My tour of Tooting Bec continues with Communion Coffee, on the other side of Tooting Bec station from Green Monkey London. Unlike Green Monkey and Dee Light Bakery, Communion Coffee is a relative newcomer, having opened just before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. It has a simple offering of quality coffee and baked goods in an equally simple space, with the counter at the back, a window-bar at the front and a large, communal table in the middle.
Turning to the coffee, old friends Assembly are on espresso, while there’s a regularly-changing guest on filter (batch brew or V60/Aeropress/Chemex), plus Good & Proper tea. Communion also stocks a wide range of retail bags. Unusually, the default is for non-dairy milks, although there is a dairy option from Brades Farm (20p extra). If you’re drinking in, Communion uses HuskeeCups, while for takeaway, there’s a 20p discount for bringing your own cup. Finally, if you’re hungry, there’s a small toast and sandwich menu, plus a range of cakes and pastries, with bread for sale.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Communion Coffee is on Trinity Road, which runs northwest from Tooting Bec station, one of a long row of ground floor shops on the western side, with tenements above. The modest façade has a large window on the right, with the left-hand side split between the door (right) and a much smaller window (left), the yellow of the branding standing out against the grey paintwork.
The interior is just as modest, with white painted walls and ceiling, plus bare floorboards. A small display fridge stands under the window to the left of the door, while a three-person bar occupies the larger window to the right. The only other seating is a large, square communal table with benches on three sides, the fourth side flush against the right-hand wall. There’s space for more, but I suspect COVID-19 concerns have kept things well spaced out and open for now, which I appreciate.
The counter occupies the rear half of Communion Coffee, with retail shelves on the left as you approach. Along with bags of retail coffee, there are various other goodies for sale, including a small selection of wine. The menu is on the wall to the left, beneath which is the ever-reliable Moccamaster for the batch brew. The right-hand side of the counter is occupied with Perspex display cases for the cakes, pastries and various loaves of bread. The bulk of the coffee operation is behind the counter, the La Marzocco Linea and its grinder on the left, side on to the counter, while the pour-over area is to the right with its ubiquitous EK43 grinder.
In many ways, Communion Coffee reminds me of the coffee shops I used to see in Soho and Shoreditch when I started the Coffee Spot almost 10 years ago, simple, friendly places, concentrating on doing coffee well. Now, many of those places have gone, driven out by rising rents, so Communion Coffee was a welcome reminder that they still exist, in spirit at least.
Communion Coffee typically closes at three o’clock and I arrived just before one, giving me plenty of time, or so I thought. Sadly, staffing issues meant that Communion was closing early, leaving me just seven minutes, which rather scuppered my plans to try an oat milk flat white or a pour-over. Instead, I had the excellent batch brew, the Maria Eugenia Escobar, a naturally-processed coffee using champagne yeast, produced by Finca la Senda in Guatemala and roasted by Plot Roasting.
This turned out to be a lovely, sweet, well-balanced coffee, while I also had the last cinnamon bun (on the house). Sadly, I was busy running around taking photographs, so had no time to eat it. Instead, I took it home with me, where it proved to be the perfect companion for my daily espresso, rich and chewy, with just a dusting of cinnamon sugar.
December 2021: Communion Coffee was a runner-up for the 2021 Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Award.
|21 TRINITY ROAD • TOOTING BEC • LONDON • SW17 7SD|
|Monday||08:00 – 15:00||Roaster||Assembly (espresso) + Guests (filter)|
|Tuesday||08:00 – 15:00||Seating||Table, Window-bar|
|Wednesday||08:00 – 15:00||Food||Cakes|
|Thursday||08:00 – 15:00||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||08:00 – 17:00||Payment||Cards + Cash|
|Saturday||08:00 – 17:00||Wifi||TBC|
|Sunday||09:00 – 14:00||Power||Yes|
|Chain||No||Visits||22nd October 2021|
If you enjoyed this Coffee Spot, then take a look at the rest of London’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to London.
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