Public unease over the controversial tax affairs of Starbucks and Caffè Nero are helping to boost the fortunes of independent coffee shops.
Individual operators are also benefitting from the increased support for local businesses and a growth in demand for personalised service, according to The Times.
David Mattin of Trendwatching.com told the newspaper: "Independent coffee shops might see concern over the Starbucks tax story as a touch point that will push more consumers away from the big chains and towards independents who can offer them an experience more aligned with their expectations and concerns.
"Consumers often feel that new players offer a more responsive, personalised experience."
However, it appears that the independent coffee sector's growth got under way before the recent tax controversy. A study of the sector by Allegra Strategies found that the number of independent coffee shops had increased by nearly 8% to 5,633 over the three years to last December, compared with 5,225 branded outlets.
The coffee shop sector as a whole grew by 7.5% last year to reach a turnover of £5.8b. One in five consumers buys a cup daily, compared with one in nine three years ago.