Coffee culture is etched on the Bristol café-scape. Turn most corners and you can expect to find a little artisan coffee shop. We made the most of a number of these nooks to shelter from the miserable weather and coffee café hopping quickly became my favourite pastime.
Invariably these coffee houses sat behind sleek, minimalist and trendy shopfronts with steamed up windows, warm against the chill outside. Coffee craft really is an art form these days. Nowhere is that more evident than in Full Court Press Speciality Coffee. Even with only four guest coffee varieties, my boyfriend and I both stood before the blackboards, mouths wide, much like novices presented with a hefty wine list. The fun with dabbling in coffee though, is you’re not going to mistakenly order a pricey vintage so you can afford to taste around.
A comfortable, at-ease atmosphere pervades FCP. The kind of atmosphere that comes from the unity of a joyous common purpose, namely indulging in the moment with a delicious cup of coffee. That, plus warm service, together account for my fond memories of Full Court Press. Whitewashed walls and rustic tables are reflected in a similarly minimalist menu. Attention to detail is high on the agenda and the batista weighs the coffee at several stages. I would argue it’s a coffee destination not a café but I’d highly recommend that you accompany your wizz bang, super special cup with a wizz bang cinnamon monkey bun.
Mention should also be given to Small St., another pocket-size café, perfectly proportioned for a cosy catch up. The bakes here vie for the spotlight and more than hold their own next to the coffee, no bad thing in my book. The salted caramel brownie and raspberry jam flapjack were both top notch.
The fledgling coffee revolution may be relatively novel in the UK (in the grand scheme of things) and whilst independents are not likely to eradicate the big dogs, however earnestly a coffee connoisseur may like to dream, the ideology is here to stay and Bristol has embraced it in a big way. Lucky Bristolians.