At this corner coffee shop in the heart of Soho, fresh roasted beans in a variety of cold and hot forms raise the bar for those in need of a caffeine fix. If it’s coffee-based, you’ll find it here: from standard flat whites and lattes to cortados and mochas, to more offbeat options including ‘coffee tonics’ (espresso with tonic), iced americanos and housemade thick cold coffee freakshakes. Most of it’s great, too. Take the nitro cold brew, a tall glass of rocket juice that looked more like Guinness than coffee. One sip through the frothy head revealed a deep, dark flavour and creamy texture. Another winner was the coffee cherry soda, a quenching infusion using the skin of the fruit mixed with sparkling water.
The food was more of a muddle. A plate of sous-vide chicken got the thumbs up: though the meat was a tad dry, the pile of quinoa on the side came studded with juicy mushrooms and roasted red peppers, all topped with a thick, cheesy miso sauce. Each moreish bite smacked of umami. But steer clear of the ‘salad of the earth’, which had been murdered by too much sage.
Still, drinks are indisputably excellent and there’s a cosy charm to this coffee shop. 39 Steps is a nice little addition to London’s java scene.