Our Story

How Well-Mannered Coffee Came About

Our story started in 1698, when the London coffee house cemented itself as the quintessential melting pot of political, philosophical and creative debate. Fast forward 316 years to 2014 to Union Street, just around the corner from the factory where the Bowler hat was invented, where we opened our very first coffee house, inspired by, and determined to recreate, those age-old traditions of serving a superb cup of coffee in creative and inspiring surroundings and providing a meeting point and thinking space for London’s modern day visionaries.

Since then we’ve expanded to ten sites, have our own roastery in the heart of East London, and also, through our fearless leader (one of - Hi Ed) Henry and his team, we supply a plethora of businesses of all sizes with customised wholesale coffee packages that suit them (and bagfuls of free advice and coffee chat).

Why hats you say? Well it’s an interesting story. The bowler hat is said to have been designed in 1849 by the London hat-makers Bowler & Bowler, right around the corner from our first coffee house in Southwark and across the road there was a tophat-maker. So, because we like to do things a little differently, the idea of naming our coffees after hats was born. And hats the way we like it.



Being well-mannered means being friendly to our customers, respectful to our suppliers, and generous to our neighbours. It means being upstanding, behind the counter and in the community. It means always thinking about others.


Being a Gentleman Barista is not a gender thing. It’s a behaviour thing. To us, being a gentleman means being magnanimous, well-mannered, helpful and generous to our customers, clients, suppliers and colleagues.


We get the most out of every bean in the roastery, and take pride in every little detail in the coffee house, so our customers get the most out of every Gentlemen Barista experience.


Being magnanimous means we’re proud hosts who are generous with our time and knowledge. We remember our guests’ names and their taste in coffee, and share our expertise in an inclusive and genuine way - the customers are never an inconvenience.


We are coffee culture custodians. We create open and inclusive coffee houses. Superb coffee is for everyone and it always will be.


We respect, and are inspired by, the tradition of the London coffee houses that have gone before us. You can feel at home in a house but not a shop. That’s why we’ll always be a coffee house.

The Roastery

We’re an established roastery with an experienced and internationally accredited team, and a growing list of passionate partners serving our famous well-mannered coffee. All our coffee comes from trusted farms and producers where we work to create long-lasting relationships with. Just as restaurants do with their suppliers, it's the same for us.

Our approach

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