There has been a wave of incredible speciality coffee shops opening in the last few years – there are now so many that’s it’s difficult to know which ones to visit! We’ve visited loads of coffee shops, so here’s our list of the top ten of the coolest coffee shops in the UK.
Prufrock Coffee, London
Found on Leather Lane in central London, this coffee shop is truly one of the greats. Prufrock Coffee was founded by Jeremy Challender and Gwilym Davies (2009 World Barista Champion). They serve truly incredible speciality coffee which is produced by small-scale growers. They also sell made food from scratch with sustainably sourced ingredients.
This coffee shop is also a sentimental place for us! Prufrock was James’ first ever experience of speciality coffee! Here, the barista explained the science behind coffee brewing as he made the coffee, and ever since that moment, James knew he wanted to dive deeper into this world. But we’re not the only ones who think that Prufrock are great – they’ve also been awarded the Best Independent Coffee Shop at the European Coffee Symposium!
Beacon Coffee, Cornwall
Beacon Coffee is the leading speciality coffee shop in Falmouth, Cornwall. Sam Kaye and Alex May are the owners and sole operators of this incredible place. They are committed to serving the best coffee they can get their hands on – and it shows!
Inviting and calm, this coffee shop was inspired by many coffee shops in Australia. They have a rotating selection of coffees from a variety of speciality coffee roasters which they use to create the most delicious coffees. There’s even some exciting secret items that you can’t find on the menu! (Trust us, you definitely have to try them.)
If you’re ever in Cornwall, then Beacon Coffee is worth a stop!
The Exploding Bakery, Exeter
If you happen to be in Exeter, then you can’t do any better than The Exploding Bakery. Originally a bakery, they now also have a cafe just outside Exeter Central Station. The name comes from a bakery that was run by one of the founders’ great-granddads. Apparently, his bakery exploded due to a static build-up of flour! Luckily, your taste buds are the only things that will explode nowadays!
The Exploding Bakery offers various espressos and filter coffees which are made with a V60. We’d recommend pairing a coffee with their fresh-baked cakes and other sweet treats. You can actually see all the bakers making their goodies right in front of you! If you’re interested in reading a full review, head to Brian’s Coffee Spot.
Little Victories, Bristol
Espresso bar by day, wine and cocktail bar by night… Little Victories is the perfect place for anyone who wants to drink well! Based in Wapping Wharf, this is a stylish and contemporary coffee house was opened in the summer of 2016 by Small St Espresso founders Chris and John.
All of the coffee is from local roasters, and they also work with local legends Hart’s Bakery. If you want to drink silky smooth coffees, eat melt-in-your-mouth banana bread and enjoy the iconic view of Bristol’s harbour, then you need to head to Little Victories. Don’t just listen to our rave review, though – Little Victories was also nominated for the Most Passionate About Coffee Awards!
V69 Coffee, London
V69 Coffee opened its doors in 2016, and has been on a roll ever since! The coffee shop shares its space with the Bespoke Cycling shop on Gresham Street in London. The open area at the front means that you can watch the baristas at work, and if you’re in a hurry, there’s also a convenient takeaway window that opens onto the street.
They’re known for their top-quality coffee, with a range of single-origins espresso and pour-overs with the V60. If you’re hungry, there’s a fabulous breakfast menu, plus a selection of cakes. Give it all a try – you’ll be so happy that you did!
Coffee Dispensary, Cheltenham
Next up is the Coffee Dispensary in Cheltenham! Based in a former pharmacy, they aim to prescribe the perfect coffee for you. The ‘dispensary’ aspect is really fun – even their house blend is called Dr Strangelove! It’s absolutely worth a try, and there are lots of different ways to drink it, including filters on Syphon, V60 or Aeropress.
This coffee shop is friendly and stylish with the minimalistic, Scandinavian-style interiors. There’s no wonder that the Coffee Dispensary is at the heart of the coffee revolution in Cheltenham – it really is one of the coolest coffee shops in the UK.
Coffee Lab, Winchester
The driving force behind Coffee Lab is six-time UK Latte Art Champion Dhan Tamang, so you know that this Winchester-based coffee shop is top notch! There’s more than just artistry going on here, though – their coffees are also based in science. They push the boundaries with technology in the cafe culture, and even their coffee blends are named after scientists (the house blend is called Einstein!).
But the real stars of the show are the baristas. They are incredibly friendly and helpful – no matter what coffee you’re in the mood for, they can recommend something great. We would absolutely recommend popping in for a coffee if you’re ever near Winchester.
Cult Espresso, Edinburgh
Edinburgh also has its fair share of incredible coffee, and Cult Espresso is one of the best! The coffee menu changes week by week, with an emphasis on single origin coffees and fabulous brunch options.
It’s near Edinburgh University, so it’s a popular student spot filled with rustic decor, quiet alternative music and lots of graphic novels to read. There are also occasional events such as live music and comedy, so keep a look out for these during your next visit. This might not be an actual cult, but we’re certainly happy to sing its praises!
Pot Kettle Black – Manchester
Pot Kettle Black is a speciality coffee shop in Manchester based in the historic Barton Arcade. Lovingly referred to as PKB by locals, this coffee shop was opened by professional rugby league stars Mark Flanagan and Jon Wilkin and inspired by the coffee cultures in Australia and New Zealand.
It’s a beautiful coffee shop, with lots of light and areas to relax. But the star of the show is their high-quality coffee, as well as the tasty food (especially brunch)! We love that they go beyond lattes and cappuccinos – you can also order unique drinks like the Wilson, which is an espresso poured over coconut water.
Kaffeine – London
Finally, there’s Kaffeine, which is an independent cafe and espresso bar. Similarly inspired by the coffee scene in Australia and New Zealand, it’s one of the first coffee shops to kick off the speciality coffee movement! It’s a tiny little shop with no WiFi or outlets, which really makes the coffee the main draw.
And what coffee it is! They have a great rotation of guest espressos from roasters around the world. Interestingly, you can only buy espresso-based drinks – no pour-over coffees here! This really allows the baristas to hone their espresso skills and knowledge. The next time you’re in London, you’ve got to head over to Kaffeine.
Do you agree that these are ten of the coolest coffee shops in the UK? Let us know!
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