The coffee beans were so fresh that they still glistened as they were scooped up from the choice of the day selection to be ground for my filter coffee.
The barista nodded his approval as I declined the offer of sugar and milk. I don’t think he would have been as impressed with my selection of yesterday’s iced caramel machiato from Starbucks.
The two beverages couldn’t have been more different with the sticky caramel syrup providing a sweetness to the stronger flavoured espresso based soy milk drink. I am unsure of the blend of beans used in the Starbucks selection but the Tomtom choice of the day was the Indian Monsoon Malabar.
These coffee beans, unique to the Malabar coast of Karnataka and Kerala, are exposed to the monsoon winds for three to four months of the year. This removes much of the acridity, apparently, and the result is a much sweeter, full bodied blend that leaves a pleasantly warm flavour. The quality of the coffee is exemplified by the care taken in all the daily choices.
The coffee, however, is not the only selling point of this surprising little cafe. The cakes were very tempting, as were the pasties at £6.50. The last time I was here I had soft-boiled eggs on toast and a dense little fairy cake which was sweet and ideal.
I had almost forgotten about the existence of the cafe Tomtom but I had a 40 minute wait at Victoria Coach Station on my way back to Bristol. As I wondered what to do with myself, I remembered my friend Martin’s recommendation for a place to enjoy some quality coffee and while away the time. Its existence feels like a delightful discovery in the commercially-dense location near the Victoria coach and rail stations. I can’t claim the discovery for myself but I can certainly enjoy what’s on offer and pass on the recommendation. If this is the first place you hear about it then I hope you’ll visit and appreciate Martin’s beautifully discerning taste as well.
Tomtom Coffee House, 114 Ebury Street, Belgravia, London, SW1W 9QD, United Kingdom