Judging by the proliferation of coffee shops that have opened in Brighton in the last decade or so, it’s a fair assumption that for a nation of supposed tea lovers we sure drink a lot of coffee.
Apparently, Brightonians are the biggest coffee drinkers in the UK, spending on average £177 a head per year, so it appears that down here on the south coast the locals have fully embraced the bean and cafe culture.
True to form, the city’s much vaunted independent streak has thrown up plenty of options to counter the large, faceless coffee chains.
Here’s our pick of five of the best coffee shops in the city.
A permanent fixture on St. James’s Street in Kemptown for well over a decade, Redroaster is popular with locals and visitors alike. Spacious inside and with seating outside from which to people watch on one of the city’s liveliest streets, this coffeehouse serves top quality, freshly roasted coffee from all around the world and sells home-baked cakes to die for. Equipped with its own roastery and regularly used to stage intimate gigs, book readings and art exhibitions, Redroaster is the classy alternative to the St*****ks right across the road.
Redroaster, 1d St. James’s Street, BN2 1RE, redroaster.com
Nordic Coffee Collective
Like London Road, the street it immediately precedes, York Place has been undergoing a much-needed facelift over the past couple of years. Just along from a branch of Meat Liquor and HISBE, an independent supermarket, is Nordic Coffee Collective that, as the name suggests, brings a touch of Scandinavian cool to the city’s roster of coffee shops. Unfussy décor, friendly staff and a range of Scandinavian foods and sweets for sale compliment the Clipper Blend coffees and teas from the Brew Tea co.
Nordic Coffee Collective, 16 York Place, BN1 4GU, NordicCoffeeCollective.co.uk
Perhaps because of its slightly rough around the edges appearance and the fact it caters more for locals than visitors, the Lewes Road area tends to get overlooked in pieces like this. It does, though, have a number of shops and cafes that are worth seeking out. One of these is Mojo Coffee, whose second café is situated on Queens Road. Mojo do great juices and Panini’s as well as the usual range of quality coffees and teas and it’s a cosy, relaxed place to hang out.
Mojo Coffee, 148 Lewes Road, BN2 3LG, facebook.com/MojoCoffeeClub
Presuming Ed Coffee House
Adding a splash of colour to the continued regeneration of London Road is the Presuming Ed Coffee House. Once the site of a branch of HSBC, the building is now home to a visually striking café, meeting place and events venue that doesn’t forget to serve tasty snacks and great coffee. Tables made of paperbacks, walls festooned with comic strip panels, Bitcoin friendly and, at weekends, usually hosting a DJ or a band, Presuming Ed is off-beat and all the better for it.
Presuming Ed Coffee House, 114 London Road, BN1 4LJ, Presuming-Ed.com
Describing itself as a ‘kick arse coffee shop’ with a ‘crazy good kitchen’, The Marwood is situated on a snug corner of Ship Street in The Lanes. Like Presuming Ed, The Marwood is eclectic and unconventional, as much a feast for the eyes as it is for one’s taste buds. Alongside the great coffee and ‘life changing’ cake, homemade baked beans and butterbean and spinach bubble & squeak are a couple of the popular items on the menu. Funky website too.
The Marwood, 52 Ship Street, BN1 1AF, TheMarwood.com