Monday, 22 June 2009

Caffè Vergnano 1882

Now I know that some of you are not born yesterday but for the sheltered few the glass of water on the left is not for afters. The water is the first thing you drink to cleanse the palate before enjoying the cup of espresso at its bestest. And down it one go (let it cool for 3 mins or so) as opposed to sipping which is uncouth.
£1.80 a hit.
Seriously good espresso from a chain

I’d more or less given up on seeking a cup of true Italian espresso in London until MsMarmitelover* (of all people but an Earl Grey drinker!), pointed out Caffè Vergnano to me. The cuppa served at Bar Italia is good but it hardly reminds me of the mother of all espressos that I had in Bologna and besides I’ve become so accustomed to the antipodean take on coffee perfection the words ‘Italian coffee’ simply mean lapsed in comparison.

This single shot of espresso is seriously frightening!
I don’t care about its history.
I don’t care if Caffè Vergnano 1882 is a chain.
I don’t care about its location opposite the most loveless arcade in London.
I don’t care about its sterile interiors.
I don’t care about the food they serve here.
And I certainly don’t care about the moribund attitude of the girls who work there.
This cup of coffee more than compensates for any shortcomings that Caffè Vergnano 1882 have. It must be down to the blend of the beans and that fat boy coffee machine that stands proud on the counter. The cup is simply profound and it has to be the best espresso in London. Just in case that my modest authority is questioned, I’ve had five shots here and consistency has always been upheld. Nuff said, go and wake yourself up with a delicious shot.

A much better video is available on You Tube. Aria is from Puccini's Gianni Schicci.
Single Giaccometta
This is espresso with chunks of impossibly sweet dunnowhats, squirty cream and topped with chopped nuts. I can see all the ladies and metrosexuals fighting over this.

I’m jubilant. Whoever said Ryanair was cheap? Thanks Marms. Highly recommended.

62 Charing Cross Road
London WC2H 0BB


kerstin said...

I met the coffee twins at a food festival last year. Here is my report on the guys that run caffe vergnano...dedication doesn't begin to describe it:

I heart cupcakes said...

MUST go there NOW!

Unknown said...

Oh yeah, I'd wondered why this place hadn't featured on your blog just yet!

There's another larger, much nicer one at the Royal Festival Hall. It serves food as well, but I wouldn't recommend eating there.

The Charing Cross branch (original?), alas, will forever be remembered as the place where some young yob mooned me.

bellaphon said...

MML- Thank you.

IHC- Hyperactivated joy to behold. Revel.

LMR- Truth be told, chains bore me senseless. I've seen the light. LOL with the 'mooning', if that was in S'pore that bum of his would be scarred for some considerable time with the aid of a rotan.

Anonymous said...

Vergnano have one of these excellent coffee bars in Warwick now as well (Warwickshire). Can't believe these types of superb coffee bars are beginning to spread through the country - offering us townies an option other than the motorway services known as Costa, Nero & Charbucks! The one in Warwick must be the only place with in a 100 miles in any direction where you can get a real coffee (which tastes like actual coffee!). It rocks. They have a website: just search google with "warwick 1882".

bellaphon said...

Anon- Thank you for stopping, I now know where to get my caffeine fix in Warwick.And it looks plusher than the Soho branch.

Monica at Buttoncounter said...

I make my own espressos using Caffe' Vergnano 1882 because we don't have the actual coffee shops here in Austin, TX...(sound of caffeine addict crying) Starbucks is just nowhere close to being the same thing.

bellaphon said...

mjnauert- lovely of you to drop by, thank you. My coffee obsession is certainly encouraging pilgrimages to Seattle, Portland and NYC…as for Austin, I might need a different reason ;)

I heart cupcakes said...

Finally made it to the one on the South Bank on Weds (thankfully my phone has internet as I'd totally forgotten where it was and had to check your blog). Wonderful coffee - seems the attitude of the staff is catching as the girl that served me was so perturbed at being asked to do some work it was unbelievable but she didn't detract from my enjoyment. Thanks again for telling me such lovely cafes to go to!!

bellaphon said...

IHC- You're welcome as ever. Just as well Vergs thrives on good coffee otherwise the bleak dorks would be out of jobs!