43 Cowcross Street, London, EC1M 6BY
One of five stores, the Farringdon branch of Bea’s is in an excellent location – just a few doors down from Farringdon station itself. It’s really small and if you blink you may miss it (it took me a few weeks to discover it), but it still stocks a wide range of scrummy cakes and pastries, and serves all the versions of coffee you’d expect. As it is one of many coffee shops in the area, I don’t visit often (I like to share the love), but having found out about their awesome coffee and a cake deal, I try to make sure I visit once a week at least.
Location and premises
As already mentioned, the location is great. A stone’s throw from a major national rail and tube station (and Crossrail too, when it opens), and with only big chains in the immediate vicinity (Costa and Pret), it’s the perfect place to have something a little bit special. I almost always see people queuing for their caffeine fix, and occasionally the queue can get a bit long. The premises themselves are tiny, with only room for one or two customers to stand inside at a time, and no inside seating, but don’t let that put you off! The service is fast (but still very friendly), and the lack of seating poses no real problem for me as I rarely sit in to have coffee anyway.
The service is great. I’ve been served by a few different people – all of whom are warm, welcoming and informative (about the cakes) – but there’s one guy who is really great with customers. On one of my earlier visits, I had a lovely chat with a staff member about duffins (what they were, mainly) and ended up buying one. This turned out to be the best decision I made that week. The aforementioned coffee and cake deal costs £2.90 for a coffee and one out of a selection of cakes (including duffins!). Separately, these two items would come to around a fiver, so it’s definitely worth snapping up. And what’s more, is they run it every day – until they run out. There’s no loyalty card – at least I’ve not been offered one, so that’s somewhere they can improve – especially as they have a few stores around Central London.
The coffee is neither amazing nor terrible. I mainly visit Bea’s for the convenience of where it is. The coffee is made exceptionally well, but it tastes quite bitter, which I think is down the bean itself, rather than the skill (or lack thereof) of the barista. I always drink my flat whites from Bea’s, but I also usually grab a second one on my lunch from somewhere else to get a more satisfying coffee fix.
Anything else: Extra points for the duffins.
*The price score is based on the £2.90 deal.
Overall score: 87%
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