‘His name’s Brassman. He roams the streets of London looking for brass to clean. He cleans our brass in exchange for free coffee – I think that’s a fair deal!’ says Tom the enthusiastic barista, laughing as he crafts a near perfect flat white and recalls just one of his favourite customers who frequent this busy Tottenham Court Road cafe.
Tap Coffee is easy to miss – jostling for space amongst the typical chain stores that we see on each and every British high street. However this isn’t your typical cafe… Tap are on a mission to make their mark on the London coffee scene with their seasonal, responsibly sourced products in a bid to save the caffeine-addicted masses from the mediocre offerings served up by the giant, corporation-owned, mermaid-fronted cafes that seem to be positioned at 50m intervals along every road from London to Lahore.
And how do they intend on doing this? ‘Well, it’s all about keeping it simple,’ Tom explains. ‘The whole team are involved in choosing what we serve and we have just started roasting our own beans. There haven’t been any explosions yet, but knowing the amount of caffeine we drink – never say never!’
Tap’s simple take on things is apparent in everything you see in store from the old fashioned Lyle’s Black Treacle tins used as sugar dishes, to the silver tea spoons that wouldn’t look out of place in Grandma’s kitchen drawer. There are just six coffee choices on the menu (not one mocha choca latte in sight), a simple list of eco-friendly teas, homemade pastries and banana breads – they even have a toaster sat on the counter that you can use if you fancy your freshly baked treat warmed up a little. Although the choice is limited, it is all delicious so you’re sure to find something to whet your appetite.
‘We’re passionate about our coffee,’ Tom continues, adding ‘I’ve been known to knock back eight or so in a day. Maybe that’s Brassman’s problem – we give him so much coffee, he needs something to do!’
114 Tottenham Court Rd
Tel: 020 7580 2163