23 October 2020

The Oxford Caffeine Chronicles: New Ground Coffee

While I was back in Oxford for the weekend, I got to check out New Ground Coffee, a new-to-me coffee shop and roastery based two miles east of the city centre in Headington, not too far from the shark. This roastery opened about a year ago, although founders Joel and Dickon have been roasting for longer, but having missed their Selfridges pop-up shop, I found out about New Ground via Tom.

The roastery is based in a small warehouse set back from Windmill Road, near the junction with London Road, Headington's main drag. It's a beautiful space inside, with high ceilings, lots of light and minimalist interiors. The long wooden counter runs along one wall with a few bench-style seats opposite. At the back, there are a couple of tables just in front of the roaster itself.


New Ground aims to combine a high-quality coffee experience with social responsibility. They have a selection of coffees, mainly sourced from small farms, that changes seasonally, and they offer training and job opportunities to ex-offenders, rather like Redemption Roasters. Meanwhile, typography buffs will enjoy the branding that features on the retail packaging and take-out cups, and the labels add pops of colour to the otherwise monochrome aesthetic.


My dad and I cycled over from my parents' house on Sunday morning, an easy three-mile route. While my dad went to do some shopping, I folded up my bike and set about trying all of the coffee at New Ground. I asked for a recommendation of something jazzy, probably naturally processed, and the Kenya Mweiga definitely fit the bill. Natural processing isn't very common in Kenya, so I was particularly keen to try this variety, which is from Kiambu county near Nairobi. 

I ordered both a pourover and a piccolo with the same coffee, and took a seat at one of the tables at the back, which had a good view of the coffee bar and also a coffee plant that was doing slightly better than my own! As I hadn't yet had breakfast, I also had a very fine slice of pecan banana bread — a vegan version and some brownies were also available.

I drank my piccolo first while allowing the filter coffee to cool slightly. The piccolo was expertly brewed and the latte art lasted all the way to the bottom of the slim white cup, which blended in perfectly with the d├ęcor. The filter coffee was also delicious, with the orange and peach notes shining through. Yes, reader, I bought the beans, of course. I've been enjoying the Mweiga at home this week, mainly brewed through my V60. If you aren't able to get to Oxford, you can also buy New Ground's beans from their online shop.


New Ground Coffee. Simon House, Workshop R/O, 2 Windmill Road, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7BU. Website. Instagram.

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


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