When I got my first job in speciality coffee at the beginning of 2016 I was living in York and pretty oblivious to how the public’s interest in a well-made cup of coffee had grown. A few months prior to this I had a gotten a V60 in a student deal run by Pact coffee and that’s how my personal interest began but the culture surrounding all things home-brew was invisible to me until I had to learn how to answer people’s questions regarding what we serving as pour over and what beans I would recommend they buy. When I came back to Liverpool later that year I was only aware of one shop in town that was serving up speciality coffee in the way many places in York already were; The Perky Peacock, Spring Espresso and Kiosk, to name a few. It seemed that the growth of coffee culture was slow in my own home city. The likes of Leeds and Manchester were already establishing themselves as cities full of cool independents to visit and yet it hadn’t quite spread here.
Fast forward a year to the beginning of summer in 2017 and there were people telling me about all the good speciality places in Liverpool to go to. I’d go into shops and see V60s, aeropresses and even a siphon or two (something I had never seen in person before) as well as roasters I recognised like Origin, Hasbean and Square Mile. It wasn’t as if most of these places like Root coffee or even my own place of work, The Cow&Co Cafe hasn’t existed for years already but what had changed was people were talking about them and demand has risen. One thing I was really surprised to see over the summer was the popularity of cold brew and shorter drinks like a cortado and all it did was fill me with excitement goes how the coffee industry is going to grow in my own city.
I think this year will really start putting Liverpool on the map in terms of speciality coffee as more talented baristas up the standards, the demand for filter growing and new places such as Mother up the ante with the first nitro brew in the city. Hell, if McDonald’s is about to roll out their version of a flat white we all better be the top of our game and keep showing the public how good a cup of coffee can taste.