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.
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.
|57 BRIDGE STREET • CHESTER • CH1 1NG|
|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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