Sunday 21 February 2010

Kaffe Automat - Climpsons coffee in Soho

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
Kaffe Automat on Urbanspoon


  1. excellent, you can't have too many good coffee places in my book! Well I suppose it's possible but London's got a way to go before it hits that problem. Know what you mean about the signage, can't believe I've missed this place too, feeling quite ashamed.

    Are they not Aussies who run the place then? Couldn't tell if you meant the owners were American, a new coffee shop NOT run by Aussies/Kiwis is quite an event these days ;)

  2. Walked by here over the weekend and was like, "Where did this place come from? It wasn't here the other day!" Must have been the lack of signage. I thought it had popped up overnight!

  3. Hi Jones - The manager is British I think, and the lady who made my coffee was Brazilian. Agree it seems quite a rarity for no Aussie or Kiwi to be involved in these sort of places!

  4. Hi Krista - That's exactly what happened to me. Usually you can smell these places by the sweet, wafting aroma of coffee, even if you can't see them!

  5. Ah - ha. A great recommendation. I will be excited to try this! Thanks for the tip.

  6. Hi Tom - The coffee is proving to be consistently good. Hope you like it.

  7. Hello

    Found your blog post via Twitter - just wanted to say that I really enjoyed have a nosey around here; you write very well and your reviews are nice and informative to read (that cannot be said for many bloggers, sadly, so it is lovely to find a good'un to read).

    Not sure if you are ever in our 'hood, but do pop by ours for coffee if you are.

    Bye for now

    (fellow coffee nut and owner of Scandi Kitchen, 61 Gt Titchfield St)

  8. Hi Bronte - I have of course seen your lovely red Scandi Kitchen before, but have not yet popped by for a coffee. Always glad to try out the brew from a fellow coffee nut - I'll stop by sometime soon. Thanks for your lovely comments.

  9. Automat For The People..

    Bit of a shame that there is no place in Soho called..

    Losing My Religion or What's The Frequency Kenneth?..

    Or I would have a nice little vibe going with my post there..

    Oh hang on..!

    If anyone is thinking of opening a venue/cafe/shop with the above names after all..

    (And there's always one tricky blighter looking for the next big thing to start a retail empire..)

    I got there first so get your own..

    Although I will let you have the "concepts" for loads of pounds..

    And freebies..


    I'm not greedy.

    Or a diva.


    See ya

    D R Y B A B Y


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