Having grown up just over the border in North Wales, Chester is, in many ways, my home city. I frequently pass though on my way to/from my Dad’s, but rarely stop, partly due to circumstance, but also because, when it comes to coffee, there’s not much to entice me to get off one stop earlier at Chester Station. However, with the arrival of the likes of Moss Coffee, that’s slowly changing.
Chester has struggled a little with speciality coffee. Apart from the well-established The Barista’s and Jaunty Goat, coffee shops, such as Moon Beer & Coffee, have tended to come and go. Hopefully Moss Coffee can buck that trend. It’s off to good start, serving an espresso-based menu with the Arboretum blend from Dark Woods, along with a small selection of locally-baked cakes. The owner, Daniel, is keeping things simple for now, with plans to expand in the future.
June 2020: Moss Coffee has reopened for takeaway coffee. You can see what I made of it when I visited at the start of August.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Moss Coffee, which opened in December 2017, is very conveniently located (if you travel by public transport) on Brooke Street, just under five minutes’ walk from the new Chester Bus Interchange in one direction and not much more than five minutes’ walk from Chester Railway Station in the other. A small spot, it occupies a traditional shop front, the door recessed on the right and a large picture window on the left.
Inside, the layout is just as simple, with the counter, a beautiful affair, built of reclaimed wood, on the left at the back. There’s a small amount of seating, consisting of a wide bench seat in the window, a couple of stools at the front of the counter and a narrow bar at the back on the right. That’s it (for now) since although there’s an upstairs it’s currently not open to the public.
Although small, the interior is beautiful, full of clean lines and with a certain uncluttered elegance, aided by the wooden floorboards and exposed lightbulbs. You order at the till, which on the right-hand side of the counter, where you’ll also find the water station and a small cake selection, delivered fresh each day. The La Marzocco Linea espresso machine and EK-30 grinder are on the opposite side of the counter, so you can, if you like, stand there and watch your coffee being made. Alternatively, take a seat and Daniel will bring your coffee over when it’s ready. For the best of both worlds, grab one of the stools at the front of the counter which afford an excellent view of Daniel at work.
Talking of coffee, Daniel is keeping things simple for now, with the Arboretum blend from Dark Woods in the hopper, although there are plans for a second grinder and potentially guest roasters in due course. There’s an equally simple espresso-based menu and a limited selection of retail bags, including a couple of single-origins while I was there.
At Daniel’s suggestion, I started off with a flat white, coffee and milk working well together to produce a rich, full-bodied coffee. I followed that up with an espresso and also nabbed a caramel doughnut for the train. The espresso was very good, Daniel pulling a fairly long shot. On its own, the coffee was a little acidic, with plenty of fruity notes coming strongly through. The doughnut, meanwhile, was excellent, and surprisingly unsticky, so I was able to eat it on the train without creating too much mess.
|65 BROOK STREET • CHESTER • CH1 3DZ|
|www.mosscoffee.co.uk||+44 (0) 1244 340642|
|Monday||08:30 – 17:00||Roaster||Dark Woods (espresso + batch brew)|
|Tuesday||08:30 – 16:00||Seating||Window-bench, Bar, Counter|
|Wednesday||08:30 – 17:00||Food||Cakes|
|Thursday||08:30 – 17:00||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||08:30 – 17:00||Payment||Cards + Cash|
|Saturday||08:30 – 17:00||Wifi||No|
|Chain||No||Visits||31st March 2018|
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