Coffee wasn’t the main motivation for my recent trip to Crouch End, but a quick bit of research soon indicated that the pretty, north London neighbourhood was not without its coffee merits. I wrote about Velasquez and Van Wezel earlier this week and the second speciality coffee shop I visited in Crouch End was Coffee Circus, a café with cosy, colourful interiors on Crouch Hill (the road that forms the southeastern ‘arm’ of the X of Crouch End).
Coffee Circus opened in 2011 and although its décor includes various circus-themed elements, it was much calmer than its name suggests late on a Saturday afternoon. The café is long and slender, with the coffee bar occupying most of the front room, while the main seating area, which has plenty of rustic wooden furniture, is in the back. The back room is surprisingly bright and although there were still plenty of other customers when I visited, it was relatively quiet.
I had heard good things about the brunch, but had already partaken that day, and I was so full that although the cakes looked lovely, it probably would have taken a chocolate-peanut butter brownie (my favourite sweet treat) to tempt me into pudding. There were also various soups, quiches and salads if you aren’t of a brunch persuasion.
The coffee is from East London-based Mission Coffee Works, and there are Aeropress, V60 and French press options if you’re in the mood for a hand-brewed filter coffee. I was a little pressed for time and so went for a cortado (£2.20) with Mission’s Bells Espresso, a nutty chocolatey blend of Brazilian and Peruvian coffees. My coffee was well prepared and slipped down very well. I would have liked to try a pourover too but I will have to save that experience — and the brunch — for another visit.