Guide to great coffee shops & roasteries

There’s more to life than Costa, Starbucks and Nescafé. At Great Food Club we love independent coffee shops and roasters. Here’s our guide to some of the very best in our recommended network. Remember: for every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business, 63p stays in the local economy, compared to 40p with a larger business.

Nelo’s Coffee Indulgence, Nottingham & Oakham

A fixture at the Wolf Down pop-up on Nottingham’s Station Street and Oakham Farmers’ Market in Rutland, Nelo’s Coffee Indulgence operates from a converted Italian Piaggio Ape. John Nelson developed his love for good coffee following years of travel to Italy and is barista trained. This shows in John’s approach – he not only knows what he is doing, but cares deeply about it too. He also bakes delicious biscotti!

Well Roasted Coffee, Market Harborough

Will Scott has been roasting coffee in rural Leicestershire since June 2015. After undergoing a research trip to Columbia, he purchased two Gene coffee roasters and set up shop in the Welland Valley. Well Roasted Coffee provides fabulous coffees from around the world – from Columbia to Guatamala to Sumatra – and Will has clearly spent plenty of time ensuring he gets the roasting profile of each bean just right.

Teajuanas, York

Tucked away on Skeldergate, just below the Ouse Bridge, Teajuanas is easy to miss in the bustle of York. It sources coffee beans from York Coffee Emporium, which has created two blends especially for Teajuanas. The beans are ground on site and this coffee shop also serves Brazilian café-pingado. Food-wise, British pork pies sit alongside generous portions of Spanish tortillas. Excellent!

Cartwheel Cafe & Roastery, Nottingham

Cartwheel Café and Roastery provides a refuge in the heart of Nottingham. The café is the brainchild of Alex Bitsios-Esposito and his wife Becci, who roast their own coffee and pride themselves on selecting and sourcing the very best ethically-produced beans. When ordering you can choose your method of brewing: the Siphon method takes around five minutes and there is something supremely relaxing about watching the water heat up and bubble through the glass siphons.

Bulwick Village Shop, Northamptonshire

Bulwick Village Shop, winner of Best Shop in the Great Food Club Awards 2017/18, serves fantastic freshly brewed coffee. Choose from espresso, cappuccino, latté, Irish – whatever takes your fancy. And if you want something a little stronger, try the espresso martini. On a fine day, Bulwick Village Shop’s terrace is the perfect place to enjoy these coffees, with a homemade pastry or cake.

Greyseal Coffee, North Norfolk

Grey Seal’s roastery can be found in the idyllic farmyard location in Glandford, a hamlet in the Glaven Valley, north Norfolk. This is where the magic happens. Coffee is sourced from around the globe and hand-roasted weekly by expert roasters. The coffee is fresh and sublime and attracts acclaim from novice and expert coffee lovers alike. Grey Seal Coffee can be enjoyed at cafés and coffee shops around Norfolk, including its own outlets in Wells-next-the-Sea and Blakeney, and at its Art Café opposite the roastery in Glandford.

Two Chimps Coffee, Oakham

Two Chimps Coffee tin

Two Chimps Coffee‘s state-of-the-art coffee roaster takes pride of place on their premises on Oakham Enterprise Park, Rutland, next to their chilled-out tasting room (complete with dodgem car). They source single-origin coffee beans in small quantities from Colombia, Brazil, Papua New Guinea, Ethiopia, Mexico and Honduras. Two Chimps are experts and will grind a coffee especially for you based on what you like and how you make it. They sell their coffee via subscription.

Society Cafe, Bristol, Bath & Oxford

We first discovered Society Cafe on a day trip to Bath, a city that’s home to two branches of this cool, classy coffee shop (there’s also one in Bristol and another in Oxford). The house coffee here changes seasonally but is always roasted by Origin Coffee, based in Helston, Cornwall. Society Cafe also features a changing weekly guest coffee, which always comes from a UK roastery.

St Martin’s Coffee, Leicester

St Martin’s Coffee is an independent coffee shop and roastery in Leicester city centre. Open seven days a week, it serves excellent single-origin coffee. Its blends are also available to buy so you can enjoy them at home, together with a choice of top-quality coffee-brewing gear such as Aeropresses. The coffee shop is spacious and laid back, set out over two floors – the perfect place to take time out with a great cup while enjoying the surprisingly interesting food menu.

200 Degrees Coffee, Nottingham, Leicester, Birmingham & more

200 Degrees’ Nottingham-based founders Rob Darby and Tom Vincent started out roasting beans in their garage. Now they run six coffee shops around the UK. Read their success story here.

Stewarts of Trent Bridge, Nottingham

What is it about Nottingham and coffee!? Trent-siders must love their caffeine more than most because Stewarts of Trent Bridge is yet another Nottingham-based artisan coffee roaster. Producing a great range of coffees to suit all tastes, it was founded by the late Stewart Falconer in 1984. Stewarts has something for everyone, with often undiscovered gems appearing as part of the monthly subscription service.

Every business featured in this post is part of GFC’s recommended network. They are recommended on merit – you cannot pay to be recommended by GFC. However, this is a promoted feature and therefore contains advertisements.

The author:

Matt lives in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. He is passionate about the independent food & drink sector and founded Great Food Club in 2010 after being inspired by local producers near his home town.