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Smell the coffee

Off-the-beaten-track coffee merchant tells us about spritely goats and hands us 2kg of beans to give away to one caffeine addict

Published on September 29th 2010.

Smell the coffee

HOW did a herd of dancing goats lead us to a hidden away coffee merchant in the centre of Liverpool?

Well, it's foretold that an Ethiopian goat herder by the name of Kaldi discovered coffee when he noticed his goats prancing around strangely. Noticing that they were acting so merrily upon eating the berries of a particular tree, Kaldi tried some for himself and found the fruit to be both refreshing and tasty. Within minutes he too was leaping around and generally "acting the goat".

And so to a little gem off Blackburne Place. Bellew and Co is a wholesale coffee (and tea) merchant whose long history in Liverpool dates all the way back to 1953 when Mr Edward Bellew was in charge. In those days Bellew's used to supply a lot of religious orders with tea. Although this mostly consisted of convents, they actually sup

plied the Vatican for three years. They really did.

Mark Bainbridge took over the business in 1983, having previously managed Tom Somerfield tea. And although The Holy See seems to be OK for a supplier at the moment, Bellew's still deliver coffee all over the North West and North Wales and city centre clients include The Quarter, The London Carriage Works, 60 Hope Street and Café 53 on Bold Street.

Mark and his team will normally blend and roast beans every day. The coffee will also be packaged and distributed from the small premises in Hope Way.

However, they do welcome the public and you can buy tea and coffee at far bet

ter prices than you could do at a supermarket. You can also specify how strong you want your coffee, the blend used, the aroma and how you want your coffee - depending on the equipment you use be it cafetière, espresso or otherwise.

Having said all this, as Bellew’s isn’t strictly a shop, it’s not always open and when you do go in, there could be a military operation in place that can’t be disturbed. So be careful you don't get a roasting too.

Bellew's get their beans from a broker in London and they currently have two licensed fair trade coffees.


As you'd expect, having been around the coffee block a fair few times, Mark knows a thing or two. When we visited, he was happy (and patient) enough to answer all things coffee, be it questions regarding storage, the difference between different beans or just general advice on which blend to go for.

And this is the best bit. With hardly any harassment, Mark agreed to give one Liverpool Confidential reader 2kg of coffee which roughly works out to be 300 cups ofoffee. The winner can visit Mark and specify how they'd like the 2kg blended.

Just enter your details in the boxes below for a chance of winning.

To be in with a chance of winning, simply fill your details into the form below and we’ll pick a winner at random.

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