A little over a year ago my good friend Peter Brooks from Keele visited me in Birmingham. Half way through the afternoon he craved some caffeine and asked where was good. I instinctively pointed out the nearest Costa and Starbucks…Before the last syllable left my mouth he was already researching independent coffee places in Birmingham.
As a coffee novice I had little knowledge of independent coffee shops preferring to go for convenience and what everyone else knows to be as the big coffee chains. Since that day I have been keen to visit more independent coffee places constantly being surprised that a) they are fairly cheap, b) the coffee is so much better c) the food served alongside is frequently home-made and tastes fantastic!
Here are a few favourites I’ve found in Birmingham
Located near the cathedral 6/8 is one of my favourites for a quick coffee stop. Only two years old it has been voted as one of the top 50 coffee places in the UK. Like most independent coffee places the staff are friendly, the coffee is reasonably priced and hold live events throughout the year.
One of my highlights is the delicious Red Velvet Cake I sampled last year and their cartoon style decorated entertaining bathroom which never fails to make me smile.
Located near Snow Hill Station and down the road from Town Hall, Yorks as the name suggests, is more than just a cafe. Everything that can be baked has probably at some point been baked at Yorks.
In their opening week I sampled the Alcohol cherry brownie which was fantastic and as recent as last week, I sampled their Butternut Squash and Chili Soup served with a chunk of home-made bread. Again absolutely fantastic.
My experience of Blend is minimal compared to the two mentioned above. Having walked past it a few times going back and forth from the Mailbox I was always attracted by the statement of over 150 drinks available. On my visit last week I had the Toffee-Apple latte, which is a huge departure from the usual Americano I have everywhere else. The drink was ridiculously tasty and surprisingly not too sickly-sweet which was what I was expecting judging by the title!
I will certainly be back to sample more of their selection.
Since my eyes have been opened to the large variety of independent coffee shops, I haven’t been back to a Starbucks or a Costa unless absolutely nothing else is available. If there’s somewhere I haven’t tried or you’d think I’d like, please let me know