40 of the best indie coffee roasters
Can't function without your morning brew? Try one of these delicious artisan blends from indie coffee roasters to kickstart your day in buzzin' style.
BEDFORDSHIRE BERKSHIRE BUCKINGHAMSHIRE CAMBRIDGESHIRE CORNWALL DEVON ESSEX DORSET GLOUCESTERSHIRE HAMPSHIRE HERTFORDSHIRE ISLE OF WIGHT KENT LEICESTERSHIRE NORFOLK NORTHAMPTONSHIRE OXFORDSHIRE RUTLAND SUFFOLK SOMERSET SURREY SUSSEX WARWICKSHIRE WILTSHIRE WORCESTERSHIRE
Wooden Hill’s owner Robin has over 15 years in the coffee industry alone, so you know you’re in safe hands when it comes to their blend. The signature Fairtrade coffee is made with special blend of Brazilian, Colombian, Costa Rican and Honduran Arabica beans, available in 1kg and 250g bags as beans or ground in clever eco-friendly packaging – so you can feel a little more green as you sip your black coffee in the morning. Want to try before you buy? Hotfoot it to the Ampthill shop just outside of Bedford for a takeaway cuppa and any kitchen equipment you might need for your home brew.
High-quality beans is the name of the game when it comes to this Watford-based artisan coffee company. Viento sources 100% Speciality grade Arabica beans which can be traced back to the farmer, before micro-brewing in small batches for the freshest mug around. You can buy the coffee as beans or ground for cafetiere, filter, espresso, French press or Turkish, or – if you don’t fancy putting in the effort at home – you can pop to one of their super-chic branches in Watford or St Alban’s for a ready-made cup of joe and a pastry. Perfect.
It’s hard to miss Campervan Coffee, as they deliver their ethically sourced, freshly roasted green coffee beans to cafes and businesses around Herts in a bright yellow VW camper! Luckily, you don’t have to be a wholesaler to nab a bag of the good stuff, as Campervan’s online shop not only sells bags of their blends, but monthly coffee subscriptions too (the perfect gift for caffeine addicts).
Inspired by the laid back vibe of Aussie espresso bars, founders Ori and Vicky opened cool café The Missing Bean on Oxford’s winding Turl Street back in 2009. Five years later they opened a roastery in East Oxford to create their 11 blends that are all sustainably sourced from around the world and come in pretty pastel packaging.
From the back of a Vespa to one of Oxford’s best coffee joints, you can set up a coffee subscription delivered straight to your door, or head to one of JCT’s two locations to enjoy their 13 blends. For a working lunch, there’s the relaxed espresso bar on Oxford’s High Street, or if you’re a proper coffee buff, head to the hidden gem on Osney Mead Industrial Estate, a few minutes from central Oxford, where you can enjoy coffee and cake amongst the hustle and bustle of a working roastery. Get your timings right and you can walk out with a fresh batch of beans, straight from the roaster.
Quarter Horse Coffee, Birmingham
Founded in 2012, The Quarter Horse Cafe and Roastery has been serving freshly roasted coffee to Birmingham since February 2015, along with breakfast and brunch options – and it’s one of the few coffee roasters in the UK to roast in-house and within full view of the cafe. Its focus is on high quality coffee and ethical buying practices with all coffees purchased well above fair trade prices, often 3-4 times more. Green beans are sourced through importers who work directly with farmers, plus they and also collaborate with the Women Coffee Producers program, which seeks to address inequality in coffee growing regions. All of this is combined with small batch roasting makes for a fresh and delicious cuppa. If you’re keen on learning how to be a barista they also offer a range of courses & masterclasses on home brewing and an introduction to espresso.
Roast Lab, Slough
Enter the Roast Lab and prepare yourself for the science of coffee. Based on the Berkshire-Buckinghamshire border the Roast Lab is committed to creating blends on demand for each customer so they get to enjoy the freshest brew every day. Run by husband and wife team Sarah and Wayne Coetzee, they roast small-batch speciality coffees using only the finest, ethically-sourced green beans. The ‘Lab’ is their super-whizzy ‘Novoroaster’ – German kit that embodies the principles of being methodical, precise and consistent; batch after batch. Using a healthier ‘hot-air’ method, the result is a smoother flavour and personalised service. If you love coffee, join the nerds in the lab.
Workhouse Coffee, Reading
Rise and grind, people, if you like your coffee with the added shimmer of awards and accolades, then Workhouse Coffee Company in Reading is the place to head. It is officially one of the best coffee destinations in the UK and an incubator for speciality roasts. Enjoy a cuppa in the shop (on King Street and Oxford Road), buy bags of fresh coffee to take home or indulge in a custom roast created to your personal taste. They even do workshops to teach you how to pour art onto your latté. Hours of fun trying to create childish, rude pictures at home.
This High Wycombe mico-roastery is on a mission to deliver the freshest coffee in Bucks with beans sourced from specially selected small farms in Kenya, Mexico and Columbia and then roasted in small batches. For a regular caffeine fix, you can set up a subscription from £5 per week.
Hidden away on an industrial estate, five minutes from central Marlow, is this cool café and roastery. The space could easily be at home in London with its urban vibe, long communal tables, retro furnishings, artfully rough edges and excellent coffee brewed on site. It tastes even better knowing that the beans comes from a sustainable supply chain.
With 3 coffee shops in Canterbury, Whitstable and Margate, summer pop-ups plus stocking the local high streets with their coffee beans – you must’ve tried Garage Coffee by now? Founded in 2015 and run by husband and wife team, Alice and Luke based just outside of Canterbury. These specialist coffee roasters only roast in small 12kg batches for optimum quality and they only roast speciality grade coffees which are fully traceable and fairly traded. So you can be safe in the knowledge that it’s both ethical and super tasty. Why not have it delivered straight to your door? Never run out of coffee again with their subscription plans, they’re letter box friendly and totally flexible so you can skip, pause or cancel your deliveries plus delivery is always free! Shop online here.
The only Coffee Roastery based in Tunbridge Wells, you might’ve already tried it if you’re a regular at The Beacon, The Black Dog, One Warwick Park or Fuggles Beer Cafe! Founded in 2019, their ethically sourced selection of coffee is shipped to them from the best locations worldwide, it’s then hand roasted and packaged weekly in Tunbridge Wells. Order a packet online or pick up a packet from many farm shops around Kent!
One of the gret things about artisan roasters is that they are so passionate, this is no more obvious than at Kofra. Specialising in South American roasts, Kofra serves seriously good coffee, and thankfully it’s expansion hasn’t compromised the quality or delivery of the product. Service is smiling and unpretentious and the cafes are comfortable and flatteringly lit. Good work, Kofra.
These guys have great coffee and sustainability at the heart of their business. With 1% of Grey Seal’s annual revenue going into grass roots / the environment, and the fact they take time to know their suppliers, it’s a good swap for your bigger money guzzling brands. The four cafes are all by the coast (hencethe name) and each have a lovely welcoming space that instantly invites peace of mind. We love the Cromer cafe for it’s scandi cladding vibe and big windows for people watching.
Showcasing the best beans from around the globe, Strangers are great at demonstrating how to make the most of your cup at home, with recipes and guides online and in-store. Whether you have a penchant for french-pressed, aero-pressed or drip-filtered (we had no idea there were so many methods) you’ll find the perfect pour when you pop in here.
Bohemia Roasts, St Neots
We’re massive fans of Bohemia in St Neots here. Not only do they have a fabulous cafe, restaurant and wine bar with a brilliant ambience, but just a few doors down you’ll find Bohemia Roasts, the micro roastery where they roast their own coffee in small batches to serve in the cafe, as well as to sell to use at home. It’s worth a visit to the roastery just to stand there and inhale the divine just-roasted-coffee smell. Everything from the rustic-cool interiors to the heavenly blends (we particularly love the house blend) is done to perfection, plus you can buy all the equipment you need to make cafe quality coffee at home and even enrol in their Barista School if you want to elevate your coffee-making skills!
Hot Numbers Coffee, Shepreth
Hot Numbers wouldn’t look out of place in Shoreditch with its industrial warehouse interiors, brunch culture, no bookings rule and love of all things sourdough. Shepreth might not be East London, but that doesn’t stop punters queuing up to get a piece of the cafe-cum-roastery, which serves to-die-for coffee. They roast in a very technical way, using all sorts of new-fangled equipment to make sure each batch of single origin coffee from across the globe is perfect. Enjoy in-house with smashed avocado sourdough (of course!), buy to take home or enrol on their barista training course.
The Suffolk Coffee Company, Peasenhall
The Suffolk Coffee Company might be small, but it’s already making waves on the local artisan coffee scene, having been voted Best Gourmet Coffee Company in East Anglia at the Food & Drink Awards. The bespoke coffee roastery is based in the gorgeous village of Peasenhall, and owner Christopher is constantly looking for new and exciting taste characteristics in his blends using a traditional gas fired drum roaster.
This family-run business has grown to be quite the player in the artisan coffee world, with over 100 employees working at their 18 coffee bars, plus a super cute little red fire engine for events, all serving their 27 single origins of 100% Arabica hand roasted coffee. The owners place a lot of store in making ethical coffee that supports farmers on a one-to-one basis, so you can enjoy your daily cup of java, knowing it’s helping others as much as it’s helping you to get going for another day’s work!
Origin Coffee, independent coffee roasters based in Helston, do more than just roast fabulous tasting coffee – although they do that extremely well. From their state-of-the-art and environmentally friendly roasting facility near Cornwall’s south coast, sensory skill and technical expertise is blended in order to respect the individual characteristics of the coffee, led by UK Cup Taster Champion and Q-grader, Freda Yuan (above). Earlier this year Origin became a B Corporation (joining 2500 companies world wide who agree to use what they do as a force for good), cementing their one central ethos; to source exceptional coffee through a sustainable, triple bottom line approach. As well as selling a variety of beans and coffee equipment, we love Origin’s subscriptions by post – at a frequency of your choice you can either receive the same beans, go on an olfactory journey that demonstrates the very best in speciality coffee, or even jump on board the cold brew trend with a 3L bag in box for your fridge.
Orange is the new black, latte, espresso, cappuccino…you name it. If you like lots of flavour over rocket fuel, then give Exe Coffee Roasters it a try. Head to their HQ cafe in Heavitree, Exeter (the roastery is underneath) or you can buy it online, along with cool orange merch and half-day barista courses – very popular with middle-aged men looking to learn how to use their coffee machines, apparently. And talking of Xmas pressies: who wouldn’t want a subscription of that glorious orange-wrapped roast in their kitchen (hint, hint). I’m stoked just looking at it.
Brazier Coffee Roasters, Wellington
Inspired by the coffee they enjoyed in the Australian outback and after training Down Under, Claire and Tom Brazier set up their own roastery in the historic Fox’s Tonedale Mill in Wellington. Speciality grade beans come from out-of-the-way, high altitude locations – like Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Ethiopia – with three main blends and eight single origin, which constantly change. Available as whole beans and filter, espresso and Aeropress grinds. Coffee is roasted to order and sent with free delivery. Buy individually or on subscription (1 bag a week or 2 bags a month; your choice of coffee and grind).
Bean Shot Coffee, Bruton
Founded by Australian Nick Law, Bean Shot source their beans from around the world and roast it daily – ‘antipodean style’ – in Bruton. Use their eight clever ‘taste note droplets’ to help you choose flavours that appeal – floral, nutty, chocolate, herbal, etc – with a range of five coffees, and a taster pack with a selection of three. Our fave is The Brue (named after the river which runs through the town), tasting of milk chocolate, caramel and florals. Want to learn how to make the perfect coffee or create a latte swan? Sign up for their barista training courses. Individual coffees; three and six months’ subscriptions.
Grounded Coffee, nr Blandford
They roast their beans in small batches in a 1940s roastery housed in an old farm grain store and sell their coffee from a fleet of cool vintage Landrovers and online. Alternating their beans throughout the year – so comfortingly chocolatey and nutty in the winter, maybe fruity and tangy in the summer – they offer blends and single origin, whole bean and three grades of grind. Love the sound of the limited edition Autumn Fire, which promises a rich and creamy coffee combining smokey chocolate, nuts with a sweet spicy kick. Individual bags, bundles and everything you need to make the perfect cup.
Fountain Rock Coffee, Weymouth
With a background in high tech marine/fibre optics it’s no wonder Fountain Rock founder Andrew Hall applies cutting edge technology to roast their beans and we love the fact you can read about the people who grow them. As the seasons change, so do the beans. Tasting notes for the latest El Bosque from Honduras: roasted almonds, hazelnut, white chocolate, stone fruit. Yum. Individual coffees – filter/espresso, whole beans or ground – box sets and subscriptions.
BakeHouse Coffeeshop, Maldon
Boasting not one but three versions of its signature (Bake)House blend roasted in Writtle, this independent artisan coffee shop and deli in Maldon’s Madison Heights offers up a strong morning menu for caffeine junkies. Our pick? The BakeHouse Barista Ground Coffee, which combines two aromatic South American beans with a smooth blend from the sun-drenched fields of southern India. The result is a great-body espresso, beautifully balanced with notes of marzipan, dark chocolate and cherry. Add a shot of milk for the long game or drink it straight up for an extra kick. Also good: you can buy it in bulk to enjoy at home (£6.50 for 200g) and it comes in decaf, too, so no more sleepless nights!
Driink Coffee Club, Chelmsford
Serving up only the finest blends, this specialist coffee house in Baddow Road has strong Shoreditch vibes and takes its caffeine offerings veryseriously. With their own roaster located in Cow Watering Lane, Driink founders Lianne Moule and Jason Butcher have been pouring their Mac&Me home blend – a Colombian-Brazilian bean fusion that packs in marzipan and hazelnut tones for a silky mouth-feel – alongside eight international indie premium coffee brands since 2013. Now, they supply Coffee Club customers and leading local restaurants alike with blends from 666, Boom Banga Bang, Homeblend, Can’t Believe It decaf, Born 40 and Single Origin Filter. Pop in for an artisan Americano and don’t forget to snap your tablescape before sipping – the Insta-worthy interiors are (just about) worth the wait.
With its down-to-earth and edgy appeal Rave is a popular roasterie in the heart of the Cotswolds. Sourcing the best quality raw product from all over the world you can snap up freshly roasted coffee blends, single origin beans and a subscription service too (who wouldn’t want the gift of never-ending coffee?). The coffee itself scores an impressive 84 points on the SCA scale – that’s the Speciality Coffee Association– for quality (anything above 80 is pretty swanky). There is a curated selection to choose from online, including an Organic Seasonal Blend and an Espresso Blend for hardcore caffeinistas. If you don’t know where to start, crack open the Signature Blend No.1, a smooth blend with hints of chocolate, caramel and hazelnut. Or, drop into the onsite cafe to sample a cup or three yourself.
Brewing up a caffeinated storm in the heart of Worcester, Method Coffee Roasters are an ethically-focused bean company that sells fully traceable single origin coffees that are all sustainably sourced. Go for a freshly roasted box delivered to your door (no tie-ins, cancel at any time) or shop online. Muddy loves the ChuCho Blend, a full bodied roast with citrus and chocolate notes inspired by the team’s trips to Central and South America where the coffee farmers greet their dogs as ‘Chucho’. You can also buy all your coffee equipment here to be a barista in your own kitchen, from humble grinders to mini La Marzocco machines. Founders Mark and Tre began selling the coffee at Hay-on-Wye’s Farmers’ Market back in 2014, and you can still buy it here, or, pop down to the roastery’s cool-looking, industrial-style coffee shop to find your dream blend.
Moon Roast Coffee, Alresford
Like so many great stories, Moon Roast’s began in a shed. Well, a smallish barn in the back garden of a home in rural Hampshire to be precise. Now a fully-fledged family business in a purpose built roastery – just two miles up the road from where Francis first started out – Moon Roast has barista training facilities, roastery tours and a shop selling bags of its seasonally selected coffee, made from high-grade 100% Arabica beans from small farms in countries like Rwanda, Kenya and Guatemala.
Moon Roast’s coffee is so good that it’s earned a string of Great Taste Awards. Most importantly, the roastery shares its Chilton Manor Farm site with The Yard Café, which means you can grab a connoisseur-grade cup with your weekend pancakes and poached eggs… bliss!
ISLE OF WIGHT
Strong and powerful or rich and smooth? No, we’re not talking prospective husbands, just weighing up our options from the Isle of Wight Coffee Company, the makers of Island Roasted. Our picks are a punchy Island Roasted espresso blend for super-charged mornings and a seasonal single origin coffee for winding-down with at the weekend.
Try-before-you-buy with a fresh cup at the company’s own Italian-influenced eatery, Caffe Isola; upstairs you can also watch the roasting process in action and pick up some new coffee kit. If you’re not heading to the Island anytime soon, don’t worry: there’s a delivery option and, conveniently, you can get regular samples of the roasters’ choice via its new coffee subscription service.
Big on helping the environment, Jute Coffee supply a range of ethically-sourced single origin coffee in reusable tubs to their commercial customers. Their decaf coffee is decaffeinated using the Swiss Water Process so it’s better for you and the environment and if that wasn’t enough, for every 500kg of coffee they sell, they sponsor a local bee hive as a little thank you to those coffee pollinating bees. What nice chaps – right? Coffee connoisseurs will want to try their brand new blend – it’s filled with beautiful cherry, dark chocolate and toffee flavours; but darker roasted for a rich, deeper taste.
‘Fresh is Best’ is the ethos for this Rutland-based coffee roaster. They only use single origin speciality coffees that are ethically sourced and hand-roasted to order in small batches from Colombia to Ethiopia. They roast and post out coffee daily in whole bean from their own coffee roastery in Rutland – next to their chilled-out tasting room – complete with dodgem car – now that definitely a cool coffee roaster in our books. They’ve also offer coffee subscriptions, courses, plus brew guides and recipes – espresso martini ice cream anyone?
At the centre of Northampton’s quietly burgeoning Cultural Quarter, Yellow Bourbon’s iconic branding is pretty unmissable. Owner Steve travels the globe in search for the best beans, then roasts them right here at the back of the store and serves up the most magnificent hot coffees to enjoy in the cosy shop or packaged up to take home. You can even buy online or opt for a subscription so you need never run out.
These guys know their beans when it comes to coffee, only roasting carefully selected, top quality single origin beans. This is not just a coffee roasters, it’s a passion spanning more the thirty years of producing amazing coffees, which began using mobile units – think vintage Piagio Ape. They now offer barista training and supply fancy coffee machines here too at their shop, Bella Barista at Nene Court in Wellingborough, which is where the roasting magic takes place. You’ll find The Roastery coffee served at some of our favourite indie coffee shops, or stock up in their online store.
When Emma and George Crawford moved out of London several years ago seeking a country lifestyle in Surrey for their family, they found everything they wanted – except great coffee. So they took matters into their own hands, and five years on the couple are now roasting and grinding four different coffee blends at their roastery just outside Farnham. Their blends include a Breakfast Coffee, Mr Crawford’s Coffee, Glorious Espresso and Dippenhall Decaf. Beans are 100% Arabica sourced from Colombia and Guatemala. Coffee is available in 227g, 454g and 1kg bags, and prices start at £5.75 for 227g.
Chimney Fire Coffee, Dorking
For Surrey coffee maker, Chimney Fire it’s all about sustainability, flavour and experiences. They know exactly where their coffee comes from, use biodegradable packaging, and offer up a range of speciality coffees to suit different tastes. There are nine different coffees available, roasted and blended at their roastery in converted stables near Dorking. And there’s a story behind each one, including information on where the beans were grown and by whom. Coffee is available in 250g and 1kg bags with prices starting at £6.50.
Edgcumbes, near Arundel
Sited in a delightful old Dutch barn next to accompanying The Edge Cafe, Edgcumbes’ roastery is home to a 15kg Giesen coffee-roaster recently imported from Holland and affectionately known as Big Bertha. You can watch her in action from the cafe itself, so this is definitely one for the serious coffee fanatics. In fact, as Edgcumbes believe the best coffee is not just freshly roasted but also freshly ground, you’re encouraged to grind your own and regular tastings and courses are held to help coffee enthusiasts get the most from their home-grinding efforts. If all you’re after is a good latte though, The Edge Cafe is warm and welcoming and will roast and grind your coffee to order – and it’s also packed with baristas eager to share the tips of their trade. Caffeinated (or decaf) perfection.
Wolfox, Brighton and Hove
This achingly trendy roastery was founded in 2017 and has several cafes and restaurants across Brighton and Hove, including a kiosk at the station, as well as one over in Leeds. It also heads up an artisanal bakery and produces craft beers – this is a Brighton and Hove business, after all. Organic and freshly roasted, the USP is a clean, pure and grounded taste, although we reckon the chocolate chip banana bread is up there as a highlight too. New blends are premiered and ‘experiments’ conducted at the Wolfox Lab in Hove. Coffee fanatics can join a bespoke membership scheme allowing them unlimited Wolfox coffee for £49 per month – based on a customer survey when the most loyal admitted to spending upwards of £400 a month on coffee. That’s a lot of coffee – make it count.
Girls Who Grind Coffee, Warminster
These girls are awesome! In their own words, they are here to do two things – create awesome tasting coffee and empower women in the coffee industry. And have fun. Three things, then. Try a delicious roast from this all-female small batch coffee roastery based in the wild south-west of England, sourcing specialty coffees from female producers and those who work to support them. Go girls!