When asking about speciality coffee in The Wirral, the long peninsular that I can see from my bedroom window every morning which stops North Wales from bumping into Liverpool, one name that consistently comes up is Bebington’s Blooming Skull Coffee. So, when setting off on Monday for a day-trip to The Wirral, it was always going to be my first stop.
Describing itself as a coffee shop and general store, you could be forgiven, on first glance, of thinking that Blooming Skull Coffee’s a coffee shop and florist (it’s not). Blooming Skull is takeaway only (so don’t forget to bring your own cup), although there is a solitary bench outside on the busy Bebington Road. The Penny Rock seasonal single-origin from Red Bank is on espresso, where it’s joined by a guest roaster (Plot Roasting during my visit) on batch brew, plus a range of cakes baked on the premises.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Blooming Skull Coffee opened on Bebington Road in 2016, one door further along from its currently location. By all accounts it’s original home, now occupied by Think Ink Tattoo Studio, was a tiny spot, so in 2019, Blooming Skull moved across Sandringham Close in search of (only slightly) bigger premises. The COVID-19 pandemic brought further changes, with the (forced) closure of the indoor seating leading Blooming Skull to start selling house plants, gift options (candles, skin care products, cards and books) and its own line of clothing. In September 2020, these changes were made permanent, Blooming Skull switching to takeaway-only operation.
A short walk along Bebington Road from the train station, Blooming Skull is one of several shops on the left-hand side as you head towards the Mersey. Standing on the corner of Sandringham Close, it has a pleasing symmetry to it, with two windows in each wall, flanking the corner door, which is at 45° to both Sandringham Close and Bebington Road. Stepping inside, I was immediately struck by the array of house plants, all of which are for sale (which is why I initially mistook Blooming Skull for a coffee shop/florist).
The counter is against the right-hand wall, where you’ll find the red La Marzocco FB80 espresso machine, its grinder hidden behind a wall of pot plants. The concise menu is on the wall behind the counter, while the cakes, which are all baked on the premises, are displayed to the left. Blooming Skull has a small retail selection on a shelf in front of the cakes, featuring beans from Red Bank and the current guest roaster. That’s it when it comes to coffee, the remaining space given over to the plants (left-hand wall), candles, skin care products and cards (back wall) and books (to the right of the door).
During my visit, the guest roaster was Plot Roasting, with a washed Guatemalan on batch brew. The guest changes every two weeks or so, with roasters from around the country (Edinburgh’s Obadiah Coffee and Cardiff’s Hard Lines have both featured this year). While tempted, I decided to keep things simple for my first coffee of the day, ordering a flat white in my HuskeeCup. This was made with Red Bank’s seasonal Penny Rock single-origin, currently a naturally-processed Red Bourbon varietal from Daterra in Brazil. This went perfectly with the milk for a classic flat white, rich and smooth. I enjoyed this while sitting outside on the solitary bench, watching the world go by. Then it was back to the station to continue my tour.
9th June: since I was passing through Bebington on the train three days after my iniitial visit, I popped into Blooming Skull to meet Lou, one of the owners, and to try the Maria Eugenia Escobar from Guatemala, which was on batch brew. This was lovely, a rich and fruity, a very special coffee.
I also got to try one of Blooming Skull’s famous homemade cakes, the vegan Victoria sponge. This was a lovely, rich sponge cake with just the right amount of jam and cream. I never would have guessed it was vegan! I’d dropped off a bag of the Radiophare, a naturally-processed coffee from Indonesia, which I’d picked up at The Barn in Berlin and the Victoria sponge was a gift from Lou in exchange for the coffee.
|136 BEBINGTON ROAD • BEBINGTON • WIRRAL • CH62 5BJ|
|Monday||11:00 – 16:00||Roaster||Red Bank (espresso) + Guest (filter)|
|Tuesday||11:00 – 16:00||Seating||Bench (outside)|
|Wednesday||11:00 – 16:00||Food||Cake|
|Thursday||11:00 – 16:00||Service||Counter|
|Friday||11:00 – 16:00||Payment||Cards + Cash|
|Saturday||11:00 – 16:00||Wifi||N/A|
|Sunday||11:00 – 16:00||Power||N/A|
|Chain||No||Visits||6th, 9th June 2022|
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