Brew Coffee Co is an ever-popular breakfast/brunch/lunch spot on Bristol’s Whiteladies Road, the southern-most outpost of a cluster that starts at the top with Tradewind Espresso and includes the Boston Tea Party, Bakesmiths and new arrival, Coffee + Beer. That said, Brew has been there longer than most, seeing the likes of Joe’s Coffee come and go.
In my head, Brew is a brunch place that does excellent food, while serving good coffee from the local Clifton Coffee Roasters on espresso and guests on batch-brew. However, even that does it a disservice since the coffee is also excellent, lifting Brew into the category of a coffee destination in its own right, while the cakes are awesome too.
This is the fourth or fifth time that I’ve visited Brew and I’ve never been disappointed. On my previous trips I’ve never had the opportunity to write it up properly, which is a shame. I’ve either been in a hurry, or visited with friends, plus Brew is usually horrendously busy, which has ruled out taking photographs. However, on my most recent visit I ensured I had plenty of time and even popped back later in the afternoon for photos when things were quieter.
You can read see how I got on after the gallery.
Brew Coffee Co is a relatively small, crowded spot, set back from Bristol’s busy Whiteladies Road behind an outdoor seating area that’s about as big as the shop itself. Inside, it’s almost square, being slightly deeper than it is wide, although the front is at a shallow angle to the rest of the building, so it’s shorter on the left than the right. It’s also fairly tall, which stops it feeling too cramped. The compact counter, heavily laden with cakes and lunch-time goodies, is in the back right-hand corner, while the rest of the space is given over to seating. Although there’s a clear line from the double doors at the front, negotiating your way around the rest of the space can be something of a challenge. It can also be very loud when it’s full, which it usually is.
Brew has a generous window which occupies most of the front of the store and, with glass double-doors embedded in the centre, it’s a fairly bright spot. There’s a two-person table in the window to the right of the door, followed by a generous four-person table between the window and counter. There’s a smaller four-person table in the window to the left of the door, then another four-person table followed by a two-person table opposite the counter with another four-person table at the back. These alternate in orientation, a nice touch which means that you’re not forever banging chair-backs with the next table. Finally, there are two two-person tables against the left-hand wall opposite the counter.
If you want more of a sense of space and a little bit of quiet, you can sit outside on the broad patio which you have to pass through to get to Brew. It’s about as big as the inside, populated with foldup metal two-person tables (grey) and chairs (yellow). There’s also a massive umbrella which shelters the tables at the front from the sun (occasionally) and rain (more frequently). Being set back from the road, you don’t really notice the traffic or passing pedestrians.
Brew is well-known for its food, with excellent breakfast and brunch menus served all day. These are joined by lunch at lunchtime, which has a certain logic that I enjoy. Over the years I’ve sampled much of the breakfast/brunch menu and I’ve never been disappointed (nor left feeling anything other than stuffed). On this occasion, I had poached eggs with labhen and dukkah, which turned out to be a very fine combination. This was served on two generous slices of sourdough toast.
I paired this with a commendably short flat white, made with Brew’s bespoke seasonal house espresso, roasted by Clifton Coffee Roasters. On this occasion, it was an excellent Honduran single-origin, a naturally-processed coffee which is fairly bold and juicy and which goes extremely well with milk. Sometimes I describe the coffee as cutting through the milk, but in this case, it very much wells up through the milk, bringing lifting the flavours of the milk with it.
Brew, as the name suggests, makes quite a big thing of its batch-brew filter, so I thought I would try that when I returned to take some photographs later in the afternoon. The coffee changes every two weeks and, during my visit, was a Warqee Lot 2 from the Konga region of Ethiopia, roasted by Round Hill Roastery. This was a lovely, delicate coffee, full of subtle flavours and a nice contrast to the Honduras. I paired it with an awesome blueberry and almond croissant cake, a rich, doughy cake made with croissant pastry, stuffed full of blueberries and almonds.
|45 WHITELADIES ROAD • BRISTOL • BS8 2LS|
|http://brewcoffeecompany.co.uk||+44 (0) 117 973 2842|
|Monday||07:30 – 18:30||Roaster||Clifton (espresso) + Guests (batch-brew)|
|Tuesday||07:30 – 18:30||Seating||Tables, Tables (outside)|
|Wednesday||07:30 – 18:30||Food||Breakfast, Lunch, Sandwiches, Cake|
|Thursday||07:30 – 18:30||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||07:30 – 18:30||Cards||Amex, Mastercard, Visa|
|Saturday||08:30 – 18:30||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||09:00 – 18:00||Power||No|
|Chain||No||Visits||8th August 2017|
Liked this? Then take a look at the rest of Bristol’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to Bristol.
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