David and Eleanor Nickerson-Smith own Quaff East Coffee, an inviting coffee shop in Beccles with community at the heart. David is passionate about coffee and in this, his first column, he shares with us his obsession, and how coffee truly brings people together. 

I am obsessed with coffee, but for years I couldn’t stand the stuff. That bitter brown liquid was one I never really understood until I sat in a recording studio one day and was handed a cappuccino, expertly crafted by a friend. I rejected it to start with, not wanting to offend as I knew coffee was his passion and he had roasted this one, but he insisted. That first sip is one I can still taste. Coffee flavours of course, but so much more; I could taste milk chocolate, hazelnuts, and orange in this warm, comforting drink. This started me on a journey of discovery that has led to sampling coffee which has tasted like pink grapefruit, another tasted like white wine, and one was just like drinking warm Ribena. I had found a passion that led to me taking holidays based on coffee shops I wanted to visit and slowly this hobby of mine took over. One career change later, it became my life. 

I took courses, bought copious amounts of coffee, and experimented with recipes and techniques to try and get the most out of the beans I had bought. I now had a fire lit within me that still burns to this day, but in entering this industry and in spending time in coffee shops for work and pleasure, something changed about what I wanted to experience, and this thing had a profound impact on me. The people in this industry are some of the kindest people and I also realised the majority of people love coffee shops for the atmosphere and the community. In setting up Quaff East Coffee, our aim was always to create a space for all. Somewhere where the coffee is great, but the conversation and the feeling of belonging is what brings you back. Our ethos has, from day one, been to create an experience leaving our customers happier than they were when they first entered Quaff. 

The coffee we offer at the shop is ever changing. I create a new recipe for espresso and filter coffees often to ensure both are always tasting great and taking the initial sip of a new coffee excites me as much now as it did that first time. Of course, I love that people come in and talk as passionately as I do about coffee, but the fact I have seen first dates, old friends meeting up, job interviews, tears, smiles, babies, businesses come into existence and passions ignited in people is what has made the first year of Quaff so special for me and will continue to do so in future. The coffee being great is just the cherry on the cake. Your local coffee shop should be your second home or office, I just make sure the coffee is perfect to enhance your experience further. 

Come for great coffee, stay for great community.  

  • Quaff East Coffee is run by David and Eleanor and opened in September 2021. A month later, they grew to a team of three with the welcoming of Delaney, their daughter. Helen then joined and completed the Quaff family. Community is at the heart of what makes Quaff tick, with a great love for people, stories and sharing passions. They serve speciality coffee, tea, hot chocolate, cake, crumpets, and bagels in a space that is welcoming to all.
  • Find them in 33A Newgate, Beccles  •  facebook.com/quaffeast  •  instagram.com/quaffeast

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