We do like a chalkboard that makes a well-written attempt to bag our custom. Examples pepper the capital, of course; most notable, in the neighbourhood, are the likes of Arancini Brothers, The Grafton, Housepresso, Southampton Arms and Fields Beneath. In fact, comedy duo The Pin recently listed the phenomenon as something that makes them guffaw the most.
But newcomer Brew Bar Coffee in Mornington Crescent is taking what we’ve (just) christened “bean and pun” humour to the next level. Unconvinced? Take a look at the selection below.
Whether owner Tim Baker makes them up daily or is tearing through a well-thumbed book – all he divulges is that they “keep me occupied on the journey to work” – these chucklesome chalks would definitely steer us inside his door.
And, he reveals, with a grin, “I already have tomorrow’s lined up – and I’m excited.”
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Very droll. But what’s the coffee actually like?
It’s a functional space: white walls, witty signs, wooden tables and large slate blocks. As he brewed up, owner Tim explained that it’s a three month pop-up, meaning no messy legal palaver – and a fresh start after quitting his city job in management and insurance. “11 Camden High Street was a derelict uninhabited unit for eight years,” he said, before reopening earlier this month.
There are various brewing methods in the shop. Tim’s thing is for both the V60 filter and single origin syphon coffee, a trend that, originating in New York, is spreading quickly across the capital (try Tower 47 up the road for more evidence). But I’m a latte kinda girl; and here its creamy kick and quality beans (Hodson blend espresso, since you ask) meant lots of dark berry and chocolate flavours (a reasonable £2 too). Hell, even the lemon-infused tap water was tasty; and even more exciting was paying via iPad (and I wasn’t the only customer thrilled by this). In short? It looks like Leyas across the road may finally have some direct competition. Beth Aydon
But the last word in all this must surely go to acclaimed Prince of Wales Road caff the Fields Beneath. “We’ve given up on chalkboards,” said co-owner Gavin, with a sigh.
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Find Brew Bar at 11 Camden High Street, NW1 7JE. Missed our Top 5 Camden Town coffee shops? Read it here