Lost Sheep Coffee

Detail from the chipboard box next to the Lost Sheep Coffee Pod in Saint George's Lane, Canterbury.Lost Sheep Coffee is a stalwart of Canterbury’s speciality coffee scene, having started with a cart on Canterbury High Street, before moving to its present location, by the bus station, in 2015. It originally occupied a neat black pod, but not long after my initial visit in May 2017, this was upgraded to the larger pod that you see today. There’s also a coffee shop in Ashford Designer Outlet.

There’s not a lot to Lost Sheep, just the pod, with space at the side for a three-person standing bar, additional seating provided by two low, mesh benches and a pair of similar stools in front of the pod. The coffee is the real draw, Lost Sheep offering a concise and comprehensive espresso-based menu, the Get To The Hopper seasonal blend, roasted at Lost Sheep’s roastery in Whitstable, joined by a guest on the second grinder. There’s coffee for sale, both as beans and in capsules, plus a small range of coffee-making equipment. Meanwhile, if you’re hungry, there’s a selection of cake bars and crisps.

December 2019: this is an updated version of the original post which was published in September 2017. You can see what has changed in my Coffee Spot Update.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery (photos from my most recent visit in November 2019 unless otherwise stated).

  • Down on St George's Lane, by Canterbury Bus Station, you will find an interesting sight.
  • It's the Lost Sheep Coffee Pod, although this is what it looked like in May 2017.
  • This is how it's looked since September 2017, when the pod got a lot bigger!
  • One thing that hasn't changed is the statue opposite ('The Lamb', by Kenny Hunter).
  • The view of the pod from the back (from my return visit in November 2019)...
  • ... and from the side.
  • The sides are glass, by the way, letting lots of light into the pod.
  • Sadly the only straight on shot of the pod that I could get was at night!
  • There's space on the left-hand side of the pod for some interior seating, although...
  • ... 'standing' would be more accurate. However, it provides shelter from the elements.
  • There's also seating outside in front of the pod, with these wire-mesh benches.
  • Well, two benches and two stools. Having sat on them, they're really comfortable.
  • Finally, there's a large chipboard box on wheels which acts as a standing table of sorts.
  • The original pod (from May 2017) had a simple layout, being no more than a counter...
  • ... with a concise, comprehensive coffee menu on the back wall.
  • The new pod is a more roomy affair, although the basic layout and concept are the same.
  • The menu, I'm pleased to say, hasn't changed much: still the same, concise offering.
  • These days, Lost Sheep uses the extra space for its retail offering, with coffee kit, beans...
  • ... and, unusually for a speciality roaster, pods.
  • Three different types of pod, in fact! Pods, in a pod.
  • The pods (and some Kokoa Collection hot chocolate) on the wall of the pod.
  • The new pod also has some lighting for those long, winter evenings.
  • Naturally, I was drawn to it...
  • ... which makes me wonder if I was a moth in a previous life? Moving on...
  • Lost Sheep has a choice of house-blend or guest espresso. Back in 2017 I had the guest.
  • I was impressed that Lost Sheep had proper glasses for those who were hanging around.
  • Of course, I love watching latte art being poured...
  • ... admiring the way that the barista (Mike in this case) builds up the pattern...
  • ... one element at a time. It's particularly impressive in a glass.
  • Almost done now.
  • And there we have it. A lovely flat white, made with a single-origin Ethiopian Yirgacheffe.
  • The latte art is worth a second look...
  • ... particularly since it lasted all the way to the bottom of the glass. Now that's impressive!
  • By the time of my return, Lost Sheep had started roasting its own coffee, so I had a shot...
  • ... of the house blend (Get To The Hopper) in a flat white, once again served in a glass.
  • As before, my flat white had some lovely latte art...
  • ... which once again lasted all the way to the bottom of the glass.
  • The unhomogenised milk is from Plurenden Manor Farm, on the other side of Ashford.
  • I wasn't finished though. Dan, the barista on my return, offered me a shot of the guest...
  • ... a single-origin Ugandan coffee, also roasted by Lost Sheep.
  • Well, I couldn't say no.
  • After a quick tamp...
  • ... we're on our way.
  • Almost done...
  • And there we are, a rich, full-bodied espresso to see me on my way!
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Historic Canterbury, one of the UK’s most beautiful (and compact) cities, is full of gorgeous streets and amazing sights. Sadly, the modern bus station, just southwest of the historic core, is not one of them. Indeed, unless you’re catching a bus, your only reason for coming here is to visit the wonderful Lost Sheep Coffee.

Lost Sheep must be the only coffee shop in the world with its own statue across the road. That the statue was there before the pod only goes to pay testament to the foresight of the city planners. We’ll gloss over the fact that it was entirely serendipitous, the staff being as surprised as anyone when they arrived for the first day of trading to find the statue staring down from its vantage point atop a sculpted tree-trunk.

There’s not much to Lost Sheep, the pod effectively operating as a takeaway counter. You order on the right and collect your coffee on the left, just past the two-group La Marzocco Linea espresso machine. Lost Sheep provides biodegradable takeaway cups if you forget to bring your own, although if you’re staying, there are glasses and proper cups.

A narrow, three-person standing bar on the left provides shelter from the elements, while there’s more seating in front of the pod, provided by two low, mesh benches and a pair of similar stools. Finally, a large, chest-high chipboard box to the left offers a standing table of sorts.

Despite roasting its own Get To The Hopper blend, Lost Sheep still uses guest roasters for its second option, having already racked up an impressive 25 different roasters at the time of my first visit. Back then, I had a lovely, smooth flat white made with a single-origin Yirgacheffe from London’s Ground Coffee Society. This went very nicely in milk (which, as an aside, held the latte art to the bottom of the glass, always a good sign).

On my return 2½ years later, I had another flat white, which also had long-lasting latte art! This one used the Get To The Hopper blend, the coffee going really well with the milk (from the Plurenden Manor Farm, on the other side of Ashford). I also had a shot of the guest, a single-origin Uganda (unusually this was also roasted by Lost Sheep). A slightly darker roast than Lost Sheep normally offers, it had an interesting flavour-profile, although for me, the roast slightly overwhelmed it.

Although it’s little more than a coffee stand, there’s a great sense of community about the Lost Sheep pod, something which struck me during both my visits, with many of the customers being regulars, staying around the pod to drink their coffee.


December 2017: Lost Sheep Coffee has won the 2017 Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot Award.

December 2019: Lost Sheep Coffee has won the 2019 Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Award.

ST GEORGES LANE • CANTERBURY • CT1 2SY
www.lostsheepcoffee.com +44 (0) 1227 230444
Monday 07:00 – 18:00 Roaster Lost Sheep + Guests (espresso only)
Tuesday 07:00 – 18:00 Seating Stools, Benches, Standing Bar
Wednesday 07:00 – 18:00 Food Cake Bars, Crisps
Thursday 07:00 – 18:00 Service Counter
Friday 07:00 – 18:00 Payment Cash + Cards
Saturday 08:00 – 18:00 Wifi N/A
Sunday 11:00 – 16:00 Power N/A
Chain Local Visits Original: 2nd May 2017
Update: 30th November 2019

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