Espresso Joe and the shopping mall grind   19 Dec 2011

Joseph Hoye

Grinding coffee is somewhere between an art and a science: too fine and the coffee becomes mud; too coarse and the coffee has no flavor.

Congratulations to the kiwi coffee house in the new Westfield Stratford City for getting it just right. The grind and the service is spot-on for London’s newest shopping experience.

It would be too easy to create another Pretbucks styled café in the Westfield mall, churning out milky flat whites and ginger-chai lattes with a twist of pumpkin foam for a faux Christmas retail pick-me up; the kind of place where the coffee cups begin to pile up on the tables and customers discover the noble art of Jenga with dirty crockery.

Instead, Grind seems intent on focusing on customer needs.

  • Grind’s staff notice when you’re a chair short for your foursome and do their utmost to rectify the situation.
  • It seems there’s always someone in Grind prowling the aisles to ensure the tables are clear and clean.
  • Grind bring your coffee to you instead of whispering or bellowing your name from the service counter.
  • Grind make good coffee.

And Grind is clearly a New Zealand house of coffee, from the moko-like artwork on the walls to the coffee-table books showcasing the best scenery Aotearoa has to offer – something that most other NZ styled cafes don’t allude to. While I sat sipping my Flat White and nibbling an Afghan, a young English couple walked by and said, “Look, another Kiwi place… they’re everywhere. We’ve got to try it.”

There is a New Zealand coffee house style in London and people search for good examples of them. As Jane Austen* so succinctly put it: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that New Zealanders make great coffee. Why not use the free PR?

Grind at Westfield Stratford City is the sibling of the Putney Grind, now approaching its second birthday. The espresso blend is fair trade with a South and Central American base and it’s run through a La Marzocco Strada espresso machine. Micro-batches of beans are roasted three times a week by Grind’s supplier and hit the machines two days after roasting. Some coffee drinkers may be a bit wary of the quick time between roasting and the cup but the results here are difficult to argue with.

Café staples are Afghans and Anzacs, brownies and muffins, ciabatta sandwiches and a generous serving of home-made bacon and egg pie.

If there is one let down at Grind’s Westfield Mall branch, it would be the décor –just a touch too bare for a London cafe, brought on by a very high ceiling. I’d appreciate a little more colour and warmth to gently entice me into that second or third coffee and persuade friends to meet up here. Perhaps the phrase I’m looking is Kiwi-utilitarian – it does the job.

For a self-confessed mall rat, finding a decent espresso at Westfield was an unexpected delight. When the snows start falling on London and the streets become a little too icy to navigate, I’ll be able to jump off the DLR, Jubilee or Central line trains straight into the heated warmth at Stratford to keep up the espresso intake – and indulge in a little winter retail therapy.

  • Grind Coffee Bar
  • Northwest corner of the Lower Ground Floor – near Waitrose
  • Westfield Stratford City, London
  • Open 10am-9pm Mon-Sat. 11am-5pm Sun.

*Ms Austen may also have been referring to men and marriage when she wrote this.

Previous cup of Joe.

Add a comment

Bookmark and Share


New Zealand increases climate finance commitment to Pacific

25 Sep 2018 Environment By RT HON JACINDA ARDERN
25 SEPTEMBER 2018 New Zealand increases climate finance commitment to Pacific New Zealand will increase its global climate finance... more

New powers to combat drug smuggling at sea

26 Sep 2018 News By Hon Kris Faafoi
26 SEPTEMBER 2018 Minister of Customs Hon Kris Faafoi has welcomed the passing of the Maritime Powers Extension Bill which will help... more


Multinationals to pay fair share of tax

26 Jun 2018 Business News
26 JUNE 2018 HON STUART NASH New measures to ensure multinational companies pay their fair share of tax will come into force next... more

NZ Government launches Sustainable Food & Fibre Futures

22 Aug 2018 Business News By Hon Damien O'Connor
21 AUGUST 2018 Growing New Zealand's food and fibre sectors sustainably and supporting a thriving economy are the hallmarks of a new... more


Choral strains remember the 1918 influenza pandemic

21 Oct 2018 Arts
On Remembrance Sunday (Nov 11th 2018), a series of choral concerts will begin at the National Army Museum, to mark the... more

REVIEW: Modern Maori Quartet's "Two Worlds" at Edinburgh Festival

20 Aug 2018 Arts By Justine Redfearn
The Modern Maori Quartet are back at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with their new show “Two Worlds” - harmonising... more


More certainty in construction sector smooths boom and bust cycle

22 Aug 2018 Property
30 JULY 2018More certainty in construction sector smooths boom and bust cycle HON JENNY SALESA The 2018 National Construction Pipeline... more

NZ Property: Foreign buyers ban passes third reading

15 Aug 2018 Property
15 AUGUST 2018 HON DAVID PARKER The Bill to put in place the Government's policy of banning overseas buyers of existing homes has... more


Christchurch reinstated as refugee settlement location

18 Aug 2018 Migration
18 AUGUST 2018 HON IAIN LEES-GALLOWAY The announcement that Christchurch can once again be a settlement location for refugees... more

Post-study work rights emphasise skills NZ needs

8 Aug 2018 Migration
8 AUGUST 2018 HON IAIN LEES-GALLOWAY Changes to post-study work rights will help ensure international students coming to New Zealand... more


Arrival card change to smooth border process for international travellers to NZ

26 Sep 2018 Travel & Tourism By Hon Kris Faafoi
25 SEPTEMBER 2018 International travellers arriving into New Zealand should have a simpler, faster entry as a result of changes to... more

NZ Government to fully fund Auckand's SkyPath as part of $390m investment in walking and cycling

25 Aug 2018 Travel & Tourism
23 AUGUST 2018 HON PHIL TWYFORD HON JAMES SHAW Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Acting Associate Transport Minister James Shaw have... more


America’s Cup court ruling vindicates process

26 Sep 2018 Sailing By Hon David Parker
25 SEPTEMBER 2018 The Environment Court has today granted the resource consent for the 36th America's Cup bases in Auckland and the... more

Humble Stephen Kearney praises Warriors staff ahead of finals appearance: 'It's not down to one person'

3 Sep 2018 Rugby League
Warriors coach Stephen Kearney paid tribute to the club's unsung heroes ahead of their first taste of NRL finals football since... more


Gordon Campbell on the Gareth Morgan crusade

11 Nov 2016 Opinion
Gordon Campbell on the Gareth Morgan crusade First published on Werewolf The ghastly likes of Marine Le Pen in France and Geert ... more

Gordon Campbell on the US election outcome

10 Nov 2016 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell   Gordon Campbell on the US election outcome Well um.. on the bright side, there (probably)... more

Kiwi Success

Congratulations to Loder Cup winner

26 Sep 2018 People By Hon Eugenie Sage
25 SEPTEMBER 2018 The Loder Cup, one of New Zealand’s oldest conservation awards, has been awarded to Robert McGowan for 2018... more

Appointments to New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO

16 Aug 2018 Appointments
16 AUGUST 2018Appointments to New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO HON JENNY SALESA Associate Education Minister Jenny Salesa is... more


Historic pay equity settlement for education support workers

14 Aug 2018 Recruitment By RT HON JACINDA ARDERN
14 AUGUST 2018Historic pay equity settlement for education support workers RT HON JACINDA ARDERN HON CHRIS HIPKINS Prime Minister The... more

Historic pay equity settlement for education support workers

22 Aug 2018 Recruitment By RT HON JACINDA ARDERN
14 AUGUST 2018Historic pay equity settlement for education support workers RT HON JACINDA ARDERN HON CHRIS HIPKINS Prime Minister The... more