Can you remember a time when we were a nation of tea drinkers? Our historic love of tea has faded with every coffee shop and café opening. From single origin to special blends, from artisan brews to homemade cakes, via an Icelandic coffee bar, one that doubles up as a design showroom and more besides – here are some of the best cafés and best coffee shops we’ve come across – independents (almost) all.
Here are our top 5 picks
This design-store-cum-coffee-bar ticks two boxes at once; shopping for beautiful gifts, and sipping a well-crafted coffee. The interior is warm and welcoming with a stripped-back, Scandinavian vibe. Fig & Sparrow serves food, including cakes, as well as loose leaf tea.
Leading the way on industrial chic and high end coffee before the Northern Quarter had reached its peak, North Tea Power has been loved by Mancunians for years now. The staff still pay meticulous attention detail to the coffee, plus you can fill up on the café’s doorstopper sandwiches and sweet treats.
Tucked away beneath the beautiful glass roof of Burton’s Arcade is specialist coffee shop Pot Kettle Black – vigilant against over roasting, this place presents its brews in trademark red mugs, served with a glass of water and a Viennese wafer. It’s spacious, cosy, and that little bit off the beaten track. The brunches here are good, too.
This coffee house has filled its spacious, concrete-floored unit with black and white tiles, octagonal wooden tables and a wooden meeting room on wheels. Coffee is served on wooden blocks with a glass of water, plus this place does a good line in bespoke teas.