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Five of the Best: Cambridge coffee spots

It’s the hot-drink Holy Grail: in her debut column for Velvet, Cambridge Food Blog’s Gracie Mills shares her five favourite places to grab a really good cup of coffee

As I hit my late teens and early 20s, I always panicked when it came to the coffee shop order. I didn’t like coffee, so was often left with the option of breakfast tea (never as good as a builder’s at home) or a hot chocolate.

It wasn’t until my mid-20s, when I had a relationship with an Italian, that I was faced with the prospect of the post-meal espresso. Thick, percolated espresso is quite the baptism of fire to a non-coffee drinker and I have fond recollections of shovelling copious amounts of sugar into my tiny cup.

While that relationship didn’t last, my one with coffee blossomed. Here is a list of my top five places to grab a coffee in Cambridge.

Bould Brothers

Cambridge Food Blog - Bould Brothers (56395281)
Cambridge Food Blog - Bould Brothers (56395281)

When I asked the foodie community on Instagram where the best coffee in Cambridge is, it came as no surprise that Bould Brothers topped the list. Cambridge has two sites - brother sites if you will - with the Round Street location opening first in 2017, followed with the beautiful, and my favourite, Regent Street shop.

Bould Brothers’ latte is very much like its décor: classy, creamy and luxurious and when you take a sip the bustle of Cambridge melts away. If you’re needing a bit of extra oomph, ‘The Magic’ is a three-shotted wonder which could very well make you levitate! In addition to some of the finest coffee in Cambridge, Bould is also home to some of the finest customer service and you will leave already planning your next visit.


Espresso Library

Cambridge Food Blog - Espresso Library (56395295)
Cambridge Food Blog - Espresso Library (56395295)

Many brunch recommendation lists contain Espresso Library and it’s little wonder. Espresso Library has been an unwavering presence on the Cambridge café scene for seven years now, not only thanks to the legendary fluffy pancakes and yellow-accented industrial interior, but also because of the coffee.

Not only does the Library have the usual suspects (flat whites, cappuccinos and lattes), there’s a myriad of options for the coffee-heads out there, from Aeropress to V60 pour-overs. The East Road site is great for outdoor dining and coffee sipping in the sunshine, and the newly opened Regent Street, with its gloriously decadent Michelangelo-inspired ceiling, is perfect for a mid-shopping pitstop.


Kerb Kollective

Cambridge Food Blog - Brew Project (56395291)
Cambridge Food Blog - Brew Project (56395291)

In one of the most picturesque parts of the city lies a small cabin next to the Cambridge Museum of Technology. This cabin houses some of the best beans in Cambridge and riverside walks are rewarded with a cup of the good stuff at Kerb Kollective.

The coffee, by The Brew Project, is punky and punchy and tastes distinctively different from others in the city. It’s clear to see why so many people are evangelists of this cool coffee company! The outdoor seating provides the perfect excuse to take a moment and watch the world pass by. If, however, outdoor seating isn’t quite for you, then you’ll be pleased to know that The Brew Project can be found at several other locations within Cambridgeshire, including The River Terrace in St Ives, Eclipse Bakery on Mill Road, and Village Green in Burwell.


Hot Numbers

Cambridge Food Blog - Hot Numbers (56395310)
Cambridge Food Blog - Hot Numbers (56395310)

If you look hard enough, you’ll start to notice Hot Numbers in shops and on menus all around Cambridge. Hot Numbers is deeply woven into the tapestry of Cambridge coffee. Its city centre locations at Gwydir Street and Trumpington Street have been long-time favourites with the Cambridge community and South Cambridgeshire rejoiced with the addition of the Shepreth Roastery.

The roastery is home to a café, an on-site bakery and a coffee training facility, so if you like to drink your coffee among the action then this might be the place for you. The regular options for a cup of hot java are all available, but for those who are wanting something a little more special, the seasoned roasters offer a lovely SP9 pour-over.


The Green Room

Cambridge Food Blog - Green Room (56395309)
Cambridge Food Blog - Green Room (56395309)

I’m aware Sawston isn’t in the city centre, but I think we can all agree that good coffee is worth travelling for? The Green Room is a relatively new addition to the Cambridge coffeescape. Sitting on the High Street, the eatery is a lovely place to while away the hours on a lazy weekend. With greenery and plants lining the room, and natural light flooding in, sinking into an emerald green Chesterfield while drinking a latte will become a new favourite pastime.

The coffee is by Wood St Coffee, originally a Walthamstow-based roaster which, fortunately for us Cantabrigians, relocated to Saffron Walden in 2020. It’s silky-smooth, delicate and as yummy as the pink tiled wall which houses the menu!


Cambridge Food Blog - Gracie Mills (56395315)
Cambridge Food Blog - Gracie Mills (56395315)

For more visit cambridgefoodblog.com and follow @cambridgefoodblog.

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