Best coffee shops and cafés in Cornwall according to an insider’s guide

Cornwall’s best coffee shops, cafés and roasteries – some of which you will have heard of and others you might not – are featured in a new insider’s guide created by a committee of coffee experts. The Independent Coffee Guide – The South and South Wales features 11 of Cornwall’s best coffee shops and one roastery.

The ‘insider’s guide’ covers the most outstanding cafés from South Wales across to Sussex and the whole of the South West, and has been put together by a team of food writers and a committee of people working in the coffee industry.

Editor Kathryn Lewis writes: “Within these pages you will find pioneers of the scene alongside newbies who have, despite the global pandemic, taken the plunge and and followed their dreams of opening a coffee shop or stanblishing a roastery.”

Read more: Village pub in Cornwall named the best in the country

Best coffee shops in Cornwall according to the insider’s guide

Electric Bakery, Bude

According to the book, the buzz about this Cornish bakery has been spreading fast since it opened in 2019. House espresso beans are fresh from Cornwall’s Origin roasters and supported by a rotating guest batch. The bakery is renowned for lunch offerings such as miso-roasted chicken leg and squash served with white bean and celeriac cassoulet, as well as sweet treats like double-doughnuts and buttery pastries.

St Kew Farmshop & Café, St Kew Highway

Established five years ago on the A39, the popular farm shop’s house roast comes courtesy of Cornwall’s Yallah alongside a number of guest coffees. The home-cooked food is a winner and once you’ve drunk and fed yourself, take an amble around the adjoining farm shop (and say hello to resident white Pomeranian, Selby).

Strong Adolfos, Wadebridge

A longtime favourite of coffee aficionados, the indie café has been a haven for travellers along the Atlantic Highway for almost ten years now. The owners’ love of surf and motorcycle culture feeds into the cool decor at a venue which was one of the first to harness a relationship with Cornwall’s world-beating Origin Coffee. The café menu has the usual staples alongside more unusual fare, some of which has a Scandinavian flavour thanks to founder Mathilda Friström Eldridge’s heritage.

Island, Newquay

A relative newbie in Whitegate Shopping Complex in Newquay, Island has strong Nordic vibes. No suprise as it’s the latest venture from John and Mathilda Friström Eldridge, of Strong Adolfos. The Island Brunch (fried egg, feld mushroom, pickled cherry tomatoes, streaky bacon crumb, avocado, dukkah and sourdough) is a reason to go.

Short & Strong, Charlestown

The recently refurbished space near the harbour is a mixture of exposed bricks, wooden beams, rattan pendant lights, houseplants and quirky artwork, together with a La Marzocco coffee machine brewing Origin-toasted coffees. Everything from Buddha Bowls to slabs of homemade banana bread topped with ricotta, berries and maple syrup will full you up, and you can sit outside when the sun comes out.

Bread & Butter, Truro

There are plenty of coffee shops in Cornwall’s capital, but it won’t surprise its many fans that it’s Bread & Butter on River Street which makes the guide. More Origin coffee, great pancakes, healthy and tasty lunches, now with a deli and takeaway on the other side of the road. The outdoor seating area is a little haven of peace in the centre of Truro.

Origin Coffee Roasters – The Warehouse, Penryn

Commercial Road is one of the most happening streets in Cornwall right now so it makes sense there’s an Origin on it. Serving breakfasts and light lunches, all accompanied by coffees for all tastes, from “boundary-pushing single origins to comforting espresso blends”. Rub shoulders with locals, students and tourists.

Origin Coffee Roasters – The Roastery, Porthleven

Origin’s roastery on the outskirts of Porthleven is a humdinger. Industrial chic, eco-friendly, with an expanse of glass allowing you to see the magic being made, the roastery has become one of the places to visit in up-and-coming ‘leven. The guide states: “The roastery is blazing a trail towards becoming net zero and has put in place eco initiatives which include waste management processes and compostable packaging. It also seeks 90% of its coffee direct from farmers and seeks out pioneering producers.”

Origin Coffee Roasters – Harbour Head, Porthleven

Yet another Origin coffee shop but the, erm, origin of it all. This was the roastery’s first café, opening in 2014. The guide reads: “Bean buffs have learnt to trust its rotating menu of own-roasted single origins and let the baristas take them on invigorating coffee journeys at this cosy coastal café.”

The Yellow Canary Café, St Ives

Popular with both locals and tourists, largely thanks to its window busting with cinnamon buns, almond croissants, custard tarts and other sumptious delights. Their cream teas have been a favourite since the café opened 50 years ago. The guide says: “The coffee shop punches above its diminutive size in terms of significance.”

Yallah Café & Kiosk, St Ives

The Falmouth-based roastery has its own coffee shop specialising in its espresso, hand brew and batch coffees, also available from a takeaway hatch on the harbour. The brunch and lunch menus are worth discovering (the masala potato burrito is a favourite). The guide states: “Sustainability is at the heart of the Yallah operation so if you’re planning on picking up a flattie and homemade cinnamon bun to go, make sure pack a resuable cup.”

The guide also makes time to celebrate Foundation Coffee Roasters, based at Penbeagle Industrial Estate at St Ives. Their high-grade speciality coffee is sourced from Colombia, Brazil, Ethiopia, Kenya, Guatemala, El Salvador, Peru and Honduras, and bought directly from individual farms and mills for above the Fairtrade price. You can buy the coffee from the company’s website.

The Independent Coffee Guide is available in coffee shops and online.

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