This post was first published by The Croydon Citizen on 14/05/2018.
Café review: Coffee Shotter, High Street, Croydon town centre
Since the superlative Smoothbean! coffee shop is a ten-minute walk away alongside East Croydon station, Croydon High Street struggled for great local coffee until Crushed Bean appeared on the scene, just opposite Green Dragon House. Next came the TMRW hub with its Byte Café – delicious food, great vibes, perfectly decent coffee. Then in 2017 came The Ludoquist, the town centre’s new geek-easy with its zeitgeisty boardgaming USP, great pizza and bowls of jelly beans (though I’ve never tried a hot drink in there at all). You’re welcome to stop by just for a beverage, but you’ll probably start playing Scrabble and stay for three hours. The joint is jumping whenever you walk past.
Now the high street has its fourth coffee spot, Coffee Shotter. It’s the first venture into the coffee business by local company Cellar Door Creative, previously the operator of the town centre’s rooftop cinema. Its arrival marks a definite tipping point – this is now Croydon’s coffee quarter.
My lunch date for the Coffee Shotter try-out was Citizen stalwart Sean Creighton, a man who loves his coffee. He praised his double espresso and clearly meant it, for he immediately ordered another. Coffee Shotter has a cool, industrial vibe, with metal panels and a bold pop of yellow on the wall. It’s spacious, and on a warm bank holiday weekend afternoon its window tables made for a pleasant sun trap.
It’s also vegan, and hence a particularly welcome addition to the area, although Crushed Bean also does delicious vegan options. My calzone was generously filled with vegetables, herbs and tofu spread, and was substantial and filling enough to keep me happy. My only complaint would be that it was cold – both fridge cold, which muted its flavour, and cold because the friendly and apologetic staff were unable to heat it. Coffee Shotter has only just opened, however, so hopefully that’s something that will change.
Sean’s felafel salad did the job – it was both crisp and fresh. Our meal was excellent value for money, and a quick, healthy, animal-product-free location for a working lunch is a welcome addition to Croydon town centre. We managed to resist the cakes, but I, for one, will be back to sample them soon.