The Coffee Spot Awards: Winners

An espresso, in a classic white cup on a white saucer on a tableSo, here it is, on the first day of 2013, the Brian’s Coffee Spot Awards for 2012… Somehow I can’t help but think I got that wrong somewhere along the line… Oh well, never mind.

Before I launch into the actual winners, I should explain that the awards are for those places featured on Brian’s Coffee Spot during 2012. This means that there are many wonderful places that I’ve visited but yet to write up (and those that I’ve yet to visit) who have missed out. Never mind: you’ll be in the 2013 awards instead!

Anyhow, it’s been a great 2012 and thank you all for supporting Brian’s Coffee Spot. It’s all about sharing the love for great coffee and great places to have coffee. Without you, my readers, I’d have no-one to share the love with, so thanks for stopping by.

I also wish to thank Andrew Rilstone who gave me the idea for the awards with his own Monty Awards (for Country Folk Music).

You can find the winners after the gallery.

  • The Boston Tea Party, Park Street, Bristol: Where It All Began
  • The Abriachan  Cafe and Campsite: Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot
  • Coffee Bean Central: Coffee Shop Most Resembling a Coffee Shop
  • Bar Italia: Best Espresso
  • The Exploding Bakery: Smallest Coffee Spot
  • Brew Lab Coffee: Most Passionate About Coffee
  • Cafe Boscanova: Happiest Staff
  • Coffee Charisma: Best Coffee Bean Retailer
  • Bea's of Bloomsbury: Best Cake
  • Bar des Arts: winner of Brian's Coffee Spot Special Award
  • And finally... Cafe Boscanova: Most Popular Coffee Spot
The Boston Tea Party, Park Street, Bristol: Where It All Began1 The Abriachan  Cafe and Campsite: Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot2 Coffee Bean Central: Coffee Shop Most Resembling a Coffee Shop3 Bar Italia: Best Espresso4 The Exploding Bakery: Smallest Coffee Spot5 Brew Lab Coffee: Most Passionate About Coffee6 Cafe Boscanova: Happiest Staff7 Coffee Charisma: Best Coffee Bean Retailer8 Bea's of Bloomsbury: Best Cake9 Bar des Arts: winner of Brian's Coffee Spot Special Award10 And finally... Cafe Boscanova: Most Popular Coffee Spot11
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So, without further ado, here are the winners. If you are interested, you can find the full list of nominees here. Also, if you can’t be bothered scrolling down this (very long) post, all the winners are featured in the gallery above.

Where It All Began

A latte with a fern-leaf motif in the milk

Boston Tea Party (Park Street)

The first award recognises those special places which played a big part in my personal coffee journey. In all honesty, it has to be the Boston Tea Party on Park Street. This is where it all began for me, the place where I first realised my deep love for coffee shops (as opposed to coffee).

Runners-up: Anna’s Tea Rooms, Artisan Roast

Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot

The sign at the entrance to the Abriachan Campsite and Cafe

Abriachan Camp Site

The winner was pretty obvious here. At the northern end of the Great Glen Way, halfway between Drumnadrochit and Inverness, it’s one thing to find a cafe, but to fine one serving such great coffee is frankly amazing. So, hats off to the Abriachan Camp Site and Café!

Runners-up: Champagne CentralThe Coffee Company

Coffee Shop Most Resembling a Coffee Shop

Upstairs at Coffee Bean Central, Plymouth: the espresso eye-viewCoffee Bean Central

The “Most Resembling…” award was much closer. I could have given it to half a dozen places, but at the end of the day, I still dream about the upstairs lounge in Plymouth’s Coffee Bean Central. I really do think it might be the perfect place to spend a day drinking coffee…

Runners-up: Coffee AngelKilimanjaro

Best Espresso

The famous Bar Italia Clock, hanging outside Bar Italia on Frith Street

Bar Italia

I’ve drunk a lot of espresso this year, but I can honestly say, hand on heart, that nothing has bettered Bar Italia! I know this is very, very subjective and I’ve had some very fine espresso, prepared with real love, but I swear in another life I was Italian…

 

Runners-up: Brick Lane CoffeeBean About Town, South  Bank

Smallest Coffee Spot

Excellent Espresso in a Glass from the Exploding Bakery, Exeter

Exploding Bakery

I could have tossed a coin for this one, but at the end of the day, I decided that Exeter’s Exploding Bakery edged it. It has nothing to do with the excellent cake. And the friendly staff. Honest.

 

 

Runners-up: Camera CaféWild & Wood

Most Passionate About Coffee

The (initially) bewildering coffee menu at Brew Lab. It all seems so simple now...

Brew Lab

This was another tough one, but in the end of the day (year?) I decided that Edinburgh’s Brew Lab should win it on the arbitrary grounds that the menu confused the hell out of me! That and the 30 minute tutorial co-founder Dave gave me on brewing methods…

Also in the running: To a TeaCafé Boscanova

Happiest Staff

A deliciously sweet espresso in a glass from Boscombe's Cafe Boscanova

Café Boscanova

Perhaps the most important award of all goes to the wonderful people at Café Boscanova who really were the happiest and friendliest bunch I’ve seen all year. They had stiff competition, but in all honesty, I couldn’t give it to anyone else!

Runners-up: Boston Tea Party (Stokes Croft)Oystercatchers Café

Best Coffee Bean Retailer

Trish, the Proud Owner of Coffee Charisma, at her Stall on Guildford's North Street Market

Coffee Charisma

This one was easy. I couldn’t have looked Trish in the face again if I hadn’t given the award to Coffee Charisma. Then where would I get my coffee beans?

 

Runners-up: Algerian Coffee StoresThe House of Coffee

Best Cake

Bea's of Bloomsbury on Theobald Road

Bea’s of Bloomsbury

This was absolutely the toughest one to decide on, but on the grounds that Bea’s nearly finished me off not once, but twice, with her cheesecake, it has to be Bea’s.

 

 

Runners-up: Glutton & GleeMimi’s Bakehouse

Brian’s Coffee Spot Special Award

Single Espresso, Bar des Arts Style. Isn't the saucer just the perfect size?

Bar des Arts

Really, it was no competition. I know I don’t go in there as often as I should, but there’s no way I could show my face in Bar des Arts again if I didn’t give it an award for something! And honestly, it’s a lovely place (and I’m not just saying that 🙂 ).

 

Runners-up: Bea’s of St Paul’sCafé Kino

Most Popular

And finally, the only award not decided by me. It’s given to the Coffee Spot which received the greatest number of views (according to JetPack) up to the end of the year. It was a close run thing, with the winner only having been on the Coffee Spot for a few weeks, which is pretty incredible in itself. The Awards shortlist actually managed to finish in second place, but I decided that it should excluded on the grounds that it’s not really a Coffee Spot :-).

Bea's of Bloomsbury on Theobald RoadBea’s of Bloomsbury

Finishing third was Bea’s of Bloomsbury, obvious popular with you discerning Coffee Spot readers. I have checked back and I’m as sure as I can be that it was lots of different people visiting the page and not just Bea checking it twice a day to push it up the ratings!

 

The sign at the entrance to the Abriachan Campsite and CafeAbriachan Camp Site

Finishing in a strong second was one of the original Coffee Spots that’s been on the site since it went live at the very end of September. Obviously longevity has played a part, but on the other hand, I had a handful of readers when I launched the Coffee Spot. So, it is a testament to the Abriachan Camp Site and Café that lots and lots of new readers have taken the trouble to go back and read up on it.

A deliciously sweet espresso in a glass from Boscombe's Cafe BoscanovaCafé Boscanova

And the clear winner is the amazing Café Boscanova, which leapt to the top spot, despite only going live on the Coffee Spot two weeks ago! Clearly there are lots of dedicated coffee lovers down there on the Bosca del Sol!

So, congratulations to the winners and to all those who were nominated. Remember, Brian’s Coffee Spot is all about spreading the love for great coffee and great places to have coffee. Stay tuned in 2013 for more great Coffee Spots every Monday and Thursday throughout the year.

10 thoughts on “The Coffee Spot Awards: Winners

  1. Pingback: The Coffee Spot Awards | Brian's Coffee Spot

  2. Country music? COUNTRY music? Country music?

    Yee-haw, y’all, I’m off to divorce my truck.

    Very much enjoyed your coffee awards and indeed your coffee. Will start the 2012 Montys on my page later in the week.

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