One of the great things about living in Guildford is the North Street market every Friday and Saturday. It’s my weekly haven from the supermarkets and the only place (other than the supermarkets) where you can get fresh fruit and vegetables. However, the North Street market is also the home of the excellent Coffee Charisma, where I get the bulk of my coffee beans.
The owner, Trish, is a Kiwi with a real passion for coffee, and it shows with the wide range of beans that are on offer. I have a couple of favourites, plus a decaffeinated variety, that I take on a regular basis, but Trish is always tempting me with various different beans. All her beans come from two local roasters and since she has fairly small deliveries, it means the beans are always fresh.
It also means that Trish occasionally runs out of my favourites, which is when she tempts me with an invariably lovely alternative. Well, she says she runs out. Personally, I think it’s just a ploy to sell me more coffee…
July 2014: Coffee Charisma now sells tea! Read all about it in the Coffee Charisma Update!
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
I have this thing about markets and about food markets in particular. Give me a straight choice between a supermarket and a market and I’ll take the market anytime. We have a Farmers’ Market in Guildford, but that’s only once a month, so the weekly North Street Market is a real life-line. Shop rents in Guildford are astronomical: in the 15 years I’ve lived here, we’ve never had a greengrocer in the town centre, nor a fishmonger, and the last butcher’s shop closed down over 10 years ago. All of this, and more, is catered for by the North Street Market.
However, the focus of this post is the wonderful Coffee Charisma, a fixture of the market for the last 10 years (Coffee Charisma also does the Cranleigh Market on Thursday, 09:00 – 16:00, as well as supplying local businesses). As is often the case, the owner, Trish, started Coffee Charisma out of frustration, in this case, a frustration with not being able to get decent coffee beans anywhere in Guildford.
Trish’s own coffee story starts a lot further back than that. She told me that she got her passion for coffee from her father when she was a young child. He would come back late at night, make coffee in an old-fashioned percolator and then wake the family up to drink it. Even though she found it too bitter and sweet (he used a lot of sugar) at the time, it cemented coffee in her mind as a special thing.
Fast-forward a few years and we find Trish making her coffee in a cafetiere but not really doing much more than that. Then, one year her son gave her a grinder for her birthday and opened up a whole new world of coffee!
Fast forward another few years and we find Trish returning to England from a trip home to New Zealand, where she had been blown away by the coffee culture and the amazing range of beans on offer. Back in England, the contrast was plain to see, but rather than complaining about it, Trish decided to do something instead. And so she gave us Coffee Charisma.
Coffee Charisma offers a wide range of coffee beans from two local roasters (Trish was remarkably coy about letting on where they were; one she said, was in London and the other on the south coast; she didn’t actually specify which coast, so I’m taking on trust that she meant England and not South Island, New Zealand!). Trish also has a very wide selection of coffee-making equipment in the shape of stove-top espresso machines and cafetieres, along with spare parts. A range of locally handcrafting coffee-pot covers has also made a recent appearance. And finally, Trish sells some excellent takeaway coffee from her little filter machine on the corner of the stall.
So, head down to North Street Market and get yourself some fine coffee beans. While you’re at it, you can also try Butter and Cream Cakes, who are next door, and do lovely cupcakes and other sweet things that would be perfect with a cup of Trish’s coffee. Finally, a little further down, you’ll find Villanova, a delicatessen stocking genuine Italian produce, where I get my weekly fix of Mozzarella.
|NORTH STREET MARKET • NORTH STREET • GUILDFORD • SURREY|
|www.facebook.com/pages/Coffee-Charisma/152387784808610||+44 (0) 7812 467709|
|Friday||09:00 – 17:00||Wifi||N/A|
|Saturday||09:00 – 17:00||Power||N/A|
|Chain||No||Visits||Original: 6th October 2012|
|Update: 12th July 2014|
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