In a nutshell:
-in a league of its own in the city of Oxford
-situated between historical landmarks and the high street, it’s the perfect starting point for your day out in Oxford
-come here for coffee, sweet treats and an enveloping, welcoming atmosphere
Setting up a coffee shop in the centre of Oxford is no enviable task. Being host to the one of the oldest universities in the world, it attracts people far and wide for its historical landmarks and awe-inspiring architecture. Even the independent shops have something a little extraordinary about them (come here if you’re in need of an antique map or a boater), so whether you’re a local or a visitor, the people have come to expect quality and something a little out of the ordinary from this city.
So it seems fitting that the coffee shop of choice comes in the form of Jericho Coffee Traders. Founded by James and Lizzie, Jericho Coffee started its life selling coffee locally out the back of a Vespa tricycle and since then has expanded to farmers’ markets, college events, and it now has a high street espresso bar as well as their roastery/cafe just a short walk away in Osney Mead.
“The beans are roasted in Osney Mead and it’s well worth a trip if you fancy beans straight out of the roaster”
As you soon you enter, it’s apparent this is the crowning jewel which sits upon years of hard work and local knowledge. Everything is thought out – right through to where the cakes and pastries are from – and everything is carried out with immense taste to make this a warm, welcoming hug of a cafe. It stands in between the bustling high street and quiet calm of the Bodleian Libaries, making it a perfect pit-stop whether your day is shopping focussed or sight-seeing focussed. It’s also inside one of the university buildings, so even if your day doesn’t expand to the full range of landmarks, you’re breathing in a bit of the city’s history just by being inside.
In non-corona times, expect a crowd of students sitting in and nursing a signature blend, or construction workers stopping by for a takeaway – the atmosphere is vibrant, welcoming and calm. Sit at one of the bars at the front or sink into a chair in the back room for a cosy afternoon read. In corona-times, expect a warm welcome and a takeaway service with the option to sit outside. Responsible social-distancing rules are in place, which meant I didn’t have to think about it – they’d done all the work for us. If you’re lucky enough to be served by Abby, be ready to take down notes for her local tips on exploring the city (scroll to the bottom to read).
“Situated in a beautiful building right opposite the University Church and just off the main high street, it couldn’t be more perfectly positioned for your day out in Oxford”
I had the Adventurer Blend. Described as a traditional blend ‘with a touch of a funk’, it’s beautifully smooth with a nudge of blueberry, giving it a little something without being overly explosive. The beans are roasted by the river in Osney Mead and it’s well worth a trip if you fancy beans straight out of the roaster (scroll to the bottom for opening times). Click here to check out their full range of coffee. Worth mentioning that they have a popular subscription service and it’s currently 50% off your first bag if you sign up at the moment.
Come here for breakfast (options include crumpets, porridge or pastries) or sweet treats. Regarding the sweet treats I’m going to say this: I compel you to try something. I had the salted caramel chocolate brownie which was possibly one of the greatest things I’ve ever tasted. All the sweet treats are made by local bakery start-up, Patron, with the cupcakes and cookies made by Nood.
All in all:
There are some other competitors in the area and, although I went in with an open heart and palette, they had nothing on Jericho. Situated in a beautiful building right opposite the University Church and just off the main high street, it couldn’t be more perfectly positioned for your day out in Oxford. And if you’re headed to the Botanical Gardens, you can get a second pick-me-up by grabbing a coffee from their pop-up coffee van. This company really has everything going for it – great staff, great ethos, perfect location, embedded in the community and of course, excellent coffee. In the current corona climate, I couldn’t recommend Oxford more for a day out or weekend away; particularly if you’re easing into the relaxing of the rules slowly like me, you’ll be able to take in the city virtually all outside. End the day with a trip to the local favourite, The White Rabbit and have one of their famous pizzas on the outside terrace. Sometimes the coffee stop is the final touch to make a day out perfect, but where Jericho Coffee Traders is concerned, you’re best planning the day out around the coffee and then everything else is a bonus. It really is that good – even by Oxford’s standards…
Things to know:
–Music: upbeat and easy-going. Think Paolo Nutini.
–Opening hours: 8:30-5:30pm (Mon-Fri); 9-5:30pm (Sat); 10-5pm (Sun); (The Roastery is open Mon-Fri 8:30-4pm)
–Address: 105 High Street, Oxford, OX1 4BW (Espresso Bar); Unit 2, Oxford Eco Centre, Osney Mead, Oxford, OX2 0ES (Roastery)
Planning your visit – things to do:
-After picking up a coffee at Jericho Coffee Traders, head down St Mary’s Passage just across the road (it’s like stepping back in time) and you will find the famous Radcliffe Camera. After that, check out the Bodleian Library; Sheldonian Theatre; Bridge of Sighs; Clarendon Building; The Martyr’s Memorial (you can do all these in one feel swoop, all being very close to one another). The Bodleian Library has upward of 10 million books – book ahead for a tour of the inside (currently closed due to corona)
–The White Rabbit (pub – great for pizza and alfreso drinking/dining)
–Oxford Playhouse (currently closed due to corona)
–The Roof Terrace at the Westgate Shopping Centre. Panoramic views of this extraordinary city – take in the historic sights in one fell swoop. Some fabulous restaurants and bars to choose from, all to the backdrop of some stunning sights.
–Punting. Well, you could hardly go to Oxford and not punt, could you? Still functioning during Covid 19, worth booking ahead for this activity. Picnic hamper service and chauffeur service.