Tapped and Packed are now TAP Coffee, or at least the company name and website are. This stylish coffee outlet which blazed a bit of a trail through both the Rathbone area and Warren Street in terms of good coffee, has now opened a third outlet in the more competitive coffee hub of Soho.
I’m a keen admirer of their clean design, typography and bicycle thematic which gives the brand a quirky yet mature feel. The Antipodean backpackers who beeline from the Piccadilly line to grungy Flat White might feel a little underdressed here. It's not remotely formal, it’s just a rather nice place to be. Yes, nice.
This one features more utilitarian raised as well as regular bench seating, in addition to stools around the coffee bar, now separated from the till. Judgement reserved thus far on that change, but they certainly have the space here. Reading materials and wifi are provided too.
I was downsold a £2 filter coffee from my usual long black order. No doubt so the barista guy could try out some of his bean credentials. But it was actually a tad weak and topped out at about 200ml. Considering I’d asked for a long black previously, he might have assumed I wanted it stronger and shorter. Slightly disappointing.
Food is solid here – there isn’t much beyond pastries, sandwiches and sweet baked goods but they’re high quality and made on premises. My prosciutto, brie, tomato and basil baguette was generously peppered and tasty, not bad value at £3.50. It was a bit weeny, but on the other hand, you’d pay two quid more for the same at Fernandez and Wells, so for the area it’s a good deal.
So TAP Coffee have scored another hit with their most impressive, design-forward space yet. The lighting, furniture and vintage bicycle prints are fantastic. Staff are helpful, although next time I’ll be sticking to my long black rather than that peely wally filter stuff.
At three outlets, the group are now verging towards becoming something bigger, that dirty c word of the foodie world. I’ve been planning a post on what constitutes a chain within coffee for a while. There are a good few other indie favourites with multiple locations who are under the chain scrutiny radar, thus far…