The spot around the back of King’s Cross station has a long and distinguished history when it comes to coffee stands, having housed both Weanie Beans and Bean & Gone (both before the Coffee Spot’s time) and, most recently, Noble Espresso. However, in November 2016, Shaun, the man behind Noble, made the hard decided to give up the coffee stand to concentrate on his booming milk business, Estate Dairies.
What could have been a huge loss to all concerned, not least his band of loyal customers, was averted by some forward-thinking by Shaun who invited Craft Coffee, veterans of the outdoor coffee scene with a long-standing weekend pitch at Maltby Market, to take over. Emily and Jamie, Craft’s owners, said yes, so now you’ll find them here during the week, turning out fine espresso-based drinks using an exclusive single-origin from Notes, plus tea, hot chocolate and a selection of pastries.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Craft Coffee occupies exactly the same spot as Noble Espresso: behind King’s Cross Station, on the western side, between it and St Pancras on Battle Bridge Place. If you’re heading for either Caravan or Notes, then you’ll probably walk straight past the pitch. That said, I’ve had all sorts of trouble finding Craft, although that’s largely because, each time I visited, it wasn’t there.
In the year since Craft took over, I’ve had seven failed attempts to visit. Some were entirely my fault, arriving in the afternoon (Craft closes at two, whereas Noble used to stay open until four), while one was down to bad weather (rain and snow won’t stop Craft, but high winds will, since the gazebo blows away…). The others were just bad luck, Craft suffering a series of power failures at the hands of the adjacent building site, although I don’t want to give the impression that Craft is unreliable. Chatting with Emily and Jamie, it’s obvious that I’ve just been extremely unlucky in my timing; had I gone on any other day of the week each time, I’d have found them!
With this in mind, I was particularly pleased at the eighth time of asking to roll up at one o’clock on a thoroughly miserable Monday afternoon (one year and five days after Craft took over the pitch), en-route to a meeting at the British Library, to find Craft exactly where I expected it to be. You can’t really miss it: a simple, wooden counter under a black gazebo, housing a two-group La Marzocco Linea in a fetching shade of blue, alongside a black Victoria Arduino Mythos 1 grinder.
Craft offers a simple, espresso-based menu around an exclusive single-origin coffee roasted by Notes, which changes every few months. If you don’t fancy coffee, there’s tea, mocha, chai latte and hot chocolate. If you’re there in the morning, there’s a selection of pastries, while you can also buy retail bags of various beans (all from Notes).
Craft is strictly takeaway only, so don’t forget to bring your own cup. I came along with my Therma Cup, which delighted Emily and Jamie no end since the Therma Cup’s inventor, Jody, comes by every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for his morning coffee on his way to college. Naturally I was there on a Monday. And in the afternoon.
When it came to the actual coffee, Craft is currently a using washed Colombian coffee from Narino, which made for a superb flat white, its fruity notes going extremely well with the milk. I also take my hat off (well, actually, I didn’t, it was raining) to Jamie for his superb latte art. Some people struggle with the Therma Cup, but with Jody to practice on, he’s nailed it. Even better, the pattern held all the way to the bottom of the cup. Seriously impressive!
|BATTLE BRIDGE PLACE • KING’S CROSS • LONDON • N1C 4TB|
|Monday||07:00 – 14:00||Roaster||Notes (espresso only)|
|Tuesday||07:00 – 14:00||Seating||N/A|
|Wednesday||07:00 – 14:00||Food||Pastries|
|Thursday||07:00 – 14:00||Service||Counter|
|Friday||07:00 – 14:00||Cards||Amex, Mastercard, Visa|
|Chain||Local||Visits||20th November 2017|
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