Some of these testimonials have been taken from independent cafe review sites on the internet. If you would prefer your review not to appear here, please let us know and we will remove it. Also, we believe that the photographer told the people pictured here that he wanted to use their pictures on a website but if you would prefer it not to be used, please call us.
'Brighton’s independent streak, entrepreneurial spirit, and an influx of antipodean baristas have all contributed to the city’s booming coffee culture. So much so, the residents of this seaside city were recently named the UK’s biggest coffee drinkers, spending an average of £177 per head annually. Richard Grills, owner of the “dishevelled and slightly anarchic” coffee shop, the Marwood, talks about the best bits of Brighton’s coffee scene. “You’ve got to give a lot of credit to Redroaster,” said Richard. “They’ve been here for 20 odd years and have the best baristas probably in the entire country. Then, 5 or 6 years ago, other people cottoned on to [the idea] and a lot of other [coffee shops] started opening up... '

Emma Krstic, Expedia UK, 19 February 2015 
  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 just wanted to tell you what a credit your staff are to you.  I've been feeling under the weather these last few weeks but I know that whenever I go into Redroaster for a coffee on my way to work, your staff will be friendly and welcoming and considerate and that makes a big difference to my day!

Manager of a well-known Brighton restaurant 25 November 2014

Photograph (left) shows Paul, chief roaster, cupping at the roastery in Kemp Town.  Photo credit: Abel Stephens
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! The event was a huge success, with around 450 people marching to demand an end to street harassment and sexual violence. The raffle was VERY popular! 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

I recently left Brighton and to my woe there is no coffee here as good as yours.  Can you tell me how much it would be to order a bag of your decaf ground for my moka pot please. Thank you

Hazel P, 26 September 2014

We can't thank you enough for your brilliant hosting of I Am A Warehouse last night, and your boundless generosity generally. It was one of our best ever events and took theatre several steps on, from what people expect, into the mayhem of the real conflict world. 'Getting under the skin' of the other side is what politics can't do, but theatre can and peace-makers should. Thanks for giving us the platform and enabling the show to happen!

Richard & Faynia, directors of Brighton Theatre, 28 July 2014

That was a really good cup of coffee.

Hofesh Shechter, guest director of Brighton Festival, drinking in Redroaster, 19 May 2014

Photograph credit August 2013 (right): Abel Stephens
  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

Picture left: refuge from the high winds in February 2014 Credit: Abel Stephens
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

"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

Feb - March 2013
  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

Main picture: Oscar-winning Adele at Redroaster Photo credit: Mike Burnell.  Left below: Sudanese poet Al-Saddiq Al Raddi and local artists Magnagatti
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

"...Their espresso changes seasonally, the beans are individually roasted and then blended to make a consistent smooth tasting brew. The beans arrive in a sealed foil envelope with roast date and other information clearly covered on the label. On opening I was greeted with a lovely rich honeyed aroma, there was a clear sweetness to the beans scent with just a slight pinch of acidity... A great full rounded flavour that cloaks the mouth like a velvet muffler, it then reveals itself with light, tart cherry notes that can be clearly picked out and are felt right down to the back of the palette. The honeyed sweetness remained strong along with some hints of spice and a gentle backing of dry tannin tones. The after taste was creamy, smooth and with a light zestyness."

Damn Fine Joe.com 30 August 2012

  Photo Credit (above): Yvonne Luna 

"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."

Stepheye, 24 April 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

Picture right shows Tim Hume, managing director, Redroaster, with customer

  "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.

Coffee Ape
  "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

Opening Times:
7.00 am to 7.00pm Monday to Saturday
8.00am to 6.30pm on Sunday
Always a fantastic cup of coffee