Visited on Tottenham Court Road

Formerly Tapped and Packed

I was due to leave London with not the best coffee-shop experiences in the bag, but upon realising I was taking a post-midday train I thought I could manage to squeeze in one last cafe visit prior to my departure; I was right.

Although, it was a stressful venture. Not so savvy on the London-tube topic, I took my usual Picaddilly line and, with only ten minutes until my arranged good-bye meeting at Tap, I did not have time to check other connections I had from Leicester Square, so I decided to make my way up to the top of Tottenham Court Road by foot. With a heavy suitcase – on a Saturday. Enough said that the ten minutes to spare turned into ten minutes late; but my companion was still miles away by then, so I had time to catch my breath and have  good look around.

Reflection in the mirror: inside Tap

There was no sign carrying the name of the place to be seen, but I knew I arrived to my destination: the atmosphere of the place was oozing out through the glass walls of the venue; the bicycle over the door would have also given it away if I had done my homework on the spot. Upon entering, I was subconsciously struck by how tiny this place was – yet again, like the Milk Bar (it must be a statement on the London cafe scene of some sorts) and yet, it seemed to allow one enough privacy to go about your business, catching up with friends, hand-writing a novel or creating a spreadsheet on a laptop (all of the above observed during my visit). It was plain and simple, rustic in a way, with a reasonable but not overwhelming choice of foods, two espresso machines and two baristas.

I had been wanting to visit Tapped and Packed from the first time I laid my eyes on the Time Out list, tempted by the promise of a great drip coffee; but after the Monmouth Coffee experience, I was not as impressed by the ceramic-filer-brewing-process as I could have been. Only now, upon recollection, I realise I was expecting lab-like equipment – specifically a siphon coffee maker; either it was hiding somewhere or this particular store didn’t have it… so I didn’t think twice about my order, and asked for a mocha.

Soy Mocha in Tap; Americano in the background

Again, like in the Milk Bar, the coffee got served in a small glass – and likewise, it was divine. The texture was velvety, the sweetness of chocolate and milk blended perfectly with the espresso, effecting in one taste, as opposed to a mix of flavours of the different ingredients on the pallet. The delicate layer of foam stayed on top at least half-way through the drink. The coffee was gone within a couple of minutes…

The only tiny minus was that it tasted only slightly bitter on the espresso side than the absolutely faultless concoction at the Milk Bar. Apart from that, Tap certainly proved to be a haven of calamity in the bustling centre of England’s capital – a rare breed, that also serves great coffee on top of that.

I was glad I rushed to visit this place before returning to Edinburgh. At least it left me with a thirst for more coffee ventures in London.

Until next time.

Mocha: £2.60

Verdict justification: Amazing coffee in the epicentre of the capital – what more is left to say?


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