On a quest for great coffee within cycling distance this place kept being recommended.. so I ventured to try it. I had the Gibraltar served by the friendly aussie staff. Clientele seem to be mainly men kicked out of the house with their newborn babies. I even bought some beans it was that good, and I rarely buy beans.
It was hard to get 'cosy' here as the set up felt like you are not meant to hang out but it is still cute none the less.
This place was listed in the London coffee book and I was keen to venture to the Saturday market, so I arrived early to grab a coffee at Climpson & Son. Looking at other reviews, I agree the service was not warm or friendly, in fact it felt like I was putting the barista out by ordering a coffee. No matter, the coffee was prompt and looked good. It tasted fine, but was not anything too far out of the ordinary. Just a well made, good tasting coffee. The cafe is very cramped, but apparently because it was Christmas time they were slower then usual. It has a nice window seat to watch the market set up and was not a bad place to hang out before it became over run with baby buggies and children. All in all, not a place I would go for a leisurely coffee, but a good coffee to take away around the market. The one at the market, the other coffee provider was even less friendly, so go here.
Wow, it is with honour (and surprise) that I'm popping Climpson and Sons 5-star Yelp cherry. (It's never the ones you'd think, is it?)
And surprise surprise, another Aussie-run coffee shop for the win. Smooth pulls, creamy milk (yes, even with skim) and a festive heart on top had me whispering sweet nothings into its foam at first sip. The simplistic wood interior already had me in the mood, and finishing off that perfectly balanced latte pushed me over the edge.
At the risk of taking away from my literary technique I've subsequently dubbed "shock reviewing," I'll add a bit of an "Aww" factor: the employees are some of the kindest folks you'll run into. Rather than throwing out their unpurchased nibbles at closing, the barrista offered them to us -- even though we were loitering far beyond closing time. Think about it: rather than shoving us out when the clock struck 5:00, she offered us a warm and cozy private venue in which to enjoy a delicious (free) sandwich.
Talented AND generous? It makes me even more proud of my star popping pursuits!
Im not sure why, but Australian men in London seem to have this weird knack for two things - one is looking like they've just crawled out of the gutter, the other is making a damn fine cup of joe. Climpson and Sons is certainly evident of this fact.
I first found Climpson and Sons in a wee pop up kiosk outside of Match Bar off Regent Street, servicing the bustling foot traffic during the morning rush. The set-up was temporary and is no longer there, however the service extremely effective in generating a bit of buzz about these gurus of the bean.
I headed down to their own cafe on Broadway Market in order to savour their fine coffee making skills again recently.
As I ordered my flat white and had my name taken by a scruffy looking ex-pat, I settled into one of the cosy corners and waited for my much anticipated cup of joe-to-go.
"MARGOT" , the barrista called, and lunged at the counter like a wild swan protecting its young....
...the first sip....crema on the lips....creamy milky perfection.....second sip (bigger this time) and I get a full dose of caffeine straight to my heart. sublime.
Being an Aussie living in London, I would really love to say that Climpson and Sons have perfected the art of coffee making, however, nothing is perfect, and they have their faults...just like all of us.
The coffee is cold.
The coffee was, indeed, quite tasty and well prepared.
But I had to wait for upwards to five minutes for said coffee whilst standing awkwardly in the middle of the cafe along with other awkwardly standing people waiting for their coffees, next to even more awkwardly seated people with buggies who were begrudging my awkwardness and wishing I would just leave already so they could have some space in which to sip their cup of pretention along with their mustachioed compatriates, bouncing their hipster babies atop their laps.
...An experience that was definitely not my cup of tea.
Coffee = excellent. Like actually. (5 stars)
Bircher Muesli = succulent: comes topped with Greek yogurt and pistachios. (4 stars)
Store = a bit cramped but cosy, filled with wailing children before 11am on the weekend: who obviously don't drink coffee but probably know they will have their yummy mummy's addiction in a within a couple of decades. (3 stars)
Service = um where's the smile?!?! Hello treat your awaiting customers with warmth, or at least without looking startled. This really ticks me off... (1 star)
You work out the average...
Where the hell is my friggin' coffee? Why is that stupid lady talking to all the staff about rubbish I don't want to hear, really loudly? Seriously, 2 other people who came in after me have now walked out with cups of wonderful sexy brown goodness, where the frig is mine?!
Oh so now you, the cazy lady disturbing the staff from coffee the making has grabbed a cup that suspiciously looks like it could be mine. And the staff are now laughing at you, and your boring tales...
Oh you asked for a flat white did you Miss Crazy? Oh your name is Lizzie too!? Oh you have my black coffee, waving it about, getting it cold, taunting me? Yes, I think you do.
I have a coffee addiction, this place is mean and the staff roll their eyes but I will go back, again and again because their coffee is good. Just don't come here if you are in a rush, or if you're in a bad mood, or if you're allergic to "dickheads," if you've seen the YouTube video you'll get that reference... breathe... sip coffee...
Actually this place isn't that bad, I think I may come back again tomorrow.
Consistently good espresso drinks are to be found at C and S. The bevvies, as others have already mentioned, may take FOREVER to come up on the counter/be delivered to your seat, but they do, eventually, get there.
Cash-poor folk beware: C and S will charge you a 50 pence (annoyance fee) if you try to purchase your goods with a card. I was told that this is to dissuade folk from doing so when the line is out the door and folk are only ordering one coffee drink and wanting to pay by card as it slows the line down and is a pain. (I totally get that, btw.) I, on the other hand, was purchasing beans, it was a slow day, and, as the guy behind the counter had witnessed not but a few minutes prior, had spent my last bit of cash on a drink and snack, and could only then use a card to buy the beans I had spotted only after my initial purchase. If I were C and S, then I'd be a bit more discerning in my 50p charging of custies for c.c. machine usage. Is that sort of practice even legal?
I'll form a full opinion of Climpsons after one more visit. In the meantime, create your own review from these recently harvested nuggets of fact:
- My coffee was luke warm.
- "Any sugar?", "No thanks." Yet my coffee was very sweet. Bleuch. Mistakes happen. But at this time I'm unable to comment on the quality of Climpson's coffee beyond "cold" and "sweet".
- You can get a tasty looking sarnie for 3.90. Though the really good ones are 6 quid. That's expensive, but not extortionate. I suppose.
- The cakes looked pretty good and weren't astronomically priced.
- I'm guessing that Climpsons is cool/trendy? If so, this will undoubtedly be a bonus for many. I'm not really qualified to make that "cool" judgement, but three things lead me to this conclusion:
(a) The overwhelming feeling of self conciousness I got while waiting for my coffee.
(b) I was easily the "beefiest" man in there. I'm 10.5 stone.
(c) They were playing The Beatles. In German.
Take-away coffee is best. Trying to find a seat can be difficult and even if you do you will have your stranger neighborhood all up in your personal space. This coffee joint is tiny so yeah, get your coffee to go.
Definitely make your way here if you're in the neighborhood or shopping at Broadway Market. The coffee beans are roasted well and are quite affordable. When I am not in the mood to spend a bunch on Monmouth beans I get my beans from Climpson and Sons.
At risk of coming across all hyperbolic, Climpson and Sons probably make the best coffee in East London. Fact. Despite living in Shoreditch I do sometimes find Broadway Market a bit trendy. Here is a pocket in Hackney, one of London's most deprived boroughs, where people spend the equivalent of a week's rent on a haircut. You couldn't make it up.
If you do find yourself on Broadway Market though you should really visit Climpson and Sons for a coffee. It's rare to find somewhere in London where you can find a good coffee for a reasonable price in a joint with a good atmosphere; Climpson and Sons is this place.
A word of warning though: visit Climpson on a Saturday at your peril. I've waited upwards of 20 minutes for a humble takeaway flat white which is a little excessive. Try and grab a table outside, there's no better place to put Hackney's trendies to rights while ogling their pedigree pooches.
Climpson and Sons - just try to get near on Saturday to the really cute thick wooden benches inside and papers around for reading -
The coffee is great and atmosphere warm and this place is popular.
If you are lucky you can find a place outside as the que inside is busy while market is in full swing.
Brunch and lunch consists of panninis and bagette type toasted sandwiches --and although the food is good -- it is the lovely atmosphere and coffee that has everyone waiting -
Situated right in the middle of the market is is a great place to sit in but alittle away from the market fray - possibly the most poular cafe on the street --
I really have no idea how all this happened, but I feel like my espresso quest led me to all the hip neighborhoods, and interesting people on my travels throughout greater London.
Broadway Market was just one of those areas. It's right off the edge of London Fields, and deep in the heart of Hackney. This stretch of neighborhood is like Bedford in Williamsburg Brooklyn, complete with uber awesome coffee.
As I recall I think they used Square Mile coffee too, though I can't be sure. Anyway, the espresso was a dark thick black bitter goodness that can only be appreciated by going there and tasting it.
While you're at it, stop at the local video store, and many other cute shops on this street. On weekends they even have a farmers market, with cheeses, Tapenades, and Pestos, all homemade.
Now the question is, why don't I explore New York with this much enthusiasm!?!?!?
The coffee at Climpson was top-notch and worth the relatively long wait on a Saturday afternoon. All in all, took more than ten minutes from queueing to collection.
As DeadLtd said, the place can get very crowded, and there is another stall at the other end of the market which seemed to have just as long a queue to me!
The cafe also served salads and sandwiches, but there weren't too many seats. Looked like perhaps around 20 people could sit in the space available.
Music playing on the day I went was indie and alternative. It's also worth noting that there aren't any restroom facilities available in the cafe.
When Climpsons advertise for a new barista, the sign always requires that the applicant be 'passionate about coffee'. Judging from the lattes here, that sounds about right.
This place is generally acknowledged by me and my friends to be the best coffee in the area. We've been going there consistently on hungover Saturday mornings since we discovered it. Its usually full, and often has a queue out the door, particularly on Saturday mid morning when Broadway market is in full swing outside, and the local trendies are lining up for their caffeine fixes.
Its worth the sometimes interminable-seeming wait though - creamy, creamy lattes; strong but smooth macchiatos. Just remember to ask for a takeaway cup because then you get even more frothiness for your £2. The food is tasty too - great, chunky sandwiches and delicious french toast. The date slice is also wonderful.
I've only gone here once and happened upon this place totally by accident. I'd never heard of it so didn't know what to expect but it was brilliant.
I went for a mocha and it was so nice. They seemed really into making it and I went at a quiet time mid week so didn't have to deal with the market madness of a Saturday.
I wasn't hungry but ended up going for a slice of cheesecake because it looked so good, it tasted amazing too, and I like to think of myself as a bit of a cake-fanatic. It's not actually near my flat but next time I'm in the area I'll definitely be back. It didn't blow my mind but I couldn't fault it on anything.
In the famous words of Twin Peaks' Agent Dale Cooper, this café made me want to repeat the celebrated phrase, "That's a damn fine cup o' coffee."
With a good cup of coffee, a fresh continental sandwich, cake, a simple interior, wooden benches, friendly staff, and a good newspaper, Climpson and Sons definitely know how to make a good café. Best avoided on Saturdays, come and taste the best coffee in the area right here. And with the cute system of writing the customer's names on cups, the staff eventually always get to know their best regular customers. With limited staff and busy days, however, the service may be a little slow but it will be worth the wait.
I'm conflicted about Climpsons. Who wants to remortgage their house and sell their bodies for a month to pay for one (ever-so-slightly-overpriced) soya latte? Not me. Who wants to have their soya latte infused with Japanese seaweed (divine-tasting, and nutirious), served in 'flat white' Ozzie coffee style with the perfect vantage point for people watching/perving (delete as applicable) as you read the Guardian? Definitely me. What to do? Out of all the places on Broadway Market that is most in danger during the credit crunch, Climpsons is one of them.
After all, Hackney is full of artists and creatives at the moment (read: people who always end up with too much 'month' and the end of their money), so one would assume they would go bust, but no. What's their secret? Maybe it's the steady flow of sloaney Saturday Broadway Market visitors keeping them in Prada, or maybe they're taking advantage of a prime position when the inevitable wave of gentrification hits? Probably both.
Anyway, I've chosen this place as one of the best places to get coffee on this road because:
a) Someone always leaves a copy of the Guardian or Observer lying around so I can justify the horrendous cost of my £2.80 coffee with having saved on buying the weekend papers. Whoever keeps leaving it for me: I love you. Don't stop!
b) The coffee and reaalllly good. See above description
c) The service is very speedy, which is handy if you're the kind of impatient person that wakes up wanting coffee NOW NOW NOW. Although it can be slower on Saturdays, but that doesn't matter. Just take a peek at the lovely gallery next door.
This place is a 5 minute walk from my house - it has some of the best coffee in london.
On Saturday's it is heaving - however they have a stall on the market near the canal end that is sometimes not as busy, near the butcher's van.
Also near the cupcake stall if you want to be buzzing your tits off all day. Their food is great too
For a convenient, decent coffee, 5 minutes walk from your house, Climpsons is fine, but anything more than that and i think you are going out of your way.
I hear all the time about how GREAT the coffee is at this place, but in all the times I have popped by after a jaunt round Broadway Market, I have been decidedly underwhelmed.
Perhaps in recommending the coffee shop so highly, my friends have only set it up for a fall, but ultimately how hard can it be to make a decent coffee? It's all in the bean right?
I WANT to rave about Climpsons but I can't. I've been there around 4 times now and whilst it serves Flat Whites and seems to be run by Australians that doesn't mean the coffee is great.
Each time my coffee has been weak and even today when asking for an extra shot the flavour is just not there. It also takes ages to get a coffee and this is something that's been the case every time I've visited.
I hate giving a bad review for my little slice of Melbourne now and then but I am being honest here, it just is not that good. Shame!
I liked climpson and sons.
The coffee was nice although slightly over priced. The service is slow, but I'm not complaining - honest, it's just if you want to pop in as you're dashing into work then there is a wait.
It gets very busy especially on Saturdays but even if there's a que each coffee is still a very high standard and they keep high quality throughout.
o/a: highly recommend the Gibraltar but its generally slightly pricey
I found it quite hard to get to; either walk down from London Fields Rail or get any bus that goes up Cambridge Heath Road.
Quite possibly one of the best coffees I had in London. The flat white is very, very nice and mellow. The staff is very nice. There is always a newspaper around and I had a couple of nice chats with strangers.
Why only 4 stars? It is by all means not the cheapest coffee and slightly over priced. Also, it can get very crowded and you easily wait 10 min for a coffee on the weekend. The sandwiches are ... ok. Ah, well.
Verdict: I just keep coming back and back again for the flat white. Seating is limited, but in the summer you can sit at tables outside. Wonderful, wonderful flat white.
I was briefly and quietly (and might I add wisely) advised not to try any latte/soy milk/flavored funny business here. Order a coffee in a reasonable size and wait your turn for a cup of delicious joy which will take more than a few minutes to arrive in your hands, no matter how long the wait, how crowded the shop or how large or small your order. Patience is a virtue and it pays off here in the first, lip-biting, tongue scorching, heart-surging, belly-warming, soul-soothing sip. If only I were so fortunate to have a business so close to my own abode that roasts their own beans, where employees pretend as if coffee is the most important thing on the planet and you're a fool if you think otherwise.
If you want good coffee then this is the place to go. Run mainly by Aussies from Melbourne, these guys know their coffee. Its small inside, but you can usually find somewhere to sit. They have a few chairs and tables outside or squeeze on one of the wooden seats in the café.
Its also right next to London Fields so if its good weather grab a take out and relax in the park.
They don't just specialise in coffee, they have a good breakfast & Lunch menu, with produce sourced from local businesses. And of course, cakes & brownies to have with your coffee!
The staff are always friendly, and as they write your name on the take out cups, they soon remember who you are. I can't help but go on a little detour there in the morning before I catch the bus, I'm hooked. After coffee from Climpsons, it's difficult going back to Starkbucks, it's a whole other world away!
Although it gets very busy on Saturday during the Market, sometimes queues running out of the door, its worth the wait.
The worst sandwich shop in human history! I'm not prone to hyperbole so I won't exaggerate this time. Terrible queues, amateur staff, usually run out of ingredients by midday (not a good idea in a sandwich shop). I actually worried I would die of malnutrition before our overpriced sandwich arrived. Never again.
small coffee with own roasted beans.
bought two different blends of beans.
tried cappuccino & brownies.
yum yum. there is more to explorer there.
admittedly, it does get rather busy on saturdays, but this small cafe might even knock the socks off Monmouth Coffee Company in its excellent coffee. The food is freshly prepared and tasty, and they'll do you a slice of toast in the morning to have with your coffee.
A great music selection keeps things real when you're a bit fragile in the morning, and, if you can find a seat, there are always newspapers and magazines to pore over while you sip your coffee.
Saturdays can see you coming back over and over as you move through the market, so it's a great place to meet people.
You can also play the silly name game, as the baristas ask you for your name when you order. My last one was Hercules.
The only drawback is that it becomes a bit of a pram parking lot on Saturdays. So, if you've got kids, try to leave the pram outside while you order your coffee.
I have been going to this coffee shop since the day it opened, but no more. The coffee is undoubtedly good, the service and unfriendliness of the staff however is mind blowingly rude. The staff would rather chat about rubbish really loudly than say good morning to a customer, they all look like they have just got up and really didn't want to and do you know what there are two other good and friendly coffee shops less than 30 seconds away. Keep it up Climpsons, the word is spreading, even Time Out commented how rude you lot were the other day.
I love the coffee at this place - but don't make it a pit-stop if you're zipping past and fancy a coffee to go - the guys here takes AGES to make a cup of coffee - which isn't a problem as it really is worth the wait but don't think they've forgotten you if 5 minutes has passed since you ordered and you're still waiting.
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