Craving Coffee

The Craving Coffee logo, from the wall of the coffee shop in Tottenham.Craving Coffee celebrates its fourth birthday this year, a pioneering outpost of speciality coffee in northeast London, which is not somewhere I venture very often. While Craving Coffee has been on my list for a while, I am indebted (again!) to my friend, Daniel Stevens, who gave me the excuse to visit. A café, bar, community hub and evening social, Craving Coffee is also an art gallery, where different artists exhibit each month. And this month (August), exhibiting for the first time, is Daniel, who held his launch party on Friday, the excuse I finally needed to drag myself out to Tottenham and visit Craving Coffee.

When it comes to coffee, Craving Coffee uses Climpson and Sons, with the Baron blend on espresso, plus decaf and (usually) a single-origin on pour-over through the V60. During the day, there’s an extensive menu, including breakfast, lunch and cake, with all the meals cooked in the open kitchen behind the counter. This closes at 4pm, but on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, it re-opens in the evening as Craving Coffee hosts a different pop-up each week as the Tottenham Social. Finally, Craving Coffee is fully licenced, with a three-page menu feature beer, cider, wine and spirits.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • At the top of Markfield Road in Tottenham, an interesting sign catches the eye.
  • Well, I'm certainly craving coffee. Let's take a look, shall we?
  • I have to say, it doesn't initially strike me as very promising...
  • But there it is, half way down on the left, in what feels like a small industrial estate...
  • ... at the back of a car park, where I'd more likely expect to find a roaster...
  • ... stands Craving Coffee, coffee shop, pop-up evening bar and community hub.
  • There's a small, but neat, outdoor seating area...
  • ... seen here from the inside. It consists of a pair of picnic tables...
  • ... one to the right of the door...
  • ... and the other to the left.
  • There is more seating just inside the doors, with a table on the right...
  • ... and this two-person bar on the left.
  • Meanwhile, in the middle of the space is this long, communal table...
  • ... seen here from the other side.
  • The final part of the seating in this downstairs area is beyond the communal table...
  • ... where a second bar runs along the right-hand wall and beneath the counter...
  • ... with the espresso machine above.
  • However, there's more at the back, with the counter on the right...
  • ... and a long bench along the left-hand wall...
  • ... which is lined with tables, seen here from the back.
  • The bench runs all the way to the back wall where the tables have been pushed together.
  • Finally, right at the back, a corridor leads to some studio spaces behind Craving Coffee.
  • The counter, meanwhile, continues on the right, where there's an open kitchen.
  • This closes at 4pm, only to re-open in the evenings, Thursday to Saturday...
  • ... when a different pop-up takes over each week.
  • There's plenty of natural light at the front, but at the back, lights are needed...
  • ... such as these two exposed bulbs on the walls.
  • Good choice of reading material.
  • Every month a different artist graces the walls at Craving Coffee.
  • This month (August) it's my friend, Daniel Stevens, who had a launch party on Friday.
  • His exhibition, Succulent Lover, features paintings, in ink & watercolour, of (mostly) cacti.
  • The first, and most complex piece, is on the left as you enter.
  • It's worth a second look, don't you think?
  • Meanwhile, over on the right-hand wall is probably my favourite, Dirty Coffee.
  • This one also graces the right-hand wall.
  • The majority of the works hang along the left-hand wall...
  • ... starting with this one...
  • ... and then continuing with various cacti-themed drawings.
  • The exhibition is on until the end of the month...
  • ... and you can buy the originals or, if you want, prints of any of the works.
  • Just click on the images to go to Daniel's Etsy site.
  • The final one, at the back, is other non-cacti drawing: it's a portrait of Craving Coffee.
  • As well as the paintings/prints, Daniel also sells greetings cards...
  • ... which have a multitude of uses, including acting as drinks coasters.
  • Talking of which, the coffee part of Craving Coffee is at the back on the right...
  • ... where you order at the till towards the front of the counter.
  • This is where you'll also find the cakes.
  • If you don't want coffee, there is a fuill range of drinks, including beer and cider...
  • ... with wine on the second page...
  • ... and spirits on the third, although things were getting a little blurry at this stage!
  • Some of the alcohol choices.
  • The coffee, meanwhile, is on the wall to the right of the counter.
  • There's the usual espresso-based options, plus decaf and a pour-over option via the V60.
  • I went for the one-and-one, a single espresso and piccolo.
  • My espresso, in a classic cup...
  • ... and my piccolo, with some impressive latte art...
  • ... which lasted all the way to the bottom of the glass.
  • You also get a bottle of water and a glass...
  • ... while I ordered a dark cherry and marzipan slice as well.
  • Later on that evening, I had the sweet potato tacos from Pink Cactus for dinner.
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Midway between Seven Sisters and Tottenham Hale, Craving Coffee is tucked away down Markfield Road, as superficially an unpromising location as I’ve ever seen. Yes, I know it looks as if you’re walking down an industrial estate (probably because you are), but have faith, because there, halfway down the street on the left, at the back of a car park, is Craving Coffee.

Despite the unpromising start, you won’t find many better coffee shops. Long and thin, Craving Coffee occupies what feels like an old garage. There’s a small outside seating area in the car park, with a pair of picnic tables flanking the front, which, being all glass and west-facing, lets in the afternoon sun. Inside, Craving Coffee is long and thin, with high ceilings. There’s a seating area at the front, then, occupying maybe the back two-thirds, on a slightly raised platform, is the counter.

The front section has a small table immediately to the right and, on the left, a two-person bar. The majority of the space is occupied by a large, eight-person communal table running front-to-back, while beyond that, a second bar, with five chairs, runs along the right-hand wall and across the back, under the counter.

The second part of Craving Coffee is accessed via a shallow ramp on the left. The bulk of the space at the back is occupied by the counter, which takes up the entire right-hand side, with a long bench running along the left-hand wall. This has five tables, three two-person ones, interspersed with two four-person ones. The décor is simple, with a concrete floor, whitewashed brick walls and a black ceiling.

The espresso machine, a two group Synesso, is on the front of the counter, facing the doors, with its grinders to the right, while the coffee menu is on the wall to the right. The Baron blend from Climpson and Sons is on espresso, while there’s a different option on pour-over every few days.

I decided to have the one-and-one, a single espresso with a piccolo, served, respectively, in a cup and a glass. The espresso was excellent, beautifully well-balanced and very smooth. Two sips and it was gone. The piccolo, meanwhile, featured some awesome latte art, the coffee going perfectly with the milk, not too strong to mask the milk’s sweetness, but not too weak that all you couldn’t taste it. I paired all this with a dark cherry and marzipan slice, which was just as good, with a strong almond taste from the marzipan, and a rich, light cake.

My main reason for coming was to attend Daniels’ launch party. I’ve known Daniel for many years, having first met him at the Coffee Stops Awards in 2014 when, in a previous life, Daniel was a coffee blogger (Cups of London Coffee). However, he’s also a self-taught artist and it was great to both catch up and see his works (which you can check out in the gallery). If you are interested, get down to Craving Coffee before the end of the month to see them in person, or, if you can’t make it, head over to his Etsy shop where you can buy prints and cards, as well as the original works of art.

GAUNSON HOUSE • MARKFIELD ROAD • LONDON • N15 4QQ
www.cravingcoffee.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8808 3178
Monday 10:00 – 17:00 Roaster Climpson and Sons (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 10:00 – 17:00 Seating Tables, Tables (Outside)
Wednesday 10:00 – 17:00 Food Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Cake
Thursday 10:00 – 23:00 Service Order at Counter
Friday 10:00 – 23:00 Cards Amex, Mastercard, Visa
Saturday 10:00 – 23:00 Wifi Free
Sunday 10:00 – 17:00 Power Limited
Chain No Visits 3rd August 2018

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