Full Court Press Update

A cup of filter coffee from in a classic white cup, seen from above at Full Court Press.I first visited Full Court Press, or FCP Coffee as it is also known, the day before it opened, back in May 2013, then again two days later, when it still smelled faintly of paint. Since then I’ve been in a few times during my regular visits to Bristol.

In many ways, Full Court Press is much as I first found it, with owner and head barista, Mat, still regularly changing up the coffee, bringing in exciting beans from roasters from all over the country and beyond. For example, during my latest visit, one of the filter coffees was a Sumatran Blue Batak from Italian speciality roaster, Gardelli, the first time I’ve had its coffee. And very fine it was.

One change is behind the counter, where Will, of Didn’t You Do Well fame, has found a permanent role following Didn’t You Do Well’s sad closure. It was great to have a chance to catch up and to see him looking so well and so happy.

However, the biggest change had taken place beneath my feet…

You can see what I found after the gallery.

  • FCP hangs its hat on its coffee: two filters, two espresso, from a wide cast of roasters.
  • While I was there last month, there was a Sumatran in from Italian roaster, Gardelli.
  • My filter coffee: excellent, as ever.
  • However, all is not what it was at FCP. Something is lurking in the cellar. Shall we go down?
  • Sound advice! When I was last here, the basement at FCP was just a storeroom.
  • However, now it's this amazing seating area! With a lovely, stone-flagged floor.
  • A panoramic view from the foot of the spiral staircase.
  • There's not a great deal of seating down here: just this table opposite the stairs...
  • ... and these three comfortable chairs.
  • Another panorama of the basement, this time looking back towards the stairs.
  • The other interesting feature is a collection of three prints of Bristol through the ages.
  • Each one is a print of an old map, showing how Bristol has evolved through the centuries.
  • The third one is above the bookcase in the corner. Ask Mat if you want to know more!
  • Before we head back upstairs, let's take a last look at the amazing spiral staircase.
FCP hangs its hat on its coffee: two filters, two espresso, from a wide cast of roasters.1 While I was there last month, there was a Sumatran in from Italian roaster, Gardelli.2 My filter coffee: excellent, as ever.3 However, all is not what it was at FCP. Something is lurking in the cellar. Shall we go down?4 Sound advice! When I was last here, the basement at FCP was just a storeroom.5 However, now it's this amazing seating area! With a lovely, stone-flagged floor.6 A panoramic view from the foot of the spiral staircase.7 There's not a great deal of seating down here: just this table opposite the stairs...8 ... and these three comfortable chairs.9 Another panorama of the basement, this time looking back towards the stairs.10 The other interesting feature is a collection of three prints of Bristol through the ages.11 Each one is a print of an old map, showing how Bristol has evolved through the centuries.12 The third one is above the bookcase in the corner. Ask Mat if you want to know more!13 Before we head back upstairs, let's take a last look at the amazing spiral staircase.14
Photo Carousel by WOWSlider.com v4.6

When I first visited Full Court Press, I remember Mat showing me the basement. At the time it was just a storeroom, but I immediately saw its potential, as had Mat, who already had plans to convert it from a storeroom to an additional seating area.

Fast forward two and a half years and finally I got to visit the finished article. Cool in the summer, and, I suspect, cosy in the winter, this is the perfect basement. It’s somewhere to escape from the bustle of upstairs (although I really like the bustle of upstairs). However, if you’re looking for a quiet spot to curl up with a book, then the basement is it, particularly the three comfy chairs up against the wall under the counter. Plus, who can resist going up and down the wonderful spiral staircase…? Or is that just me?

While you’re down there, check out the three maps hanging on the walls. These were a gift to Mat and Full Court Press, showing Bristol as it has evolved over the centuries. In each one you can see the spire of the nearby Christ Church, allowing you to track the location of Full Court Press over the centuries relative to the growth of the city.

The basement itself holds an interesting history: while the building is probably Victorian in origin, part of the redevelopment that resulting in the building of the Grand Hotel, Mat reckons it was built on top of the foundations of the original buildings that formed part of Broad Street in years gone by. The flagstone floor of the basement is built over the vaulted roof of the cellar of the previous building to occupy the spot, and who knows when that was built?

So there you have it, speciality coffee, a very 21st century thing, and a spot of history. Don’t forget the original Full Court Press Coffee Spot, which includes the complete write-up and an updated gallery.

59 BROAD STREET • BRISTOL • BS1 2EJ
www.fcpcoffee.com +44 (0) 7794 808552
Monday 07:30 – 17:00 Roasters Guests (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 07:30 – 17:00 Seating Tables, Bar; Bench (outside)
Wednesday 07:30 – 17:00 Food Cake
Thursday 07:30 – 17:00 Service Order at Counter
Friday 07:30 – 17:00 Cards Visa, Mastercard
Saturday 09:00 – 17:00 Wifi Free
Sunday 10:00 – 16:00 Power Yes
Chain No Visits Original: 2nd May 2013
Update: 20th September 2015

You can see what fellow coffee-blogger Alison (now owner of BLK Coffee in Newcastle) made of Full Court Press and, from March, 2017, there’s this visit by Bean There At.

Liked this? Then take a look at the Coffee Spot Guide to Bristol for more great coffee Spots.


If you liked this post, please let me know by clicking the “Like” button. If you have a WordPress account and you don’t mind everyone knowing that you liked this post, you can use the “Like this” button right at the bottom instead.

Don’t forget that you can share this post with your friends using the buttons below.