Artisan, Ealing

A "wheel of fortune" style wheel from Artisan, Ealing. When a customer gets enough stamps on a loyalty card, instead of getting a free coffee, a spin of the wheel is offered instead, with eight options ranging from a glass of tap water to a bag of beans or five free coffees.Located on Ealing’s busy New Broadway, with a neat set of tables on the pavement outside, the Ealing branch of Artisan celebrated its first birthday just a couple of weeks ago. Joining the likes of the long-established Electric Coffee Company and fellow newcomers, Café Zee, Artisan is helping make Ealing a place worth visiting just for the coffee.

The third of four Artisans, it follows the original, which opened its doors less than four years ago Putney. Each of the Artisans is very much its own place. This one’s long, although not particularly thin (it’s wide enough for three rows of tables at the back), full of upcycled furniture, wooden floorboards, bare plaster and lights shrouded in paper-bag lampshades. Right at the back is the Artisan Coffee School (which will be the subject of its own Saturday Supplement in due course), which doubles as extra seating when there are no classes going on.

The coffee is from London’s Allpress, with the ubiquitous Redchurch blend on espresso. Filter coffee comes through the V60, with beans from London’s Nude Espresso and Berlin’s The Barn. Food is an equal part of the offering, with decent breakfast and lunch menus, plus lots of cake!

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • The third (of four) Artisan, in Ealing. Check out the outdoor seating options.
  • Stepping inside, you're greeted by the counter along the left-hand side.
  • There are some seats between counter and window, but the bulk of the seating's back here.
  • Another view of the seating at the back, taken from the door to the Coffee School.
  • Talking of which... turn around and there it is. You can sit in here when it's not in use.
  • Going back to the seating, all the tables, like this two-seater, are made of recycled materials.
  • The tables come in a variety of sizes, such as this eight-seater on the right...
  • ... or this large, square one just behind the counter on the left.
  • I love the little stools that go with this one.
  • The light-fittings are similarly inventive...
  • I've never seen a paper bag used as a lamp-shade before. Have you?
  • There are some slightly more conventional lamp 'shades' hanging over the counter.
  • Artisan is full of little touches, such as this arched niche  in the wall, home to bags of coffee.
  • Good advice when using a cafetiere!
  • I know it's September, but it was Christmas(!) when I visited. Here's some gift suggestions.
  • The takeaway and water station at the front, opposite the counter. Nice reading material!
  • Right, down to business.
  • Artisan has this handy little coffee flowchart to help you work out what you need...
  • ... as well as a more conventional coffee (and food) menu behind the counter.
  • Talking of food, there's quite a spread in the cake department.
  • The espresso machine is right at the front of the counter. But wait. What's that?
  • It's the famous Artisan loyalty card wheel! Get six stamps, get a spin. A glass of water? What!
  • Ah, now, that's better :-)
  • Filter coffee, anyone?
  • Or espresso?
  • Artisan was very busy while I was there...
  • Another three coffees on order...
  • Here's one...
  • ... and another...
  • This was mine, by the way, a lovely espresso...
  • ... followed up by a delicous flat white.
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Occupying what was once a bathroom showroom (which you’d never guess from the interior), Artisan’s third branch on Ealing’s New Broadway cuts an appealing figure with its all-glass front. The glass door is slightly offset to the right, with a large window on its right and a three-segment French window to the left which can be fully opened in the summer to connect the interior with the tables on the pavement.

Inside, Artisan stretches away ahead of you. Initially there doesn’t seem to be much to it: a large counter to the left, takeaway station and some retail to the right. There’s also a few seats snuck into the gap between the counter and the window. However, (initial) appearances can be deceptive since Artisan goes a long, long way back, a complete contrast the bright and airy original in Putney, with its essentially square layout.

Beyond the counter, the store widens slightly, wide enough to (generously) accommodate three rows of tables. On the left, there’s a square communal table, followed by two two-person tables. On the right, two two-person tables are followed by an eight-person communal table, with small table for one right at the back, against the back wall. Meanwhile, three two-person tables run down the centre. Artisan could have crammed more in, but I for one appreciate the extra space and clear lines which allow you to move freely about (something that’s a lot hard to do in Putney).

Right at the back is the Coffee School, in its own glass-walled enclosure, the idea being that the café’s customers can see in, while the pupils in the school can see out, feeling as if they’re part of a busy coffee shop. If there are no classes on, feel free to wander in or even sit back here if it’s busy.

Despite its length, there’s plenty of light, especially at the front, where light floods in through the windows. Meanwhile at the back, multiple lights stop it being gloomy. The lampshades, by the way, are made out of paper bags. Seriously cool. The décor is very uncluttered, some might even say unfinished. Bare wooden floorboards offset bare plaster walls, with occasional stretches of light blue paint. The furniture, which is all upcycled, fits in perfectly. The tables are made from roadside grommets (those big mesh cages you sometimes see holding piles of stones), topped with cutting tables from an old leather factory. The counter-top is made from old window shutters on top of trestles from Portobello Road market.

Fortunately, Artisan doesn’t upcycle its coffee as well. Instead, it uses the ubiquitous Redchurch blend from Allpress as its backbone on espresso. For those of you not familiar with Allpress (where have you been?) it’s much more mainstream than many third-wave roasters, a slightly darker roast, resulting in a slightly bitter espresso (hint, I quite like it). It also goes well in milk, where it blends well with the natural sweetness of the milk, but strong enough that it doesn’t get overwhelmed.

While I didn’t try any during my visit, Artisan also does pour-over using the V60. The beans, while I was there, were from London’s Nude Espresso and Berlin’s The Barn. So, if you’re looking for something with a more subtle, fruity flavour, I respectfully point you in this direction.

December 2015: Artisan Ealing was a runner-up for the Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting Award for 2015.

32 NEW BROADWAY • EALING • LONDON • W5 2AX
www.artisancoffee.co.uk +44 (0) 207 998 3450
Monday 07:30 – 17:30 Roaster Allpress (espresso) + Nude Espresso, The Barn (filter)
Tuesday 07:30 – 17:30 Seating Tables, Tables (outside)
Wednesday 07:30 – 17:30 Food Breakfast, lunch, cake
Thursday 07:30 – 17:30 Service Order at Counter
Friday 07:30 – 17:30 Cards Mastercard, Visa
Saturday 08:30 – 17:30 Wifi Free (with code)
Sunday 09:00 – 17:30 Power Limited
Chain Local Visits 30th December 2014

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8 thoughts on “Artisan, Ealing

  1. Pingback: Artisan, Putney | Brian's Coffee Spot

  2. This does look to be a Spot with something special: sense a real buzz about those photos. Brave to go up so close next to Bill’s too, which is quite established isn’t it? Not a bad range of xmas gift suggestions -although I’d still rather get a calendar.
    Nice all-rounder. But it HAS to win best light fittings in the next awards. *She says, whilst attempting to recreate said shades out of Hotel Chocolat bags dug out the recycling.*
    Best Table is of course WON FOREVER. Or shall we say, taken.
    Bit too heavy on the fluffy, faffy marshmallows though…

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