Top 3 Independent Birmingham Coffee Shops
Coffee for Coffee Lovers
If you've never had an independently-made coffee from a proper coffee house, you haven't really lived as a coffee lover.
I'm not saying you can't BE a coffee lover and have never visited an independent, but your Starbucks and your Costas just can't compare with the rich blends and loving hand you'll find at your local independent coffee shop.
So, if you're in Birmingham (UK) and you find yourself struggling to find somewhere to grab a coffee, fear no more! Your definitive guide to the top 3 coffee shops in Birmingham is here!
Close to the Museum and Art Gallery you'll find Newhall Street, a forgotten Birmingham charm home to Yorks Bakery Cafe.
Number 3: Yorks Bakery Cafe
Not so much a 'coffee shop' as a self-styled 'bakery cafe' (think Greggs, but infinitely classier), this Newhall Street gem is definitely worth a visit if you're ever hanging out near the Museum and Art Gallery (which, and I'm not telling you how to live your life, you should be).
Walk through the doors of this bakery and you're immediately met with the smell of fresh-baked goods and fresh-ground coffee; music to the ears, or the nose, of any lover of Kaffe und Kuchen (that's coffee and cake, to the non-German speakers among you).
If you're going to go into Yorks, I must say that their blondies are to die for. They definitely win out if you're looking for an excellent place to eat cake and chill out, but wait a moment before setting off because there are two more spaces on this top three list...
Close to the business district of Comore Row, Six-Eight Kafe has some of the best coffee in Birmingham
Number 2: Six-Eight Kafe
Hidden down Temple Row, this small, homely coffee shop is definitely the place to stop by if you're looking for an early-morning caffeine fix. They've been rated as having the best coffee in Birmingham, so why didn't they make the top of the list? Well, they're very small. As in, there are places for maybe six people to sit comfortably. So if you're looking for somewhere you can spend a whole afternoon reading a novel and drinking endless coffee without having people within two feet of you, this isn't the place for you.
I will say, though, that if you're just on your way past on your way to work (maybe you work on Colmore Row, if so this place is PERFECTLY located for you), then their coffee definitely IS the best in Birmingham. Their sandwiches are also pretty excellent, so if you're looking for a lunch then stop by (but not if you're looking for a quiet lunch, they get very busy).
Their flagship emporium, Urban Coffee Company's Church Street location is hidden amongst some of Birmingham's premium Victorian architecture.
Number 1: Urban Coffee Company
There are not one, not two, but THREE Urban Coffee Companies dotted around Birmingham, and I have had the pleasure of drinking in all three. You'll find one on Church Street, one in the Jewellery Quarter (Warstone Lane), and one in Harborne (York Street). The Harborne branch is my local and it is wonderful; set in a 19th century school building, it retains an old-world charm so key to the brand.
Whilst their coffee has never been ranked as the best in Birmingham, I can say with confidence that their latte is the best I have ever tasted, and their roast seems to be really consistent as well. I have never had a bad cup of coffee from an Urban Coffee Company. And I have had plenty of UCC coffees in my time.
They also have the ideal Sunday afternoon atmosphere running all the time - they are laid back and chilled out, you can have a friendly conversation with the baristas even if you've never met them, and you can stay for hours with coffee upon delicious coffee working your way through a book or, if you're so inclined, through more work.
A combination of perfect atmosphere and some of the most beautiful latte art you'll see in the city mean this local brand of coffee shops receives my top spot.