Calling coffee nerds and everyone who knows life is too short for a bad espresso, flat white or piccolo

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Image: The coolest coffee bars to get your caffeine fix

Alison and Fil / CC BY-SA 2.0 / adapted / Flickr: ​fbohac

In the name of all things caffeine we have painstakingly researched, sipped and slurped our way around some of the very best coffee houses in the land. These establishments sure know their beans. Shhh – don't tell everyone!

Climpson & Sons

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Climpson and Sons

Via: Facebook / Climpson and Sons

Style: Relaxed, minimal, wooden benches and tables
Where: 67 Broadway Market, London E8 4PH
Take: Your dog
The coffee: They roast their own espresso blends and a range of single origin beans
Do say: “Let’s go on a weekday.” The queues at the weekend are vast
Don’t say: “I’ll have tea.” Ignoring some of London’s best coffee would be a waste


Hermitage Road

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Style: Bare bricks, galvinised high tables and bottle green pendant lights
Where: 20-21 Hermitage Road, Hitchin, Herts SG5 1BT
Take: Friends or a partner
The coffee: Has Been Coffees produce a blend specifically for Hermitage Road, you can also buy bags of beans (which they can grind too)
Do say: “Can I have a loyalty card?” Every seventh cup of coffee will then be free
Don’t say: “I’m full.” Coffee can seamlessly move into lunch here, and that’s no bad thing


Shoreditch Grind

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Style: Retro cinema-style sign, stripped-back interiors, laid-back communal tables with industrial-style stools
Where: 213 Old Street, London EC1V 9NR
Take: Lone coffee sippers won’t feel out of place
The coffee: Blended and roasted exclusively for them, beans are delivered to the café every couple of days and matured on site
Do say: “Fancy a late-night coffee?” They’re open until 1am
Don’t say: “I fancy a quiet cup of coffee.” There’s music and it’s on a roundabout


Taylor St Baristas

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Taylor St Baristas

Via: Facebook / Taylor St Baristas

Style: Cool grey walls, bare bulbs and red wooden chairs
Where: 28 Queens Road, Brighton BN1 3XA
Take: A work colleague
The coffee: A mixture of house blends and guest coffees from around the world
Do say: “Shall we sit in?” The friendly atmosphere makes it a great place to start the day
Don’t say: “Can I get my name on the regulars board?” Join the queue, that kind of accolade requires dedication


Foxcroft & Ginger

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Style: Low-hanging pendant lights, large wooden tables and industrial-style decor
Where: 68 Mile End Road, London E1 4TT
Take: A friend
The coffee: Each coffee is made with a double shot and the blend changes weekly
Eat: Stay for lunch and order one of their sourdough pizzas
Do say: “Are children welcome?” They are
Don’t say: “I’m not hungry.” The food is nearly as good as the coffee



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Style: Spacious, comfy and bright, with tasting notes hung on the walls to help you talk like a coffee pro
Where: 23-25 Leather Lane, London EC1N 7TE
Take: A fellow caffeine connoisseur
The coffee: Espressos are perfect and guest beans slow-brewed in an Aeropress are always good quality
Do say: “Can you tell me about this blend?” These baristas know their stuff
Don’t say: “I'm happy with a Starbucks.” This place is a magnet for coffee nerds


Artisan Roast

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Style: Laid-back, minimal, white walls and wooden tables
Where: 57 Broughton Street, Edinburgh EH1 3RJ
Take: Some friends
The coffee: Sourced and then roasted on site
Do say: “Can I take some home?” They offer gift subscriptions for their artisan coffee
Don’t say: “I don’t really care where the beans come from.” They’ll make you care


Bar Italia

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Bar Italia

Photograph: Bar Italia

Style: A Soho institution. Sitting among flags, photos and memorabilia on high stools makes you feel like you’re in Italy
Where: 22 Frith Street, London W1D 4RF
Take: A group of friends after dinner. It’s open 24 hours
The coffee: Traditional strong Italian coffee
Do say: “We’ll take a table outside.” It’s the perfect spot to people watch
Don’t say: “I’ll have a cappuccino after dinner.” Italians will frown on you


Workhouse coffee

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Style: Bare boarded walls, a few coffee bean sacks for decoration and a country kitchen style counter
Where: 335 Oxford Road, Reading RG30 1AY
Take: A fellow coffee geek
The coffee: They source, import and roast their own beans
Do say: “I’m very particular when it comes to my coffee.” They’ll build it how you like
Don’t say: “Do you serve instant coffee?”



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Monmouth coffee

Via: Instagram / Michelrosie

Style: You’ll struggle to get a seat at one of the wooden communal tables, but it’s well worth the wait
Where: 2 Park Street, The Borough, London SE1 9AB
Take: One friend maximum. Seats are hard to come by
The coffee: An impressive range of espresso-based or single cone filter coffees
Do say: “Shall we get a takeaway?” It will be much quicker
Don’t say: “Shall we go for coffee as a group?” If there are more than two of you, you’ll struggle


Department of Coffee and Social Affairs

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Style: Light, contemporary monochrome decor
Where: 3 Lowndess Court, London W1F 7HD
Take: A girlfriend
The coffee: Sourced form all over the world and roasted by the UK’s leading roasters, their selection of beans is ever changing
Do say: “I have a problem with my grinder.” Bring it to the barista bar session on every Thursday and they’ll fix it for you
Don’t say: “You can have too much coffee”

Where do you go for the finest coffee around? Spread the word in the comments below