Soho Coffee Co. Strand
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A chain coffee shop on the Strand.
Familiarity and convenience are an undeniable bonus when it comes to a daily ritual as banal as sloshing back a cup of coffee. A growing chain with a standard, unintimidating menu, Soho Coffee Co has those in spades. So it feels a bit of a cheap shot to diss them for being barely distinguishable from Eat, Starbucks, Costa and the like. But then, London’s a caffeine-savvy city; you can barely move for independent, attractive little cafés slinging speciality single-estate brews, Chemex pour-overs and house-roasted beans. We should count ourselves lucky.
SCC’s newest London branch, at the eastern end of the Strand, opposite the Royal Courts of Justice, is as workaday as you’d expect. A few faux-designer chairs, copper and gold scales, and bags of beans are dotted around. Food is sandwichey. Posh juices, Innocent smoothies and Tyrell’s crisps abound. Curtis Mayfield wails overhead.
As for the coffee? There’s a standard menu: from espresso to flat whites and all the regulars in-between. My server didn’t know what beans were being used (arabica was as close as she got) and a long filter was insipid.
Not that it seemed to matter: the steady influx of tourists and King’s College students on their way back from the library on Chancery Lane all seemed perfectly content. For some, coffee is just coffee.