Workhouse Coffee Company, Reading

Top Notch for Coffee

Reading isn’t even a city but it finds space for a handful of great indie coffee shops.  The Workhouse Coffee Company was my third stop in what is arguably England’s largest town, and it’s yet another smashing place.

Workhouse Coffee, Reading Workhouse Coffee, Reading

“Workhouse” is an appropriate name for this spartan, no frills coffee house.  It is charmingly unpretentious, with scratched old tables and murky bar stools.

And what’s this? A map of the world. I always thought I’d have one of those in my coffee shop, if I ever decide to set one up (chances are I will prefer to stay a customer). I am enamoured instantly by touches like this, and to the sunken pot of scrabble letters in the middle of my table.

Workhouse Coffee, Reading Workhouse Coffee, Reading

These little extras, and the barren interior, are welcomingly unique. It is the antithesis of chain coffee houses.

But best of all is the coffee, which is excellent (I had a machiato, strong and tasty). There is a big range, and the baristas take great care in their preparation.

Workhouse Coffee, Reading Workhouse Coffee, Reading

The counter service is friendly and there are tasty fresh pastries on offer (a perfect compliment to a strong cuppa). Bags of freshly ground coffee are on sale, and I wonder why more places don’t offer the same.

Somehow they occasionally fit live music into this fairly small room.

Workhouse Coffee, Reading Workhouse Coffee, Reading

A down-to-earth place that is all about the coffee, and unexpectedly brilliant.

Well done Reading; a haven for independent coffee shops.

335 Oxford Rd
RG30 1AY


We wrote this after visiting on 9 August 2008.


Submit a Comment
  • Reply


    8 months ago

    You should revisit it as the recent refit has made it even better. Very cosy, fantastic fresh bread, pastry and most important great coffee.
    (PS the maps still there lok up at the ceiling!)

  • Reply


    7 months ago

    Had been meaning to try this place for ages.. Coffee was excellent, really can’t fault it at all – rich, strong, incredibly smooth, possibly one of the best coffees I think I may have ever had!
    Sampled their paninis and pastries whilst there and they were also very good. I’ll be going back for sure!

  • Reply

    Richmond Locksmiths

    6 months ago

    The pots of scrabble letters in the table is just awesome, i hope more coffee shops adopt this!

  • Reply

    Keith S

    5 months ago

    WCC have opened a branch on King Street in the centre of Reading. I had an excellent flat white, the layout of the cafe and friendliness of the staff was top notch.

  • Reply


    5 months ago

    This is by far the best coffee i’ve had in Reading, their cappuccino never fails to please. Had an excellent workman’s sandwich today, rather pricey but well worth it, and the burger had a surprisingly moreish sauce! Great range of cakes for those with a sweet tooth, and the staff are amazing, make awesome recommendations about the food too. But the bottom-line: BEST COFFEE IN TOWN!

  • Reply

    Phil Carter

    5 months ago

    No where in Reading or surrounding area comes close to the coffee and knowledge you will find at either Workhouse in Reading!

Submit a Comment

Your Comment