8 Jan 2018

AndSoWeDrink // Best of Brum Coffee

I have lived in coffee shops for most of my adult life.
When I first moved back to Birmingham over 12 years ago I was dismayed at the lack of places to grab a decent coffee. Whilst I will use a chain (usually reserved for motorway caffeine emergencies) it is never my first choice when out and about in any town or city.


It may have taken us a while but over the past 5 years our coffee scene has exploded and this was most certainly highlighted earlier in the year with the Birmingham Coffee Festival.


I’ve put together my top places for coffee and also added in a little extra about kid friendliness and accessibility.

Boston Tea Party: This is my favourite chain. Most excellent for families, and their kids menu covers both the big and small, so you don't waste money on large plates of uneaten food.
Brunch is served all day and they have something on the menu for everyone (eggy bread and avacado is the win for me) Babychinos are free and if you need to size up it’s just 75p for a glass of milk.
With branches in Harborne, Edgbason and Corporation street and soon opening in Solihull.


Quarter Horse Coffee: On the edge of town this fine establishment always has excellent coffee and a variety of dairy free options. Plenty of space of buggys and with baby changing facilities, quarter horse has a chilled atmosphere and plenty of cake. Babychinos are a £1 for a decent sized cup. And for me I love the ever changing filter coffee options (which are all roasted on site).


CanEat: This is my favourite hidey hole to get work done, have an epic lunch and even better coffee. At the weekends you’ll be pushed to find a space to squeeze as the entire
population of Stirchley descends. Always a kids pasta dish available and breakfast is an all day affair. The menu changes daily and you will never be disappointed. Whilst busy, there is space to park the buggy, a small kitchen to play with along with an awesome selection of books from How Brave Is Wren and of course the very important baby changing


Waterstones: Head up to the second floor and discover the little gem of a coffee shop. Their green tea is the best I have had the pleasure to drink. Items are locally sourced and the prices are reasonable too. Changing facilities are on alternate floors and there is also a small cafe up on the children's floor, if you want them to grab a book or two while you drink a hot beverage.


Now we move into ‘not quite set out for kids’ territory
None of these places are anti kids, they just don’t quite tick all the boxes if you are looking for something more than a quick drink


Yorks Stephenson Street: My son loves this place as he can sit in the window and watch the trams go by. I love this place as they have a mean filter coffee and an ever changing cake selection. Breakfast, Brunch and Later is served and there are lots of options to choose from. Babychinos are free, and if you need to size up a warm milk is £1.50. Space wise it really isn’t practical for pushchairs; as space between tables is limited.
Something to note: there is no baby changing on site (there is an accessible toilet, but no changing table available)


Faculty: Situated in Piccadilly Arcade (surrounded by all the chains) the smallest of spaces, serves some of the finest coffee in the city. Food comes from the fabulous Sixteen next door and you can purchase from either and sit and enjoy. I wouldn’t even attempt to get in the door if you have a pushchair, and due to the size there are no toilet facilities (you’ll have to nip into Grand Central if the need appears!). They are more than happy to whip up a warm milk, but I must admit I tend to go here without the Small as I really don't want to share my cake!


Tilt: Never would you think to pop into a pinball bar for coffee and cake. But you really should. Cakes are supplied by the awesome guys at Bake (there is no excuse to not know who these guys are) and coffee and tea is always flowing. Kids are welcome during the day and there is space for buggys and spreading out. Small has become quite obsessed with the lights of the Pinball machines, so I fear we will be spending all of his savings here!


Late Entry..

Caffiened: Opening just before Christmas and on the edge of Harborne's high street (just a few minutes walk) these guys have coffee nailed. They have created a space which is warm and welcoming and with the coffee cups designed just for them, no detail has been left out. Happy to whip up a warm milk, and plenty of room for buggies (do mind the step on the way in though!)


So, those were just a few of my favourite places for a good coffee. Where have I missed in the city? Tell me your favourite spots to hang out  


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