Unfortunately for us, it's still unbelievably freezing- even as we head into spring, bringing with it the winter fatigue because let's face it we all probably have SAD up here in the grim North.
The best thing for it? A steaming hot cup of coffee at some of best coffee shops this city has to offer. If you’re a coffee nutter like me and taste, strength and presentation is what you look for in a great cup of coffee, then look no further than here.
Many a time have I been running down Deansgate, skipping over car bonnets doing my best Mo Farah to make the tram to get to my old job on time and have been aching to get into Grindsmith for a decent cup of coffee and not Nescafé blend that makes you want to rip your teeth out afterwards. The shop itself looks inviting, with a cool mural of Walter White in full crystal meth cooking attire in plain view. The coffee is as strong as the atmosphere itself.
Grindsmith, 231-233 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4EN
Evelyn’s Cafe Bar
Talking about inviting interiors, Evelyn’s cafe garden theme makes that first sip of a latte on a Sunday morning all the more delicious. It’s almost a haven, with idyllic coffee to match. Even if you like a double espresso, you’d be crazy not to try their Vanilla and Cacoa Nib Mocha or Vanilla Chai.
Evelyn’s Cafe Bar, G18 Tib St, Manchester M4
Coffee and donuts aren’t just for lazy American coppers, oh no. And trust me, Siop Shop has every variety of both. Brought you by Blawd (of Common bar fame) and coffee by Dark Arts Coffee, there’s nothing stopping you staying for coffee, donuts, breakfast AND lunch.
Siop Shop, 53 Tib St, Manchester M4 1LS
Want to try New Zealand and Australian coffee? Federal’s for you. What’s the difference? No idea, but it’s bloody delicious. Serving up all you go-to coffee styles, why not be tempted by an Espresso Martini to top it off?
Federal Cafe Bar, 9 Nicholas Croft, Manchester M4 1EY
About as independent as a coffee shop can get, the extremely minimal yet vibrant Foundation is great all times of the day, but the extensive coffee selection will keep you coming back morning after morning. Red eye? Black eye? Dead eye? I’m not going mental, these are types of coffee available at Foundation…go find out for yourselves what they are!
Foundation Coffee House, Sevendale House, Lever St, Manchester M1 1JB
One of the finest cafes in the whole city that you’d never have a clue existed unless you were truly tuned in to your coffee beans. Inside Princess Street Hotel, I have it on good authority that the pour over coffees (V60 or Aeropress) are a must try! As are the brownies.
Lawn Coffee, Princess Street Hotel, Manchester M1
Pot Kettle Black
Tucked away in the gorgeous Barton Arcade on Deansgate, PKB pride themselves on their passion for coffee and the quality of their speciality brews. For something completely different and wonderful, try a ‘Wilson’, an espresso over coconut water that will surely kick you up the arse with a burst of freshness.
Pot Kettle Black, 14, Barton Arcade, Deansgate, Manchester M3 2BW
North Tea Power
The name says tea, the attitude screams coffee. All espressos are made with Deerhunter coffee, a Kenyan speciality. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried an affogato (ice cream and espresso) and North Tea Power is just the place to over indulge on the stuff.
North Tea Power, 36 Tib St, Manchester M4 1LA
Fig and Sparrow
Go in and try it and I guarantee you won’t leave before you buy it to take home and enjoy. The coffee is home grown (roasted in Byker man pet) and the kitschy cutlery sits perfectly in its Northern Quarter location.
Fig + Sparrow, 20 Oldham St, Manchester M1 1JA
Ancoats Coffee Co.
Pick a country, any country and you can sample their finest coffee right on your Ancoats doorstep. Enjoy rich blends from Ethiopia, El Salvador, Brazil, Peru (the list goes on) and you’ll wonder why you ever even considered instant coffee. It’s an evolving space and a perfect spot for a coffee obsessive.
Ancoats Coffee Co. 9, Royal Mills, 17 Redhill St, Manchester M4 5BA
Nordic style espresso. Doesn’t that make you drool already? It’s the kind of place that Mcdonald’s advert takes the piss out of (with the chemistry set coffee etc), it packs an incredible punch. They’ve also got a space in the brand-new HATCH on Oxford Road, perfect for those mid-lecture pick me ups!
Takk, 6 Tariff St, Manchester M1 2FF
Primarily thought of for its cake and tea, Sugar Junction’s coffee gets sorely overlooked. A pristine and quaint little place, the coffee however doesn’t reflect. It packs a powerful punch, so you’d do right to treat yourself to a dainty piece of cake to balance each other out.
Sugar Junction, 60 Tib St, Manchester M4 1LG
This list has essentially become around the world in 80 coffees, so we’ll end on North America. Conceived from a love of all things American breakfast (because who can blame them for quantity, but you can blame them for syrup on bacon because that’s just WRONG) and Canadian coffee, unless you knew that there was a Tim Horton’s Drive Thru in this very city (ok, in Salford, but still), moose is the place to enjoy a wonderfully stacked breakfast and crafted coffee.
Moose Coffee, York House, 20 York St, Manchester M2 3BB