I’ve already written about my ignorance regarding Lichfield when I visited the Melbourne in Lichfield coffee shop on Bird Street. However, this is where it all began in April last year, when the original Melbourne in Lichfield opened, a small kiosk on a narrow alley called Bolt Court in the heart of the city. There’s not much to Melbourne in Lichfield, but the output’s impressive, reminding me in ambition of Reading’s Tamp Culture, albeit with slightly more shelter.
It consists of a kiosk with a small, covered seating area to the left and with three bar stools at the counter, semi-exposed to the elements. The coffee is from Union Hand-roasted with a house espresso, Maraba, a single-origin from Rwandan, plus a guest espresso from either Union or a guest-roaster as well as decaf (Union again). There are retail bags from Union and various guests, plus a decent selection of cake.
December 2019: I’ve learnt that with the continued success of the new coffee shop on Bird Street, Bolt Court has been closed.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Bolt Court is a narrow alley (a less court-like court I can’t imagine) which runs north from Market Street to the large, characterless expanse of the Bird Street car park, Melbourne in Lichfield accessible from either end. From Market Street, there’s an anonymous doorway opposite the Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum, while from the car park, there’s an equally anonymous opening in the southeast corner. Fortunately, a handy Melbourne in Lichfield A-board points the way at either entrance.
Melbourne in Lichfield is on the left-hand side when heading north, just after the end of the covered section of Bolt Court. There’s a small, covered seating area to the left, with just a pair of chairs and a coffee table, while the kiosk faces onto the alley, three high stools at the counter. And that’s it when it comes to seating.
Unsurprisingly, Melbourne in Lichfield’s primary trade is take-away, but you are welcome to stay and the staff (in my case, the lovely Sophie, who is leaving at the end of the June to begin a Master’s degree in Lund, Sweden) will be delighted to keep you entertained, particularly if you sit at the counter.
I was tempted by the house-espresso, a Rwandan single-origin, Maraba from Union Hand-roasted. However, Sophie recommended that I try the guest, Genesis, another Union offering, this time from Costa Rica (Melbourne in Lichfield only serves single-origins). In a nice touch, this was served in a proper cup, reserved for those guests who are staying around to drink their coffee (although I did have my trusty Kaffeeform cup on hand in my bag).
This turned out to be an inspired choice, which, as Sophie took great pleasure in explaining, was a slightly larger dose (19g as compared to 18g for the house-espresso) and pulled slightly longer (30s as opposed to 28s). Whatever the recipe, the end result was awesome, a well-balanced, naturally sweet espresso. If I hadn’t been about to rush off to Bird Street and drink lots of coffee there, I’d have stayed for longer and tried it in milk as a flat white. Another time, perhaps.
December 2018: Melbourne in Lichfield, Bolt Court has won the 2018 Smallest Coffee Spot Award.
|BOLT COURT • 2 MARKET STREET • LICHFIELD • WS13 6LA|
|Monday||08:00 – 15:30||Roaster||Union + Guests (espresso)|
|Tuesday||08:00 – 15:30||Seating||Counter, Chairs|
|Wednesday||08:00 – 15:30||Food||Cake|
|Thursday||08:00 – 15:30||Service||Counter|
|Friday||08:00 – 15:30||Payment||Cards + Cash|
|Chain||Local||Visits||30th May 2018|
You can see what fellow coffee-blogger, Bex of Double Skinny Macchiato, made of Melbourne In Lichfield.
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