One of a few trendy, pale, coffee-obsessed London cafes (and there’s now’t wrong with that).
Update, June 2013: Tapped & Packed is now known as TAP.
Last month I found myself in London for a few days. Of course I couldn’t resist a visit to the London Coffee Festival, and to some of the newer additions to the ever-blossoming London cafe scene. Tapped & Packed is almost a veteran at around 1 year old, though they still haven’t got round to hanging a sign outside (I jest… I’m sure the nameless frontage is deliberate).
Anonymous on the outside, and, in some ways, a little anonymous on the inside. The more I go to indie coffee shops, the more I wonder if there’s one interior designer doing the rounds. Kaffeine, Flat White, Fernandez & Wells, Bold Street, Prufrock and others… all share a pale, minimalist and/or industrial vibe.
All of those are brilliant in their own way, and so is Tapped & Packed. One of the first places in London to offer coffee by siphon, the sugar comes in treacle jars and is served with souvenir spoons. Mine had a crest from tiny North Yorkshire city Ripon.
Most coffee shops get their beans from one roastery, maybe two. Tapped & Packed is supplied by Square Mile, Climpson & Sons, Has Bean, Origin and Union Handroasted. Quite the selection.
Despite this, my flat white – if measured against the very best coffees I’ve had in London and elsewhere – was fairly ordinary. This comes with the disclaimer that this was my first and, so far, only taste of Tapped & Packed. I also had an espresso which was much nicer.
All that taken into account, this place has a lot going for it. Friendly, comfy, popular, nicely decked out, lots of coffee options, good brews.
Well worth a detour. Recommended.
26 Rathbone Place
We visited on 9 April 2011.