Navigating Coffee Culture An Expats Guide to United Kingdom

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Welcome expatriates to the rich tapestry of coffee culture in United Kingdom! We’re excited to offer insights and tips for navigating the local coffee scene. Whether you’re new to United Kingdom or have lived here for some time, we’re confident that this guide will help you engage with and respect local coffee traditions while immersing yourself in United Kingdom’s unique coffee culture.

Understanding Coffee Origins and Production

First, it’s important to understand where coffee is sourced in United Kingdom. While many coffee shops and cafes here import beans from other countries, there are also some locally grown varieties. Understanding the difference between locally grown and imported coffee can help you appreciate the unique flavors and properties of United Kingdom’s coffee culture.

One region renowned for coffee cultivation is the Scottish Highlands. Here, high winds and cold temperatures help to ensure that the coffee cherry matures slowly, resulting in a complex, nuanced flavor profile. If you’re interested in exploring coffee plantations and farms, consider taking a trip to the Scottish Highlands. You’ll not only learn about local coffee traditions but also immerse yourself in the region’s stunning natural beauty.

Embracing Favorite Coffee Style Drinks

Next, let’s explore some of the favorite coffee style drinks in United Kingdom. From traditional brews to specialty blends to popular coffee beverages unique to the region, there’s something for every taste.

  • Full English Breakfast: This classic coffee is a blend of chocolate, biscuit, and fruity notes. It’s a rich, robust coffee that’s perfect for starting your day or perking you up after lunch.
  • Irish Cream: This coffee contains a hint of Irish cream, lending a smooth, velvety texture and a sweet, rich aroma.
  • England Breakfast: Similar to Full English Breakfast, this blend has a lighter, brighter flavor profile that balances the richness of the coffee with citrusy, fruity notes.
  • Highlands Blend: Inspired by the Scottish Highlands, this coffee is a unique blend of beans from different regions, resulting in a complex, nuanced flavor profile.
  • Stained Glass: This blended coffee is designed to resemble a stained glass window, with different colored beans blended to create a visually stunning drink.

Embracing Coffee Drinking Customs and Traditions

Last but not least, let’s explore some of the coffee drinking customs and traditions that are unique to United Kingdom. These traditions are an important part of local culture, and respecting them is key to immersing yourself in the coffee scene here.

  • Coffee Breaks: Coffee breaks are a cornerstone of United Kingdom’s social culture. Whether you’re meeting a friend for a mid-morning coffee or stopping by a local cafe to unwind after work, coffee breaks are an important part of connecting with others and relaxing.
  • Café Culture: Café culture is a vibrant and diverse part of United Kingdom’s coffee scene. From high-end designer coffee shops to cozy neighborhood cafes, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re working on your laptop, enjoying a leisurely chat with friends, or simplypeople-watching, cafés offer a welcoming and cozy space to enjoy a cup of coffee.
  • Coffee Etiquette: When enjoying coffee in social settings, it’s important to respect local customs and traditions. For example, it’s common to order a small cappuccino called a Cortissimo in the morning, whereas an Espresso Macchiato is more appropriate for an afternoon refreshment.

Exploring Expat Coffee Shops and Cafes

Lastly, we’d like to recommend some expat-friendly coffee shops and cafes that offer a diverse range of coffee styles, foods, and cultural experiences. Whether you live in a big city like London or a smaller town, we’re confident that you’ll find a cozy and welcoming spot here.

  • The Travelling Grounds - Edinburgh: Located in the heart of Edinburgh, The Travelling Grounds is a cozy and welcoming café that offers a wide range of coffee styles and pastries. This café is perfect for expats who are new to the area and looking to connect with others.
  • The Mulberry Bush Tea Room & Emporium - Oxford: This tea room and emporium offers a unique blend of coffee, teas, pastries, and gifts. Whether you’re looking to pick up a souvenir for a friend or simply want to enjoy a leisurely coffee and pastry, this café is the perfect spot.
  • Redemption Roasters - London: Located in London’s trendy Borough Market, Redemption Roasters is a unique and socially conscious café that sources its coffee from fair trade and organic farms. This café is perfect for expats who are passionate about sustainability and social justice.


We hope that this guide has helped you navigate the vibrant and diverse coffee scene in United Kingdom. Remember, coffee is more than just a beverage - it’s a gateway to connecting with locals, exploring new flavors, and immersing yourself in authentic cultural experiences. Whether you’re new to United Kingdom or have lived here for many years, we encourage you to respect local customs and traditions, embrace the unique coffee culture here, and enjoy all that this wonderful country has to offer.