Oct. 1, 2015 is the first International Coffee Day, founded by the International Coffee Organisation to “celebrate coffee’s journey of diversity, quality and passion.”
So it seems right to celebrate the great independent coffee shops around the U.K. Go on — skip your usual latte or cappuccino and sup on something with a more unique flavour.
The U.K. has so many incredible indie coffee houses and roasters; here are nine to tickle your taste buds.
More: What your coffee drink says about your personality (QUIZ)
1. Colonna & Small’s, Bath
Classic coffee trip haul pic.twitter.com/aR5a2cjqYF
— Colonna and Smalls (@Colonna_Smalls) September 9, 2015
One of the owners of Colonna & Smalls is an ex-U.K. barista champion so you know your coffee will be served with experience and passion. With a menu that changes weekly, depending on what’s in season, it’s a must-visit for those who take their coffee-drinking seriously.
Colonna & Small’s, 6 Chapel Row, Bath BA1 7TQ
2. North Tea Power, Manchester
6 new coffee on retail inc. 2 espresso-1 seasonal blend & a Costa Rica single origin. The Gatuya AA is deliciously🍇🍉🍯 pic.twitter.com/RBIi3dbcNc
— North Tea Power (@northteapower) September 4, 2015
Don’t let the name fool you: North Tea Power is all about the coffee. Nestled in Manchester’s hip Northern Quarter, this coffee shop offers up its own blends — “Deer Hunter,” anyone? — and local coffee devotees flock there for the impeccable espresso.
North Tea Power, 36 Tib Street Manchester M4 1LA
3. Brew Lab, Edinburgh
Courtesy: Brew Lab/Instagram
Brew Lab’s coffee menu changes weekly and this joint takes the art of brewing so seriously they even have their own state-of-the-art training lab on site. Their cold brew coffee, available on draught, is brewed overnight in “pure Edinburgh water” then triple-filtered for a smooth, silky finish.
Brew Lab, 6-8 South College Street, Edinburgh EH8 9AA
4. Artisan Roast, Edinburgh/Glasgow
coffeeflowers bunch At artisanroaststockbridge wave back or pop in for a coffee! pic.twitter.com/ZWn06I8rA0
— Artisan Roast (@artisanroast) July 20, 2015
With three branches in Edinburgh and one in Glasgow, Artisan Roast is slowly being established as Scotland’s coffee king, yet still retains the vibe of an authentic independent. The award-winning roaster relies on a skilled team of “craft roasters” who hand roast to order in small batches to keep the coffee as fresh as possible.
Artisan Roast, 57 Broughton St, Edinburgh EH1 3RJ
5. Notes, London
— Notes Coffee Roasters & Bar (@NotesLondon) August 13, 2015
Notes has its own roastery, a dedicated “brew bar” for their rotating menu of filter coffees and a whole menu dedicated to espressos. If you like a lighter roast with a delicate flavour — with jazz playing in the background — Notes should definitely be on your coffee shop bucket list.
Notes, 31 St Martins Lane, London WC2N 4ER
6. Monmouth Bermondsey, London
Monmouth began roasting their own coffee in their Covent Garden shop in 1978, making them one of the first independent shops in London to do so. Although the Covent Garden branch has become something of a tourist destination over the years, it’s worth waiting in line for a cup of their finest.
Monmouth, 27 Monmouth Street, London WC2H 9EU
7. Redroaster, Brighton
Named after the red coffee roaster originally installed in the shop in 2001, Brighton indie Redroaster have been hand roasting their beans for over a decade. Chief coffee roaster Paul Stephens is a Licensed Q Grader, accredited by the Quality Coffee Institute, which means he is qualified to grade samples of coffee submitted by coffee growers all over the world. As well as an extensive coffee menu, their “liquid chocolate” sounds incredibly tempting.
Redroaster, 1D St James’s St, Brighton BN2 1RE
8. La Bottega Milanese, Leeds
Courtesy: La Bottega Milanese/Instagram
A firm favourite on the Leeds coffee scene since 2009, La Bottega Milanese serves coffee using the renowned beans of local roasters Grumpy Mule, as well as guest brews from elsewhere in the world. Bucking the modern trend for a lighter roast, Milanese owner Alex Galantino stays faithful to the traditional Italian notion of a great coffee: a darker roast, meaning the beans are roasted at a higher temperature for longer.
La Bottega Milanese, Unit 11a The Headrow, Leeds LS1 8TL
9. The Attic at Harlequins, York
— theattic (@harlequinyork) June 29, 2015
Harlequins is a relaxed independent café with an entire upstairs space (The Attic) dedicated to speciality coffees, including a custom Harlequin blend using beans from the renowned Has Bean roastery. Owner Gordon Howell was voted U.K. Brewers Cup Champion this year — just the latest in a long list of awards for this quirky York independent.
The Attic, 2 Kings Square, Harlequin, York YO1 8BH
Find out more about International Coffee Day.