Ditto Coffee has been on my radar for a while now. An offshoot of Ditto Music, there are now four locations, two in Manchester, one in London (Shoreditch) and the subject of today’s Coffee Spot, the original Ditto Coffee on Jamaica Street in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle. Ditto Coffee opened in 2018, a tall, narrow coffee shop, with a neat mezzanine, offering a surprisingly amount of seating for somewhere so small, while there’s also a table and bench outside on the busy street.
Fittingly, given that it all started in Liverpool, Ditto Coffee uses a bespoke house blend, roasted by old friends Neighbourhood Coffee. This is served from a standard, espresso-based menu, along with batch brew filter (same blend), hot chocolate, tea and a limited selection of soft drinks. There’s also a small range of cakes, plus a variety of breakfast and lunch items, along with wraps and sandwiches, all in a grab-and-go fridge opposite the counter.
Ditto Coffee is about more than coffee, however, strongly reflecting its music roots in the décor. This extends to support for local artists, who can perform in Ditto Coffee, as well as drop off demo tapes and display and sell their music and merchandise.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Ditto Coffee stands on the western side of Jamaica Street, the main north-south thoroughfare through the Baltic Triangle, south of the city centre. It occupies one of nine similar-sized units on the ground floor of a modern, six-storey building, although these ground floor units are effectively two storeys tall and are roughly twice as tall as they are wide. Its neighbours are an eclectic bunch, including a shoe-repair shop, barbers, off-licence and, right next door, a vintage clothing and coffee shop!
Tall and thin, the front of Ditto Coffee is all glass, with the door on the left, a window on the right, and two identical windows above. Outside seating is limited to a four-person folder-away picnic-style table against the brick pillar to the left of the door (it looks to be a masterpiece of engineering), while there’s also a simple wooden bench in front of the window.
Stepping inside, Ditto has a surprisingly complex layout for somewhere so small. Immediately to the right of the door, a two-person window-bar, constructed of wood and scaffolding poles, looks out onto Jamaica Street, while directly ahead the stairs climb steeply to the mezzanine, which occupies the rear two-thirds of Ditto. On the left, partially behind the door as it opens, are retail shelves stocking coffee, coffee kit and Ditto merchandising, while on the right is a turntable and sound system. The floor, with its eclectic geometric tiles, is also worth a second look.
The rear part of the ground floor, under the mezzanine, is the domain of the counter, tucked away under the stairs on the left, the cakes at the front and the espresso machine against the back wall, opposite the grinders, which are at the counter’s far end. Meanwhile, on the right, is the grab-and-go fridge, followed by a two-person bar opposite the counter, although if you want more seating (and, crucially, tables), you need to head upstairs once you’ve ordered.
The mezzanine is a simple affair, compared to downstairs. Effectively L-shaped, with the same eclectic floor tiles, the stairs deposit you at the back on the left, next to a set of shelves stocked with various music books. The seating starts on the right-hand side of the back wall, where a padded sofa bench runs to the corner and then along the right-hand wall all the way to the front, which looks down on the window-bar and door. In all, there are three tables, all of the same wood-and-scaffolding construction as downstairs. One is against the back wall, with two down the side, additional seating provided by low benches plus a second, shorted padded sofa bench which stands with its back to the stairs.
I arrived quite close to closing time, but nonetheless was very well looked after by the lovely staff, Annie and Cam. Ditto has its own seasonal house blend, roasted just up the road by old friends, Neighbourhood Coffee. Currently this is 60% Brazilian, with 20% each from El Salvador and Ethiopia, available through a standard espresso-based menu (complete with iced options) or as a batch brew filter. You can also buy retail bags to take home. I had a cortado, served in a glass, the coffee combining with the milk to produce some classic, chocolate notes, the perfect end to a day spent wandering around Liverpool.
|UNIT 4 • 10-14 JAMAICA STREET • LIVERPOOL • L1 0AF|
|www.dittocoffee.co.uk||+44 (0) 151 808 1448|
|Monday||08:00 – 16:00||Roaster||Roaster (espresso + batch brew filter)|
|Tuesday||08:00 – 16:00||Seating||Tables, Bars; Tables (outside)|
|Wednesday||08:00 – 16:00||Food||Breakfast, Lunch, Sandwiches, Cake|
|Thursday||08:00 – 16:00||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||08:00 – 16:00||Payment||Cards + Cash|
|Saturday||09:00 – 17:00||Wifi||Free|
|Sunday||10:00 – 17:00||Power||Yes|
|Chain||National||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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