COFFI is another recent addition to Liverpool’s speciality coffee scene which came highly recommended. Located on a cobbled street running parallel to Hope Street, there’s a lovely view of Liverpool’s Church of England Cathedral (not to be confused with Liverpool’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, which is at the other end of Hope Street). COFFI opened in the late spring of 2021 in a lovely old coach house, which provides a unique setting for the coffee shop. There’s limited seating inside at a long table, while there are four benches outside on the quiet street.
The real draw, however, is the coffee, with owners Nat + Mike, who cut their coffee teeth in Bucharest, selecting some outstanding beans from Europe’s best roasters, brewing from a concise espresso-based menu with batch-brew filter and pour-over options. Berlin’s Five Elephant and London’s Assembly were on the shelves when I visited, but these change every two to three weeks, so you’re going to need to hurry to catch them. Meanwhile, if you’re hungry, there’s a small selection of cakes available.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
COFFI is on the appropriately-named Pilgrim Street, a broad, cobbled back alley on your right heading up the hill away from the riverfront (just past St Luke’s Bombed Out Church, and yes, that is its official name). You’ll find COFFI a short way down on the right, occupying a two-storey, brick-built coach house which, before COFFI took possession, was used as a garage by the owner.
The front consists almost entirely of a pair of large, black wooden doors, with a smaller door to the left. When COFFI is open, the right-hand of the pair of doors folds right back on its neighbour, revealing a sliding glass door which is closed in cold/wet weather (acting as a window). However, when I visited it was open, connecting COFFI to the street outside.
In fact, it’s only the presence of four low black benches that prevents this from being an entrance to COFFI. The benches, the only outside seating, run along the front of COFFI, extending off to the right. Instead, access is via the door on the left, which opens onto a black wooden staircase leading to the top floor. In due course, this will provide additional seating, but for now it’s a work-in-progress (the old coach house is a listed building, so renovation work is tricky).
Instead, an opening to your right leads you into COFFI proper, which runs from the doors at the front to the back wall. The layout and décor are very simple, with a concrete floor and plain, whitewashed brick/stone walls. There’s a short bench on the left-hand wall, behind which is the enclosed staircase, followed by the retail shelves, with bags of coffee from the current roasters. Meanwhile, on the right, a long table runs the full depth of COFFI, turning into the counter about half way back, while the front half has six seats, three on either side.
You order at the back, where you’ll find the till and La Marzocco Linea espresso machine, the menu written on the wall behind them. Filter coffee, meanwhile, is against the back wall. During my visit, the Finca Wajahual, a washed El Salvadorian coffee from Berlin’s Five Elephant was on espresso, along with a decaf option from Assembly (the one thing that doesn’t change).
Normally I’d have jumped at Five Elephant, but having not long since returned from Berlin, I went for filter, with a choice of either batch brew (Moccamaster) or pour-over (Kalita Wave), both using the same Toby Lot 8, a naturally-processed coffee from Finca Santa Teresa in Panama, roasted by Assembly. I went the Kalita route, being rewarded with a very fine, fruity coffee served in a handleless ceramic cup, glass of water on the side, which I paired with a Biscoff brookie. A brownie/cookie hybrid, this was a wonderfully chocolately confection, the perfect accompaniment to my coffee.
|8 PILGRIM STREET • LIVERPOOL • L1 9HB|
|Monday||08:00 – 16:00||Roaster||Guests (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||08:00 – 16:00||Seating||Table, Benches (outside)|
|Wednesday||08:00 – 16:00||Food||Cakes|
|Thursday||08:00 – 16:00||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||08:00 – 16:00||Payment||Cards + Cash|
|Saturday||09:00 – 16:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||10:00 – 16:00||Power||No|
|Chain||No||Visits||13th June 2022|
Liked this? Then don’t forget to check out the Coffee Spot Guide to Liverpool for more great Coffee Spots.
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