Freelance travel writer and Policy Adviser for the UK government living in Brixton. View my blog www.my-big-fat-carbon-footprint.blogspot.com for ethical and budget travel inspiration
Published March 16th 2013
Tasty blend coffee from Fix
Fix 126 during an unusual quiet period
This is the third time I've walked halfway across London just to get my coffee fix at a new favourite café, and for the third time it's been to this café. The only difference is that this time, I worked out what it was called and was able to locate it on an online map. Fix 126 sells by far and away the best coffee I have drunk ON THIS PLANET.
Normally, I drink my coffee black: Espresso if I'm in a hurry, and an Americano if I'm after a long, lingering rainy afternoon café experience. Sometimes I find that drinking an Americano made with bad coffee beans can feel a little like a chore, but here, it is an absolute delight. I tried to find out what coffee beans they used, and the lovely man behind the counter told me they were a mix of Arabica and another bean. In fact, the man may have been a little surly, but that didn't matter because I was in a happy cloud of sparkling caffeine from my excellent coffee and nothing was going to shake me down from that high.
I found the information I was looking for on their website: 50% Malawi Msese District, 33% Guatemala Webcor co-op and 17% Brazil Fazenda Paraiso. Together they make a sweet smooth and strong blend contrasted with a citrus acidity. Considering that I love the sweet, sour, strong and spicy elements of Thai and Vietnamese Food, this is probably why I'm so attracted to this bean. It really dances on your palette and is such a joy to drink.
Fix 126 is exactly the type of place you'd expect to find off Old Street. There's plenty of exposed brickwork, trestle tables, steamy windows, understated signage and plug sockets for the new brigade of start-up workers and writers. It's always crammed, which makes it feel like a cosy nook, especially on such a rainy and miserable day as today.
They sell exactly what you'd expect from a beautiful and well-thought through space: excellent coffee, possibly a pot of two of tea, and some home-made cakes and pastries. Even better (at least for me), I found some chocolate vegan gluten-free brownies. Never great (I don't eat these by choice), the consistency of these were incredible-better than I've ever managed at home. However, the flavour was a bit off and needed some more sugar. Just because it lacks every other ingredient, it doesn't mean that unhealthiness and fat should also be lacking. These are essential components in any brownie.
However, Fix 126 also has an incredible soya milk supplier: thankfully, it isn't alpro-soy who have the monopoly on chain coffee shops. Instead, when I dashed a little into my boiling hot American this morning I found that it tasted like a silky, rich cream. Insanely good. My boyfriend informed me that his flat white was hands down the best he'd ever had. I don't know how they manage.
Anyway, if you're around this part of the world (I will now endeavour to make a weekly pilgrimage to Fix 126) I couldn't recommend this ambient coffee shop enough.