Kaffe Automat opened discretely just before Christmas. And they've managed to maintain such a low profile (signage only appeared last weekend), that despite the fact I must have wandered past it dozens of times, and can sniff out a coffee bean from 100 paces, I only just noticed it. Or perhaps I simply had my blinkers on for Milk Bar, which is right around the corner. Either way, cafe owners of the world, let that be a lesson to you all - get some signage, people.
Anyway, the Kaffe Automat crew know and love their coffee, so I'm immediately on board as soon as we start chatting.
The coffee beans are from Climpson & Sons on Broadway Market (big tick), and they make a lovely, rich tasting brew. My coffee was slightly too milky (coming in too large a cup - a "regular" in American coffee shops, whereas I go for "small", which is regular in Australia. Confused?). However, they explained to me later that some customers, having developed a taste for Starbucks, raise an eyebrow over the strength of their espresso. Although they don't intend to "lower the tone" to address these tastes, I wonder if that had an impact on my dose. Anyway, I'll definitely go back, but I'll be more specific about my tastes - I'm not a Starbucks girl.
They're getting in some single origin beans for the filtered coffee option soon. And there's sandwiches, cakes and simple eats which I am yet to try - it was an emergency caffeine situation.
It's small (with more seating in what I believe is a bar out the back), but a lovely, character-filled haven to sit and sip your flattie over the daily paper, away from the Soho hordes. A great little find.
Kaffe Automat, 62 Frith Street, Soho, London