South West

Small St. Espresso, Bristol

5 May 2014

We visited the lovely city of Bristol in search of a triumvirate of speciality coffee shops recommended by readers (and the small matter of a wedding). Small St. Espresso was first on the list.

Small St Espresso Bristol (9)

Small St Espresso Bristol (1)

Small St. is owned by baristas Chris Chubb (present during our visit) and John Drysdale. It opened around 18 months ago.

Our eyes were drawn immediately to the gorgeous baby-blue La Marzocco coffee machine with matching cups (more often, La Marzoccos are a deep metallic red). I told Chris it was beautiful, and congratulated him on finding coordinating cups. To our surprise, Chris said that the cups came first; they then took the machine apart and had it sprayed to match.

Small St Espresso Bristol (6)

Small St Espresso Bristol (3)

The coffee comes from local Clifton Coffee. They have rotating guest beans, for example from Square Mile, Nude and Caravan. My flat white was a picture of perfection and tasted fantastic.

Small St Espresso Bristol (2)

Small St Espresso Bristol (4)

The decor is bare brick + white walls + stripped floorboards + black metro tiles + exposed pipes. It’s a familiar combo but looked smashing and suits the building.

Small St Espresso Bristol (7)

Small St Espresso Bristol (10)

We got our Bristol weekend off to a flying start with Small St. It’s a young place bursting with energy, talent and style.

Will the others match up?

Small St Espresso Bristol (8)

Small St Espresso Bristol (11)


23 Small St

Twitter: @smallstespresso
Facebook: smallstespresso

We visited on 11 April 2014.

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  • Brian's Coffee Spot 6 May 2014 at 10:52 am

    Another of my all-time favourites. As well as great coffee, there’s a wonderful vibe in there. Like you, I was struck by the La Marzocco. What a wonderful colour! I also like the clever use of space. The window benches are fabulous, for example.

    Of course, I’m now wondering where Coffee Shop #3 is. I know where I would have gone… Let’s see if that’s where you went too!


    • Cosy Coffee Shops 6 May 2014 at 11:24 am

      Hi Brian, glad you loved Small St as much as us. As for the third coffee shop we visited in Bristol, all will be revealed tomorrow! Tom

  • Paul Main 19 August 2014 at 6:44 pm

    “Really good coffee in the heart of the old city”

    5 of 5 stars Reviewed 9 August 2014

    Good coffee can be hard to find and certainly not in the ubiquitous coffee chains that now infest every high street. Until recently the best coffee I had experienced was in Stockholm and in Taipei. Taipei has the wonderful Wilbecks and Cama coffeehouses. Bristol now has a few really good coffee shops and this is one of them set in the heart of the old city. Really well made latte and a good friendly atmosphere. We will be back.

    Visited August 2014