Brew Coffee Co

A lovely flat white from Brew Coffee Co, made with a Honduran single-origin, roasted by Clifton Coffee Co, and served in a glass.Brew Coffee Co is an ever-popular breakfast/brunch/lunch spot on Bristol’s Whiteladies Road, the southern-most outpost of a cluster that starts at the top with Tradewind Espresso and includes the Boston Tea Party, Bakesmiths and new arrival,  Coffee + Beer. That said, Brew has been there longer than most, seeing the likes of Joe’s Coffee come and go.

In my head, Brew is a brunch place that does excellent food, while serving good coffee from the local Clifton Coffee Roasters on espresso and guests on batch-brew. However, even that does it a disservice since the coffee is also excellent, lifting Brew into the category of a coffee destination in its own right, while the cakes are awesome too.

This is the fourth or fifth time that I’ve visited Brew and I’ve never been disappointed. On my previous trips I’ve never had the opportunity to write it up properly, which is a shame. I’ve either been in a hurry, or visited with friends, plus Brew is usually horrendously busy, which has ruled out taking photographs. However, on my most recent visit I ensured I had plenty of time and even popped back later in the afternoon for photos when things were quieter.

You can read see how I got on after the gallery.

  • Walking down Whiteladies Road in the direction of Bristol, you'll find this on your left...
  • ... or, if you're coming the other way, it looks more like this, on the right.
  • Set back from the road, a generous patio area catches the eye. Since it was raining...
  • ... the tables were huddled under the umbrella, as seen here, looking towards the road.
  • The A-boards are excellent, by the way. If you like bad word play, that is...
  • See what I mean?
  • Just in case you haven't worked it out, this is the excellent Brew Coffee Co.
  • The actual coffee shop is at the back of the patio, where you'll find more tables.
  • It's not much bigger inside. There are some tabes & the counter on the right...
  • ...with the bulk of the seating on the left. Despite packing the tables in, Brew's often full!
  • If you can get it, this table to the right of the door is a great option.
  • Between it and the counter, this table is great for sharing.
  • The counter comes next, completing the right-hand side.
  • The rest of the seating, in the shape of two- and four-person tables, is over to the left.
  • There's not much decoration insde Brew, but these pictures adorn the walls.
  • If you like any of them, they are all for sale at very reasonable prices.
  • The counter, on the right-hand side, faces the seating opposite.
  • Meanwhile, the side of the counter, laden with goodies, faces the front.
  • This means you have to walk past the cakes and lunch options...
  • ... plus the pre-prepared sandwiches, in order to get to the till. Clever!
  • The menus, meanwhile, are written on brown paper on the wall behind the counter.
  • There are hot drinks...
  • ... and cold drinks...
  • ... and lots of information about the local suppliers.
  • Meanwhile, you'll find extensive food menus on the tables, including breakfast...
  • ... brunch and lunch!
  • Turning to coffee, Brew has a bespoke offering on espresso (roasted by Clifton Coffee)...
  • ... plus a single-origin filter, done through the Moccamaster.
  • While I was there, this was from Round Hill Roastery, using an Ethiopian single-origin...
  • ... from the Konga area. There's a helpful information sheet if you want to know more.
  • I popped in for a flat white, made using a single-origin from Honduras.
  • Commendably short, it was served in a glass with some lovely latte art.
  • I paired this with poached eggs on sourdough toast, served with labhen and dukkah.
  • I came back later in the day for a cup of the filter coffee (freshly made)...
  • ... which I paired with an awesome blueberry and almond croissant cake.
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Brew Coffee Co is a relatively small, crowded spot, set back from Bristol’s busy Whiteladies Road behind an outdoor seating area that’s about as big as the shop itself. Inside, it’s almost square, being slightly deeper than it is wide, although the front is at a shallow angle to the rest of the building, so it’s shorter on the left than the right. It’s also fairly tall, which stops it feeling too cramped. The compact counter, heavily laden with cakes and lunch-time goodies, is in the back right-hand corner, while the rest of the space is given over to seating. Although there’s a clear line from the double doors at the front, negotiating your way around the rest of the space can be something of a challenge. It can also be very loud when it’s full, which it usually is.

Brew has a generous window which occupies most of the front of the store and, with glass double-doors embedded in the centre, it’s a fairly bright spot. There’s a two-person table in the window to the right of the door, followed by a generous four-person table between the window and counter. There’s a smaller four-person table in the window to the left of the door, then another four-person table followed by a two-person table opposite the counter with another four-person table at the back. These alternate in orientation, a nice touch which means that you’re not forever banging chair-backs with the next table. Finally, there are two two-person tables against the left-hand wall opposite the counter.

If you want more of a sense of space and a little bit of quiet, you can sit outside on the broad patio which you have to pass through to get to Brew. It’s about as big as the inside, populated with foldup metal two-person tables (grey) and chairs (yellow). There’s also a massive umbrella which shelters the tables at the front from the sun (occasionally) and rain (more frequently). Being set back from the road, you don’t really notice the traffic or passing pedestrians.

Brew is well-known for its food, with excellent breakfast and brunch menus served all day. These are joined by lunch at lunchtime, which has a certain logic that I enjoy. Over the years I’ve sampled much of the breakfast/brunch menu and I’ve never been disappointed (nor left feeling anything other than stuffed). On this occasion, I had poached eggs with labhen and dukkah, which turned out to be a very fine combination. This was served on two generous slices of sourdough toast.

I paired this with a commendably short flat white, made with Brew’s bespoke seasonal house espresso, roasted by Clifton Coffee Roasters. On this occasion, it was an excellent Honduran single-origin, a naturally-processed coffee which is fairly bold and juicy and which goes extremely well with milk. Sometimes I describe the coffee as cutting through the milk, but in this case, it very much wells up through the milk, bringing lifting the flavours of the milk with it.

Brew, as the name suggests, makes quite a big thing of its batch-brew filter, so I thought I would try that when I returned to take some photographs later in the afternoon. The coffee changes every two weeks and, during my visit, was a Warqee Lot 2 from the Konga region of Ethiopia, roasted by Round Hill Roastery. This was a lovely, delicate coffee, full of subtle flavours and a nice contrast to the Honduras. I paired it with an awesome blueberry and almond croissant cake, a rich, doughy cake made with croissant pastry, stuffed full of blueberries and almonds.

45 WHITELADIES ROAD • BRISTOL • BS8 2LS +44 (0) 117 973 2842
Monday 07:30 – 18:30 Roaster Clifton (espresso) + Guests (batch-brew)
Tuesday 07:30 – 18:30 Seating Tables, Tables (outside)
Wednesday 07:30 – 18:30 Food Breakfast, Lunch, Sandwiches, Cake
Thursday 07:30 – 18:30 Service Order at Counter
Friday 07:30 – 18:30 Cards Amex, Mastercard, Visa
Saturday 08:30 – 18:30 Wifi Free (with code)
Sunday 09:00 – 18:00 Power No
Chain No Visits 8th August 2017

Liked this? Then take a look at the rest of Bristol’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to Bristol.

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2 thoughts on “Brew Coffee Co

  1. Pingback: Bakesmiths | Brian's Coffee Spot

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