At a first glance, Reading is full of Starbucks, Costas and Caffè Nero’s. There’s a chain coffee shop on every corner, so it’s not hard to get that caffeine fix. However, if you’re anything like me and appreciate a really good independent coffee shop, you need to know where to go in Reading. I have been on a mission in the last year to find the best cup of coffee in Reading during my Masters and these are the top 5 places I have discovered. If you’re a fresher or simply looking for a new place to hibernate with your laptop for a few hours during the semester then check out some of these places.
My absolute top pick would be C.U.P (Coffee Under Pressure) in St Mary’s Butts. This is an absolute gem. The coffee is delicious, it’s a lovely atmosphere, and they do some yummy food too. I don’t think I’ve ever had a nicer iced coffee than one from C.U.P. Also, it’s your lucky day because they now have a second shop on Blagrave Street right by the station so commuters you’re in for a treat. Forget the circle of Starbucks, Nero and Pret that surrounds the station, you can now get your morning coffee from C.U.P instead.
Not far from C.U.P is the lovely Tasting House, which is now home to the Anonymous Coffee. It might seem weird to be heading to a wine bar for some coffee but the baristas at Anonymous Coffee know how to make a good coffee. If you’re looking for a more relaxed vibe with some friends or perhaps a coffee before you move on to the vino, this is the place to go. It’s relatively new so perhaps still somewhat of a hidden treasure so go and check it out.
Just by both C.U.P. and Anonymous Coffee there’s Tamp Culture Coffee. This is a cute little takeaway coffee place just by the entrance of the oracle. They have a few seats so if the weathers nice you can have a little sit down but it’s just the perfect place for that coffee to go. Great price, great coffee, very convenient.
Towards the high street you can head to Workhouse Coffee. This is an adorable coffee house in a very old building. It’s a really cool place with a really different vibe and atmosphere. Although, as the building is so old there’s no plugs or Wi-Fi so go for a catch up with your friends rather than for a big study session!
My final top pick is a little further out of town towards Uni and is Café Yolk. Café Yolk is primarily the best brunch spot in Reading but its coffee is absolutely delicious and absolutely deserves a mention. You might find it difficult to get a spot at peak times as it really is popular with students and the locals but it is 100% worth the wait and one not to be missed.
Next time you’re on the hunt for a new caffeine supplier, think about some of the independents in Reading and I promise they will not disappoint.
Written for and published in the University of Reading’s Spark Newspaper.