The Best Independent Coffee Shops for Students in the UK

Looking for a good cuppa? Here are the best independent cafés for students in the UK ☕️

To celebrate international coffee day, we've done you a HUGE favour; we've wrapped up the best independent coffee shops and cafés from across the country, so you know exactly where to go for a brew. Here's the list 👇

Tamper Coffee, Sheffield

This bustling independent coffee shop is infused with kiwi café culture, making it one of Sheffield’s most loved brew stops. The house espresso blend is their own tailored recipe, so you (literally) won’t find a cuppa like it. If you’re a huge caffeine fan, try their alternative brew methods or single origin coffees.

On top of the incredible coffee, Tamper’s food menu offers an impressive selection of extravagant and tasty dishes – perfect for any time of the day. The humming atmosphere at this eatery actually encouraged a second branch to open on Westfield Terrace – so there’s even more great coffee to try nearby.

Coffee on the Crescent, Leeds

Coffee on the Crescent is found in Hyde Park - Leeds’ most sought-after student hub. A popular destination for a brew, this eatery’s impressive reputation makes it one of Leeds’ best coffee shops, and we absolutely love it. With a welcoming atmosphere and a great range of bites to eat, COTC is well worth a visit.

As well as serving good coffee, Coffee on the Crescent want to teach you how to make it. From latte art to guidance on your home coffee setup, these guys offer 1-2-1 virtual coffee masterclass workshops. They’ll teach you everything you need to know about your daily cuppa, so you can make a perfect cup at home.

Ozone Coffee, London

Ozone know a thing or two about coffee. This independent coffee brand is dedicated to building relationships with their producers, so every cup is rooted with sustainability. With an impressive selection of quality roasts, Ozone produces coffee to the of highest standards (their beans are that good that they even sell them online!).

As well as good coffee, this trendy café’s food is a must-try. Putting a fresh spin on the classic brunch options, Ozone is the ideal spot to stop for a quick pick-me-up. Find branches on Leonard Street, near Old Street Station, and Emma Street, near Cambridge Heath.

Laneway & Co, Newcastle

Laneway & Co is Newcastle’s answer to a perfect cup of coffee. This eatery’s impressively rich beans are pained with with reliably top-notch espressos and well-frothed milk. Complemented by incredibly friendly staff, an inviting atmosphere and good company, Laneway & Co is a bound to quench your caffeine thirst. Find this spot on High Bridge in the city centre.

Cascara, Bath

Cascara is a cosy vegan café with coffee to-die for. Their scrumptious cakes and sweet treats are the perfect complement to their brews (you’ll definitely struggle to choose from the bakery selection). From loaded toast to a good old vegan pasty, there’s plenty of lunch options to test out too.

Cascara is tucked away just around the corner from Pulteney Bridge, so it’s in a super convenient location when you’re in the city centre. Head down for the best cuppa joe you've had all year.

Pelicano Coffee Co, Brighton

Pelicano has expanded to more than just an espresso bar. Their online store supplies beans to both customers and other coffee shops across the UK, providing incredible espressos and next-level single origin slow brewing options (that’s how good their cuppas are!). You can even grab a coffee subscription on their website – yes please!

Inside Pelicano, you’ll find a bustling and welcoming bohemian atmosphere with quality brews to choose from. Their cake selection is always worth sampling, and the spot is ideal for people watching along Brighton’s Lanes. Find Pelicano on Sydney Street near Pelham Square.

Small Street Espresso, Bristol

Small Street Espresso is an adorable café with excellent coffee. Espresso is their bread and butter, and they do it astoundingly well. Plus, with plenty of filter coffee and local guest roasters on offer, there’s something to suit everyone’s tastebuds.

To complement their excellent coffee, Small Street Espresso’s collection of tempting cakes and sarnies are worth testing. You’re in for a treat if you decide to pop in. Find Small Street Espresso on (you guessed it) Small Street, near Bristol Bridge.

Alchemista Coffee Co, Norwich

Alchemista is a must-try as a student in Norwich. This brilliant café, found just off Pottergate, is one of the city’s hidden gems. Their passion for great brews, combined with an incredible attention to detail and super welcoming staff, has created the ideal spot for speciality coffee.

From Australia to South America, Alchemista have searched far and wide in their journey for the perfect cup, and it's safe to say these guys know what they’re doing. Oh, and if you’re paying a visit, it’s worth checking out their afternoon tea (it’s top notch).

Baffled Coffee, Portsmouth

Baffled Coffee is Portsmouth’s go-to for a good cuppa. Baffled does things differently, and they’re proud of it. Rated as the best coffee shop in Portsmouth on Tripadvisor, this eatery is renowned for its speciality coffee and fresh, imaginative food. With a tasty selection of sweet treats, sandwiches, and yummy brunch options, Baffled is a must-visit if you’re in Portsmouth. Find Baffled on Fawcett Road in Southsea.

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