English Bridge Coffee (Nomad Coffee Co.)

The distinctive HuskeeCup with its ribbed sides, but only 3oz in capacity, holding my espresso at Nomad Coffee Co.For many, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a time of retrenchment or consolidation. Not so in Shrewsbury, where its small but vibrant speciality coffee scene has flourished with the opening of both The Colonel’s Son Coffee Roasters and today’s Coffee Spot, Nomad Coffee Co. Both were on my list before I made my daytrip a week ago today, but in fairness to Nomad, everyone I asked said that I must pay Raúl (the co-owner and head barista) a visit.

Located at the start of Wyle Cop on the western end of the English Bridge, Nomad is small, but around twice the size of The Colonel’s Son (which isn’t saying much!). The counter is at the back, leaving space for a bench/table down the right-hand wall and a five-person window-bar along the front. Nomad is a multi-roaster, serving single-origins on espresso, with two different roasters featuring each fortnight. Although the coffee’s the star turn, I was also entertained by conversations between Raúl and a succession of regulars who’d come as much for a chat as coffee.

March 2023: Nomad Coffee Co. has reopened after a short refurbishment with a new name: English Bridge Coffee. Raúl has also added batch brew to the menu. Hopefully I will be able to pop along and check out the new look in the next few months.

September 2023: English Bridge Coffee has been replaced by The Condor, which builds on English Bridge’s multi-roaster legacy while adding South American street food to the mix. You can see what I made of it when I visited in August.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • Standing at the start of Wyle Cop, at the western end of the English Bridge...
  • ... it's Nomad Coffee Co. There is another way to get to Nomad, and that's...
  • ... up these steps from the river walk. That's Nomad at the top, on the right.
  • Back at the top and the entrance is on the left, via a little shared porch.
  • The view from just inside the door. There really isn't a lot to Nomad Coffee Co.
  • This padded bench with its table provides seating along the right-hand wall...
  • The bench, along with its table and stools, in more detail.
  • This is the window that we saw from the bottom of the steps.
  • Talking of windows, the front of Nomad is all window, with this five-person window-bar.
  • And then we're back to the door.
  • The view from the front window, looking across Wyle Cop.
  • Meanwhile, here's the view along the English Bridge from the side window.
  • Although small, Nomad Coffee Co. is well equipped, with power sockets under the bench...
  • ... and under the window-bar.
  • To business. The counter is at the back, running the full width of Nomad .
  • You order at the left-hand end, where there's a chiller cabinet with soft drinks to the left...
  • ... and the cakes, with some retail stock on top to the right.
  • The cakes in more detail.
  • The retail bags are from one of the two featured roasters, in this case, Big Dog Coffee.
  • There are more retail bags on the right-hand wall, next to the window.
  • The concise menu hangs over the counter on two boards, one for coffee...
  • ... and to its right, the second is for other hot drinks.
  • Nomad is a multi-roaster, the choice of beans displayed in front of the grinders. During...
  • ... my visit, these were from Bristol's Clifton Coffee and Big Dog Coffee from South Wales.
  • Once you've ordered, move to the end of the counter to collect your coffee.
  • Talking of which, Nomad uses HuskeeCups for sit in customers. This is my espresso...
  • ... served in the dinkiest HuskeeCup that I've seen, which is where I'll leave you.
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Nomad Coffee Co. opened on 21st December 2020, an early Christmas present for Shrewsbury’s speciality coffee lovers. On the northern side of the Wyle Cop, just before the English Bridge as you head out of town, Nomad is on the ground floor of an old, three-storey building, occupying a small unit at the right-hand end.

The door is on the left, opening onto a small, recessed porch which it shares with the nail bar next door. A single window occupies the front of Nomad, stretching the full width of the store between two black stone pillars, while the exposed brick of the right-hand wall is broken by a tall sash window. Although I reached Nomad along Wyle Cop, immediately to the right, broad stone steps descend to the river walk that rings central Shrewsbury along the banks of the Severn.

Stepping inside, there’s not much to Nomad. The counter stretches the full width of the store at the back, with the till and cakes on the left. You order and pay here before moving past the La Marzocco Strada and its two grinders in the middle to collect your drinks at the far end. If you’re staying, then you have a choice of seating, with a five-person window-bar along the front, or a padded bench down the side. This seats four and has a long, narrow table in front of it, with room for three more on stools.

A multi-roaster, Nomad only serves single-origins, with Raúl seeking out the most interesting coffees he can find. There are two options, each from a different roaster, with more coffee from the roasters for sale in retail bags. These change every two weeks or so, with a new pair of roasters taking their place.

During my visit, Raúl had an anaerobic process Panama Rocky Mountain, roasted by Clifton Coffee Roasters from Bristol, along with a washed Rwandan from Big Dog Coffee, a new roaster to me, from Ebbw Vale in South Wales. Although I was tempted by the Big Dog, Raúl steered me towards the Rocky Mountain, which I had as an espresso. Nomad uses HuskeeCups for its sit-in customers and my espresso came in the dinkiest HuskeeCup I’ve ever seen (it’s a 3oz cup, specifically for espresso).

I really enjoyed my espresso, although I don’t think I’d want to drink it every day. Rich and complex, I don’t really have the palate/vocabulary to do it justice. Afterwards I got talking with Raúl and co-owner Vladimir, and bought a bag of the Big Dog to take to New York with me, which I gave to the staff at the original Café Grumpy in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Raúl also gave me some coffee from Colonna Coffee, as well as a sample of a very strange coffee from Clifton, the Finca La Montaña Micro-Lot from Colombia, which I made at home on my Sage Barista Express. Another interesting coffee which I don’t have the palate/vocabulary to do justice to, it had a distinct vegetative smell, which came through in the finished shot.

Monday 08:30 – 16:00 Roaster Guests (espresso only)
Tuesday 08:30 – 16:00 Seating Table, Window Bar
Wednesday 08:30 – 16:00 Food Cake
Thursday 08:30 – 16:00 Service Counter
Friday 08:30 – 16:00 Payment Cards + Cash
Saturday 08:30 – 16:00 Wifi Free
Sunday 08:30 – 16:00 Power Yes
Chain No Visits 16th September 2022

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5 thoughts on “English Bridge Coffee (Nomad Coffee Co.)

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