This story is connected to...Algerian Coffee Stores
52 Old Compton Street Soho W1D 4PB
It’s easy to think of Soho purely in terms of nightlife. The dim narrow streets heaving with wayward revelers, noise and lights. By day, however, when it turns into a cheerful maze of coffee shops and cafes, there are any number of retail discoveries to be made. From posh chocolate boutiques to Liam Gallagers’ clothes store, Soho is vibrant with quirky businesses.
Algerian Coffee Stores sits on Old Compton Street. Unobtrusive beneath its dark red awning, it houses one of London’s top ranges of tea and coffee. Giving the East Indian coffee house a run for its money, Algerian Coffee stores has been going since 1887. Stepping inside, along with the mouth-watering smell of coffee, is a distinct sense of the past. The building retains many of its original features giving a warm, rustic feel; the wooden counter has been there from the start, as have the long shelves that display the produce.
Like many businesses with an eye to a specialist subject, the store really knows its tea and coffee. It is one of the rare places that treat these beverages with the delicacy and taste usually reserved for wines. The range of flavours available is expansive, and visitors can be guided through a subtle array of varying blends and hues.
The store stocks over 120 types of tea including white teas, and 80 blends of coffee. Their sourcing takes place with the brokers who in turn reach into the far flung corners of Indonesia, Africa, India and South America. There are regular coffees of the month – July features the strong, smooth Velluto Nero and the paler El Salvador. They also stock a few varieties of decaffeinated coffee – this has been processed using Swiss water rather than solvents, creating a much purer blend.
Alongside the teas and coffees are a range of accessories including a range of carefully chosen espresso makers, milk frothers and Turkish coffee pots.
Customers can also buy a cup of coffee while in the shop, giving the opportunity to try out some of what’s on offer. And if all this wasn’t enough, the prices are very reasonable. Definitely worth a visit for anyone browsing through Soho – this provides the contrast to chain coffee stores we all need once in a while.
Algerian Coffee Stores
52 Old Compton Street, Soho
London, W1D 4PB