Let no one tell you there are no bargains left in London. At the historic and beautiful Algerian Coffee Stores just one British pound will get you an espresso to take away or, even better, to knock back at the counter. But this is not just another coffee shop.
Back when most of us considered Gold Blend more than acceptable, Algerian Coffee Stores was a place to buy the ingredients and equipment essential to the preparation of real coffee and tea. Beans are available in dozens of varieties – huge sacks of them are piled behind the counter – they’re sold by weight, whole or ground to the customer’s requirements. There’s tea too – India, China, Ceylon, fruit, herbal, even matcha – available loose or packaged.
The variety of methods used to make the perfect cup are well represented. There’s a range of Italian and Turkish stovetops, French cafetieres, Vietnamese filters and classic cones, along with grinders, tea pots, strainers and caddies, spare parts and even stainless steel trivets for gas cookers. And for those of us who find an unaccompanied cup a sad sight, there are also suitable cakes and biscuits.
It’s everything a specialist shop should be, with experienced and friendly staff who wear their knowledge lightly, happy to provide you with the means to make a cup of something you’ll enjoy.