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Photo Credit: Dee de los Santos

Coffee. To some, it’s a way to start the morning or a midday pick up. To others, it’s catching up with friends or meeting with a client. Whatever your reason for coffee may be, we are fortunate to live in a place where there is an abundance of great coffee choices.

While Richmond as a whole may not be known for coffee, there are a handful of small, locally owned coffee shops and roasters that are a delight to visit. They are not local chains but independent coffee shops that tend to fly under the radar. They all serve a great cup of coffee, often with different choice of beans while having their own unique charm to them.

In no particular order, here are some great coffee shops you should add to your list in Richmond:

Cafe Savoureux

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Photo Credit: Dee de los Santos

An independent coffee shop roasting their beans in house, Cafe Savoureux (1326 – 8368 Capstan Way) serves up several different types of Arabica coffee beans and also one Robusta coffee – the Kopi Luwak. Besides the Kopi Luwak (which we’ll get to in a second), they also serve the Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee which is considered one of the most expensive coffees in the world. The growing region is in the Blue Mountain of Jamaica and with the combination of the cool, rainy climate and rich soil creates a mild coffee that lacks bitterness. The coffee berries of the Kopi Luwak are consumed by the Asian Palm Civets and while the berries are digested – the coffee beans are not. Farmers have found this process gives the coffee beans a special aroma!

Even if you’re not a huge coffee connoisseur – there are plenty of options to enjoy at Cafe Savoureux – they have flavoured coffees including Black Forest Iced Coffee and the Iced Floating Coffee. They have a special combo where you can order a siphon coffee or tea with a slice of cake (from their modest selection) for under $10.

The space is small and eclectic. It would seat 30 people comfortably. Different types of coffee beans, machines and various contraptions decorate the wall alongside ornate china tea cups.

Fresh Press Coffee Bar

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Photo Credit: Dee de los Santos

Fresh Press Coffee Bar (121 – 4940 No. 3 Road) is a beautiful but tiny cafe that can be described with extreme accuracy as a hole in the wall. If you’re looking for it, it’s located in the same plaza that houses the Sun Sui Wah and Thai House on Alexandra Road and Number 3 Road. It’s not visible from the street, so you’ll have to go through to find it, but you’ll be happy that you did. Fresh Press is a modern space with the familiar white tiling and reclaimed wood you would find in a Gastown cafe, but in the middle of Richmond. Owned by a mother and daughter team, they curate their beans carefully and rotate them out on a regular basis. You can order your normal espresso bar drinks but they also offer pour-overs, smoothies and tea lattes. Besides rotating coffee beans and drinks, they serve up a small variety of local treats from bakeries such as Cadeaux, Swiss Bakery, and Damien’s Belgian Waffles in Steveston.

The space is small, perhaps only seating about 10 comfortably on the inside. Although this may be the case, Fresh Press is one of the best places in Central Richmond to grab a coffee and go.

Village Books & Coffee House

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Photo Credit: Dee de los Santos

Situated in Steveston, Village Books & Coffee House (130 – 12031 First Ave.) is more than just a place to grab a cup of coffee – it’s a place to wander. With almost all their walls filled with new and used books to peruse, you’ll find something interesting to pick up while enjoying a cup of coffee. Using 49th Parallel Roasters beans, they serve popular espresso drinks, tea lattes, blended coffee drinks and a couple of specialty drinks including the Salted Caramel and Aztec Mocha.

In their third year fusing with the coffee shop, Village Books & Coffee House is considered one of the best places in Richmond, as voted by locals in the Richmond Review and also a well-kept secret. The shop is family friendly and the baristas are knowledgeable and approachable – a perfect place to take the kids or to roam around yourself.

Leisure Tea & Coffee

Photo Credit: Lindsay Anderson

For most, Leisure Tea & Coffee (1110 – 8391 Alexandra Road) is known for it’s bubble tea and desserts. However, they do boast a great selection of different coffees as well. You’ll find many roasts here including the Blue Mountain Coffee mentioned earlier, their own Leisure blend coffee and coffee ‘cocktails’ (as they call it) such as Vienna and Irish coffees. Perhaps to a coffee purist, this may not be the most ideal place to grab a cup of coffee but for those who are with a group of friends who may not necessarily like coffee but enjoy teas or bubble tea, this is a happy medium to converse over drinks.

They have a couple combos including the Blue Mountain Coffee with a scone or pudding for under $9. The interior of their shop transports you to olden day Europe with it’s bricks, wooden tables and framed art.

Steveston Coffee Company

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Photo Credit: Dee de los Santos

Established back in 1997, the Steveston Coffee Company (110 – 3511 Moncton Street) has grown to be a popular spot for great coffee in Richmond. In the early 2000s, Steveston Coffee Co. began roasting their beans to appeal to those who enjoyed a more customized taste to their coffee. Their beans are organic and fair trade with Swiss Water decaf coffee available. The Swiss Water process is a 100% chemical free decaffeination process using only water and osmosis to decaffeinate beans.

The Steveston Coffee Company serves up more than 10 different roasts ranging from medium to dark roasts with a variety of different aromas and acidities. They are highly knowledgeable in their beans, so don’t be afraid to ask what are the perfect beans for you.

Have we missed any of your favourite independent coffee shops? Let us know where your favourite place to grab a cup of coffee from in the comments below!