Coffee Week: 10 top Cambridge coffee shops to visit now
It’s both International Coffee Day and National Coffee Week this month. To mark the occasions, Velvet’s Amelia Gargiulo raises a mug to 10 of Cambridge’s best coffee shops
For all the true coffee lovers out there, I know you have your favourite spots; maybe you're even a regular. But from time to time it's nice to spice things up. You might dare to order a flat white instead of your usual cappuccino. Or push the boat out by trying a whole new cafe altogether.
In a vast city such as Cambridge, it can be a tad overwhelming to choose the perfect spot for a cup of coffee. So, whether you have lived in Cambridge your whole life, or are simply wanting to explore the area more, you have come to the right place.
Here are 10 hot spots that will not only give you your caffeine hit, but will have you hooked. . .
Located on Cambridge’s Norfolk Street, Thrive is definitely one to visit. With a beautifully staged interior, featuring art pieces that are available to buy, the fully plant-based cafe's calm and welcoming atmosphere attracts anyone, vegan or not. Whether you’re seeking delicious homemade cakes and snacks, mouthwatering coffees and hot chocolate, or even fabulous waffles, Thrive is the perfect place to go.
Must Order: Chai Latte
With branches in both the city and surrounding villages - there’s a cafe in Histon and a bakery in Fulbourn - the team at Stir know exactly what they’re doing. With a menu that just keeps on growing, the most popular item being the signature Big Brunch Board, soon they'll have every brunch option under the sun. You're guaranteed to get your caffeine fix too, as Stir’s house coffee, Assembly, is exceptional. If you aren't one already, Stir will convert you into a coffee lover.
Signature Brew: Long Black (6oz)
Speciality coffee at its finest. So silky and smooth, it's difficult not to drink it all in one go. Making for excellent people-watching, Bould’s most charming site is right on the corner of Cambridge’s Round Church (there’s also a branch over on Regent Street, with a third city venue on the way). Yes, it’s on the slightly pricier side, but then luxury is what you pay for. Made with a serious amount of coffee, top-quality milk and impressive barista skills, little wonder Bould Brothers’ coffee was recommended by Vogue.
Signature Brew: Piccolo
You’ll struggle to find another place in Cambridge just like it. Its uniqueness can be found not only in its exceptionally decorated interior, but also in the expertly crafted coffee - it’s part of The Brew Project, which roasts its beans right here in Cambridgeshire. The extensive list of speciality coffee, which uses diverse brewing methods to bring out a range of incredible flavours, plus an emphasis on locally sourced products, makes this a spot a must-visit for your day off.
Signature Brew: Nitro Cold Brew
Known to Cambridge since 2018, this fabulous find continues year after year to uphold its ethical ethos, with fair trade being at its heart. Named after the Zulu word for “people”, there’s no doubt that Abantu spot embodies just that: it is far more than just a regular cafe, it’s a community. With plentiful comfy seating and floor-to-ceiling windows, it’s also the perfect spot to watch the world go by. With every sip, mouthful or bite you take you’ll be supporting farmers, children and the environment. This place ticks all the boxes.
Must Order: Indian Spiced Chai with an Extra Shot of Coffee
This family-run business, set on city-central Bridge Street, certainly has a passion for serving its customers the best quality food and drink - including coffee. The cafe’s independent feel is what first draws you in. Not only is Bridges amazing for homemade cakes and juices, but the toasted sandwiches are to die for. Providing daily, freshly prepared food and equipped to cater for various dietary requirements, Cambridge is one lucky city to have Bridges on its doorstep.
Must Order: Black Americano paired with a Green Goodness smoothie
Sophisticated and stylishly fashionable, this is a destination not only to get your caffeine levels topped up, but to soak up the wonder that Cambridge has to offer. Promising an excellent cup of locally roasted coffee, as well as a unique dining experience, some would say it is Cambridge's hidden gem. Overlooking the Market Square, it's an ideal spot for first-timers visiting the city or those in search of a bit of luxury.
Must Order: Iced Latte with almond milk
With three locations across the city, there is no excuse for you not to stop by. Stroll down Mill Road and you'll discover a tiny space which, home to indie retailer Small & Green, is filled head to toe with beautiful plants - and there's a bonus, they also serve coffee! Like the other TGK sites, set within Kettle’s Yard and the Botanic Garden, it’s a great place to head if you’re feeling peckish; if delicious, plant-based dishes and top-notch coffee are your thing, get down there pronto.
Signature Brew: Flat White
Ever wish you could sit somewhere and drink coffee whilst also being surrounded by great music that happens to be on vinyl? Well, you can! First, start with a cup of their ethically sourced blend, then head downstairs and immerse yourself in an environment that is cool, and vibrant yet relaxing too. Providing diverse evening entertainment – from board game nights to live music - this hidden treasure is one you'll want to rave about.
Signature Brew: Latte
Each Hot Numbers cafe - on Gwydir and Trumpington Streets in the city and onsite at the Shepreth roastery - is utterly marvellous, with a splash of quirkiness. Ethically sourced, hand-roasted beans earn this indie its universal high praise. Each cup is well-balanced to give fine flavour, mouthfeel and a dreamy aroma. Dedicated to improving sustainability, whether through roasting practices or the traceability of its bean, Hot Numbers’ hands-on approach to coffee really sets it apart. Stroll in, sit down, and sip.
Must Order: The ‘Breakfast Wine’ Blend
Read moreFood and Drink
More by this authorVelvet Magazine contributor