Cowley Road (a.k.a. Cowleyfornia) is another independent business haven- with plenty of offerings for its student population looking to blow their loans on craft beer and flat whites.
Started as a collaborative project between Jordan O’Shea from Bear on a Bicycle Records (‘award-winning collective from Oxford specialising in uniting all creative media’) and Drew Brammer of The Keen Bean Coffee Club which used to be attached to Truck Store, The Bear and the Bean (geddit?) is a recent addition to the Oxford coffee scene, but a quick Google search will show you that it is already being named among the top places to grab a brew in the city.
Using beans from Oxford-based Jericho Coffee Traders, the café has more to offer than just a good americano. The walls are lined with all sorts of fun things for sale, like Lomography cameras, cards and wrapping paper designed by local artists, books, magazines as well as an array of colourful mugs and other coffee-related paraphernalia.
After being away from Oxford for nearly a year, a trip back to Cowley greeted me with a bunch of unfamiliar new enterprises. One such was The Bear and the Bean, which tempted me inside with the promise of good coffee and a cosy atmosphere. And it certainly provided.