Full Court Press, Broad Street: Review

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Image reproduced from the Full Court Press Facebook page

Image reproduced from the Full Court Press Facebook page


This review comes from Will Pearce – you can read more from Will at willpearce.wordpress.com, or follow him on Twitter at @W_J_Pearce. You can read more of Will’s reviews for Bristol Bites here


There must be something in the water around St Nick’s Market. Either that, or it’s built on a leyline, or possibly a Native American burial ground (although, granted, this is fairly unlikely). Whatever the reason, the area is blessed with more than its fair share of superior coffee houses, and Full Court Press, which has been operating from its Broad Street premises since 2013, might just be the daddy of them all.

The ground floor dining room is an object lesson in understated elegance, with bare white walls and distressed floorboards painted grey, while a striking stained-glass window adds an exuberant dash of colour. The room also retains a beautiful period fireplace, on the mantelpiece of which sits a ragtag collection of polaroids, espresso tampers and various other bits of coffee ephemera, lending the place a relaxed, homely atmosphere. It’s almost like you’re sitting in a friend’s living room – albeit a friend with superb taste in interior design and a near-monomaniacal obsession with coffee.

I was served by a friendly barista who guided me through the menu. Full Court Press has no house blend, she explained; instead, there are two filter blends and two espresso blends, which change on a weekly basis and are sourced from top-notch roasteries around the world. They also serve a range of cakes and pastries, some provided by Hart’s Bakery, some by Bosh, and all, presumably, delicious. I decided on this particular occasion to give my pancreas a rest, and stuck to coffee.

I opted for a flat white made with a Colombian blend called Tolima Gaitana. Having placed my order, I took a seat under the window, watching the barista as she weighed out coffee grounds with clinical precision on a set of digital scales. Hallelujah: this was coffee treated with an almost religious reverence, and the stained-glass window only added to the effect. Had I finally succumbed to a caffeine-induced heart attack and gone to espresso heaven?

One sip of the flat white, which was conveyed to me promptly and with good cheer, confirmed that yes, I had. It was creamy, full-bodied, slightly nutty and almost entirely bereft of acidity; and, as promised by the comprehensive tasting notes on the espresso menu behind the counter, I was left with the smoky sweetness of maple syrup lingering on my palate. In short, it was sublime.

Savouring every mouthful, I noticed that the baristas seemed to be acquainted with almost every patron who walked through the door, which leads me to believe that Full Court Press gets a lot of repeat custom – hardly surprising, given the calibre of both the coffee and the service. I’ll be making a return visit of my own very soon. And next time, I’ll definitely be getting cake.


2 Responses to Full Court Press, Broad Street: Review

  1. Pingback: Coffee Shop Review: Full Court Press, Bristol | Will Pearce

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