As well as Signature Brew beers, there was Texan barbecued meat from Howard’s Meat Co (who you can catch at Netil Market in London Fields every weekend) and coffee and cakes courtesy of Leyton-based micro-roastery Curved Brick Co. At just after 12pm it was a little too early for a beer for me, so I had a coffee – an El Salvador Santa Petrona Red Bourbon to be precise – from Curved Brick Co’s nomadic drip bar and chatted to founder and coffee-obsessive Marsha Brown.
A Leyton resident since 2013, Marsha founded Curved Brick Co following the birth of her son. “After maternity leave I found being away from my son while working for someone else really hard to reconcile. When you’re awake most of the night with a baby and then off to work in the morning you have to think about how you want your life to look. So I made a plan and started five years in the future and worked backwards. I say I, but Simon my husband is also a big part of Curved Brick Co too. After completing a roasting course, I started working for a café as their in-house roaster; and shortly after, we got our own roaster and things began to take shape.”
Marsha roasts beans from home, selling them in small batches, and last month debuted the nomadic drip bar, made by husband Simon. “I was a diehard stove top fan until I rediscovered filter coffee,” she explains. “I love everything about the pour over method. It’s ritualistic, which appeals to me; there’s something seductive about watching the coffee bloom as you first wet the grounds. It takes a few minutes but you know it’s going to be good and the clean soft, feel of the coffee is incomparable. There’s nowhere to hide: if you like it, it’s because of the coffee, not the foam or the latte art – actually terrifying now that I think of it. For me, drip is the best way to reveal the true character of the coffee, and you can miss so much of that when you use other methods.”
Not that Marsha’s averse to a decent cappuccino now and again. “Climpson & Sons is my weekend treat, a habit formed when our son was a baby, as the drive there and back would give him a nap – and us a great coffee.”
The next part of the plan is to find a permanent roastery and retail site. “We want to remain at the heart of the local Leyton community and to provide a space where people would be happy to bring their babies or their laptops and settle in with some great coffee.”
The collaboration with Signature Brew came about when Marsha heard they were having an open day. “We asked if we could come and support them. Sam and Tom (the owners) are real grafters; I have a lot of respect for them. They just went for it and the result is a local brewery producing excellent beers. Josh from Howard’s Meat Company has a similar work ethic, up until 4 am watching over his brisket, then on the stall selling it the next day. Leyton has a lot of excellent local producers and I’m pleased to be a part of that. Long live Leyton!”
We couldn’t agree more, and will be first in the queue when Marsha (and her husband) find that permanent site.