Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Algerian Coffee Stores - Old Compton St W1

I have always loved the Algerian Coffee Stores - it is old fashioned in a good way, there is plenty to look at and it smells so good!  From the outside it looks like a shop from a story book and the window display alone is worth the visit.  Inside, they sell all sorts of coffee (beans and ground), teas and the equipment with which to imbibe said beverages.  Also (and crucially for me) they sell an amazing range of chocolate and exotic sweets - it is a great place to come if you want a quirky present for someone or a stocking filler.  Sometimes I am in the mood for posh chocolate, sometimes I am in the mood for pistachio flavoured Turkish Delight, sometimes I want to stuff my face with that delicious hazelnut stuff that tastes a bit like Nutella.  This is one of the places I come to stock up.  In the spirit of honesty and as reluctant as I am to be negative about a place I really do love dearly, I don't buy my coffee beans here.  I have been disappointed with the ones I have bought in the past and now that we are home espresso making afficionados with  our snazzy Rancilio Silvia machine, I really care about the flavour of my beans (so to speak).  So I usually buy at Monmouth - always a winner.  Also - if you are after a take away coffee, I would not buy it here (although I love the fact they have a machine) - I would walk round the corner to Bar Italia or a little further to Milk Bar (*cheering*).  OK enough of the downer - this place is brilliant, just go and you'll see what I mean - and don't blame me if you end up with £20 worth of weird chocolate fig salami and obscure French pastilles.  I was in there today and I ran into a lovely Kiwi tourist and her family, who heard me asking for a flat white and asked me where to get good coffee, Kiwi style, in London - of course I directed them to Milk Bar (*applause*) and also advised her to check out this blog and The Central London Coffee Survival Guide Map.  So if you are reading this, nice Kiwi woman, I hope you have many happy coffee experiences during your time here.

1 comment:

  1. That's a very fancy esspresso machine! I'm full of envy.

    I've always walked past this place, but I'll definitely visit soon.