RentMoola owes much of its happiness and productivity to the immeasurable power of CAFFEINE! So we thought it would be appropriate to give a little back to the coffee community in the UK.
As some of you may not already know, RentMoola operates in beautiful London, England. So we did some digging and have compiled a list of the best coffee shops in the UK.
If you or someone you know in the UK is looking to ease the process of paying or collecting rent, go to our UK site rentmoola.co.uk or get in touch with one of our awesome representatives in our UK office at 0800 122 3288
This heavenly slice is not where you might expect. When Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood decided to set up a new breed of coffee shop, he forewent trendy Soho, Fitzrovia etc in favour of the twee, unspoilt surroundings of Bath. It’s kind of a posh wine bar for coffee, based on what I imagine a posh wine bar might be like. The aim, Maxwell says, is to educate. Sugar is discouraged. Milk (unless in flat whites) is discouraged. Though coffee takes centre stage, Colonna & Smalls is still a pleasant spot for a relaxing natter. The interior is light, bright and breezy. The baby blue motif runs through the mugs, tiles and the wood. When the sun shines through the large front windows, the whole thing lights up. There’s even a pretty little courtyard at the back. So, you definitely don’t need to be a coffee geek to go to here. Maxwell and the team would be over the moon if it is your first experience of speciality coffee.
On Monmouth Street in Covent Garden is the original Monmouth Coffee Company shop. It is well renowned and its accolades are well deserved. It’s a tiny place. It’s a communal space, like a congregation, not to mention very (very) cosy. The coffee itself is absolutely wonderful. The coffee is sourced in an ethical, sustainable way. Monmouth has established relationships with most of the farms and groups from which it buys, so the company knows exactly where its beans have come from and who has been picking them. As such, the coffee is not part of the “Fairtrade” brand, but it is certainly “fair” (and I am told the company often pays higher prices than the Fairtrade base price).
At Coffee Aroma, downstairs is the bar and a few seats. Upstairs is comprised of a couple of rooms, lovingly decked out with comfy chairs, retro wallpaper and cushions. There’s a great big old wooden table – perfect for communal coffee sippage (how did they get the thing up the stairs?!). It’s a gorgeous, picturesque place, not to mention comfy and charming. It’s hard to think of a coffee shop with a nicer interior. Just perfect for relaxing with a good mug of coffee.
For such a huge, buzzy city, it’s surprising that Manchester doesn’t have a bigger, more exciting artisan coffee scene. It’s North Tea Power that has been leading the way in Manchester since 2010 and with very little competition. Located in the city’s cool Northern Quarter, North Tea Power is unexpectedly hidden away in a slightly shabby looking arcade on Tib Street. Don’t judge a book by its cover though; North Tea Power is well worth venturing in to. Inside there is a stylish mix of eclectic furniture, stripped wood, industrial light fittings, well-thumbed Penguin books and fresh flowers. The crowd in NTP were just as stylish, with hipsters tapping at their laptops but that’s no bad thing. If someone feels comfortable enough to spend an hour or so in a coffee shop with only a laptop or book for company then I think the shop owners are doing something right. Whilst the North Tea Power name highlights their passion for tea (they have a fabulous range of interesting looking loose leaf blends on display), the guys at NTP are serious about their coffee too.
Properly good artisan coffee has found its way to Sheffield. Tamper is a little slice of Kiwi-inspired coffee heaven. Just over a year old, Tamper is one of Yorkshire’s newest ‘third wave’ coffee shops. Owned by Kiwi Jonathan Perry, it seems New Zealand still has a thing or two to teach the UK about coffee. Tamper is right at the cutting edge. Supplied by up-and-coming artisan roastery Ozone (enjoying its breakthrough period, despite being around since 1998), Tamper does all the usual coffee options: espresso-based drinks (like a flat white), V60 drip brews, Aeropress and the like. The modern range of coffees may be a little daunting to the uninitiated, but don’t worry – just ask the knowledgeable baristas and they’ll help you out. If you’re in Sheffield and fancy expanding your coffee horizons, there’s nowhere better than Tamper.
A beacon of coffee gorgeousness on little Leather Lane is Prufrock, a new offering on London’s coffee tour. Opened in 2011, Prufrock is headed by 2009 World Barista Champion Gwilym Davies, though the be-capped guru was absent during my visit. It’s on Leather Lane, an up-and-coming spot away from the crowds. Prufrock sparkles with originality. Siphon coffee is beautifully crisp and clear, similar to coffee bewed in a Chemex and not a million miles from a cup of tea. If you prefer flat whites and espressos, these and more are available too, along with cakes and other sweet treats.
The Perky Peacock is a relatively new – and brilliant – addition to the York cafe scene. Nicola Peacock is the eponymous hero, and an excellent barista, very friendly and a passionate entrepreneur. The beans come from the marvelous Has Bean, one of Britain’s most renowned roasteries (vying for top spot with Square Mile, arguably). The building and location is fantastic. Very York. It’s hidden beneath Lendal Bridge, tucked up in the small, charming, 800-year-old Postern Tower. The Perky Peacock is hard to find if you’re not looking for it but has made an impression with the locals: plenty of customers seem to be from the nearby offices. It’s very small but – as most of the trade seems to be take-away – there’s usually a free seat. A great place for relaxing and chatting, with sarnies and cakes to keep tums from rumbling.
Kaffeine is a highly regarded coffee shop just north of Oxford Street. There’s a hint of the industrial about Kaffeine, with its stripped floorboards, crumbling bare brick walls and a black slab of a counter. Modish Fitzrovia is an appropriate location. It’s a bustling place (hectic, often). But there are plenty of surprisingly comfy wooden crate-like benches for relaxed, hassle-free perching. The beans come from Square Mile Coffee Roasters, a top notch roastery run by former World Barista Champion James Hoffman. It’s a beacon for London’s coffee-heads, with Kaffeine’s menu headed “Square Mile Coffee”, rather than plain old “Coffee”.
The Window may be the smallest coffee shop in the world, but it’s a mug-and-a-half full of joy. The mugs (no saucers required) are one of many space-saving exercises. Square footage is at a premium in The Window. The Window is tiny. It’s just a few meters long, with a couple of seats outside. There’s space enough for three or four people, cakes, a table and a plastic bird in a cage who goes by the name of “Chirp-a-cino”.
Laynes is a newbie in Leeds, a city which deserves (and now has) another brilliant coffee shop. Like most startup businesses, Laynes’ success is down to the owner. When the premises became available, Dave Olejnik snapped them up, and proceeded to mold Laynes as he saw fit. This included ripping out layers of grime and plasterboard so that a brick wall could see the light of day. Since May 2011, Laynes has opened 7 days a week, and Dave has had just one day off. This passion and/or obsession is easy to spot. Laynes is precision-engineered, the Vorsprung durch Technik of coffee shops. But it’s neither charmless nor clinical. Quite the opposite, in fact. It’s a damn nice place to go, with a nice environment, friendly service and terrific coffee.