31 Newnham Road, Cambridge, CB3 9EY
For Ben Griggs, owner of the very new Newnham café Bean Theory, coffee is an experience and an art. It’s like wine, he says, you never get to the end of learning about how to make it better. At all stages, specialists such as the roaster and barista work within very fine margins – every second can completely change how the coffee tastes, whether it’s acidic or bitter or just right. That’s the art of it. The experience is something his customers can enjoy in a modern, accommodating café where they’re welcome to sit for as long as they like. It’s in a great location too, next to the picturesque Mill Pond just five minutes’ walk from the centre of town.
Coffee, the star of the show, is provided by Hone (another of Ben’s enterprises) and roasted on the Waresley Park Estate, where Ben produces lots of other things such as honey from his own bees and gin from his walled garden. Don’t just think latte, espresso or cappuccino, you could try a pour-over perhaps, made in a V60 and beloved by coffee enthusiasts because it’s a long, slow drink and you can really taste the coffee. Light lunches are also on the menu, simple, fresh and flavoursome.
Supporting other food producers is important to Ben, which is why products from local artisans such as Cambridge Mushrooms and Saragusta Spirits are on sale in the café too. Plans for the future include tasting experiences so that customers can learn more about these local producers and about coffee. A cheese and coffee tasting board is top of his list with, perhaps, a cold brew, an espresso, a coffee liqueur (Hone-made, naturally), and maybe a smoked coffee.
For now, Ben just wants people to come and enjoy his coffee in his café, the place to go for an unsurpassable, quality coffee experience, delivered by staff who are as enthusiastic about their work and as proud of what they’re serving as Ben is himself.