Long & Short Coffee, Walthamstow

Part of the amazing mural on the wall of Long & Short Coffee in Walthamstow, showing a bird's head.Long & Short Coffee was a chance discovery during my Saturday afternoon spent revisiting Walthamstow at the end of last month. A coffee shop/roaster, I knew the name from the original on Brick Lane, but unaware of the second branch in Walthamstow until the staff at Wood St Coffee mentioned it. Even then, I had no idea where it was since, at three weeks old, it wasn’t even on Google Maps (now, thankfully, resolved). However, when I saw it as I passed by on the No. 158 bus, I seized my opportunity.

Long & Short is part of Crate, Saint James Street’s answer to the Box Park, occupying an end unit which is, appropriately, long and thin. There are three two-person tables inside, with Long & Short having access to the communal seating on the terrace at the front of Crate. The offering is pretty simple too, with a house and guest espresso, plus filter options on batch-brew and pour-over, backed up by a selection of tea and a small range of cakes and pastries.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • A chance view from the bus on St James's Street... Is that Long & Short Coffee up there?
  • Indeed it is, part of Crate, a new development in Walthamstow. But how to get up there?
  • This looks hopeful (although it's not the official main entrance: that's off to the left).
  • St James Path leads up a gentle slope, past Long & Short, so you have to double back...
  • ... but at least this gives you a chance to check out the handy map/directory.
  • And here is it, on the corner: Long & Short Coffee.
  • It's in a line of five containers, including a barber and a baker!
  • This, by the way, is the view coming from the other direction.
  • If you want to sit outside, there's a communal terrace with picnic tables in front of Crate...
  • ... with lots of greenery and some smaller, individual tables as well.
  • There's also an upstairs balcony right above...
  • ... Long & Short and the other businesses.
  • And here it is, Long & Short by name, long and short (thin) by nature.
  • All the seating is along the left-hand side...
  • ... starting with this swing seat just inside the left-hand door.
  • There's an L-shaped bench along the left-hand wall with not one, not two...
  • ... but three two-person tables in front of it, seating provided by low, round stools.
  • Then, at the back, there's the two-part counter.
  • The seating, as seen from the back of Long & Short.
  • And the view out of the front.
  • The only sad part about sitting inside is that you have your back to the amazing mural...
  • ... that runs down the left-hand wall.
  • On the other side, there's some pretty amazing artwork as well.
  • Here's those two pictures seen from the other side.
  • Interesting.
  • Being long and thin, there are plenty of light bulbs to supplement the natural light.
  • And the odd neon sign. I suspect, by the way, that this is where the name is from.
  • Obligatory light-fitting shot.
  • As well as the lights and drawings, I also appreciated the actual greenery in the shop...
  • ... and the fact that the power outlets are half way up the walls and so easily accessible!
  • Okay, to business. The till and cakes have their own counter on the left...
  • ... with some retail shelves above.
  • Some of the cake selection.
  • Meanwhile, the menu is on the opposite wall, to your left...
  • ... with the blackboard showing the day's choices on espresso, decaf and filter.
  • All the magic happens here: from the Faema E61 (left) to the Moccamaster (right).
  • I tried the Ethiopian single-origin espresso, served in a glass...
  • ... paired with a classic cinnamon bun, which is where I'll leave you.
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Crate, which currently has four locations, describes itself as an entrepreneur hub. Saint James Crate, on the eastern side of Saint James’s Street, just south of the station, is a two-storey affair, set back and above street-level. A broad terrace faces the street, full of plants and various tables, including four- and six-person picnic tables, behind which are five shipping containers, short ends facing forwards. There are more shipping containers behind them, while on top, the layout’s recreated, with a terrace above the five containers at the front.

Long & Short Coffee occupies the fifth container in the bottom layer, on the right-hand corner. Although Crate’s main entrance is officially on the left, I approached from the right, up St James Path, doubling back on myself down the side of Long & Short to reach the front. Appropriately enough, Long & Short’s long and thin, maybe five times as deep as it is wide. Meanwhile, the front, which consists of glass double doors, is roughly square.

Inside, the seating is on the left, while you approach the two-part counter at the back along the right-hand side. The seating starts with a swing seat, suspended from the ceiling just inside the left-hand door, the first time I’ve seen one since Playground Coffee in Bristol. It’s followed by an L-shaped bench along the left-hand wall, with three square two-person tables. The wall is decorated with a beautiful bird mural which has to be seen to be believed (similar to those in Half Cup), while Long & Short is to be commended not only for having multiple power outlets, but for putting them high on the walls where they’re easily accessible.

The till, plus the cake, is on a small counter against the right-hand wall, retail selection above, while the bulk of the counter runs down the left-hand side, starting with a takeaway area, followed by the vintage Faema E61 espresso machine, side on so you can see it in action. There are also two grinders at the back and a Moccamaster batch brewer.

Long & Short roasts all the coffee. During my visit, there was just the one Ethiopian single-origin, a Dambi Udo, available on espresso and filter, plus a Peruvian decaf. I tried the Dambi Udo as an espresso, which, served in a glass, was pulled commendably short, producing a lovely, fruity, well-rounded espresso. I paired this with an equally lovely cinnamon roll, consisting of a rich dough generous dusted with cinnamon sugar.

As things settle in, there’ll be third grinder, allowing Long & Short to offer a second espresso, with pour-over joining the batch brew. There may also be more food and alcohol in the evenings, all of which I learnt from Jeremy, who, along with business partner Ivan, owns Long & Short, and who happened to be sitting at the table next to me!

Monday 08:00 – 15:00 Roaster Long & Short (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 08:00 – 15:00 Seating Tables; Tables (outside)
Wednesday 08:00 – 17:00 Food Cakes
Thursday 08:00 – 17:00 Service Order at Counter
Friday 08:00 – 17:00 Cards Yes
Saturday 09:00 – 17:00 Wifi No
Sunday 09:00 – 17:00 Power Yes
Chain Local Visits 27th July 2019

Liked this? Then don’t forget to check out the Coffee Spot Guide to London for more great Coffee Spots.

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