Jaunty Goat, Bridge Street

The Jaunty Goat logo, painted on the wall to the left as you enter the store in Chester.Jaunty Goat is one of Chester‘s speciality coffee stalwarts, having relocated from a few doors along Bridge Street to its current location in 2015. I first visited in 2016, back when it really only had The Barista’s for company. Since then there’s been an explosion of speciality coffee in Chester, particularly in the centre, along Bridge and Watergate Streets. Jaunty Goat was set up by twins, Patrick and Ed, with Ed leaving in 2018 to help fuel that explosion, setting up Chalk Coffee on Watergate Street.

Jaunty Goat occupies a lovely, basement-like interior that extends from the window-bars at the front a long way back under the Rows. There are even the remnants of a stone staircase in the wall at the back that might date back to the middle-ages. These days it serves a vegetarian and vegan-friendly brunch menu until 4 o’clock (there’s also a second, plant-based Jaunty Goat on Northgate Street), backed up by a large selection of cakes. When it comes to coffee, this is all roasted in a new, dedicated, off-site roastery, with seasonal single-origin offerings on espresso (house, guest and decaf), plus another on pour-over (AeroPress/V60/Chemex). Naturally, all the coffee is available in retail bags.

July 2020: Jaunty Goat is back after the enforced COVID-19 closures. You can see what I made of it when I visited in September and October.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • Jaunty Goat, on Chester's Bridge Street, as seen from my first visit in 2016...
  • ... and looking remarkably similar here on my return in 2020.
  • Here's a front-on view from 2016, showing its location under Chester's famous Rows.
  • These days Jaunty Goat has a sign which hangs at the far end of the facade...
  • ... while in front of the windows are double benches (one for sitting, one as a table)...
  • ... compared to the single benches that were in place in 2016.
  • Inside, a shallow ramp leads down to the floor, flanked on either side by window bars.
  • You can sit on the right (of the door), tucked away past the retail shelves...
  • ... or you can sit on the other side. Both window-bars are gloriously isolated.
  • Moving inside, the counter is on the left, set well back from the windows...
  • ... with more seating opposite, starting with these four tables, along benches by the wall...
  • One of the tables in detail, with plants on the wall above. Jaunty Goat is very green.
  • This is followed by a round, four-person table opposite the far end of the counter.
  • However, the bulk of the seating is at the back.
  • A short row of four-person tables runs down the centre, while on the left...
  • ... are a pair of two-person tables against the wall. Note the old stone staircase...
  • ... built into the wall at the back. This is how it looked in 2016.
  • Meanwhile, on the other side, are these three picnic-style tables, each with its own mirror.
  • Because they are relatively close together, they're separated by these chest-high dividers.
  • The third and final picnic table.
  • Here's a view from the back.
  • There's a final seating area at the back. The toilet's to the left, while the door leads to...
  • ... kitchen, next to which is this solitary two-person table tucked away in the corner.
  • Meanwhile there are these two, four-person tables on the left, against the toilet wall
  • The retail shelves are to the right as you reach the bottom of the ramp. You can buy...
  • ... books, merchandise, HuskeeCups and retail bags of coffee, all of which is roasted...
  • ... in the new Jaunty Goat roastery. This is the current espresso...
  • ... while these are the guest espresso (left) and the filter option (right).
  • The price list gives details of each of the single-origins.
  • Keeping with the goat theme, this wicker goat's head is one of the original features...
  • ... as seen here in 2016.
  • Effectively a basement, Jaunty Goat has many light bulbs. There are over the counter...
  • ... while this is the view looking the other way from 2016. Not much has changed!
  • Some of the light bulbs hang free, but in solitude...
  • ... while others are stuck to the walls.
  • On my most recent visit, I was particularly fascinated by these, hanging in the windows...
  • ... so naturally I had to take pictures of their reflections too.
  • So, to business. That said, since it's table service, you'd only go to the counter...
  • ... to order takeaway, where you'll find the drinks menus on the back wall.
  • I guess you could also come up to look at the cakes.
  • If I hadn't just had lunch, I would definitely have gone for one of the cinnamon buns.
  • Jaunty Goat uses three brew methods for its filter coffee: Chemex, V60 & AeroPress.
  • Meanwhile, the Opera espresso machine has three grinders (house, guest, decaf).
  • On my most recent visit, there were the obvious COVID-19 precautions. It was the first...
  • ... time I'd scanned the QR Code for the NHS app. Each table also has a QR Code...
  • ... which takes you to the menu (and an alternative tracing method). There are also...
  • ... paper menus for those without smartphones, with space for your details at the bottom.
  • However, let's go back to 2016 and the lovely flat white I had on my first visit, which I...
  • ... followed with a pour-over, beautifully presented in a carafe. Cool cup, by the way.
  • I also had a goat's cheese sandwich for lunch, lunch being a common theme of my visits.
  • I visited twice in 2020. On my first visit, in September, I had the guest espresso...
  • ... and the Eggs Benedict with vegan bacon, which came on its own...
  • ... although I ordered extra toast with mine.
  • These days, along with table service, everyone gets a bottle of water and a glass.
  • On my return at the start of October, I had learnt my lesson, so ordered more.
  • I had the poached eggs on toast, with a side order of...
  • ... extra toast, smashed avocado and mushrooms.
  • I paired this with the filter option, a single-origin from the DRC, which was prepared...
  • ... through the V60 and served in a carafe, with the cup on the side, all presented on...
  • ... a neat, wooden tray, which is where I'll leave you.
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Like several of Chester’s speciality coffee shops (The Barista’s, Chalk Coffee, Panna Coffee, Bridge St Coffee) Jaunty Goat is long, thin and partially underground, occupying a (slightly-below) street level unit underneath one of Chester’s famous Rows, which are unique to the city, some dating to 13th century. These continuous, half-timbered galleries form rows of shops above those at street level, accessible at regular intervals by steps up from the street.

Jaunty Goat feels slightly more modern than some, with white plastered walls and ceiling. However, towards the back, on the left, you get a feel for the original building. The wall has been left bare, exposing large blocks of dressed stone, including the beginnings of a flight of steps, leading tantalisingly upwards, that could easily date to the Middle-ages.

The only natural light comes from windows running the width of the store at the front, the door recessed in the middle. There are benches outside, a pair for each window (one bench for sitting, the other acting as a table), or you could sit inside at either of the two-person window-bars. A ramp leads down from the door, making the Jaunty Goat wheelchair-accessible throughout. The ramp also sections-off the two window-bars, making them lovely, isolated spaces, ideal for people-watching.

At the bottom of the ramp, the Jaunty Goat stretches out ahead of you, counter on the left. There’s more seating on the right, opposite the counter. A row of four two-person wooden tables runs along benches against the right-hand wall, followed by a round, four-person table. However, the bulk of the seating is right at the back.

Following the counter on the left, two tall, two-person tables stand against the wall (where you’ll find the stone staircase), with another two, similarly-styled four-person tables in the middle. Finally, against the right-hand wall are three sets of conventional height picnic-style tables, each seating four. These are slightly closer together, so have been separated by chest-high partitions.

Beyond this is the toilet, which is on the left, and one final seating area on the right, with the kitchen behind it. Here you’ll find two additional four-person tables against a bench along the toilet wall and, on the right, by the door to the kitchen, a splendidly-isolated tall, two-person table.

These days, Jaunty Goat offers full table service, with a sign at the corner of the counter asking you to wait to be seated. QR Codes on the tables take you to an on-line menu, while paper menus are available for those without smartphones. In a nice touch, you’ll also get a bottle of water and glass delivered to your table.

During my most recent visit, Jaunty Goat’s house espresso was a single-origin from Costa Rica, while the guest was a Guatemala Huehuetenango. The Jaunty Goat has been something of a pour-over pioneer in Chester, something which it’s continued to this day, with a single-origin filter option (currently from the Democratic Republic of Congo) available as an AeroPress, V60 or Chemex (for two). Your coffee will arrive, by the way, in a carafe with a cup on the side, all beautifully presented on a wooden tray.

For full details of what I had on my various visits (which always ended up being for lunch), please see my original post and my Coffee Spot Update.

October 2020: this is an updated version of my original post, which was published in May 2016. You can see what has changed since then in my Coffee Spot Update.

December 2020: Jaunty Goat was a runner-up for the 2020 Best Filter Coffee Award.

www.jauntygoat.co.uk +44 (0) 1244 421492
Monday 08:00 – 18:00 Roaster Jaunty Goat (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 08:00 – 18:00 Seating Tables, Window-bars, Benches (outside)
Wednesday 08:00 – 18:00 Food Breakfast, Lunch, Cake
Thursday 08:00 – 18:00 Service Table
Friday 08:00 – 18:00 Payment Cards + Cash
Saturday 08:00 – 18:00 Wifi Free (with code)
Sunday 09:00 – 18:00 Power Limited
Chain No Visits Original: 6th May 2016
Update: 11th September, 2nd October 2020

Liked this Coffee Spot? Then check out the rest of Chester’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to Chester.

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