If you hadn't guessed already, I love coffee.
In fact, it's become something I rely on day-to-day. Which is probably a bad thing!
I actually remember my first ever coffee. I was 14.
I was on a trip to London with my Stagecoach Performing Arts group and we had just received our tickets to go and see the matinee performance of Wicked the Musical (which was actually my first time seeing that musical too!)
Just over the road from the Apollo Victoria Theatre, there was a Starbucks and some of the older kids were grabbing coffees before the performance. So I went along and we all ordered Venti Caramel Macchiatos with cream on top.
From that moment on, I loved coffee.
I do like a cup of tea occasionally, but it can't quite match my love affair with coffee.
But more and more, I'm choosing to ditch the coffee chain cups for local chain coffee.
According to Google, there are over 200 local coffee chains in Northamptonshire. That's a lot of coffee.
I think it's a slightly impossible task to visit them all, but I do want to support more local coffee chains, as I feel they have a lot more to offer in terms of variety of beverages, decor inside and out and an interesting history to tell, especially if it's a coffee shop that's a family business.
I have a few favourite coffee shops that I would like to share with you briefly, and then we'll go onto the main subject of this blog post. Let me know if you have visited any of these places:
A cosy bar situated within the Royal and Derngate, in the heart of the cultural quarter. John Franklin's has everything you could want, including great coffee!
Local roasters, The Roastery, are responsible for supplying the coffee to them. And I believe their coffee beans have a perfect balance.
From the creamy aroma to the taste itself. I can always rely on John Franklin's for a steamy cup of coffee (and a cheeky slice of cake!)
Being in the centre of Northampton, its in the perfect location for those who work in the town who want to grab their cup of coffee before work, whilst supporting a local chain.
I love coming here when I fancy a quiet place to work, because I know I can get good Wi-Fi, a cosy chair, a quiet spot and most importantly, great tasting coffee.
This place has literally made me 'bewitched' for their coffee!
Known as the 'coffee experts', they have eight locations across Northamptonshire, with one of their shops conveniently located in Northampton town Grosvenor shopping centre.
Josh and I have come here when shopping in the town centre, despite having a Costa Coffee places right opposite, we will choose to come here every time.
Around seasonal holidays like Christmas and Easter, they have some amazing coffee creations. I once had a Cookie Crumble Hot Chocolate and it was honestly AMAZING.
They also have their own shop which you can buy products from. You can get products like a Bewitched travel cup, coffee cups, their own blend of coffee beans and you can even purchase a Barista Training Class.
Ten Hands Cafe Bar is my go-to brunch spot in my hometown.
Conveniently located in the middle of Watling Street in Towcester, it's pretty interior and yummy brunch options are not the only things I love about this, but I love their array of coffees too.
They have a unique menu of coffee options, from iced lattes, matcha tea lattes and all the classic favourites. Plus, they never fail to make a beautiful looking flat white pattern.
And what I love even more about this place is the beautiful decor. I am really keen to do a blogger shoot inside because I think it would make a perfect location for blog photos.
The staff are really friendly too, which is always a bonus when you know the staff.
If you're looking for a coffee shop with character, magic, fantasy and something completely different: you need to head to The Magic Bean Emporium on St Giles Street, Northampton.
Full of storybook magic, from Harry Potter to princesses and potions; The Magic Bean Emporium aims to celebrate valiant tales and tasty treats in Northampton. It's got fab coffee that goes from your standard favourites to wonderful and weird creations!
Not only do they sell good coffee, but they have a range of fabulous desserts and they have their own gift shop!
You won't see anything quite like The Magic Bean Emporium in Northampton!
Who knew a coffee shop and roastery could function from such a small shed on Angel Street, in the heart of Northampton's cultural quarter.
They somehow cleverly incorporate a relaxing, cosy coffee shop environment with an everyday working and functioning roastery which you can witness the barista's making delicious filter coffee from their state of the art brewing machines.
The space is very compact but has such a unique personality with its coffee packing and preparation area in their upstairs space and if you're lucky, you can grab the best seat in the house that overlooks Angel Street along with a display of eco-friendly coffee plant pots.
They serve fresh coffee and treats that are available inside and to take away. They also provide their roast coffee to other suppliers in Northamptonshire, such as Maule Brewery and Matchbox Cafe. They also have their own shop so you can take Yellow Bourbon Coffee home with you.
A new coffee shop that is conveniently placed in Northampton Market Square but has a bigger purpose to the county than just serving nice coffee.
Cafe Track is run by TRACK, a social enterprise formed to help support autistic people in getting access to employment and training - and Cafe Track is a part of that, as it allows school and college students to gain experience of working in a real-life business.
Not only do they have a fantastic ethos behind the cafe, but they also serve delicious food and drink. My coffee on my first visit was pretty memorable, as I ordered a skinny latte with vanilla, I was served my vanilla syrup in a mini glass vase, which was completely new to me.
The atmosphere is light and full of friendly bar staff working, plus if you sit near the window, you get a great view of the market square if you're one of those people, like me, who like watching the world go by.
This next coffee recomendation comes at Brackley in Northamptonshire, which is much further south and near the Oxfordshire boarder.
Brackley is one of my favourite towns in Northamptonshire and it's certainly not short of places to grab a cuppa. We recently checked out the Courtyard Coffee House, which is tucked away down a small alley way that takes you to the Courtyard Shops which is a small area full of independent retailers and businesses.
The Courtyard Coffee House is a small, but very cosy and lived in coffee shop. The front of it is absolutly adorable and the staff inside were very friendly and chatty considering we walked in for the first time. As I got chatting to one of the ladies, I found out that their coffee was supplied by Yellow Bourbon, so I knew I was going to get a good cup of coffee.
On this occasion, Josh had a Mocha whilst I went for a vanilla skinny latte. Mine was super creamy and sweet, exactly how I like my latte! The atsmopshere was peaceful and I could see myself coming back here when I'm next in Brackley.
I will keep adding to this blog post with various coffee shop spots in Northamptonshire, so keep your eyes peeled!
If you live in Northamptonshire, what are your favourite coffee shops to go into?
Do you have any favourites that I've not mentioned here? I'm going to try and visit more local coffee shops to give you the best range and choice across the county.
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