Lost Sheep Coffee is a stalwart of Canterbury’s speciality coffee scene, having started with a cart on Canterbury High Street, before moving to its present location, by the bus station, in 2015. It originally occupied a neat black pod, but not long after my initial visit in May 2017, this was upgraded to the larger pod that you see today. There’s also a coffee shop in Ashford Designer Outlet.
There’s not a lot to Lost Sheep, just the pod, with space at the side for a three-person standing bar, additional seating provided by two low, mesh benches and a pair of similar stools in front of the pod. The coffee is the real draw, Lost Sheep offering a concise and comprehensive espresso-based menu, the Get To The Hopper seasonal blend, roasted at Lost Sheep’s roastery in Whitstable, joined by a guest on the second grinder. There’s coffee for sale, both as beans and in capsules, plus a small range of coffee-making equipment. Meanwhile, if you’re hungry, there’s a selection of cake bars and crisps.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery (photos from my most recent visit in November 2019 unless otherwise stated).
Historic Canterbury, one of the UK’s most beautiful (and compact) cities, is full of gorgeous streets and amazing sights. Sadly, the modern bus station, just southwest of the historic core, is not one of them. Indeed, unless you’re catching a bus, your only reason for coming here is to visit the wonderful Lost Sheep Coffee.
Lost Sheep must be the only coffee shop in the world with its own statue across the road. That the statue was there before the pod only goes to pay testament to the foresight of the city planners. We’ll gloss over the fact that it was entirely serendipitous, the staff being as surprised as anyone when they arrived for the first day of trading to find the statue staring down from its vantage point atop a sculpted tree-trunk.
There’s not much to Lost Sheep, the pod effectively operating as a takeaway counter. You order on the right and collect your coffee on the left, just past the two-group La Marzocco Linea espresso machine. Lost Sheep provides biodegradable takeaway cups if you forget to bring your own, although if you’re staying, there are glasses and proper cups.
A narrow, three-person standing bar on the left provides shelter from the elements, while there’s more seating in front of the pod, provided by two low, mesh benches and a pair of similar stools. Finally, a large, chest-high chipboard box to the left offers a standing table of sorts.
Despite roasting its own Get To The Hopper blend, Lost Sheep still uses guest roasters for its second option, having already racked up an impressive 25 different roasters at the time of my first visit. Back then, I had a lovely, smooth flat white made with a single-origin Yirgacheffe from London’s Ground Coffee Society. This went very nicely in milk (which, as an aside, held the latte art to the bottom of the glass, always a good sign).
On my return 2½ years later, I had another flat white, which also had long-lasting latte art! This one used the Get To The Hopper blend, the coffee going really well with the milk (from the Plurenden Manor Farm, on the other side of Ashford). I also had a shot of the guest, a single-origin Uganda (unusually this was also roasted by Lost Sheep). A slightly darker roast than Lost Sheep normally offers, it had an interesting flavour-profile, although for me, the roast slightly overwhelmed it.
Although it’s little more than a coffee stand, there’s a great sense of community about the Lost Sheep pod, something which struck me during both my visits, with many of the customers being regulars, staying around the pod to drink their coffee.
December 2017: Lost Sheep Coffee has won the 2017 Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot Award.
December 2019: Lost Sheep Coffee has won the 2019 Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Award.
|ST GEORGES LANE • CANTERBURY • CT1 2SY|
|www.lostsheepcoffee.com||+44 (0) 1227 230444|
|Monday||07:00 – 18:00||Roaster||Lost Sheep + Guests (espresso only)|
|Tuesday||07:00 – 18:00||Seating||Stools, Benches, Standing Bar|
|Wednesday||07:00 – 18:00||Food||Cake Bars, Crisps|
|Thursday||07:00 – 18:00||Service||Counter|
|Friday||07:00 – 18:00||Payment||Cash + Cards|
|Saturday||08:00 – 18:00||Wifi||N/A|
|Sunday||11:00 – 16:00||Power||N/A|
|Chain||Local||Visits||Original: 2nd May 2017
Update: 30th November 2019
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