46b Espresso Hut

46b Brooksby’s Walk, London E9

Photography ©Jørn Tomter / tomter.net
Text Jørn Tomter
Text and photos from July 2012

In Norway when I grew up in the 70s and 80s we only had one TV channel and every Christmas eve they showed an hour of Disney cartoons. This was pretty much the viewing highlight of the year unless my parents took me to the cinema. My favourite film was without doubt Mickey Mouse’s Caravan where he is on holiday with Donald and Goofy. What I liked about it was the caravan. Every room had multi purpose and usage. It seemed like the perfect place to live for a kid; an adventure. It was small, but it had everything. I liked the fact that Mickey got mountain water from a waterfall to make coffee, corn straight from the field while passing it and fresh milk from a happy cow outside his window. Despite the chaos at certain times, I thought the caravan seemed like the perfect place to hang out; it was your own little paradise wherever you went.

When I first visited 46b Espresso Hut on Brooksbys Walk it resembled the same feeling I had watching the Mickey cartoon, but without the chaos. 46b is a relatively small space but it is full of character, hospitality and great flavours. It seems to offer everything for a wonderful experience. Step inside and you instantly feel you are being looked after well and it is one of these places that you just know the coffee is great. It also turns out that they pretty much made and built everything themselves; cushions, benches, pictures, shelves, bar etc. I would go as far and say that if you visit London, it is worth travelling to Clapton just to enjoy their coffee.

46b is run by Hackney residents Dominic Rich from Durham in the North East of England and Eva Kostalidou from Thessaloniki Greece. “So what I’d say is a good coffee is when you taste nothing but fresh coffee, albeit, sometimes with well foamed and well poured good quality milk (from happy cows).” Dominic told I Love Chatsworth Road. 46b serves coffee from Square Mile coffee, who are very careful about who they supply their beans to. We were curious how this happened and this is what Dominic said: ”We are supplied by Square Mile Coffee Roasters. The first time I had a Square Mile coffee a completely new world was opened to me. It was incredible, with tangy, fruity notes. I had no idea coffee could taste this good. We have been in conversation with Square Mile since, and developed a good relationship. We work with them because they are the pioneers of this field and will not compromise quality, keeping their standards the highest with what they produce and who they supply. The whole team is an inspiration because they started from the coffee shop floor and as they have advanced, they have become expert at every level, what they have achieved is outstanding. You could not have a better group of people to work with and gain practice-based knowledge from. The current beans are a blend of Costa Rican and Guatemalan beans – very sharp, and refreshing with a citric lime bite.”

46b also make sure that everything you eat is of high quality as well: bread from E5 Bake House, pastries from Yeast bakery, salad from Growing Communities, jam from London Borough of Jams, Chash fine teas and milk from Northiam Dairy.

I Love Chatsworth Road like to ask people what they like about our neighbourhood. Dominic and Eva think the best thing is the people!

We think 46b will succeed because they have made their own perfect camper van with all their favourite things. If you make what you love people will love what you made.