Walking down Brewer St before my visit to Byron for the 'George Hamilton' burger, I spotted the Freebird burrito stall on Rupert St and nearly started weeping at the injustice of having to skip a tasty burrito for a tasty burger. That's when I spotted an awkward looking Piaggio Ape van with the word 'brewedboy espresso' painted on the side, and a man in wellington boots serving coffee from a Fracino coffee machine. That man in wellies Rob Lockyear, otherwise known as BrewedBoy (a play on the term 'rudeboy', highlighting Rob's journalistic background). As I waited in the queue, I racked my brain as to where I had seen him before, finally placing him posing for a picture on Greedy Diva's blog. After some chatting about coffee, jealous local cafes attempting to sabotage his operation and how Rob ended up doing this (he spent eight years in Australia and fell in love with the coffee culture there) I ordered a long black.
The van. Rob admitted that he purchased it off a man and it was in a sorry state when he get a hold of it, but with a bit of Xzibit-inspired work, he got it looking like this. Certainly a job well done, but a cute look still won't endear the Piaggio to grumpy motorists within the congestion charge zone.
Long black (£1.50). A bargain. Rob was, on my visit, still using the Square Mile Winter Espresso blend, and achieving good results. A fruity and sweet tasting long black, perked up with half a teaspoon of brown sugar. I'm sure some people will get upset by the paper cups, but logistically it is impossible to serve the coffee in anything but. It doesn't detract from the flavour.
Flat white (£2). Consumed by Marcus who said: "I'm not a big coffee drinker but this flat white was outstanding. Adequately strong with the espresso base still shining through beyond the initial hit of silky and creamy milk." Rob says he plans to bring some more glass cups to serve the flat whites and espressos in, for those of you who prefer it.
Despite some early niggles and the fact the operation has only been running for less than two months, Rob is serving up good coffee at decent prices, adding yet another great option for fans of caffeine in Soho. He has plans to add a makeshift seating area for the summer and may appear at some festivals if all goes to plan. As well as selling coffee, Rob also has a 'book exchange' running from the back of his van, so bring a book you've finished with, do a swap and enjoy a long black from BrewedBoy.