UK

Algerian Coffee Stores

Continue reading But Soho legend is a circus of gritty decadence. Long the ‘enfant terrible’ of London, the area has always greeted its tenants with an embrace and a blind eye. As such, the story of an Algerian man setting up a coffee shop – although statistically unusual in 1887 – has long been usurped […]

Writer

John Burns

Photographer

Tom Holmes

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Old Compton Street, one of Soho’s jugulars, is alternately lined with shops selling underwear and coffee. The latter are a mix of the usual franchised suspects and the artisanal independents typical of London’s hipster boom. Standing in contrast, at Number 52, is Algerian Coffee Stores. Its post-box red façade and ‘Est. 1887’ signage proffering a curious outpost of North African culture. Inside, the fittings remain much the same as they always have. The old world Victorian counter, display case and ceiling-skimming shelves – heaving with over 60 different blends – are original and kept meticulously in tact. Fading sepia-tone photographs hang on the wall, charting the store through the ages, and the air is heavy with the perfume of coffee. For a brand with a fine reputation and over a century of such well-preserved heritage, one would think its Algerian roots would be firmly planted in Soho’s folklore.

We sell Yemeni coffee, and we also sell blends spiced with cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, anise, cassia and pepper

This article appears in the issue42 Buy Now