When you live or work in London, having a strong urge for copious amounts of caffeine is never a problem. There are thousands of options to choose from, and that’s just with Pret alone. Often though, an urge for caffeine can have you wanting more than just chain coffee, and leave you searching endlessly for that more authentic, independent café. So, caffeine addicts, I am here to try and save you from countless hours of searching, by bringing you a weekly article in which I visit a well-loved café and give you - the caffeine addicts - the run-down.
In this first instalment, I’ve headed to a café that I’ve been frequenting myself for the last year, which also happens to be a firm favourite amongst London’s coffee connoisseurs; Tap 193.
Tap have themselves three branches, identified by their store number. 193 Wardour St, 26 Rathbone Place & 114 Tottenham Court Rd. I’ve always favoured the 193 store, as it seems relatively tucked away, despite being right on the fringes of Oxford Street.
Outside the store they advertise ‘Better Coffee’, something in which they’re proud of. The interior is a stripped away rustic approach, with bare floorboards, exposed bulbs, stalls and benches. It’s a cosy atmosphere, somewhere in which you could easily allow the hours to pass by whilst working away, or by just being lost in a book.
Cleverly, they’ve equipped the bar with old-school sinks, all filled with crushed ice, which serves its purpose of storing the cold drinks, including their own bottled cold-crew coffee. Lift your gaze slightly and your met with a whole host of freshly made food, from salads and sandwiches, to the most amazing looking cakes and pastries.
The drinks menu is smaller and more minimalistic than a chain branch offers, which is a great thing in the age of frappe-lappe-dappe-skinny-cino’s. Their ethos in Tap is good coffee, simple. This reflects in the actual product, which is made to 65 degrees, in order to allow the coffee to release it’s own natural flavours, instead of being scorched away.
For the budget conscious amongst you, Tap actually offers one of the best loyalty cards I’ve ever used. Buy six coffees and the next one is on them.
Overall it’s easy for any customers to see that the emphasis in Tap isn’t to overwhelm you with choice, it’s not to put a million different things around to distract you from the experience, it’s to offer you a simple, honest and great coffee experience, and boy do you get it.