Mini Beans Coffee, Crewe Market Hall

A lovely flat white, made with the bespoke house blend at Mini Beans Coffee and served in my HuskeeCup.Mini Beans Coffee, a chance Instagram discovery, is located inside Crewe’s Victorian Market Hall. It joins a long, distinguished list of market-based coffee stalls, following in the footsteps of the likes of Pumphreys  Brewing Emporium in Granger Market in Newcastle and Atkinsons in Mackie Mayor just up the M6 in Manchester.

Mini Beans opened in May, a founding tenant of the newly-refurbished Market Hall, which reopened at the same time. Occupying a double unit at the front on the right-hand side, it offers a bespoke house-blend from Limini Coffee on espresso, with a regularly-changing guest roaster on batch brew, plus a small selection of tea. There’s also breakfast (toast, teacakes, porridge and almond croissants), plus afternoon tea and a selection of cakes.

Either order at the counter before taking your drinks to any of the Market Hall’s many tables or order online with the option for collection or table delivery. Note, however, that Mini Beans currently only offers disposable cups, so if you bring your own, don’t forget to order in person at the counter.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • Crewe Market Hall, built in 1854, with the tower added in 1871. Refurbished: 2021.
  • The Market Hall stands on the corner of Earle and Hill Street.
  • As well as the three doors at the front, this one is just around the corner on Hill Street.
  • The Market Hall extends a long way down Hill Street...
  • ... all the way to the back, where there are two more entrances on Heath Street.
  • However, let's return to the front and go in that way.
  • Inside is where the bulk of the refurbishment took place. There are units down the sides...
  • ... and three rows of tables of various sizes and heights in the middle.
  • These run all the way to a stage at the back. Most of the tables are like these ones.
  • The view from the stage, looking down the middle of the Market Hall to the front.
  • More of the tables. You can sit anywhere in the Market Hall, by the way.
  • There's also a set like this (sofa, armchair, two-person table) either side of the front door.
  • However, I didn't just come to admire the Market Hall. The first unit on the right...
  • ... directly in front of you if you enter by the right-hand door, is Mini Beans Coffee.
  • It occupies a double width unit.
  • There's a handy board with the opening times.
  • However, it's not just Mini Beans Coffee. There are other food and drink outlets...
  • ... on both sides of the hall.
  • Towards the back,you'll also find several retail units.
  • Some information about the Market Hal, foundl on a plaque inside the door.
  • You can sit where you like and even order online for collection or delivery to your table.
  • Here's a delivery order, ready to go from Mini Beans.
  • However, I decided to order in person at the counter, which is also an option.
  • This way I got to see the cake selection up close and personal.
  • There's also a selection of juices and soft drinks in a cooler cabinet to the right...
  • ... and, at the far end, breakfast options and a cream tea menu.
  • Talking of which, here's the menu.
  • The coffee/hot drinks menu, meanwhile, is on the back wall, opposite the till.
  • Next to that is the filter coffee and tea menu...
  • ... with the batch brewer and the current filter option from the guest roaster.
  • Check out the awesome artwork on the back wall.
  • I decided to have something from the espresso machine though, which is off to the left.
  • I went for my usual, a flat white, served in my HuskeeCup. My main reason for...
  • ... ordering in person was so that I could use my own cup. Check out the latte art...
  • ... which lasted all the way to the bottom of the cup, which is where I'll leave you.
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Mini Beans Coffee began a mobile horse(coffee)box, which got going just before the COVID-19 pandemic. This severely curtailed activities, so when Mini Beans was offered the chance of a permanent home in Crewe’s Market Hall, the owners, Steve and Maria, jumped at the chance. Although a 20-minute walk north of Crewe Station, I called in during one of my drives back to Guildford.

The Market Hall, built in 1854, has been described (in Nantwich) as Crewe’s answer to Mackie Mayor, which it predates by three years. A handsome, brick-built structure, its short side faces onto Earle Street, where you’ll find three entrances in the original arches, now glazed with glass double doors. The main entrance, in the middle under the clock tower, offers step-free access via a low ramp. There’s a fourth entrance around the corner on Hill Street, which runs down the left-hand side of the Market Hall, while at the back, on Heath Street, are two more entrances.

Inside, the Market Hall is open to the girders supporting the glass-paned roof. The recent refurbishment installed two rows of free-standing units which run down the left- and right-hand sides. Those on the left are more substantial, with one even having an upper level, while those on the right resemble market stalls, with three walls and an open front.

The middle of the hall contains in three long rows of tables running front-to-back. There’s a mix of two, four and six-person tables, some tall with bar chairs, others at normal height, although most are six-person picnic-style tables with benches. At the back is a large stage, which holds events and gigs, with more tables behind that. Finally, to either side of the central door at the front, you’ll find a sofa, armchair and low coffee table, plus a two-person table.

The units on either side are occupied by a range of businesses, including pizza, Mexican, ice cream and beer, with some retail units at the back. Mini Beans Coffee occupies a double unit at the front on the right-hand side, although you can sit where you like, with staff constantly clearing and sanitising the tables.

I’d already eaten at my previous stop in Nantwich (Little Yellow Pig), otherwise I’d have ordered something from one of the other stalls. Instead, I settled for coffee. Although tempted by the filter, a washed coffee from Mexico, roasted by Kickback Coffee, I went for a flat white, made with the house blend (a bespoke mix from Brazil, El Salvador and India), served in my HuskeeCup. The coffee, which is a touch darker than I normally like, went very well with the milk, producing a smooth, rich, flat white, while the milk held the latte art all the way to the bottom of the cup. Then, after a quick chat with the owner, Steve, I was on the road again.

MARKET HALL • EARLE STREET • CREWE • CW1 2BL
www.minibeanscoffee.com
Monday 08:30 – 14:00 Roaster Limini (espresso) + Guest (batch brew)
Tuesday 08:30 – 14:00 Seating Tables
Wednesday 08:30 – 17:00 Food Breakfast, Cake
Thursday 08:30 – 17:00 Service Counter / Online
Friday 08:30 – 17:00 Payment Cards + Cash
Saturday 09:30 – 17:00 Wifi Free
Sunday 10:30 – 17:00 Power No
Chain No Visits 6th November 2021

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