If you’ve talked to me at any length about being the writer of the Coffee Spot, you’ll know that the only downside is that I don’t really have a regular coffee shop I can call my own. The problem is, while I’m out and about, the desire to visit new places for the Coffee Spot trumps visiting old favourites. The closest I had to a regular was Bar des Arts in my home town of Guildford, until, that is, Beany Green turned up in Paddington.
Those who follow me on social media will probably be aware that I spend one day a week in Paddington doing my “proper” job. For a long time, this was a desert when it came to decent coffee. Then, in quick succession, Burito 8 started serving Climpson and Sons, the Can Do Coffee barge turned up and Beany Green opened.
Now, on my weekly visit to the office, I take KeepCup or JOCO Cup to visit Beany Green at least once a day (and usually two or three times). You would think, given the frequency of my visits, that I’d have sampled the entire coffee menu by now, but I usually have a flat white…
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Beany Green is, in a good way, a strange place. It looks like a pop-up, thrown together one evening, with tables made of scaffolding poles, but I’m assured that it’s here to stay (at any rate, it’s outlasted me!). It occupies a fairly non-descript concrete space on the ground floor of one of the high-rise buildings surrounding Sheldon Square on the opposite (Little Venice) side from Paddington Station.
From this unpromising beginning, Beany Green has made the place its own, with its weird furniture (deckchairs, a rocking-horse scooter and a large dog are among the seating options; see footnote at end), multi-coloured walls and amusing signage (see the gallery for more examples). It’s a large, airy space, with windows along the long side, wrapping around the corner by the door. There’s also a large concrete expanse out front, which Beany Green has colonised with banana-themed deckchairs.
Stepping inside, the store stretches away to your right, a small seating area (four armchairs around a table) tucked away behind a pillar to your left. The large counter is opposite you has clearly been laid out with a lot of thought. First comes food, then cake, till next, and finally, espresso machine, with small filter-station beyond. You also wait here for your coffee: yes, Beany Green makes you wait for your coffee, but it’s a minor fault that I can live with.
Beany Green has resisted packing the area between counter and window, leaving plenty of space to queue and wait for your coffee. The only furniture is a pair of tables in the windows and an isolated table near the counter’s end. Beyond the counter/waiting area is the rest of the seating, one long, communal table and a row of small tables with a padded bench, both running the width of the store, while a window bar runs about half the store’s length.
In theory, the views, given the size of the windows, should be excellent, but sadly the main landmark is the A40 (West Way) fly-over, Regent’s Canal relegated to a glimpse in the background.
Beany Green proudly brands itself an Aussie coffee shop and, true to form, the actual coffee is from another Australian immigrant, Winchester’s The Roasting Party. The house blend, “The Captain”, is 50% Columbian, 25% Sumatran and 25% Kenyan, and is a lovely, sweet coffee that goes very well with milk in my regular flat white. Were I drinking in, I’d probably take it as a piccolo, but for coffee that I take back to the office, I prefer something with a little more volume (otherwise it’s all gone by the time I get back to my desk).
However, for the purposes of research, I made myself have an espresso (a bit too bright for me) and a pour-over (Kenyan Peaberry, rather confirming my long-standing troubles with this bean). I’ve also taken various work colleagues there, including an Italian espresso-drinker (hi, Luca, if you’re reading this) all of whom were thoroughly impressed with the quality of the coffee.
I’ve ventured to Beany Green for lunch on two occasions, having an egg, avocado and spinach wrap, the only vegetarian (wrap) on offer. I was, I admit, a little sceptical of the combination, but it worked surprisingly well. I was also quite surprised when it was grilled, but that worked impressively well too.
Footnote: for a while, Beany Green was my ex-regular coffee shop since my contract expired at the start of June. So, during this brief hiatus, I was without a regular coffee shop, although Beany Green did very kindly open a new outlet, just for me, on the South Bank near Waterloo. However, at the end of July 2014, I was offered a new contract and so was able to renew my acquaintance with the fabulous Beany Green.
That contract came to an end at the end of 2015, so I am once again without a “local” coffee shop. Since I left, the Paddington branch has undergone a major refurbishment and so I popped back in July 2016 to see what had changed.
You can also see what I made of all the other branches of Beany Green that I’ve visited.
|UNIT 6C • SHELDON SQUARE • PADDINGTON • LONDON • W2 6EZ|
|http://daisygreenfood.com||+44 (0) 207 289 3344|
|Monday||07:00 – 20:00||Roaster||The Roasting Party (espresso + bulk brew)|
|Tuesday||07:00 – 20:00||Seating||Tables, Armchairs, Bar; Deck Chairs, Tables (outside)|
|Wednesday||07:00 – 22:30||Food||Breakfast, Lunch, Cake|
|Thursday||07:00 – 22:30||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||07:00 – 12:30||Cards||Amex, Mastercard, Visa|
|Saturday||09:00 – 18:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||09:00 – 18:00||Power||Limited|
|Chain||Local||Visits||Original: April, May, June 2014|
|Update: July 2014, July 2016|
Since publishing this post, I have learnt that rocking-horse scooter is called Sally and is a work of art rather than a working chair, while the dog-chair is in fact that well-known Australian hybrid, the lambanana (half lamb, half banana). I’ve also been told that as well as the egg, avocado and spinach wrap, there’s a falafel wrap too (which I’ve now had at the South Bank branch).
Disclaimer: In the second half of 2015, Beany Green launched a bond to fund its future expansion. I invested in this bond, and, like all bond-holders, receive free coffee as a reward. This Coffee Spot was published before the bond was launched.
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