Cafe Review – Caffe Vergnano

Caffe Vergnano

62 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0BB


Caffe Vergagno have become the coffee darlings of the mainstream press of late.  They have used interviews and articles to rant freely on what they think espresso is and what it should be.  Cappuccino should be served at 44.5C for example (I love they are specific to half a degree!), and that anything with milk in is not coffee.

They have had a lot of positive write ups about the coffee and have a board outside proudly stating they won Time Out’s Best Cafe in 2005.  I’ve been a few times so today I went by and ordered a double espresso.  I didn’t really want that much coffee, but singles often tend to come out of single baskets and their dose doesn’t really do it for me when brewed like that.

They are using 2 Elektra machines, 1 Belle Epoque which looks lovely and then a standard two group that seems to sit pretty idle on the back bar.  Interestingly they are also using a rebadged Mahlkonig K30 grind to order machine.

So, my coffee was at least ground to order, a quick air-tamp and then in the machine.  It sat in the machine for about a minute as she wandered off to make some sandwiches for another customer and then returned slightly surprised to find nothing was brewed.  This was probably for the best as she hadn’t found a cup yet.  Anyway – the pour wasn’t too bad, a little quick for my tastes so thin and lacking texture in the cup.  From the picture it looks a lot better than it tasted, and I think some of the credit goes to the grind to order set up.  However, it was by no means utterly awful.  It is a little better than most espresso served in and around London so I can see how it might have gotten some better press.  Again I wouldn’t be negative about a cafe after just one shot but I’ve had five or six coffees in there which seems a fair amount in order to write it up.  Considering the hype – disappointing.

[tags]coffee, cafe review, barista, cappuccino, latte, espresso, caffe vergnano[/tags] 

5 Comments Cafe Review – Caffe Vergnano

  1. blanco

    i absolutely love the concept of boiling down an entire operation’s existence to the 1-2oz shot. it really all does come down to that, doesn’t it? i know you didn’t mean for it to sound/be that way. i’m just saying i think we’ve all been guilty of that in our own ways. and hey, that’s about as good a metric as anything else? if the heart of the matter–the shot of espresso–is not in order, what else is awry?

  2. jim

    Well – I should probably post up my review techniques. I will never write a review on a single visit, and all the cafes I’ve reviewed here I have visited at least half a dozen times before I write up any opinion.
    However, it isn’t like any customer has the luxury of knowing in advance of visiting when they will be on top of their game.
    Cafe reviews, restaurant reviews or any other review that involves something prepared to order will obviously be open to the “we were having a bad day, usually we are brilliant” criticism.
    I can’t think of a fairer way to review a place than to visit a load of times, and then write up one with reference to others if you have an experience vastly different from usual.
    Interestingly all four cafes have been extremely consistent throughout every visit.

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  5. Dario Reguera

    Estimados Sres:
    El motivo de este e’mail es por si en un futuro necesitasen ampliar su Dpto. Comercial en Madrid, ya que soy una persona muy introducida en el canal Horeca entre las empresas que he trabajado destaca desde el año 2000 al 2005 como area manager de madrid en la empresa illy cafe, quedo a su disposicion para una entrevista personal o si necesitasen que les envie mi curriculum vitae.
    saludos cordiales
    Dario Reguera

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