In some ways, it’s a very small world. My only previous trip to Walthamstow was in 2014, to visit Wood St Coffee, then in its second incarnation on Orford Road. My next trip was two weeks ago, over five years later, again to visit Wood St Coffee, now in its permanent home in Blackhorse Workshop.
In 2014, Wood St was pretty much the only speciality coffee game in (Walthamstow) town, which is most definitely no longer the case, so this time I had a long list of places to visit, including today’s Coffee Spot, Froth & Rind. What I didn’t realised untilI walked down the familiar street, is that Froth & Rind is next door to Wood St’s old home on Orford Road. Small world indeed.
What sets Froth & Rind apart is that it’s (to my knowledge) the only shop to combine craft beer, fine cheese and speciality coffee, simultaneously acting as off-licence, cheesemonger and coffee shop, serving an espresso-based menu from local roaster, Curved Brick, a wide selection of cake and a menu of innovative cheese toasties. While I can’t speak to the beer, the cheese looked excellent, my toastie was awesome and my espresso very fine indeed.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Froth & Rind opened 4½ years ago, just after my previous visit and not long after Wood St Coffee moved to Blackhorse Workshop. It occupies a wide, blue-painted shop front, literally next door to Wood St’s old location. There’s a single, central window, flanked by a pair of doors, with two tables outside on the pavement. You enter via the double doors on the left, which lead into the main room at the front. This has a large counter at the back on the right-hand side, the bulk of the seating between it and the window.
This leaves a broad, open corridor down the left-hand side, giving access to the counter. It continues to the back, where there’s a second room off to the right, behind the kitchen (which in turn is behind the counter). Smaller than the first, this has a two-person table and a pair of four-person tables, with light provided by a large skylight.
Back in the main room, there’s a little bit of seating along the left-hand wall, where you’ll find two, small round tables at either end of a long, low, backless wooden bench. If you prefer chairs, you’re in luck, since each table also has a chair, back to the wall. However, the bulk of the seating is to the right, between counter and window. A long wooden bench with two four-person tables runs the full width of the window. There are a pair of two-person tables in a row, front-to-back, the middle of the space, the centre one bright yellow in colour. Finally, there’s a narrow, four-person table against the right-hand wall¸ seating provided by a chair at either end, plus a low, backless wooden bench against the wall.
As I mentioned, Froth & Rind combines craft beer (froth), cheese (rind) and speciality coffee. There are retail shelves along the left-hand wall (beyond the seating) where you’ll find bottles and cans of beer, along with large wheels of cheese. There is more cheese at the counter, in a large, refrigerated display case, and, off to the right, you’ll find cheese-related provisions, such as crackers, oat cakes and pickles. There are also several sets of well-stocked bookshelves, the contents of which included a copy of my own book, The Philosophy of Coffee.
If you’re hungry, as well as a range of cakes and pastries, which are displayed on the left-hand side of the counter, Froth & Rind has a selection of nine cheese toasties, displayed on a menu on the left-hand wall as you enter. These include the Roger Cheddarer (emmental and chorizo) and the Pear Grills (cheddar and spiced pear chutney). I went for the French Connection, with creamy Fourme d’Ambert blue cheese and fig jam. This was delicious, with the gooey, melted cheese oozing out from between two slices of thick, wholemeal toast.
Turning to coffee, Froth & Rind has always kept things local, starting out with Climpson and Sons, before moving to The Coffee Officina from Essex. These days, however, Froth & Rind uses the house-blend from Curved Brick, a coffee shop/roastery 30-minutes’ walk south in Leyton. There’s a simple, espresso-based menu and, keeping things simple, I had an espresso (fortunately before my toastie, since the cheese, while delicious, was over-powering). My espresso was lovely, well-rounded and well-balanced, going down a treat.
|37 ORFORD ROAD • WALTHAMSTOW • LONDON • E17 9NL|
|Monday||08:00 – 17:00||Roaster||Curved Brick (espresso only)|
|Tuesday||08:00 – 17:00||Seating||Tables; Tables (Outside)|
|Wednesday||08:00 – 17:00||Food||Toasties, Cake|
|Thursday||08:00 – 17:00||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||08:00 – 17:00||Cards||Yes|
|Saturday||09:00 – 18:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||10:00 – 17:00||Power||Yes|
|Chain||No||Visits||27th July 2019|
Liked this? Then take a look at the rest of London’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to London.
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