Say goodbye to Starbucks, bid adieu to Costa and turn your back on Cafe Nero for good. There's no need to bother with the identikit chain coffee shops in this city, not when there are so many beautiful independents to choose from! 

The name Lufkin originates from the word ‘love’: that pretty much says it all. Hidden away down a characterful alley in Pontcanna, Lufkin's Scandinavian-esque wood clad setting and sweeping modern glass frontage all provide a unique cocoon in which to sup on some of the best beans in town. These guys are small batch roasters, so specialty grade, green arabica coffee is their thing. The roasting is done on-site by an unmissably beautiful bean machine, and then packaged in 250g bags for you to enjoy at home. If you're looking to revel in the moment, you'll love this place!

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Corner Coffee is the latest hot spot for Cardiff's bean enthusiasts. Founder Chris has poured his heart and soul into this space crafting all the interior himself. Corner Coffee is a beautiful clean minimalistic space to come to escape the daily grind. Raw materials and edison bulbs carve a place of perfect simplicity allowing you to relax and focus on life's important matters. (good Coffee) With their in-house blend and a range of Welsh roasted guests Corner Coffee is the home of the coffee connoisseurs.

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This unusually named group of café-bars has sites in the City Centre's Capital Quarter and on Cathedral Road (squeezed up against against Pontcanna's leafy spine). A functional yet thoroughly design-led space with a hint of the "cherry picked Swedish design club" about it (think Scandi cool rather than noir), Kin + Ilk is a melting pot of approachable cool. Food wise, the menu is small but diverse: expect freshly made filled or open sandwiches, Welsh cheeses & meat, homemade soups, creative salads, brilliant brunches, artisan coffee and cakes. There’s even a tempting range of bar snacks, including a vegan antipasti platter. It’s very chilled at Kin + Ilk, and whether you’re sipping cappuccino or Chianti, you’ll feel cool, calm and collected here.

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This independent bistro & coffee shop is one of four in the Milk & Sugar mini-empire, serving Illy coffee alongside made-to-order specials, salads and sandwiches. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Queen Street, on weekdays it's a great out-of-office hideaway, place for a quiet meeting, or a catch up coffee with friends. A full breakfast menu also runs all week (including Saturdays) making this a very good option for brunch before a hard day's shopping in the city centre.

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A search by two bar owners for the best possible cup of coffee became an obsession, which became a small roaster in a garage, which became 200 degrees... This cosy coffee shop is a beautiful hide out on Cardiff's highstreet, if the aroma didn't draw you in, then the raw red brick walls lite with hanging Edison bulbs creating a super cosy space just might! Their selection of sarnies, cakes, bakes and brownies makes it oh so easy to spend the day sinking in to Chesterfield sofas whilst sippin away on some on a splendid roast!

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Hard Lines' second shop in the beloved Cardiff Market is our favourite spot for an afternoon pick-me-up. Matt and Sophie have created a beautiful space at No 25, bringing a breath of fresh air to this iconic Victorian market. Neon lights and an amazing retro pink coffee machine give this little space a super-cool feel. Head here for your afternoon pick-me-up and to sample some of the best coffee in Cardiff.

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Set in the leafy Gorsedd Gardens, Brodies is an unassuming hideaway that lets its produce (and beautiful surroundings) do the talking. If the roof-mounted fairground bulbs don't grab your attention, Brodies' vintage style will. Decked out in rich blue wooden panelling, bordered by period white trim and curtailed by a beautifully-set leaden roof, this former gardener's hut is the park's resident Victorian gent - a truly unique addition to the city's food and drink community. Valley roasted beans from Coaltown and luxurious hot chocolates warm the cockles here, and Ian and Danni's resolutely sunny service keeps the regulars coming back for more.

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Run by Katia and Dimitri, two of the bay's most welcoming coffee aficionados, Quantum Coffee Roasters really do go beyond the bean. Combining Heisenberg-esque scientific precision with craft, love and a purposeful embracing of coffee's creative possibilities, every Crisp Chemex, Filtered V60, Bracing Cold-Brew Tonic and Rich Espresso created here is a veritable work of art - and well worth taking more time than usual to fully enjoy. Squidgy sofas, upside-down plant pots and hanging cameras from a bygone era adorn the interior, with weathered signage, exposed brickwork and factory lighting giving a utilitarian touch or two (reminiscent of the Bay's industrial past). Quantum's aesthetic is as individual as its coffee - balancing a well-engineered scientific process with a good dose of heart and soul.

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Perched on the corner of the junction between Bridge Street and David Street, Little Man Coffee is well-known for its use of locally-roasted coffee - we mean literally, a few streets away in nearby Riverside. Sip on a cuppa brewed with beans from the likes of James Gourmet Coffee, Coaltown Coffee Roasters and the Welsh Coffee Company. Inside, the decor is simple, spacious and slightly quirky; wooden flooring, white walls, wooden tables, plastic blue chairs and vintage armchairs. The windows stretch all around the outer walls of the coffee shop, allowing plenty of natural light to flood in.

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Tucked away in Royal Arcade, in the very centre of Cardiff, is Uncommon Ground. Serving delicious sweet and savoury pastries, sandwiches, soups and cakes, their expertise is obviously the coffee, as suggested by their name. Roasted in the shop on a daily basis, their high-end beans are prepared by an experienced team of baristas to achieve the freshest, greatest tasting coffee. Be sure to check out their guest coffees, coming from all over the world.

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Published -1st October 2018