TAPPED AND PACKED

The Find: Tapped and Packed is the kind of place that feels like it's been here forever. This could have something to do with the skill with which they prepare coffee.... like they've been brewing here for donkey's years.

The lucky lot in Fitzrovia have got it so damn good. Not only can you get meticulously prepared espresso based drinks here but you can also get an unrivalled variety of brewed coffee here too. From the commonly used pour over and cafetiere methods to the little known aeropress and impressive siphon techniques. Brewed coffee is there thang.

Alongside some wonderful espresso blends, they have a range of Single Origin coffees to get your taste buds ticking. Sourced from a handful of the best artisan roasteries the UK has to offer - Climpson and Sons, Has Bean, Square Mile Coffee and Union Hand Roasted. The staff are self-confessed coffee geeks so expect a textbook approach when ordering. This could mean a little wait for your drink but perfection takes time you know.

Located at the Tottenham Court Road end of Oxford Street (also near Goodge Street station), Tapped and Packed is ideally located for when you get that central London coffee urge.

The food is not the focus here, but that's no bad thing. Timeout London heavily criticised the lack of food offerings and even deducted a "star" for this niggle. But whats wrong with offering quality over quantity? And sticking to simple things done extraordinarily well? The guys at Tapped and Packed are coffee athletes.... they knock the socks off cafes who would rather offer an extensive and generic food menu but pay little attention to their coffee. No thanks.

Their list of suppliers, for everything other than coffee, speaks for itself - Postcard Teas, Choki of Brockley, Paul Rhodes Bakery, Soul Fruits and Violet Cakes. They have a very nice little "porridge bar" where you can help yourself to all kinds of lovely toppings from a tray of kilner jars.

Tapped and Packed offers a modern, chic and friendly space to unwind - wooden benches at oak tables, stools at the bar and leather seats stretching along the left wall form the seating in this place. A neat clock arrangement, low pendulum lights and re-used treacle pots for the sugar just add that little bit extra. They also exhibit local artists work which is always a plus point.

Chess club is on it's way, as are a host of coffee-related courses to get your teeth into, check their website for details.

So when you find yourself in W1 and need a cup of Joe, look no further than No 26.....

*News* Well done to the crew at Tapped and Packed for coming Runners Up in the "Best New Coffee" category of the Timeout Eating And Drinking Awards 2010. Pretty good achievement in the first year of opening! Read more about the Timeout Awards here www.timeout.com/london/feature/519/time-out-eating-and-drinking-awards-2010

Where: 26 Rathbone Place, London, W1T 1JD

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 08:00 - 20:00  | Saturday 09:00 - 19:00

Webby Stuff:

Website: www.tappedandpacked.co.uk/
Twitter: twitter.com/tappedandpacked
Blog: tappedandpacked.wordpress.com/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/London-United-Kingdom/Tapped-and-Packed/325501333446