Tap Coffee No.26
One of three Tap coffee shops, this is the one where the magic actually happens. These guys roast their own blend in store once a week with beans from Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica and El Salvador. If you're lucky enough to find a seat, then sit and enjoy your coffee in the most stylish of surroundings. Go for an espresso (served with a small shot of oolong green tea), a filtered blend (these guys take a lot of pride in their filter coffee) or a perfectly foamed latte.
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Good & Proper Tea
Nothing beats a cup of builders' tea in your fave mug but every now and again you want a something with a little more finesse. Good & Proper Tea take things to a whole new level with elaborate machines called 'steam punks' that brew up each individual portion in a highly scientific manner. First have a sniff of all the delights on offer, or give them an idea of what you fancy. Then choose and watch the chemistry at work. Be warned: some might taste like bath water, so choose wisely young warriors. In the hotter months, try the iced tea, brewed overnight in cold water so it has a more delicate flavour and needs no added sugar. With a brightly lit space at the back decked out with all the plant pots, its a good place to do some work whilst enjoying a sourdough crumpet, sausage roll or a brownie.
*Unpublished as it moved to Hummus Bros, Exmouth Market* Silhouette Espresso is a solid East London cafe with a few surprises tucked up its sleeves. First off, it serves a selection of Malaysian recipes, including curries and fried noodles with seasoned shrimp. Not too shabby. Secondly, unlike some cafes that are all style and no substance, the folks behind Silhouette really know their coffee beans. They're always trying new blends, which make for a great brew.
If you find yourself bopping around Regent's and in need of a little refreshment, the Espresso Bar is a convenient solution. It's in a quaint chapel-like building and does the usual plus some muffins and soup of the day if you fancy a bit of grub.
Chairs and Coffee
A Fulham classic - serious coffee in a relaxed atmosphere. With international training and awards under their belt, Roberto and Simone shook hands and opened Chairs and Coffee in 2012. Whilst the chairs are nice, the focus is definitely on the in-house roasted coffee - with espressos and drip coffees as their specialties. They also have a pretty retro coffee machine that comes with its own strange story. The Faema E61, built in 1963, was discovered by the owners in the basement of their village's priest after his death (RIP). Having sat there for over 30 years it needed a little love but they managed to restore it to pre-priest conditions and it retained its former glory. The machine might be vintage but the coffee it produces is bang on and well worth a try.