South West

Baristas Coffee Collective, Bristol

24 June 2012

One of the best choices for a coffee in Bristol is Baristas, a down-to-earth place, central but tucked away.

Baristas Coffee Collective, Bristol Baristas Coffee Collective, Bristol

It has been around for a few years and feels well established. Not tired, but like a nicely lived-in house, with staff baby photos on the fridge, a cluttered, higgledy-piggledy bar, and half-full help-yourself jars of jam.

It’s all the better for it. An antidote to the clinical, industrial coffee shops of London (which are perfectly wonderful, but maybe a bit too cool for school).

Baristas Coffee Collective, Bristol Baristas Coffee Collective, Bristol

Baristas, by contrast, has a relaxed, unhurried vibe. A grand choice for coffee-sipping on chunky furniture, itself on rather lovely stripped-pine floors.

Baristas Coffee Collective, Bristol

Flat white isn’t on the menu, so I had an espresso and, on another visit, a latte. Both were served from a manual piston machine, one of those vintage-style operations where the barista pulls a lever rather than pressing a button.

This type of coffee machine emerged in Italy in the 1940s and gave us the phrase “pulling a shot”. There’s no whirring electric pump, and, more significantly, little chance of pulling shots with 100% consistency. That’s a no-go for many of today’s top coffee shops, but for others, including former World Barista Champion Gwilym Davies, it makes the process all the more satisfying, with feel and variety taking a front seat.

Baristas Coffee Collective, Bristol Baristas Coffee Collective, Bristol

I couldn’t say whether the piston made a difference, but I enjoyed my coffees, though not as much as the ones I’ve had before at Boston Tea Party, the most likely alternative in Bristol for a good brew.

Baristas Coffee Collective, Bristol Baristas Coffee Collective, Bristol

Nevertheless, Baristas is a different proposition from Boston Tea Party. More individual, arguably more friendly. A place to get to know the baristas, read the papers and revel in the absence of coffee snobbery. Recommended.

Baristas Coffee Collective, Bristol Baristas Coffee Collective, Bristol

Baristas Coffee Collective, Bristol Baristas Coffee Collective, Bristol


29 Victoria Street

Twitter: @baristasbristol

We visited on 17 January 2012.

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  • Jon Ellis 27 June 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Baristas is a top notch coffee house. The best in Bristol.

    Certainly better than Boston Tea Party imo. What sets it apart is the excellent coffee and outstanding friendly customer service led by the owner George. Food is delicious.

    It is standing the test of time, as evidenced by the recent closure of Starbucks nearby. Long live the independent coffee house!

  • Arabiancoffees 28 June 2012 at 9:01 am

    This place looks really lovely. Will definitely pop in next time I’m in Bristol!

  • Dan Saunders 18 July 2012 at 11:11 am

    I went out of my way to visit Baristas yesterday and i’m glad I did, just stepping in there for 20 minutes made me question why I ever went to the franchises instead before.

    Baristas is a hidden gem that never fails, people are constantly in and out. I just sat on the side and watched the footfall and it made me smile. The coffee shop seemed to have its own personality, a vibe that’s hard to find.

    As for the coffee, I had a latte and I found that the flavor didn’t disappoint, The place was a good recommendation and i’d happily venture back there the next time i’m in Bristol.

  • the man from chepstow 27 January 2014 at 3:23 pm

    went there today [27/01/14] its funky awesome great coffee service outstanding now im known as the man from Chepstow joker in the team

  • Paul Main 19 August 2014 at 6:38 pm

    “Excellent coffeehouse in a medieval building”

    5 of 5 stars Reviewed 15 August 2014 NEW

    This coffeehouse is located in a medieval building dating from 1456 in the old Parish of St Thomas in the Redcliffe district of the city. It is a busy shop with many office workers collecting their take away coffees. I had an excellent latte which was enhanced by 60s music and newspapers to read. A good atmosphere which will bring me back.

    Visited August 2014