Having heard on the Oxford grapevine that The Missing Bean were to open their own roastery, somewhere along Magdalen Road, it didn’t take us long to get in there for a sneak peek at the new Missing Bean Roastery & Espresso Bar. We’re a bit nosey you see, but at least that bodes well for getting you all the latest news!
Trudging along Magdalen Road in soggy trainers and that annoyingly soak-to-the-skin British drizzle, I was wondering to myself which building they were going to take over – were they buying Magic Cafe and turning it into something, well, nicer? Were they buying a residential property and turning it into a roastery-cum-cafe? One thing I hadn’t thought of, was that they had leased one of the commercial units, next to Pegasus Theatre.
For now, the unit is still a bit of a white shell, with boxes to be unpacked, walls to paint, pictures to hang, and shiny new coffee machines to install. Within a few weeks though, the space will be converted into an Italian style espresso bar, a mixture of wood, black and brushed steel, with a cupping table to the left of the main bar and roaster in full view, so you can watch the coffee being roasted as you drink it.
The new espresso bar will only open a couple of days initially, most likely on a Friday and Saturday, selling freshly roasted coffee to drink in, or by the bag to take away. There will be a few nibbles, like brownies and biscotti, but don’t expect sandwiches and light lunches, they’ll be leaving that to their established neighbours.
A 250-kilo bag of coffee beans has already been secured for the first batch, from a tiny farm in Peru. This may only last them a couple of months but the plan is to source entirely from small farmers once they are up and running fully, supplying their own roast to all three Missing Bean sites in Oxford (they also have a concession on St Cross Road), along with other venues. You can expect one or two espresso roasts, plus two filters which will be lighter and brighter.
Bitten will be returning when the roastery is a little more ‘picture friendly’, so you can get a better glimpse at the newest addition to the growing Magdalen Road family.
In the meantime, here are some top tips from The Missing Bean on buying coffee for home use:
- Freshness is key- Check when the beans were roasted. Don’t buy anything that is more than a month old!
- Make sure the beans don’t have any scorched marks on them. These look like spots on the beans
- Try and distinguish your personal taste – Do you like fruity and bright coffees? Do you prefer the more traditional nutty, caramel and chocolate notes? There isn’t a right and wrong but this will help you find a coffee you really enjoy.
- Freshly ground coffee is as important as fresh roasted. Invest in a home grinder, if this is too much for you then only buy beans that are ground to order.
- The grind is key to a great tasting coffee, how coarse or fine your coffee is will massively affect the flavour of your coffee. Make sure you get the right grind for the method you are using. If someone tries to sell you a “one size fits all” omni grind say a polite thank you and leave the shop.
The Missing Bean, Unit 1, Newtec Place, Magdalen Road, Oxford OX4 1RE