Formerly Baby Love, Jericho Coffee Traders have set up shop on King Edward Street. While the exterior makes it seem appealing, I found that once inside, it was a little bleak and it isn't somewhere I would choose to spend an afternoon. The general appearance is scruffy: while I appreciate that there is uncertainty as to the length of their lease, simple touches such as moving the empty cake boxes from the view of the customers would make it feel cosier and less pop-up. It was pretty busy when we arrived, which gave me hope that the food and drink was of a higher standard than the premises.
I decided to be adventurous with my order and opted for an aeropress coffee while my companion tested out their flat white with soya milk. The staff were friendly and it was clear they really understood the difference between the flavours of the beans on offer, which was reassuring. We took a seat near the back and awaited the arrival of our orders during which time we decided that it was important that we also tested out their cake and so opted for the chocolate, raspberry and beetroot cake from Barefoot Oxford.
Sadly, the flat white had separated (usually a result from not heating the milk before adding it) which created a bitter tasting layer, which was unpleasant and disheartening. With regard to the aeropress, a word of advice: if you like your coffee to taste strongly of, well, coffee, I recommend you stick to Americanos. Coffee made using the aeropress method has a delicate, subtle flavour much like tea but it doesn't compromise on the caffeine hit, making it easy to drink with an additional kick. My companion, who is somewhat of a coffee expert, praised their technique and was impressed with the end result.
The saviour of the visit was the delicious slice of chocolate, raspberry and beetroot cake. It was moist but spongy and not overly sweet - just right. The cream cheese icing was something very special. My only criticism is that while the petals on top of the cake made it look beautiful, they didn't add anything to the taste.
With its high quality coffee, knowledgeable staff and partnership with Barefoot Oxford, if scrubbed up a bit the Jericho Coffee Traders has the potential to become a real diamond.