A12, Junction 24; 4 mins
Vegetarian or vegan options
Parking available onsite
The Coffee Crate isn’t exactly the sort of place you expect to find behind a car wash at the edge of a light industrial estate, but it’s right on the pulse, turning a spare plot of unused land at the edge of Tiptree into a small business haven using converted shipping containers.
The mini-complex is festooned with fairy lights, clad with wood and decorated with potted trees, and you’ll find coffee in the corner unit (opposite the refill shop). Light floods in through the large sliding doors, with a handful of seats at the front and counter at the back. Coffee is barista standard with a range of plant-based milks alongside standard cow’s, tea is by Tea Pigs and hot chocolate devilishly good (try the Black Forest).
Sandwiches are freshly made in-house and ready to take away if you’re on the fly, and the cakes are varied and delicious. Although seating inside is limited, there’s a gorgeous decked area beneath the boughs of a tree just outside for sunny days, though it’s worth swinging in here for decent take-away food whatever the weather.
Buy The Extra Mile Guide
The Extra Mile: Delicious Alternatives to Motorway Services is your essential glovebox guide to good food on the move. The guidebook is a great gift for motorists and foodies who prefer to avoid motorway services and boring, big-brand food. Find independent cafes, pubs, local coffee and tea shops and lovely farm shops near motorway junctions and main roads. To improve your journey, support small businesses and discover real local flavours, order your copy today (edition 4 published March 2023 and available now).