Not even half a year has passed since my last update on Oxford's burgeoning speciality coffee scene, but there have already been a few changes. Sadly, Quarter Horse's Cowley Road café has now closed, but in its place stands bike café Peloton Espresso, which hadn't quite opened in time for my Christmas stay in the city. I'd also hoped to visit Jericho Coffee Traders' new café on the High Street (no 105) but they were closed for the holidays so I'll have to save them for my next trip to my hometown.
However, I did get the chance to visit the new Colombia Coffee Roasters café inside Oxford's historic Covered Market. Owned by the lovely Milly Bar, Colombia Coffee Roasters has been roasting for a while under the name Exotic Coffee Roasters (coincidentally, in a location just one village over from my parents) and run a stall at the Summertown Farmers' Market on Sundays. When I was back in Oxford in November, though, I noticed the not-yet-open café in the Covered Market and made a mental note to return at Christmas.
The café itself is fairly small and rustic. It's just opposite the perennially popular Ben's Cookies but but if you're in the market for something sweet, I'd recommend coming into Colombia Coffee Roasters instead for a salted caramel brownie (from Fair & Square) or, better, one of their special Colombian hot chocolates. I was in need of some coffee, though, and, following the recommendation of the cheerful barista, I ordered an El Salvador coffee brewed through the V60 (£4). I took a seat on one of the low wooden benches by the window and enjoyed a bit of people-watching.
The coffee itself was very good — well brewed and lovely and fruity. My non-coffee-drinking mum had also picked up a bag of the Red Honey beans for our festive-period brewing needs. Brewed mainly through a Kalita Wave dripper, the chocolatey notes came through very nicely and I thought it was a really great coffee, particularly for the cooler months when I tend to gravitate towards more chocolatey and nutty flavours.
It was also nice to see the café so busy — some people were picking up bags of beans, others stopped by for a quick cappuccino or flat white. The staff were all incredibly friendly and there was a bustling but relaxed ambiance. Overall, Colombia Coffee Roasters' café is a great addition to the Oxford coffee scene and I look forward to trying some of their other coffees — and the espresso — on future visits.
Colombia Coffee Roasters. Oxford Covered Market, Market Street, Oxford, OX1 3DZ. Website. Twitter. Instagram.