Hidden in plain sight on Readings busy Gun street; “Tamp culture” pop up coffee kiosk could so easily be by-passed, what with its unassuming appearance and low key presence; however, what this kiosk has to offer in terms of quality and taste is anything but.
Opening in 2014 and recently moving to its more permanent home outside of the oracle on Gun street, the small coffee kiosk has only grown in popularity and it’s so easy to see why.
I visit the kiosk on a busy, sunny Wednesday lunch time – the streets are bustling with office workers and shoppers alike and Tamp Culture sits amidst this scene inviting customers ‘in’ with its brightly coloured seating and the soothing aroma of fresh coffee beans that drifts from within.
I’m presently surprised when I see the coffee menu; £2.60 for a flat white which rivals many big, chain coffee houses who offer coffee at the same price (if not more), yet without the personal touch that comes from frequenting an independent business.
The staff are instantly welcoming and even ask if I would like sugar with my coffee; they are busy and efficient yet also precise and skilled, which screams at you as you open the lid to see the most delicate design within the smoothest milk.
The coffee itself is wonderful – not overpowering in any way and carrying a light fruity note throughout; a pure joy to drink.
They also offer a range of freshly baked pastries, cakes and savouries that I will certainly be back to sample.
Good coffee may not seem like the most important issue in today’s termulous society and I suppose it isn’t, but it baffles me at how often I go out for a coffee (with my young teething baby in toe – it’s not a rare occurrence!) and get offered a coffee that’s cold, burnt, split or just poorly made in general: I’m sure it’s one of the only industries whereby expectations are relatively low and unlike going for dinner, people very rarely complain about the standard of their drink or even notice how badly they are made; there seems to be a lack of care which is certainly the opposite at Tamp Culture.
What’s more, is that supporting these independent venues is vital if we wish to keep up these standards and also to maintain and save our high streets that are so quickly being enveloped by large malls whereby only big corporations and chains survive.
If your reading this from Reading today, head down there and get your caffeine fix the way it should be and support Tamp Culture – you’ll be happy you did.