Where to get great coffee (and Easter egg hot chocolate) in Norwich
- Credit: Archant
UK Coffee Week is on the horizon (from April 29). Here are seven of the best places to get your caffeine fix in the city.
Strangers Coffee House, Pottergate
An award-winning spot in Norwich Lanes, Strangers makes a pretty much perfect cup of coffee, with their passion shining through on every visit. Beans are sourced from the very best importers and roasted, just lightly to extract the aromatics, at Strangers' own roastery before being ground freshly each day and served up by properly trained baristas. Try coffee from Kenya, Colombia and Honduras, and mix up your day by switching from your regular latte to maybe a Japanese cold brew. One of the latest releases to try is the Guatemalan La Providencia, with notes of milk chocolate, raisins and marzipan. Oh, and there are lovely cakes and loose leaf teas too.
Timberhill Bakery, Timber Hill
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They make a great mug of organic coffee here, with a leaning to medium to dark roasts. The Swiss Water method decaf is excellent if you're avoiding caffeine. And oat and soya milk can be gladly swapped out for vegans. Speaking of which, you cannot leave without having a bite to eat at this busy café, which throngs with happy customers throughout the day. All the bread and baked goods are made on site with only the very best natural and organic ingredients – from beautifully composed tartines (open sourdough sandwiches) to a huge range of vegan cakes – think dark chocolate brownie, banana, peanut butter and chocolate muffins, lemon and raspberry cake, sourdough scones and even vegan cinnamon buns.
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Littlehaven Coffee Co, St Stephens Square
Looking for somewhere to escape the office, or the madness of the shopping centres? Take a load off at this tucked away café, where customers say the service is some of the best in the city – friendly, enthusiastic, informative, welcoming. Coffee is sourced from an artisan supplier and brewed up with precision here, with plenty of blends and equipment to buy for home. Food is a high point too, being very reasonably priced. A hefty mezze platter, for example, is just £5. Oh, and if you like hot chocolate, there are white, milk and dark chocolate varieties – and flavoured sugar sprinkles too.
Alchemista Coffee Potions, St Gregory's Alley
Looking for somewhere a bit different? OK this place is it. Aside from the interior which radiates 'coolness' Alchemista really does make a fab coffee. The owners travelled the globe for inspiration, settling on sourcing green beans from small, ethical producers. The perfect roast has been developed for each variety and a range of very interesting speciality coffees makes this the go-to spot if you want to be adventurous. There's an iced, eight-hour dripped cold brew, the Black Toade (espresso and hot milk with chocolate, whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles), and La Lune (espresso on ice with vanilla syrup and slow-poured cream). Don't forget to try the coffee-based cocktails from their award-winning menu. Go back regularly to sample their latest limited run coffees. Plus…did you know they're currently selling an Easter egg hot chocolate, served in a chocolate skull egg?
The Little Red Roaster, Grove Road, St Andrew's Hill and Norwich Market
Loads of Norwich residents flock to Little Red Roaster for the consistently good coffee, from a quick shot of espresso around the market, to a V60 filter with pastries eaten outside in the sunshine at the largest premises on Grove Road. All the coffee is ethically sourced and roasted in small batches. And there are some brilliant snacks to go on the side, with the counter top at Grove Road heaves with cakes and croissants selected from local suppliers such as Bread Source and Maggies. A very fine way to start the day is with one of their piled high breakfast buns, including a superb vegan option.
Smokey Barn Coffee Roasters, King Street
You know when you go on holiday and you start looking for all the non-touristy places? The ones which are 'authentic' and 'where the locals go'. This is it. Just out of the city centre, Smokey Barn is a very small coffee bar offering an incredible range of coffee, chosen to showcase the diversity of beans from around the world. Appreciate the taste of anything from Rwandan Kinini Nkanga to Brazlian Fazenda Bom Jesus. Prices are sensible. The homemade cakes are good. And there's a simple café-style menu if you're peckish.
Mustard Coffee Bar, Bridewell Alley
Run by a community of like-minded coffee lovers with years of experience between them. Coffee is roasted twice a week in the shop and served alongside the best teas, fresh smoothies and some pretty darn good cakes and sausage rolls. Delivery is available to your office if you're stuck at your desk. And they even have a coffee club, sending you coffee ground to your liking, tea, and gourmet goodies for £15.95 per month.