21 July 2020

The Oxford Caffeine Chronicles: Jericho Coffee Traders Roastery

During lockdown, I've mostly been satisfying my speciality coffee habit by brewing at home, enjoying beans from many of my favourite UK roasters, and then, as coffee shops within walking or cycling distance of my Bermondsey flat started to reopen, I was able to pop by for a flat white or espresso and a sweet treat of some form. For the most part, these are coffee shops I have already blogged about, so I've primarily been posting about these visits on my Instagram.

And while visiting my parents in Oxford on a couple of occasions, I've been to several of my favourite speciality coffee shops in my hometown, including The Missing Bean and Society Cafe. Having recently got the cycling bug, however, I also took the opportunity yesterday to cycle from my parents' village over to the Jericho Coffee Traders roastery in Osney Mead. I've been to Jericho's espresso bar — located on Oxford's High Street, rather than in the Jericho neighbourhood — many times, and always enjoyed the espresso-based drinks and filter coffees they've served.

The roastery is located in an industrial estate in Osney, just west of the city centre and I got there by cycling five minutes or so along the towpath of the River Thames west from Folly Bridge. There were a handful of colourful tables set up outside, and a couple of other patrons were enjoying their coffee there, taking advantage of the warm morning sun.

The roastery is adjacent to a small, but bright and colourfully decorated coffee bar, with a few seats inside, although as there's a one-customer-at-a-time policy at present, customers were either taking away or sitting outside. I chatted to the friendly owners, James and Lizzie Armitage, and new barista Eva before ordering my coffee. Like many coffee businesses, trade in the coffee shops has been greatly impacted by COVID-19, although Jericho's beans are available to buy online (pro-tip: they will be getting a really banging natural Ethiopian coffee in a couple of weeks). I also learned that the gorgeous 'coffee belt' mural on the wall will soon adorn their retail packages of coffee beans.

As for the coffee, there was a natural Colombian La Esperanza, which I ordered as a filter coffee and an espresso. The espresso was great, but the coffee's fruity sweetness came through particularly well in the filter coffee. Having enjoyed some Ethiopian Worka Wuri coffee from Amoret recently, I also bought some Worka Wuri beans from Jericho, which I'm looking forward to sampling when I get back home.

My only regret is that I didn't order one of the indulgent-looking brownies: although the route home, along the Thames to Iffley and then out of the city, is only six miles long, there are some seriously steep sections and I could have done with the fuel! Next time...

Jericho Coffee Traders Roastery is located at Oxford Eco Centre, Osney Mead, Oxford, OX2 0ES. Website. Twitter. Instagram.

For more of my speciality coffee recommendations for Oxford, check out my guide, compiled in 2016, but regularly updated.

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