did Karl Marx say religion or coffee is the opiate of the masses? When did the coffee shop become the local meeting place? The first date location? The wifi hub? The study corner? The morning-cuppa-on-the-way-to-work routine? The cosy-up-with-a-book-or-newspaper on a Saturday morning place?

Maybe we can blame it all on F.R.I.E.N.D.S?

The 1998 film You’ve Got Mail theorises that the modern coffee shop offers its customers a defining sense of self:

For MUNI Coffee in Chelsea and for Lopez and Sons in Kingston, it was all about how coffee is a defining part of their story.

new coffee shopLopez and Sons opened on 4th June 2016. It’s a little coffee shop in a unique setting – it’s in a bicycle shop. The story of Lopez family coffee goes back three generations – from Spain to Mexico and now London. The third generation of Lopez and Sons is the vision of a Mexican and South African couple. Both love connecting with people and honouring the legacy of previous generations.

MUNI opened its doors on 11th June 2016. The Philippines, is what it’s all about. It is the vision of a Filipino and German couple. MUNI is the first coffee shop in London ethically sourcing, making and selling coffee from the Philippines. For MUNI, it’s all about fair trading and traceability, listening to and dreaming with Filipino coffee growers.

I love both of their stories and I have enjoyed being a part of celebrating the ‘realisation of dreams’ of these two couples! The coffee was good too.

If you’re in London and want to support them, this is where you will find Lopez and Sons and MUNI.


new coffee shop in Chelsea
MUNI coffee in Chelsea

P.s. The Philippines grows all four coffee species – Arabica, Robusta, Liberica and Excelsa. You learn something new every day!
P.p.s. I’m really more a of a tea person, but the coffee at both shops was delicious.
P.p.p.s. Though I’ve always enjoyed a Starbucks – don’t throw rotten tomatoes at me – it’s nice to see some independents popping up in the capital.
P.p.p.p.s. Though Philippines is spelt with a ‘ph’ and double ‘pp’, I have recently learnt that if you are from the Philippines, you are a Filipino with an ‘F’ and one ‘p’.


2 thoughts on “Coffee: the opiate of the masses?

  1. What a great adventure opening their own coffee shops in two fabulous locations.I love the idea of the full links with the coffee growers in the Philippines.A visit is definitely required to partake of the delicious coffee.


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