06 March 2015

The Caffeine Chronicles: Craft Coffee

Update (July 2016): Craft's Shoreditch café is now closed, but you can get coffee from their cart at the Ropewalk in Bermondsey at weekends.

I first discovered Craft Coffee through their cart at Maltby Street Market's Ropewalk. Craft serves the best (and sometimes only) coffee on the Ropewalk, but they don't serve hand-brewed filter coffee; just espresso-based drinks and sometimes batch-brewed filter. I was pleased to discover that the owners now have a bricks-and-mortar cafe in Shoreditch and I stopped by after a Dirty Burger on Sunday afternoon.

The cafe is a a former art gallery on one of the more characterful streets near Shoreditch High Street. There is still some art for sale at Craft; you can choose from the colourful selection on the walls. Craft's window sills and shelves are also adorned with pot plants, giving it a homey, verdant ambience. Otherwise, the décor is very minimalist: white walls, black signs and wooden countertops.

As well as the espresso-based drinks, Craft also serves Aeropress-brewed coffee (£3). There was a choice of two coffees on offer: a Burundi Murata from Nude and a Colombian Finca Tamana from Notes. Regular readers will know that I'm on a bit of a Colombian coffee kick at the moment, so I went for the latter. The coffee was great: rich, smooth and very chocolatey. I also really liked the cute little jug in which it was served.

I had already eaten lunch and so couldn't make room for the amazing-sounding egg-, bacon- and rocket-stuffed croissant, but I did manage to fit in one of their delicious peanut butter cookies, which contrasted nicely with my coffee.

There are a few perching seats upstairs at Craft and, I understand, a bigger basement with more seating. I rather liked sitting upstairs in such a bright, airy space with plenty of good people-watching possibilities. Refreshed by my coffee break, I walked on over to Curtain Road for a bit of (window) shopping and street-art spotting.

Craft Coffee. 68 Sclater Street, London, E1 6HR (Tube: Shoreditch High Street Overground). Website. Twitter.

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