TAP Coffee: Solid roaster in London

Another week has just flown by and it is time for coffee Monday again. This week we are back in London and one of the coffee roasters I often enjoy going to. TAP Coffee have been around for some time but they used to be called Tapped & Packed. In the old days they served a range of different roasters but since a few years they roast themselves. They currently have three locations in London (26 Rathbone Place, 114 Tottenham Court Road and 193 Wardour Street) and I do visit all of them fairly regularly. This review is however mainly for the one on on Wardour Street in Soho.

Come in and enjoy the coffee
Come in and enjoy the coffee
Charming space on Wardour street
Charming space on Wardour street
Amond croissant
Amond croissant
Cold brew in July
Cold brew in July

I prefer coming here on weekdays as weekends tend to be too busy and while the place has a fairly large number of seats it does tend to crowded. It may also not always be possible to order all the hand-brews if they are too busy at the brew bar. They have the roaster in the back and the space looks a bit rugged but nice. One thing I am not a huge fan of is the seating. The seats are not very comfortable and they are actually rather ill-suited to sit and work. That may be intentional to avoid having people linger for too long. They do however offer free wifi and a lot of newspapers and magazines which in a way is an invite to stay for long. Service is very much up and down here – sometimes people are super-friendly and at others I almost feel like I am a nuisance when trying to order some coffee. Out of the three locations this one is the only one where service is so inconsistent, perhaps due to it being the busiest one but still not really great.

The main reason to visit is however the coffee. They offer three different coffees as hand-brews and the selection rotates fairly frequently. The quality is usually really good, the roasting was not top notch when they started but I really feel that they have improved greatly. While not always the most exciting coffees they do have consistently good quality and reliable execution which is not easy. They also offer good espresso based beverages and for part of the year also nice cold-brews.

With regards to food they do have a good range of typical café food so plenty of sandwiches, pastries, some yogurt and the occasional salad. Good enough to keep hunger at bay but not really a substitute for a real meal. Quality is good but not overly exciting.

So how does it rate:
Coffee quality: 4
Ambiance and service: 3
Food: 3
Vs local competition: 4.5

Mother’s milk – truly excellent coffee bar experience in London

I am trying to return to some sort of order here in the posts for the so called Coffee Monday’s so today it actually posts on a Monday and with a real favorite both in terms of city and coffee bar. London is full of excellent places for coffee and I have a great many that I hold in high regard so naming one as the best is difficult. I do however hold Mother’s Milk as perhaps the best coffee quality.

The place is located just a few blocks north of Oxford circus (12 Portland Street, W1W 8BJ) and it is a little gem of a coffee place. It is run by two experienced baristas who really know their coffee. It is a tiny place (3 seats inside and a bench outside) so much of the business is take out. The menu is simple and straightforward. Everything on there is £3 (espresso, espresso with milk and filter) and made on order. The coffee is from reputable German roaster JB coffee (same as Rapha used in the past – before they decided to both ditch quality coffee and good staff) so quality of the beans is great and since they know how to make coffee the result is top notch. I have never had a bad cup of coffee here and usually stick to the excellent aeropress but the cold brew is also great.

Service is friendly and it is nice to have a seat and chat a bit about coffee. There is no food at all so if you are after other things than coffee then this place may not be for you. There is also no wifi so not the place to linger for a day. I am a fan and they really started the trend of good coffee around this area(since then Curators and Workshop also opened close by) and it is nice to have a good place for coffee if shopping at Oxford Street. The main drawback is that they are only open weekdays but as the guys work elsewhere as well  that is understandable.

So how does rate:
Coffee quality: 4.5
Ambiance and service: 3.5 (great service but so tiny so not really the place to hang out for a longer time)
Food: –
Vs local competition: 5