A couple of months ago, pretty much out of blue, I became aware of the Coffee Stops Awards. Set up by Chris Ward to promote all that’s good about London Coffee, they’ve been a phenomenal success. Everyone’s been talking about the awards, social media was buzzing and even I may have mentioned them once or twice… That I was up for the Best London Coffee Blog Award was neither here nor there… Well, maybe it had a little something to do with it.
There were 10 awards, each decided by popular vote. In the end, more than 18,000 people voted over a two week period, which is pretty spectacular. Voting closed on April 2nd. There was a lull for the London Coffee Festival 2014, then the counting started, culminating in the Awards ceremony which was held last Wednesday (23rd April) at the Ozone roastery in Shoreditch.
Chris was joined by a host of luminaries, including ITN newsreader, Alistair Stewart. The various winners were announced, culminating in the final award of London’s Best Coffee Shop. The winners were presented with tickets for two direct flights to the “home of coffee” provided by sponsor, Ethiopian Airlines.
You can find out what went on and who won after the gallery.
The awards ceremony was held at Ozone Coffee Roasters in London. It’s the first time I’ve been there and it’s a lovely spot. I shall have to go back and do it properly. Amazingly, I was early (which is unheard of) and I was one of the first ones there. However, it soon filled up and provided a great opportunity to catch up with various coffee people.
There was free beer, some excellent canapés, and, most importantly, free coffee! And then the awards were presented…
There were ten Coffee Stops Awards, which are listed below along with the winners. If you’d like to know who I voted for in each award, click on the link (although I’m the first to admit that my choices were rather arbitrary!).
- Best Coffee Roasted in London: Square Mile
- Tastiest Bakes and Cakes: Artisan, Putney
- Best Use of Social Media: Four Corners Cafe
- Best London Coffee Blog: Cups of London Coffee
- Best Coffee Shop Chain: Harris & Hoole
- Best for Working out of Office: Timberyard, Covent Garden
- Best for London’s Cyclists: Look Mum No Hands, Old Street
- Best New Coffee Shop: The Wren
- Coolest Baristas: Black Box
- Best Coffee Shop in London: White Mulberries
So, out of the ten awards, I managed to vote for the winner in just one category. Just goes to show how much I know! However, it was at least in the most important category: Best Coffee Shop in London, where I voted for the wonderful White Mulberries (and even made it the Archive Spot on the day of the Awards). So I do know something after all!
I am genuinely delighted for Payman and Rana, who run White Mulberries and was more pleased with their winning the award than I was with my own achievement of coming second behind Daniel of Cups of London Coffee in the Best London Coffee Blog Award. You will not meet two more friendly, warm and genuine people in speciality coffee than Payman and Rana.
I was very pleased to come second in the Best London Coffee Blog award. Initially I found this deeply ironic, since I don’t really think of myself as a London Coffee Blogger. Indeed, I go out of my way to blog about places outside London. However, I went back to check and was surprised that I’ve covered 46 London Coffee Spots in the last 18 months! Honestly, I had no idea it was that many. Maybe I am a London Coffee Blogger after all!
I was also pleased to see two new blogs, Daniel’s Cups of London Coffee, who won, and Jonny’s London Café Review, who came third, doing so well. Congratulations to Alex of liquidjolt and Chloe of The Faerietale Foodie who finished in the Top Five for the award.
Please do take time to have a look at all these blogs. They are all very good; and now that I’ve met all four of them, I can confirm that they are all excellent folk and well worth your support.
Finally, I’d like to thank everyone who took the trouble to vote in the Awards, regardless of who you voted for. If you’d like a different take on the Coffee Stops Awards, you can read London Cafe Review’s piece (and yes, Jonny, Brian is my real name).
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