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Our favourite 5 coffee shops in Cornwall

Matt Stocks

Tags Coffee

At Dor and Tan, we love good coffee, and our startup would not have happened without many hours of 'business planning' in local coffee shops. It seemed a shame to waste this research so we would like to share our favourite five Cornish coffee shops. Our choice is not based on science, sampling, statistics, user interviews or bribery but is purely our experiences of the ambience, location, quality of coffee and friendliness of these establishments. We have referenced other guides for their technical perspective, but the blame for the short list is ours alone.

Mount Zion - St Ives

Mount Zion must be one of the world's smallest coffee shops, but it makes up for its diminutive size with a warm and friendly welcome, innovative choices of coffee and a stunning location. The window opens out onto a gorgeous view of St Ives Harbour, and the shop is only a few metres away from the water’s edge.  

Mike Lang, the owner, is constantly innovating with coffee making techniques and sources an ever changing range of coffees from speciality artisan roasters. The result is excellent coffee made with great attention to detail. Mike's motto is - we're not quick - and if you are looking for fast service or a vast range of snacks this is probably the wrong place for you. On the other hand, if you want great coffee served by a friendly barista in a lovely location then take your time and enjoy the experience.

Strong Adolfos - near Wadebridge

If you venture up north along the Atlantic Highway A39 (all directions are from St Ives), you will come across Strong Adolfo’s just before you get to Wadebridge. It is part of a tiny retail park designed for the hip and well-heeled which includes an art gallery, craft shop and Aga store.

The decor is Scandi chic meets Cornish surfer, and this combines with the huge windows to create a light and relaxing space. The coffee is from Origin, and it is lovingly prepared using espresso machines, clever filters and batch filters. While this blog is about coffee shops, not food, it would be churlish not to mention the superb breakfasts and delicious pastries!

It is a bustling place which is often busy at meal times (and we all know busy means good!) but overall the service is still friendly and efficient. We recommend for a pop-in.

108 Coffee House - Truro

Small friendly and a little bit rustic 108 is a great place to meet up with friends in Truro. The coffee is from Origin, prepared by skilled Baristas using Espresso machines and V60’s. The results are excellent with very strong rich coffees and food.

We particularly like the comfy chairs and the easy going approach which encourages customers to take their time and relax a bit.

Located in central Truro makes it convenient for both shoppers and workers (who can also use a delivery service to their offices). It’s not very big so getting a seat can sometimes be a challenge but beyond that, it’s an easy place to like.  

Liberty Coffee - Launceston

One of the first Cornish craft coffee shops, Liberty, is run by enthusiastic staff and serves excellent coffee from a range of roasters, including Origin and Square Mile. It is just off the High Street and has a pleasant and comfortable ambience which has benefited from a recent refit.

The real draw of Liberty is the quality of its coffee and their care in sourcing great beans.  They use Espresso machines, Aeropress and Cold Brew techniques. A cracking range of cakes compliment the coffees.

If you haven’t tried a cold brew coffee before, this is the place to go. It’s intriguing and refreshing with a much greater range of flavours than the standard espresso.

Espressini - Falmouth

Falmouth is a student town famous for its art and creative courses. Espressini fits into the art student vibe perfectly. An eclectic mix of oddly matched furniture creates a very relaxed atmosphere, complimented by very easy going and friendly staff. It’s a comfortable place to relax, and you won't be pushed out as soon as you’ve finished your drink.

Espressini source their coffee from local roasters, the house coffee, is from Olfactory in Penryn, and they also have guest coffee’s from Yallah. The baristas are very knowledgeable and produce brilliant coffees using espresso machines and filters.

The locally sourced cakes are a bit special and difficult to resist. Some are made in house and others come from the excellent Exploding Bakery (who have a fantastic Instagram).

Illustration by Viola Watkins

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