Jaunty Goat

This is a profile which was published on Independent Chester last year of a lovely coffee shop called Jaunty Goat in Chester. Unfortunately that website no longer exists, so here’s the article in full. The words are by Adam, and the pictures by Sarah.

Ed White is no fan of the big coffee chains. “There’s a new one around the corner from us”, he tells me during a busy Wednesday afternoon. “It hasn’t affected us, but it’s frustrating. I see people going past with their Costa and Nero cups and I know they’d get a better coffee if they came in here.”

Ed is the owner of The Jaunty Goat on Bridge Street and, as he reminds me several times, he is “all about the coffee.” And it shows. The Jaunty Goat is one of a handful of ‘third wave’ cafes in Chester, with an emphasis on well-crafted, quality coffee. We’re sat at one of their copper-covered communal tables, under industrial lightbulbs. The design is slick and clean, with idiosyncratic vintage touches – old school milk bottles, and sugar served in Lyle’s Treacle cans. Ed explains that he wanted to move away from the look of the chains.

I have a cafetiere and my wife has a flat white, beautifully topped with a rose of foamed milk. We share a slice of red velvet cake, and wonderfully moist carrot cake. It’s £3.95 for any coffee and a slice of cake, which are baked by an American woman living in Hoole. Even the chocolatey zucchini cake gets the approval of our four-year-old daughter. The cake is good but it is, of course, all about the coffee. That passion extends to every step of the process – the beans are digitally weighed and then freshly ground for each cup; the equipment is pristine and shiny. The result is a wonderful coffee. The flat white is smooth, well-balanced and silky. The cafetiere coffee was impeccably presented, and reveals more of the flavour of the bean, but isn’t perfectly suited to their current blend of 80% arabica / 20% robusta coffee, with a slight edge of bitterness.

There’s change afoot, though. Ed becomes more animated talking to me about the new beans they’re introducing in the next few weeks. They’ve been working with a roaster to make a new house blend. It’s 100% arabica, from five different origins. There are also plans to have two guest single-origin beans, which will rotate regularly.  Ed recommends drinking these as filter coffee, either the cafetiere or one of their Hario drip filters, to really appreciate the unique flavours of single-origin coffee.

Their espresso-based coffees are lovely, and prepared with care. The service is great, too, and Ed is keen to praise his staff. “Great customer service is what independents survive on”, he explains. “and we don’t lose regulars.” I ask Ed what he would order, and he divulges his daily 4pm ritual: one latte, one blueberry Bakewell slice, and then another latte.

And the name? It comes from an Ethiopian folk tale about the discovery of coffee’s revitalising properties. Why not ask when you drop in? They tell it better than I do.

Adam

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