Despite being widely acknowledged as the UK’s second city after The Big Smoke, Birmingham is still going through something of a cultural coffee renaissance and has surprisingly only recently become one of the UK’s premium java hot spots.
Nowadays quirky independent coffee quarters and artisan roasters are commonplace in this vibrant city centre though, meaning you can thankfully get your mitts on a stunningly good cup of joe with relative ease as you stroll through it’s pleasingly green streets.
So to help you find some cafes truly worth making a trip for, we’ve rounded up our ten favourite Brummie coffee houses, which are all bound to offer an unforgettable java experience.
Best Coffee Shops Birmingham
Floor 2, Millennium Point, Curzon St, Birmingham B4 7XG
Found by Millennium Point, 6/8 are a little bit more trendy than their other coffee shop cousins and take real pride in their expertise when it comes to brewing the bean.
Boasting locally sourced grub and crafted goods, this numbered gem hosts a range of guest espressos at any one time, as well as plenty of drip and filter options so that every caffeine craver is covered.
If you like what you taste, 6/8 are no secret keepers either and their barista and cupping classes can help you become apprentices to their mastery, learning better brewing techniques to use at home.
Winner of countless ‘Best Coffee Shop in Birmingham’ awards over the years, make it one of the first you cross off your list!
21 Colmore Row, Birmingham B3 2BH
Situated underneath Birmingham’s most luxurious and stunning hotel, The Grand, 200 Degrees is the city’s premium artisan coffee house with their own roastery and emphasis on fine food served in a rustic setting.
Using a superb mix of Columbian arabica and Vietnamese Robusta, their house blend is a triumph and their antiquated décor with red brick walls make for an elegant but casual atmosphere.
They also are home to their very own barista school, training the next brightest young things in the coffee game in everything from latte art to operating the espresso machine.
As the name would suggest, it’s one of Brum’s absolute coffee hot spots.
14 Piccadilly Arcade, Birmingham B2 4HD
A small, secluded spot hidden within Brum’s famed Piccadilly Arcade, Faculty are very much pioneers of coffee alchemy, using ingenious methods and eccentric baristas to create accurate, authentic and of course, appetising cups of joe.
You can learn a lot from watching these skilled coffee wizards at work and as the name suggests, Faculty are very much a department filled with scholars of the world’s favourite drink.
With an industrial look inside, the building combines exposed brickwork with interweaving pipes to create a Victorian laboratory effect which is instantly exciting, as if you are part of a little secret experiment.
Intimate and exclusive, there’s also equipment for sale if you spot an unusual brewing method that takes your fancy!
Colmore Business District, 30 Church St, Birmingham B3 2NP
A certified game-changer in Birmingham’s coffee culture, Urban Café set the standard for java when it opened in 2009.
They were one of the first guys to do coffee well in Brum, priding themselves on using only the best equipment, the highest quality beans and only working with knowledgeable and adaptable roasting partners to ensure optimum coffee flavour and experience.
Unsurprisingly, this dedication to the product shone through and it is now a hive of all different corners of Brummie culture, seven days a week, from office workaholics to freelancing laptop surfers.
With a homey vibe and chunky wooden furniture, it’s also a lot less urban in style than you’d expect, meaning anyone of any cage can fit right in without having to check their street cred at the door!
York’s Café and Coffee Roasters
29 / 30 Stephenson St, Birmingham B2 4BH
A confusing name given its location, this Brummie bakery is quite possibly the most populated space in the city come the weekend and the go-to pit-stop for hungover students and early morning caffeine cravers.
Another stripped-back, industrial-looking environment (come on Birmingham, mix it up!), York’s are a double threat where most cafes are concerned thanks to being both a bakery and coffee roasters, meaning their pastries and coffees are absolutely the best pairings for miles.
Found near New Street Station on a lush red terracotta corner, York’s are the ultimate morning pilgrimage for city-centre workers and nipping anywhere else for a coffee & croissant is quite frankly sacrilegious.
Damascena Coffee House
Portman House, 5-7 Temple Row W, Birmingham B2 5NY
If you’re a little sick of the American-inspired coffee houses which are swarming the streets of our sweet country, Birmingham’s Damascene is a great place to sample tipples and grub that are a little more Middle Eastern in flavour.
The espresso aficionados among you might be aware that coffee first came to us from the Middle East anyway (not Italy!) and so a trip to Damascena can actually be a fun exercise in discovering the real roots of coffee and how it was originally served.
As an added bonus, it’s also one of the most revered and beloved restaurants in the city and the winner of countless local food awards and prizes thanks to its classic shawarmas and authentic cooking.
Such is it’s success, there are now two new branches elsewhere in the city, but we’d still suggest taking a small journey to the bohemian area of Moseley where lies it’s original café.
88-90 Bristol St, Birmingham B5 7AH
A slightly ponderous walk away from the city centre, Quarter Horse can be found on Bristol Street near the 02 Academy and is certainly worth the stroll for the best in high quality, seasonal beans!
One of Brum’s few independent roasteries, you might have spotted QH’s product in other coffee shops around the UK as their beans are undoubtedly one of Birmingham’s most beloved and premium exports!
Roasted on-site in their basement, their fresher than fresh coffee is made with the best coffee equipment in the world and is one of the few cafes where you can watch the entire process of coffee-making from bean to cup – so you just might learn something!
And of course, if you can’t get enough of Quarter House’s signature blend, you can pick up a bag to go!
For serious coffee aficionados, Quarter House Coffee is the taste of Birmingham.
88-92 John Bright St, Birmingham B1 1PU
Arguably the most impressive Brummie café in terms of architecture, this John Bright Street coffee shop utilises a stunning antiquated building and has filled every nook and cranny with appropriate vintage furniture.
It’s well known for its American-style menu, with breakfast pancakes and burgers being favourites and it’s unusually one of the few coffee shops to also offer beers alongside their brews if you like that coffee a little Irish!
A casual, relaxed atmosphere, no one will feel out of place in a cosy corner of Cherry Reds.
Unit 2, 61a St Paul’s Square, Birmingham B3 1QS
For a little slither of coffee heaven, it seems obvious the only place you can get your fix is Saint’s Kitchen.
Home to Brum’s most enviable flat white, this Jewellery Quarter coffee house offers up drinks so good they could be the mortal answer to Mt. Olympus’ ambrosia.
You can also grab your favourite filter options without fuss and as an added enticement for those with kids or a sweet tooth, it also stocks a single-origin hot chocolate from the Kokoa Collection, promising seriously smooth and rich indulgence.
Stylish white tiled walls and funky coloured tables keep things bright and appeasing inside and a tasty food menu means it’s overall one of the best café experiences in the city, perfect for friends and family meet ups.
124 Colmore Row, Birmingham B3 3SD
If you’re tired of all the quirky independent British hipster cafes out there, Birmingham’s Java Lounge is something a little more unique in flavour.
Of Yemeni origin, the lounge is situated in Colmore Row in Solihull and is Moseley’s number one coffee hotspot.
If you don’t know much about Yemen, it was interestingly the home of the first-ever coffee plant grown for consumption, essentially making it the fatherland of our current thriving coffee culture.
Paying tribute to this, Java Lounge offers up highly unusual Ismaili coffee, boasting a taste sensation which is literally worlds away from the standard cups of cappuccino you’re used to.
For some, their Yemeni blends are the most exotic on the planet and so you’ll often find this place crammed with java gurus getting a fix of something out of the ordinary.
So what are you waiting for? Why take a trip to Yemen when you can sample its delights right around the corner!