The names of readers (either their social media handle or FT commenting name) have been given in bold type at the end of each entry. Where readers gave further details about what they love about a particular coffee shop, that has been included as a quote. 

RAW Coffee Company Café, Dubai

RAW Coffee Company Café in Dubai specialises in ethical, green and global beans
RAW Coffee Company Café in Dubai specialises in ethical, green and global beans

Specialising in ethical, green beans from around the world, Raw Coffee has built up a “great following in Dubai, which is some achievement for an independent, given the predominance of major chains there.” Michael Webb rawcoffeecompany.com


Gordon Street Coffee, Glasgow

This small batch coffee roaster produces their own blends, “with the Glasgow blend being exceptional,” as well as a “a fantastic range of pastries – don’t expect to find any left after 9am.” Jason Ballinger gordonstcoffee.co.uk


Perch & Co, Hertfordshire

“A haven for those looking for a friendly face and a chat over freshly baked pastries, cakes and all-day brunch options. They also host weekly pie-and-mash evenings, seasonal Indian-inspired supper clubs and monthly live jazz evenings. Ask for their vegan Biscoff doughnuts.” James Hallworth perchandco.com


Tab x Tab, London

The counter at Tab x Tab in Westbourne Grove, London
Tab x Tab in Westbourne Grove, London
A barista dusts a latte with matcha powder at Tab x Tab
The matcha latte at Tab x Tab

An upscale café in Westbourne Grove, West London – think matcha lattes, cortados and 70 per cent cacao hot chocolates. “The team is spot on.” Josh Taylor tabxtab.com


Proud Mary, Collingwood, Melbourne 

Founded by husband-and-wife duo Nolan and Shari Hirte almost 15 years ago, Proud Mary sources coffee directly from origin, and offers four different styles: “Mild” (for the mellow), “Curious” (for the adventurous), “Wild” (for the extra adventurous) and “Deluxe” (some of the rarest coffees in the world). Adam Thomson proudmarycoffee.com.au


‘Feine, Pennsylvania

A small coffee shop in Conshohocken serving espresso, filter coffee, tea and snacks. The owner is Brazilian, so much of the experience is based on her native country, where coffee hour is a time to connect with family and friends. “That is what makes it stand out.” c1942 drinkfeine.com


WatchHouse, London

WatchHouse source and roast all their coffee in Maltby Street
WatchHouse source and roast all their coffee in Maltby Street © Darren Rowlands

“An independent specialty coffee house where they source and roast all their coffee in Maltby Street.” The flagship and roastery was designed by London design studio Kirkwood McCarthy. Emily watchhouse.com


Sant’ Eustachio Il Caffè, Rome

“Don’t be put off by the fact that this is a tourist attraction. Here, espressos come with a frothy top layer (of which the recipe is kept a secret) and you can drink yours sitting down at one of the small tables outside. Always very busy, open till late.” Paul Armstrong caffesanteustachio.com


Philz Coffee, San Francisco

A Shiba Inu poses with a cup from Philz Coffee in San Francisco
“The first drag of a cup is drug-like”: Philz Coffee in San Francisco

“The first drag of a cup of Philz is drug-like. It soothes and invigorates. Likely the best coffee in the United States. Try the Ether roast with cream.” Gordon Miller philzcoffee.com


Coffee at 33, Brighton

For coffee purists: Coffee at 33 is music-free and serves up its brews in plain white cups. Find it behind an unassuming black shopfront just three minutes from Brighton station. Martin Skelton @coffeeat33


Cutbow Coffee, Albuquerque

A culmination of more than 25 years of caffeinated expertise, Cutbow Coffee is named after the cutbow trout, one of the main species of fish living in the nearby Rio Grande. Fraser cutbowcoffee.com


Coaltown Coffee Roasters, Carmarthenshire

Home of the “new black gold”: Coaltown Coffee Roasters in Carmarthenshire
Home of the “new black gold”: Coaltown Coffee Roasters in Carmarthenshire

Based in the south-west Wales town of Ammanford – a post-industrial community that once relied on anthracite coal – Coaltown is working to bring a new industry to the area. “This time it’s a new black gold – coffee,” says the website. Paul coaltowncoffee.co.uk


Mec Coffee, Cardiff

“Hands down the best coffee in the city. The quality of the beans, preparation, and overall experience is sublime. It remains the best-kept secret in Cardiff.” E mec.coffee


Qahwah House, Dearborn, Michigan

“Phenomenal atmosphere and decor – perfect for a cold winter’s night. Great vibe, excellent coffee and a way to connect to the origin of coffee, as profiled in the book The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers.” Imran Khan qahwahhouse.com


La Casa del Caffè Tazza d’Oro, Rome

The exterior of La Casa del Caffè Tazza d’Oro in Rome
La Casa del Caffè Tazza d’Oro in Rome

“The ristretto here is darkly roasted, thick, strong, and syrupy. Knock one of these down in the morning and you’re set for the rest of the day.” Paul Armstrong tazzadorocoffeeshop.com


Method Coffee Roasters, Worcester

Method Coffee Roasters in Worcester
Method Coffee Roasters in Worcester

Under the arches of Cherry Tree Walk, Method showcases some of the best coffees from Latin America, Indonesia and east Africa, all painstakingly prepared in a vintage Probat roaster. Anita Applebee methodroastery.com


John Watt & Son, Cumbria

“Has a fabulous array of not only its own roasted coffee blends, but also teas to buy over the counter or taste.” Sue Dunlop johnwattcoffeeandtea.com


Kiss the Hippo, London

Kiss the Hippo’s Fitzrovia location seen from the street
Kiss the Hippo’s Fitzrovia location
A roasting machine at Kiss the Hippo in London
A roasting machine at Kiss the Hippo in London

In 2018, Kiss the Hippo opened its “state-of-the-art” roastery in Richmond – then won the UK Barista Championships a few months later. Two other branches in Fitzrovia and Sloane Square have followed, both with plenty of coffee bags to go. A kissthehippo.com


Unfiltered Coffee Co, Dublin

“Proudly NOT serving brunch since 2019” – Unfiltered lets its coffee do the talking, offering the usual classics from a state-of-the-art Pesado portafilter. Marianne O’Reilly @unfiltered_coffee_co


Bad Luck Social Club, Brighton

Inside seating at Bad Luck Social Club in Brighton
Bad Luck Social Club in Brighton

“A great music vibe, awesome vegan food and a laser-like focus on making the best coffee makes this place outstanding.” JMS badlucksocial.com


Bantam Coffee Counter, New York

“This small, unfussy take-away window serves fragrant pour-overs, flakey croissants, fresh cold brews and the warmest of friendly conversation. Coffee is from the most excellent Sey spectrum of roasts and the artful branches and blooms adorning the window typically stem from nearby Park Delicatessen.” Kate 176 Underhill Ave, NY 11238, USA


Fringe + Ginge, Kent 

Opened weeks before the UK’s first lockdown, Fringe + Ginge has become a firm favourite amongst Canterbury coffee lovers, serving up chocolate-tahini banana bread, Basque cheesecake and Campbell & Syme blends. Dennis Walsh @fringeandgingecoffee


Florence, Luxembourg 

“A tiny coffee shop on a big mission”: Florence in Luxembourg
“A tiny coffee shop on a big mission”: Florence in Luxembourg © Alexandru Fratila

A self-described “tiny coffee shop on a big mission”, Florence sources blends from Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Cameroon and Kenya, and only buys coffee from farmers that the owners have “personally shaken hands with”. Jane Exall florence.lu


Victor Rose Espresso Bar, Montreal

Mother-and-daughter duo Terry and Marie named their café after their (great-) grandfather “in memory of his love for art, social justice and togetherness” – a nod to the traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg and Kanien’keha:ka Nations upon which it resides. Rob Geller cafevictorrose.com


Pegasus Coffee House, Washington 

Customers stand outside Pegasus Coffee House in Bainbridge Island, Washington
Pegasus Coffee House in Bainbridge Island, Washington
Pegasus still hosts artists and travelling musicians
Pegasus still hosts artists and travelling musicians

On the small, pine-studded island of Bainbridge, Pegasus Coffee House has been active for more than 40 years. Once a haven for local artists, the ivy-covered brick building still serves as a gallery and stage for travelling musicians. David A pegasuscoffee.com

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