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Exploring the Heart of the Neighbourhood: Inside the Local Independent Coffee Scene

In a world dominated by corporate coffee giants, one local personal trainer & Andover Radio’s House Party presenter, Chris McKeegan, has taken it upon himself to champion the unsung heroes of Andover’s coffee scene: the small, independent businesses that pour their passion into every cup.

In today’s article, we follow Chris on his mission to discover and showcase the best local coffee spots in town. But this isn’t just about finding a decent brew; it’s a statement against the homogenisation of our high streets and a celebration of community spirit.

Take it away Chris…

As a local Personal Trainer, there’s 2 things I really enjoy, helping people, and drinking an alarming amount of coffee.

After I saw an article from a local publication that I am not allowed to name in which they ranked the best high street coffee chains, it really boiled my blood. Why, oh why, is a local publication highlighting these massive, corporate giants, back by the worlds biggest companies and with huge buying power when there’s plenty of local businesses in the town that poured their heart and souls into their dream.

At Andover Radio we always have, and always will support local, so I was sent on a mission to go and highlight some of the best local cups of coffee you can get in and around the town, and yes, all these cups of coffee are far superior then the muddy puddle water that the big boys try to pass off as “coffee”

So we start off with…

As I walked into The Tea Cosy, Jenny was just putting the finishing touches to signature Friday Cake, which was a marvellous Easter themed cake. Every Friday she presents a special cake that is baked in-house, which is definitely worth the visit for that alone. The décor inside is full of weird, wonderful and cool bric-a-brac which I enjoyed, especially the dragon hanging from the ceiling.

They also do themed afternoon teas as well as a decent selection of cakes and treats, as well as coffees and teas. On my visit I got a Flat White and a Crème Egg Blondie.

Jenny has just celebrated her tenth year trading, and has no plans on slowing down.

You can follow them on Instagram @theteacosyhurstbournetarrant or visit their website: https://www.theteacosyhampshire.com/

Cast your mind back to a time when the Saturday Andover market used to be thriving and full of shoppers, amongst all the popular stalls you would of found Martha’s Tea Party, the Citroen H Van that sold delightful treats.

That was owned by Nicola, and in July 2020 herself and Gareth, who is the owner of AFS CrossFit, opened Bruno’s during that weird lockdown time in history that we’d all like to forget and have continued to grow since.

Based on Colebrook Way inside AFS Crossfit, Bruno’s has very cool décor and not only has excellent coffee but also some of the best baked in-house treats I’ve ever eaten. They also do a range of protein shakes, bars and meals, which definitely makes sense being attached to a gym. They also have outdoor seating which is wonderful as the sun is starting to make an appearance, and let’s be honest, nothing beats an Iced Coffee and a Brunch Bagel in the sunshine am I right?

They are also on Just Eat & Deliveroo so if you’re working from home you can have a bagel and coffee sent to your door.

On my visit I got an Iced Latte and a Twix Rocky Road

You can follow Bruno’s on Instagram @brunoscoffeeshop

I guess this is what you would call my local if we were speaking on pub terms. 

Located at the top of the High Street, where the classic sweet shop Harvey’s used to be, it has a very artisan feel as you walk in, with plenty of inside seating and an area for remote workers. It also has outdoor seating out on the High Street itself. 

No.78 also offer Cheese & Wine evenings as well as poetry readings and some cool photography on the walls. 

They are just about to introduce an exciting new breakfast menu that has a full English to a Full American, well stacked pancakes and all the glam that goes with it. Their coffee and a sausage bap or bacon bap for £5.50 is incredible value.

As well as coffee they have decent treats and a range of bagels too. On my visit I had a Flat White and a Vanilla Bun.

Follow them on Instagram at @no78specialitycoffee

As you can imagine, The Travelling Cupcake specialise in cupcakes. 

When you walk in there is a massive range of cakes, treats and cupcakes, but they also do coffee. 

Greg and Bev have been going from strength to strength since starting in 2014 as a pop up cupcake shop, and they certainly aren’t shy of their South African roots. As well as coffee and cupcakes they also stock a range of South African treats, snacks and biltong. 

You can find them on the high street, and also on Instagram at @thetravellingcupcake

Fun fact, not only did I go to school with Rob, but we also used to work together for one of the major banks on the PPI project. I remember we had a conversation about what we were gonna do with the money we were earning doing the job and I remember Rob saying he wanted to open a coffee shop. 

And that he did. 

When I spoke to Rob recently about it, he said he wanted a coffee shop that felt like an extension of the living room, and for it to be a calm and relaxed environment. It was also important for it to be dog friendly. 

Nice and spacious on the inside, with some cool pictures hung up too. Kudos offers cakes, treats, ice cream and light bites as well as coffee. 

They have two locations, Whitchurch and Stockbridge, and you can find them on Instagram at @kudoscoffeeuk

Did we miss your favourite? If so let us know and we will pop on down. Email hello@loveandover.com