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Not Your Average Cup of Joe

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While you make your way through your daily grind, why not take our fun quiz and find out what cup of coffee you would be?


We all love a good cup of java! You can choose between long and short, with or without milk, hot or cold, caffeinated or decaf. Whether your beloved beverage is a powerful espresso, a milky latte or a frothy cappuccino; we’re a nation of self-proclaimed coffee lovers.

So, where should you go to grab a really good cup of Joe?

There are plenty of great coffee shops to choose from at train stations across the UK and if you don’t have time to stop, don’t panic because you can always grab one on the go! All routes run by CrossCountry offer a trolley service that provides passengers with delicious coffee to fill you up for your journey.

If you think you’ve bean there, drank that, then it’s time to percolate over our list of great independent coffee shops below!

1. The Branch Line – St Erth

The Branch Line is a café which can be found in a charmingly tiny train station in rural Cornwall. This independently-run shop serves its coffee in old fashioned cups, giving it a quirky appeal. If you’re passing through, stopping by the café comes highly recommended: between friendly smiles, you can choose from all kinds of great coffee. Plus, a slice of homemade cake is always on the menu and if you fancy a savoury nibble, spoil yourself with a freshly made hot bacon bap. Thanks a latte!

 :  A cup of coffee with a smiley face made of froth sat on a white wooden table

  2. Green Coffee Machine – Cheltenham Spa

There’s no feeling of deja brew in this unique station café! The delightful Green Coffee Machine serves all your favourite coffees, from frappes and cappuccinos to americanos and mochas. Here you can sip on organic drinks, dairy-free beverages and a great selection of smoothies. All of their coffee is made using Fairtrade beans meaning this is definitely one of the coolest coffee shops in this pretty spa town.

 A cup of milky coffee surrounded by dark chocolate and fresh mint sprigs sat on a wooden board on a dark wood table

 3. Procaffeinate – Leamington Spa

If you’ve got a whole latte love for coffee, then head to Leamington Spa for a cup of coffee from the town’s self-proclaimed natural born barista. This coffee shop is part of many local’s daily coffee rituals, and for good reason. They have a skinny menu that is perfect for anyone looking to shed the pounds in the new year. Like any good coffee shop, there’s also a yummy menu if you fancy something to munch with your drink. And if that wasn’t enough, they make their own blend of tripled certified coffee from organic Fairtrade Arabica beans. Truly the local coffee masters, the team at Procaffeinate also have a converted horse box that can be used at all kinds of catering events.

As the owner of this charming café says, money won’t buy you happiness, but it will get you the next best thing – a cup of coffee.

 Four cups of black coffee being served from two glass jugs on a dark wooden table

 4. The Fig & Sparrow – Manchester

Why go to the usual chains when you can get something out of this world from an independent café? If it’s a smooth roast you’re after, walk a few minutes out of Manchester Piccadilly Station to the nearby Fig & Sparrow where the latte art is as stunning as the interior design. A cake, breakfast and lunch menu make for the perfect accompaniment to the craft coffee selection. You can even enjoy some shopping while sipping on your favourite beverage, as the café is stocked with quirky cards and homemade knickknacks.

A white cup of coffee with froth on a saucer with a teaspoon, heart shaped sugar cubes, coffee beans and milk chocolate hearts sat on a dark wooden table

5. Pink Lane – Newcastle

Ever wondered what it would be like to sit on cushions made from coffee sacks? Pop to Pink Lane and find out for yourself! You can get a tasty takeaway or sit in with your coffee. The best thing about this quirky café is that it is just a stone’s throw from the station, just pop across the road for your coffee fix! Small but beautiful, this coffee shop loves to keep everything fresh and regularly changes its menu, so you can enjoy a new taste experience every time you visit.

As new coffee shops pop up everywhere all promising something brew-tiful, it can be tricky to know where to go if you want more than your average cup of Joe. The great news is, if you don’t get time to stop at a station, then you can grab your favourite hot beverage on any of our CrossCountry train services.

If you’re keen to discover somewhere new in 2018, take advantage of discounted prices on Advance tickets with CrossCountry.

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