A new pay-as-you go café has opened in east London, with its Russian owners hoping the concept of charging customers by the minute rather than the drink will prove a hit and even go global.

At Ziferblat - a German word adopted by the Russian language meaning 'clock face' - visitors are given a clock as they enter and are then encouraged to give donations based on the time they spend inside, with a suggested rate of 3 pence per minute.

This means a customer can spend an hour in the first-floor café in London's trendy Shoreditch for as little as 1.80 pounds ($2.95), while enjoying complimentary tea, coffee, toast and biscuits.

The first Ziferblat opened in Russia in 2011 and has already spawned eight others there and one in Ukraine. The London branch marks its first expansion into Western Europe.

For Indira Alymkuleva, one of four co-founders of Ziferblat, the business is less about making money and more about giving people a place they can come to relax and enjoy themselves.

"We more want this place to exist and want people to use it and we don't really need big, big money," she said. "We're not making really big money. We're just surviving."

Customers appeared to enjoy the Ziferblat experience, with its mish-mash of furniture and gentle music creating a relaxed atmosphere.

Despite only just expanding to London, Ziferblat's owners are already planning their next move and are talking of opening a café in New York later this year. Alymkuleva believes there is space for Ziferblat in every city.

"We'd like to have Ziferblats everywhere. Like, we're sure that every city needs such a place. Yeah. But first of all we want to begin with the most important places," she said.

Presented by Adam Justice