Given the somewhat trying day I’d had, there was something reassuring about stepping into Liverpool’s Bold Street Coffee. It’s not what I’d call relaxing (think loud and busy) or even particularly comfortable (think plastic chairs over sofas), but it was indisputably my kind of place. One end of the counter was buckling under the weight of the interesting cakes, the other held an Aeropress brew bar, while in the middle, the bright red La Marzocco made a certain statement…
There’s also something about the way that the staff carry themselves which makes a statement: we know coffee, we’re passionate about coffee. I could write an essay on what it is that distinguishes (at a glance) those staff who have this passion and knowledge from those who are merely competent but indifferent and still not capture it. However, whatever it is, the two guys in Bold Street had it.
If tea is more your thing, then you’re in luck, since Bold Street carries a range of Waterloo Teas. If you’re looking for something more substantial than cake, then your luck’s also in, since Bold Street has decent breakfast (until 12:00, 16:00 at weekends) and lunch (12:00 until 16:00) menus too.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Bold Street Coffee keeps winning awards (specifically, the Liverpool Food and Drink Favourite Café/Tea Shop Award, not just once, but three times now!) and it’s not hard to see why. It’s a vibrant, bustling place with passionate, engaging staff who care about their coffee. Don’t come here for a relaxing break though; relaxing’s not a word I associate with Bold Street!
For a start, it’s constantly busy: I was there on Friday evening at five o’clock and almost every table was taken, remaining so right up until closing time (at six) and beyond. Normally in these circumstances, I’d be one of the last to leave, but when I slipped out at about twenty past, it was still half full!
Bold Street’s also not the sort of place where you can find a quiet sofa and collapse for the afternoon. For one, it’s very loud, conversation and music competing in an echoing space. For another, there are no sofas, just a padded bench on the left, with eight two-person tables, and three round tables, each with space for four people, on the right, seating provided by plastic chairs. Beyond is the counter and right at the back there’s a neat bench and table in a corner by the kitchen. While the seating isn’t uncomfortable, I don’t think I want to be there for hours on end. Things are rounded off by displays of artwork on the walls: while I was there, the artist was Ben Horton.
Bold Street is passionate about its coffee; as well as the usual espresso-based range, there’s the aforementioned Aeropress brew bar, so I was spoilt for choice. However, Bold Street’s espresso house-blend is from Has Bean. While the barista did his best to convince me it wasn’t THAT fruity, having had one Has Bean already that day and actually liked it, I wasn’t going to push my luck, so went for an Aeropress instead. There was a choice of two Has Beans and a guest from Square Mile, a Finca Kilimanjaro from El Salvador. Deciding to split my loyalties, I went for London over Staffordshire.
Unusually, Bold Street was offering the Finca Kilimanjaro processed in three different ways: washed, pulped natural and natural. Had I had all day, I would have had one of each to see how the processing of the bean affects the flavour of the coffee, but as it was, I went with the barista’s recommendation of the natural processing. I was well-rewarded with a very fine cup of coffee which came in a big, black (ie hard to photograph) classic cup.
Judging by the amount of other such cups on the tables and the fevered activity at the brew bar, situated in full view at the end of the counter, Bold Street does a roaring trade in filter coffee. In contrast (for the short time I was there) I saw comparatively little activity on the espresso machine.
In light of my trying day, I also went for a slice of the banana cake with butterscotch icing, which, it turned out, was an ideal combination. The banana cake was moist and rich, the butterscotch icing sweet, but not sickly. I was spoilt for choice though and could have had any one of about 10 choices of cakes and pastries.
|89 BOLD STREET • LIVERPOOL • L1 4HF|
|www.boldstreetcoffee.co.uk||+44 (0) 151 707 0760|
|Monday||07:30 – 18:00||Roaster||Has Bean + Guests (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||07:30 – 18:00||Seating||Tables, Benches, Bench outside|
|Wednesday||07:30 – 18:00||Food||Breakfast, Lunch, Cake|
|Thursday||07:30 – 18:00||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||07:30 – 18:00||Payment||Cards + Cash|
|Saturday||08:00 – 18:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||09:30 – 17:00||Power||No|
|Chain||Local||Visits||Original: 20th September 2013
Update: 7th September 2020
If you liked this Coffee Spot, then check out the rest of Liverpool’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to Liverpool.