Jaunty Goat, Northgate Street

A decaf flat white, made with Oato oat milk, and served at Jaunty Goat in Chester, in a classic white tulip cup.After two weeks of Iceland this, Iceland that, the Coffee Spot is back in the UK with Jaunty Goat’s second coffee shop on Chester’s Northgate Street. Chester’s speciality coffee scene has changed out of all recognition since I first visited Jaunty Goat on Bridge Street in 2016. The original Jaunty Goat has moved from its initial concept of a coffee shop with great food to being more of a restaurant with great coffee, all of which is now roasted in-house. Along the way, Jaunty Goat opened a second location on Northgate Street in January 2019.

In many ways, the second Jaunty Goat is more like the original used to be, that is, a coffee shop. However, in a bold move, the new Jaunty Goat is completely vegan, right down to there being no dairy option for the milk-based coffees. Talking of which, the coffee’s all roasted in-house, with a standard espresso-based menu, shots pulled on a Victoria Arduino Eagle One, with its three Mythos One grinders (house espresso, guest espresso and decaf). There are also filter options: AeroPress, V60 or Chemex (for two), plus loose-leaf teas. If you’re hungry, the all-day brunch menu’s available until four o’clock, backed up with sandwiches and cake.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • The second Jaunty Goat on Northgate Street in Chester...
  • ... seen here from the other side of the street in the late afternoon sun.
  • I like the design of the two outside benches with their in-built coffee tables.
  • And, up above, the familiar Jaunty Goat sign.
  • Let's go in, shall we?
  • Inside, the layout is simple, counter on the right, seating on the left...
  • ... and, at the front, a low window-bar with equally low stools.
  • You can also sit at the counter, if you want, where there are six tall stools.
  • Alternatively, there is a long bench down the left-hand wall, lined with two-person tables.
  • And, right at the back, a four-person table tucked in amongst the plants.
  • There are plenty of neat features, including hooks for coats/bags under the counter...
  • ... and under the tables.
  • Although there's plenty of light from the front, there are plenty of light-fittings too.
  • These hang over the seats on the left.
  • Here's my new favourite view.
  • Meanwhile, the more traditional bare bulbs hang over the counter.
  • You're greeted by the short side of the counter as you enter. You order here...
  • ... while there are retail bags of Jaunty Goat's coffee to your right...
  • ... and the massed ranks of cakes to your left.
  • That one looks particularly tempting.
  • There's a printed menu with food on one side...
  • ... and drinks on the other. Talking of which...
  • ... you get a good view of the espresso machine and its grinders from here.
  • I went for a decaf oat milk flat white and a not-chicken, not-bacon sandwich.
  • My sandwich in more detail.
  • This was the first time I'd had Oato oat milk...
  • ... so I will leave you with my decaf flat white, which was excellent.
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In many ways, the new Jaunty Goat is very different from the original on Bridge Street, even though it takes under 10 minutes to stroll between the two. Located on the eastern side of Northgate Street, Jaunty Goat is just inside the city walls, although the eponymous Northgate, which once stood a stone’s throw away, was replaced 200 years ago by the arch which you see today.

Much smaller than the original and with a comparatively narrow shop front, the new Jaunty Goat looks very different. With a very white colour scheme and clean, uncluttered lines, it feels much more like a typical speciality coffee shop. The door is on the right, with four tall, thin windows on left, occupied by a six-person window-bar, seating provided by low stools. This is matched outside by a pair of low benches, each with a central table-like structure.

Inside, the layout is simple, with the counter on the right-hand side, set back from door. You order here, all the time being stared at by the cake on display to your left. The counter runs almost the full length of Jaunty Goat, with the toilet tucked in behind against back wall. The majority of the seating is on the left, but there are six tall stools down the side of the counter, tall, Perspex screens separating you from the staff.

A long, wooden bench-seat runs along the left-hand wall, pretty much mirroring the counter. This has five two-person tables, although I suspect that in pre-COVID times there would have been more. Finally, a four-person round table occupies the back left-hand corner.

There are some neat touches in Jaunty Goat. With the all-white colour scheme (even the espresso machine and its grinders are white), it could feel quite austere and unwelcoming, but this is more than offset by numerous plants, starting with three shrubs in pots outside. There are also numerous hooks under the counter, window-bar and tables, which is something I wish more coffee shops would do. This is particularly welcome in Jaunty Goat, where all the seating is provided by stools, so there is nowhere else to hang coats, etc.

I would have loved to try Jaunty Goat’s brunch menu, with classics such as avocado on toast, a (vegan) Full English and more exotic options like the Korean Buddha bowl and orecchiette pasta. However, I arrived after the kitchen had closed, so went for a not-chicken, not-bacon (plus lettuce and tomato) sandwich instead. Having been a non-meat eater for over 30 years, I can’t tell you if it tasted like either chicken or bacon, but it was really good!

Slightly over-caffeinated from a long day spent visiting coffee shops, I had a decaf flat white, with the choice of oat, almond, coconut and soy milks. I find that oat milk, with its distinctive taste, is very much to my liking, having enjoyed the oat milk drinks I’ve had in the past. However, this was the first time that I’d had Oato, which comes in glass bottles and is manufactured nearby in Carnforth, Lancashire. It’s the least oat-tasting oat milk I’ve had and, honestly, had I not known, you could have convinced me it was dairy! The result, by the way, was a really rich, smooth flat white, the perfect end to my day.

128 NORTHGATE STREET • CHESTER • CH1 2HT
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, Counter, Window-bar; Bench (outside)
Wednesday 08:00 – 18:00 Food Breakfast, Lunch, Sandwiches, Cake
Thursday 08:00 – 18:00 Service Order at Counter
Friday 08:00 – 18:00 Payment Cards + Cash
Saturday 08:00 – 18:00 Wifi Free (with code)
Sunday 09:00 – 18:00 Power Yes
Chain Local Visits 13th July 2021

Liked this? Then don’t forget to check out the Coffee Spot Guide to Chester for more great Coffee Spots.


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4 thoughts on “Jaunty Goat, Northgate Street

  1. Pingback: Jaunty Goat, Bridge Street | Brian's Coffee Spot

  2. Pingback: Jaunty Goat Update | Brian's Coffee Spot

  3. Your posts are always interesting and in many instances I learn about products and ideas I wouldn’t have thought of myself or didn’t know about which can be introduced into our cafés. Thank you for introducing me to Oato and the coffee bench tables. We have loads of lovely benches in the garden areas so we’ll be getting our chippy in to trial one or two!

    • Hi Alice,

      Probably because I write from the perspective of a customer, I keep forgetting that coffee shop owners also enjoying reading my pieces, so thanks for the reminder. Oato was new to me too, but I was very impressed with the product and I like the company’s ethos. It’s also great to see a local company doing well rather than a multi-national.

      Brian.

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