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I always make a beeline for Redroaster whenever I'm in need of a cup of coffee, as they offer a wide variety of coffees and I'm always tempted by the delicious cakes, professionally made by their own very talented staff. The cake that I can never resist is their Norwegian Surprise. It is so light it almost rises off the plate by itself -- it is only held down by the surprise fruit nestling in amongst the cream filling! The thin layer of marzipan over the whole cake makes it a must-have with a cup of their delicious coffee, which is beautifully made to order from the beans that they roast on the premises.
Barbara Aston, 29 May 2015
Well you have to hand it to her, Michaela Ridgway has come up with another winning combination. In addition to the regular monthly Thursday events at the Redroaster, we have poets interviewing poets and who better to start this new enterprise than Jackie Wills interviewing Mimi Khalvati. A truly inspirational evening with Jackie getting to the heart of Mimi's preoccupations...
Thank you Redroaster for your significant contribution towards helping the environment. You recycled 9640kg in 2014, which saved the equivalent of 12 trees and 10460kg of CO2.
Alison Roe, Paper Round director, 26 February 2015
I love love love this place. The coffee is amazing, literally the best I have had. Food is tasty, with cakes to die for. A relaxed atmosphere where I can even take my dog. A rare gem, whenever in Brighton I always make time for a coffee or two.
5 out of 5 stars on Trip Advisor, 6 December 2014
An oasis in Brighton. Found it on about 5th visit to Brighton and after past disappointments. Taste, temperature and silky milk on my latte were a blessed relief.
Cowombat, Beanhunter, 27 June 2014
A huge thank you for donating a prize to our Reclaim the Night raffle on Saturday! We raised over £300 which will be split between the National Ugly Mugs Scheme (supporting the rights and safety of sex workers) and local charity Survivors' Network (supporting survivors of sexual violence).
Brighton Feminist Collective, 17 November 2014
We visited here on our brief break to Brighton. We love our coffee and had heard good things about this place so hunted it out to try for ourselves. The inside is a big space, slightly old looking... but we quite liked the individuality of it. Much better than your samey chain coffee shops. Cappuccinos were great. Probably the second best we've ever had. (The best is in a little coffee place in Leeds!)
Laura G, April 2014
We just wanted to say a big thank you for letting us use the Redroaster cafe last night for Skief Promotions' charity comedy gig. The Redroaster is a brilliant venue and it worked really well. Please can you pass on our thanks to Joe and the other staff that worked last night, they were all incredibly helpful; serving customers quickly, anticipating our needs before we asked and setting up everything we needed. With your help we raised £250.33 for Womankind Worldwide which is amazing.
Coralie and Larissa, 17 March 2014
I remember coming in to Redroaster when I was only nine (for the marshmallows in the hot chocolate) and then I used to come in after school, for the coffee. I always wanted to work here and now I am. My niece comes in for the hot chocolate sometimes -- and she can't remember the first time she came in here!
Esther G, 18 February 2014
It hardly needs the endorsement but our list [of the best Sussex coffee shops] would simply not be complete without a mention of Brighton’s legendary coffee house, the Redroaster. The chairs might be hard but with coffee this good you’ll be too full of beans to want to sit down for long. Hosting regular live music and spoken word nights this is one all-rounded caffeine hit.
Issue 83, What's Happening Magazine
Redroaster is very special. A Brighton institution!
Simon Kirby, MP for Brighton Kemp Town and Peacehaven
I must tell my daughter about this place... [she goes to school in Brighton]
Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, Paymaster General, and MP for Horsham, visiting the cafe,
6 December 2013
Thank you for the best coffee east of San Francisco! We come back here every few months.
Written inside a card handed over the counter, 22 November 2013
These Pighog readings are the central highlight now of poetry in Brighton.
Rob Hamberger, poet, 5 November 2013
I have just discovered Redroaster and am pleased to say they have a nice selection of beans, roasted in-house. I will be back shortly to try drinks in-house.
Trevor G, 27 October 2013
Have had coffee and eaten here on a number of occasions. Is always very busy and it can be difficult to get a table. On this occasion four of us went for coffee and a snack. The coffee and food were great.
Edwin F, Halifax, Canada, October 2013
I greatly enjoyed Breakfast at Dalkey [staged at Redroaster during the May Festival], which is a gentle but revealing insight into Irish family life in the 1930s. It has all the essential ingredients of sex, money, the Catholic Church and the wish for bourgeois respectability. Well written and beautifully acted...
Bill Randall, Mayor of Brighton, 8 June 2013
I've tried many many other beans both locally and within the UK, but cannot find anything that comes close to your house blend! Please send payment details.
Marc E, mail order customer, Wales, 1 March 2013
"The Red Roaster is one of the few British cafes to have a traditional continental feel – a bohemian place, a long bar room with enormously high ceiling (it used to be a post office) and many small groups huddled in threes or fours around small circular tables, occasionally drawing tables together for a bigger group. ...
CoffeeSoul, a Spanish coffee website
"I’ve been going to Red Roaster since it opened back in the day… Built on good ethical principles it sells the best coffee in Brighton, and the thick hot chocolate is the perfect way to hide from the rain and depressive overload of Tory Britain, especially when the piano is being played… Staff are always friendly and the clientele is a Brighton mixture... It’s human - a place for the local community, artists, musicians, students, actors, journalists, anyone who likes good coffee and a place where it really doesn’t matter if you’re ultra-Brighton cool or not."
The incumbent Redroaster, now in its 13th year, is Brighton's longest running speciality coffee shop and whilst it's not the prettiest cafe space in the city [we think it's pretty - Ed], its popularity shows no signs of abating. This is due in no small part to the fine list of coffees on sale, often featuring Cup of Excellence lots which are hand roasted at their roastery in Kemptown. A mainstay of the city's cafe culture, Redroaster also carries the flag for Brighton's growing number of fiercely independent coffee shops, having stared down the much maligned Starbucks across St James's Street for some time. Long may it continue.
Alex Evans, author of The Independent Coffee Book, Source, February 2013
Whilst not wanting to get involved in a coffee-off, it seems that one of Brighton's oldest independent roasteries is still the best – Red Roaster, on St James St. Serious fanatics mix with normal folk, roasting carries on at the back, poetry nights, great hot choc, queues, and most people seem to think it's called Rooster?
Lost in Catering website, London, 28 January 2013
"Redroaster in Brighton, a very well-regarded coffee-house, was way ahead of the much vaunted vogue for 'roaster-retailers' or people who roast on their own premises."
Ian Boughton, Coffee-house Capers
"Tho' I live in Ireland, I've been a regular at Redroaster for two years now, whenever I travel over for the acting, and I think it's a great place, I've met a lot of friendly people here. I take honey in my coffee to keep my voice for the singing and it works fine. We're opening Murphy's Legacy here and then taking it on tour to Birr in County Offaly and Killorglin, County Kerry, home territory for me and the play".
Vinny, who played the priest in Murphy's Legacy, 6 November 2012
The coffee's pretty damn good, the premises lovely and airy with a nice vibe. Staff are really nice, and always happy to remake your coffee if you're not happy with it, beats some grumpy student serving you mud water in Starbucks... A nice mix of Kemptown's finest residents, from debs to plebs.
Sammy75, Brighton, 27 November 2012
"Redroaster is a legendary coffee house and roasterie in Brighton, that has been producing gourmet coffee for well over a decade".
Coffee blogger, Damn Fine Joe, 30 August 2012
"The staff [at Redroaster] generate bonhomie with leisured, natural smiles"
Elegant and outlandish guide, A Mule in Brighton
Great acts such as 'Vlad Miller and Notes from Underground' in The Brighton Festival
Andy B, 14 May 2012
"Whilst visiting Brighton last week I came in on Friday and purchased some of your House Blend beans -- they are awesome. Also nice to visit a 'proper' coffee shop selling 'proper' coffee. If I wanted to buy coffee mail order, is this something you do?" [please send us a message via the contact page]
Grant L, 21 February 2012
"Just the most beautiful atmosphere for poetry. Superb programming. Perfect venue. The ideal poetry evening."
Hugo Williams, poet in the audience at Brighton Poetry Festival, 1 December 2011
"I love this place. First of all, Brighton is one of the coolest places I have traveled abroad to. Not only does it have an amazing beach and unique vibe, but it has great coffee. Would it be lame if I confessed to only taking a 3 hour bus ride from London to try the "white coffee"? I think not. I had a great cup of white coffee here. I also had a nice little gouter [snack] to go along. The barista was really friendly and totally helped me with my order and brought me a knife when she saw that I was struggling with spreading my butter with a spoon(!) The things you do as a tourist...
If you're in town, stop in. You'll love this place! And please note: it's roaster... Not 'rooster'. That wasn't super obvious to us all. Thank you Brighton!"
Jamie J, Seattle, USA, 7 October 2011
“...this is a genuine Brighton institution.
"The Red Rooster" as people annoyingly/amusingly often call it, will probably always be a biased favourite of mine. It was my first real introduction to what can be achieved by independent coffee houses in the UK. Always full of Continental European language students and Italian visitors to Brighton, and those who have sniffed this place out to find a cafe that produces the type of culture and ambience they find at home. The outside seating is a guaranteed spot for the best people-watching entertainment in town. "All life is here," as one local put it to me. This is St James's Street at its most colourful best. Always busy, and the staff are usually excellent. The cafe is also used as an evening venue for music, poetry, and has a wonderful atmosphere. Toilets are OK too!
"The coffee is consistently great, and the beans are small batch roasted on the red roaster itself or in larger batches at the company's own roastery just a few minutes up the road. Coffee beans are wholesale supplied to local businesses such as Infinity Foods. Paul, the head roaster, is a champion coffee taster (see picture below)... Other coffee shops have arrived over the last few years to rival Redroaster, but it does seem to have an extra edge over the competition.
"A couple of years back, the loyal customers (with Facebook page) even took on the mighty Starbucks which had illegally opened a branch on the same street. Supporters of the Redroaster and the many other independents in the area (and community in general) fought a long and interesting (but ultimately unsuccessful) battle against the Seattle chain. Weekly protests and campaigns must have brought Starbucks much more negative publicity than they had bargained for...
"The espresso is always fine and comes as it should, Italian style, with a glass of tap water - not many places do this as standard here. The RR even does its own unique take on English preferences on its coffee menu --‘Inglese' alongside Café au lait and the usual Italian Americano, Macchiato etc. The paninis and cakes are also delicious, and it is worth buying some fresh roasted (single-origin or blend) beans, with a board showing the date of last roast. The baristas will even help you with your Italian class homework if you get stuck! It really is the one to beat in Brighton."
Coffee Ape: Coffee bean blogging, 17 June 2011
Picture left: Paul Stephens, chief coffee roaster and accredited coffee taster
Photo credit: Abel Stephens
In a slight break from our usual recommendation of places to eat in Brighton and Hove, today we suggest the best place to drink coffee in the city as the Redroaster on St James’s Street. However, while a fine cup of coffee, of which the choice is vast, is the reason to visit Redroaster the cakes on offer are also worth a mention, although be warned, it is not always easy to get a seat at this popular little coffee house, especially at peak times.
It is an ideal option for all the anti-Starbucks crowd, of which there are many in and around St James’s Street, but there is no compromise on the quality of your coffee here. Redroaster, which is described as one of the best places to ‘people watch’ in Brighton, is also renowned for its hot chocolate, so if you are not a coffee aficionado you should still check out this gem of a place.
News from Brighton 28 September 2010
My favorite and, IMO, the best coffee in Brighton, tasty, smooth and served at the correct temperature (which is not lukewarm when you take your first sip). If you're a local, ask for a loyalty card, because they are well hidden, which will give you freebies. Check out local art work and photography which are displayed on the walls, which are also available to buy, and the CD of the week is normally located next to the counter. You'll also find possibly the most comprehensive selection of Brighton flyers, magazines and posters within the entrance [and the staircase at the back].
Rob Nicholls, 7 August 2010
Another of Will’s favourites was our near neighbours at the Redroaster, who have a vibrant Facebook appreciation group with 183 members, a veritable community of coffee-lovers online. Participants post photos, ask questions of the coffee house’s owners and swap advice on the best product (the Café au Lait is popular). The guys at the Roaster have learned a golden rule of social media – letting go. By that I mean they encourage conversations they do not control about their product, a clear departure from ‘broadcasting’ messages with posters, adverts and press releases. Sure, the odd unfavourable comment crops up – but most people are praise-worthy and the remarks are all the more credible because they come from real customers, not from the owners.
Metrodeco teashop, 29 April 2010
Serving the best coffee in Brighton, Redroaster is a fantastic, cosy, comfy place to meet your mates for a cuppa. Located at the bottom of St. James Street in what was the old Post Office, it's in a prime meeting location. The café is a really unique building with enormously high ceilings – so even when it's crowded (which it usually is), it never feels cramped. As a lover of 'people-watching', I also find sitting outside on the pavement in the sunshine, watching the Kemp Town crowds go by immensely enjoyable.
As well as the coffee, they do serve food and their flapjacks (plain or fruity) are pretty darn good. The absolute BEST thing about Redroaster though is their hot chocolate. It tastes literally like drinking a cup of melted chocolate. I usually eat mine with a tiny teaspoon. Yum.
They also host frequent evening poetry readings (which are always packed) and display art by local artists. Definitely an integral 'community' café, I'm not sure my vision of Brighton would be the same without it.
Alice Reeves, 3 March 2010
The Find: This place is one of the best places to get a coffee in Brighton.
A plain and simple decor with seating arrangements that are hardly cosy (unless you bag yourself one of the few sofas!). However, who cares about such things when you can experience coffee like this! The staff here certainly know what they're doing when it comes to coffee. With an in-house micro-roastery where they roast all their own beans, you can't go far wrong.
Queues can form quickly in this place and when they do, staff can be short and snappy. But if you can handle this style of service then your experience shouldn't be half bad. If coffee isn't your thing then try their hot chocolate, it's divine.
Sit outside on the "terrace" and watch Brighton's eccentric world go by... I bet you won't move for hours....
The Cafe Hunter, July 2009
Brighton is from my perspective, a wicked little place on the coast, with enough independent shops and energy to grant it a double thumbs up! It reminds me a lot of Cape Town, and that reminds me even more of friends, family and the journey! We stumbled upon the Grapevine, super cool place if you’re ever in the area! Found an independent roasting house: Redroaster - Gold in an airtight bag.
Jarrad, South Africa, 21 June 2009
It has a real community feel about it - a bit more than just a coffee shop.
Always packed, with good reason. Until coming here, I was never much of a coffee house aficionado, and had only really experienced the dullness of the Starbucks and the like. However, I do like a good cup of coffee, and Redroaster provides it. It doesn't look anything special, but that is partly why I like it - it's there simply to provide good coffee, not to look slick. The atmosphere is very friendly, not just from staff, but the customers too. It's almost a slightly pubby atmosphere in that sense - somewhere to go for the enjoyment of being there, rather than simply the goods that they sell.
Alice C, 26 December 2009
Redroaster is an institution in Brighton, and introduced me to fine coffee. The baristas are international and often Australian, the coffee is truly brilliant -- going back to mass chains, the coffee tastes thin and artifical. The coffees are presented beautifully. The scruffy, relaxed ambience and chilled attitude isn't for everyone but personally I like a place where the quality and delivery is good and quick, and where I'm left alone to get on with my business. Definitely part of the real Brighton, in my opinion, and loved by worshippers of coffee and people watching.
Will McInnes, 11 October 2009