Whilst in London overnight this weekend, I made sure to fit in a quick visit to Soho this morning; eager to try out a couple more cafes for the 1st time – and they certainly did not disappoint! Soho at 10am on a Saturday is decidedly deserted, and at first it didn’t seem likely to find anything happening anywhere, but if you know where to look, there are some cafes making some very special coffee to get the area moving again in the morning! There are a few espresso hot spots clustered in Soho now, and I would have liked to try more, but time was limited, as are my caffeine tolerances, so I settled on two.

Espresso first, at Fernandez and Well’s (Beak St cafe).



…Sickeningly good!! Pretty sure this was the first time I’ve tried a triple ristretto brewed with 33g (at about 1.5oz, maybe even less). The shot was absolutely flawless (I think), and totally fantastic. It was so syrupy that the velvety crema merged seamlessly into the thick liquid. Rich, balanced, and sweet. Really Wow!

I also love that you simply order an ‘espresso’, and get that – no messing about between crappy singles, or even doubles, ristrettos, etc.

The Synesso (with a little help from great coffee and baristas) really seemed to prove its legendary status as the top dog (although Schomer’s been tweaking the Slayer and I look forward to seeing one of these too if ever they land here!). This sort of shot simply isn’t possible, unless you have all the factors at play in this particular situation at your disposal, but it will be fun trying to draw some parallels with a different set up, and about half the amount of grounds!

Next up Milk Bar. Wasn’t sure whether to try here, or the original Flat White, but something about the little sister’s more low key reputation seemed appealing, and, tucked away down Bateman St, Milk Bar is indeed lovely – unimposing, intimate, cosy, friendly, and quite comfy, with the black fb80 greeting you along with the barista as you walk in, and the soft clicking of the Anfim registering reassuringly in the background whilst you sit and wait for your drink. After the espresso, and whilst in ‘Milk’ bar, I guessed a milk drink would be a sensible choice, and so we ordered a flat white and a macchiato, which were impeccably poured (with pretty etching on the macc). My flattie perhaps seemed a touch mild; but then anything would just after 33g shots – even normal espresso, and it was delicious and comforting regardless!



So nice to visit just two of a possible dozen or so top choices for a London coffee visit, and for them both to totally live up to their reputation. Maybe we caught it lucky with the baristas on the shift, or maybe the fact that neither cafe was especially busy (thankfully!), had an impact both sides of the bar, in helping to make everything as tasty and civilised as possible, but still, I get the feeling the level of quality, due to various factors, was probably pretty representative and sustainable, and it was thoroughly enjoyable.

Even my ol’ Mum was impressed, which is really saying something – so these places are clearly doing a great job!

…Oddly, I also found an fb80 (or was it a 70?) resting in the 4th floor snack bar of the Tate Modern the previous evening, and nearly ordered a shot, but, it was a little late in the day, and (perhaps mistakenly?) I was a little dubious, so didn’t. Would have been interesting though.

…Hmmm. This post almost reads like a cafe review (sorry!) which was not the intention at all. No harm done though; I usually try not to mention negative things if it relates to anything sensitive, and today there was nothing not to like anyway!

2 Responses to “Sohospro”

  1. Mark Says:

    Nice read. I’ll be sure to check out those places when I’m next in London.

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