The jazz tunes on loop here make an apt soundtrack to watching baristas turn out orders with clockwork efficiency. The slick space hasn’t changed too much over the years – tall stalls, warm wood interiors and a stream of people looking for a coffee fix. Of course, you wouldn’t expect Campos to have earned their reputation and ubiquity without making an excellent espresso, and this flagship cafe hasn’t let up. Every coffee is made with the utmost attention. More coffee bar than cafe, there is a selection of pastries, cakes and macarons by way of accompaniment.
The opening of the cupping room in 2010 made for a new addition to the Campos empire. Climb the dark narrow stairs at the back of the cafe to a blackened room, a brightly lit countertop the only thing perceptible, replete with glasses and about half a dozen small bowls holding coffee from different regions of the world, processed in various ways.
The point of cupping is to reflect on the nuances of flavours that distinguish each bean from the other, but you gain some fascinating insights into the life of coffee before it even reaches a roaster. While the experience sounds a little ritualistic and intimidating, coffee connoisseurs and amateurs alike are welcomed into the cupping room.