Hackney Coffee Company
Not a stranger to Hackney Coffee Company, the name of the self-titled ‘favourite of locals’ is one synonymous with a freelancing space dripping with visual inspiration. Indeed, arriving to review on a Tuesday lunchtime, it was difficult to find a spot to take a coffee; the venue was teeming with freelancers, illustrators, and creatives taking their meetings in the buzzing cafe.
Don’t be mistaken, though, Hackney Coffee Company is more than just a ‘cafe’, with its supper clubs constantly selling out throughout the year and an impressive side hustle of roasting its own speciality coffee.
What at first seems a respectful nod to the tourist hot-spot, the Columbia Road blend of coffee sold in store is in fact a knowing nod to the connection between the seemingly contrasting worlds of East London and South America.
With family backgrounds in the East end, the three founders of Hackney Coffee Company made the trek to Columbia over ten years ago, where - from a city packed to the seams with Costa and Prets - they first discovered the taste of a blend truly handcrafted with care.
And now Jon Penn, James Penn + Kevin Mills have brought that message to a wonderful venue just off Hackney Road; where the coffee connoisseurs of the area recognise an appreciation for fine coffee, prepared in a deliberate and undeniably satisfying way.
“Coffee prepared in a deliberate and undeniably satisfying way.”
It’s a place that caters to the niche and trendy wants of its East London audience as well, with Turmeric and Beetroot lattes as well as cleansing juices on offer when asked for the ‘most instagrammable drink’, but this is a pandering that seems to be done in a knowing and tasteful way; all beverages are handmade with care by an incredibly friendly team with a knack for recognising faces, kicking the holier-than-thou stereotypes about coffee shop workers completely out of the park.
One thing we didn’t get to experience, and can’t wait to, are the notorious supper clubs that showcase the best in original culinary talent. Regular fine dining, middle-eastern and european inspired tasting menus can be booked throughout the year, and we cannot wait to attend— our founder, Nika, already has her eyes on the supper inspired by her Persian heritage, Caspian Kitchen.
With plans to expand the cafe next door to a restaurant and cocktail bar, it’s clear that the journey of Hackney Coffee Club is only at its beginning, and on a street with constantly evolving shop fronts and brands that come and go, the brand won’t be upping and moving anytime soon either; and if there’s one thing we love more than good coffee, its when a brand commits to regenerating the face and culinary scene of its local area, a movement we at Paradise Row are sure will be seen from them for years to come.
Words + Images : Hannah Crosbie