Step off the 25 bus from university into town, and you will immediately be confronted with a Starbucks, Nero’s, Costa – or all three. But what about Norwich’s lesser-known coffee shops? Concrete steps away from the chain coffee stores, and into the narrow streets of Tombland and The Lanes to bring you a list of Norwich’s lesser-known coffee shops.
If you come from London and your experience of coffee served in furniture stores has formerly been limited to the Edmonton IKEA where they once had a riot over £4 end tables, then Warings is a revelation. This cafe is situated inside the high-end central Norwich furniture store which shares its name, and where the surroundings are as tasteful as the coffee: even the cushions cost over £200! While the coffee is just as high-end (Saeco Aroma espresso machine, anyone?) its price is, thankfully, somewhat more friendly to a student budget. They also do a great range of teas from teapigs. 24 Cattle Market, NR1 3DY.
The Window Coffee
Definitely the cutest coffee shop on our list, this store claims to be the UK’s smallest café. While Window’s compact size and homey vibe definitely extends to its lower-case lettered signs and menus, their coffee wields an outsize influence. Hand-made by champion barista and café proprietoress Hayley, it’s come fifth in the annual UK Barista championships. The café’s wonderful house blend and twee philosophy make it well worth a visit. Don’t forget to say hi to Daisy the coffee shop dog! 25 Wensum St., NR3 1HY
Mustard Coffee Bar
Situated in the original Colman’s Mustard Shop, this indie café serves up history alongside the coffee. Fittings and fixtures from the old store are still visible, though sometimes hidden underneath the constantly changing local art displays in store. The shop is somewhat unique amongst coffee stores in Norwich, in that the team hand-roast all their coffee beans. 3 Bridewell Alley, NR2 1AQ
The Little Red Roaster
Another store which insists upon hand-roasting its beans, Red Roaster is situated just outside the city centre area of Norwich. One advantage of this store is the sheer variety of specialty and artisanal coffees on offer – with on-site roasting and hand-grinding, dedicated coffee-snobs swear by it. 81b Grove Road, NR1 3RT.
Cherryleaf Coffee House
Very much the go-to destination for Norwich yummy mummies and stressed-out parents, this coffee shop is notably less youth oriented than the others on our list. Perhaps because of this, it’s remained somewhat off the radar for the majority of Norwich students. Offering a variety of hot food (including continental breakfast) and some decent coffee, however, it’s worth your while, provided that you don’t mind running into the odd lecturer. 50 St. Giles Street, NR2 1LW
One for the artisan fans, Stranger’s promises ethically sourced, specialty coffee made with painstaking care. Their signature macchiato, the ‘Apple Mac’, is made to a formula so obsessive as to make the most stringent of Silicon-Valley coffee nerds blush. Inside, the rough-hewn wooden counters and instagram-perfect décor will be familiar to anyone who frequents the Bicycle shop, or any of Norwich’s other hipster-ish haunts. English students, I’m looking at you. 21 Pottergate, NR2 1DS