There's something about the exterior that tells you it serves good coffee - the matt paint? the confident lack of signage? a glimpse of the Nuova Simonella coffee machine? the bicycle above the door? (what is it about the association of coffee and bicycles? Do fixies know good coffee? Or are they too anti-capitalist to buy from Starbucks?)
I digress. The coffee didn't disappoint - hot enough, thickly frothy and a wholesome, rounded taste. The breakfast options were simple but divine: a selection of pastries, porridge with a DIY topping bar of apricots, sliced almonds, raisins, walnuts, cranberries, milk and dark chocolate, brown sugar and honey (yes, I tried the whole lot), or muesli (but a souped-up granola/muesli hybrid of sticky oats, grains and seeds), served with fresh fruit and yoghurt (the former lacking on the day I visited, meant we were allowed to turn to the toppings bar to replace the absent fruit). We didn't hold back (top picture). Both were superb, with a minor quibble being the tepid temperature of the porridge, but at 9.45am I got the impression I was scraping the bowl after the morning rush.
I recently installed the superb London Coffee app on my phone, which led me to this place - it's a superb location-based finder to match coffee appreciators with a nearby outlet. Looking at the densely populated Soho region, it's a reminder of just how many independent coffee shops there are in London - begging the question, how many can one city support? What's Melbourne's independent coffee shop to Melbonite ratio? Have we got there yet? I hope not.
Details: Tapped & Packed, 114 Tottenham Court Rd, London W1; www.tappedandpacked.co.uk