Junction Coffee is the epitome of a neighbourhood café, serving the good folk of Aigburth, a suburb to the south of Liverpool city centre. Located near a busy junction (from which Junction Coffee gets its name) on the equally busy Aigburth Road, Junction Coffee has been quietly serving speciality coffee to its regulars since 2011 when the owner, Nathan, quit his job with the council to pursue his passion for coffee.
Junction uses Staffordshire’s Has Bean, which roasts a bespoke espresso blend for Junction, while there are usually two single-origin beans available through the Kalita Wave filter for those feeling more adventurous. There’s also hot chocolate, loose-leaf tea and a range of soft drinks.
However, there’s a lot more to Junction than just the coffee. It serves an impressive range of sandwiches, toasted sandwiches, panini, wraps and bagels, plus salads and a soup of the day. Add to that an impressive range of home-made cakes, plus ice cream, and Junction has you covered whatever the time of day.
October 2016: I heard the news that Junction Coffee has closed its doors for good over the summer.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Sandwiched between a hairdresser and a balloon shop, Junction Coffee is part of a small parade of shops near the corner with Ashfield Road. Although Aigburth Road, a dual-carriageway carrying the A561 south out of Liverpool, is very busy, Junction Coffee is set back a little, providing some protection from the noise of the passing traffic. It also means there’s space for parking in front of the shop. I’m not sure how accessible Junction Coffee is by public transport, since Ed from Neighbourhood Coffee kindly gave me a lift there and back.
When the weather allows, Junction makes use of the broad pavement for a pair of tables either side of the door, in front of the large floor-to-ceiling windows which dominate the front of Junction. Inside, Junction is about three times as deep as it is wide and maybe half as tall. The layout is simple, with a very comfortable sofa, each with its own coffee table, to either side of the door. The one on the left is against the wall, while the one on the right faces the window. If you want a more conventional table/chair arrangement, there are three round tables on each side. Finally, the counter is at the back on the left, with a small kitchen behind that, up a couple of steps.
The décor matches the simplicity of the layout. There’s a laminated wooden floor and a plain, white ceiling, while the walls to the left and right are painted green. The walls at the back, behind the counter, are covered in an interesting black-and-white patterned wallpaper. The large windows at the front mean that Junction is a fairly bright space to start with and at the back, there are plenty of lights to stop it getting dim.
Although I was only there a short time, it was obvious from the range of customers who came in that Junction is a true neighbourhood café where everyone is welcome, from parents with young children looking for a sweet treat to pensioners out for their lunch. Even a coffee blogger and a local coffee roaster were allowed in! In that respect, it reminded me of Gatley’s Coffee Fix on the outskirts of Manchester, another place where speciality coffee is just one part of the offering.
Junction Coffee has its own bespoke seasonal espresso blend, roasted by Has Bean, while there are normally two single-origins available through the Kalita Wave, the filter rack sitting on the front of the counter to the right for all to see. The espresso machine is also mounted at 90 degrees to the counter on the right-hand wall, so you can stand at the counter, chatting to Nathan, and watching your coffee being made.
I was there just before Christmas, so Junction had a Christmas filter blend on in place of one of the single-origins, which Ed decided to try. Meanwhile, I had the Rwandan Karongi Mubuga, a washed bourbon (details of the coffee’s origin along with tasting notes are chalked up a board behind the Kalita Wave filters). The filter coffee is served directly in a mug rather than a carafe and while initially I found mine a little too hot, once it had cooled, it really started to evolve, the fruity flavours of the coffee coming through.
|305 AIGBURTH ROAD • LIVERPOOL • L17 0BJ|
|www.junction-coffee.co.uk||+44 (0) 151 727 1070|
|Monday||08:00 – 17:15||Roaster||Has Bean (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||08:00 – 17:15||Seating||Tables, Sofas|
|Wednesday||08:00 – 17:15||Food||Breakfast, Lunch, Cake|
|Thursday||08:00 – 17:15||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||08:00 – 17:15||Cards||Mastercard, Visa|
|Saturday||09:30 – 17:15||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||11:00 – 17:15||Power||No|
|Chain||No||Visits||14th December 2015|
If you enjoyed this Coffee Spot, then take a look at the rest of Liverpool’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to Liverpool.
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