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.
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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