The Coffee Spot is Two!

An espresso, made by my Rancilio Silvia espresso machine, in a classic white cup and saucer from Acme & Co., New Zealand, distributed in the UK by Caravan Roastery.Today’s Saturday Supplement marks a very special occasion: the Coffee Spot is two years old! Tomorrow it’ll be exactly two years since I launched the Coffee Spot (14.15 on Friday, 28th September 2012 to be precise). This time last year, when The Coffee Spot was one, I’d made 123 posts, covering 107 Coffee Spots and had over 31,000 views. However, that’s nothing compared to my second year, which has seen 179 posts, covering 113 Coffee Spot, with a staggering 84,000 views, up almost three-fold on my first year!

This success is largely down to you, dear readers. Without you, there would be no point in the Coffee Spot, so to thank you, I’m organising a Coffee Spot birthday coffee-crawl. This will take place on Sunday, the Coffee Spot’s actual second birthday, and will take in three of my favourite London Coffee Spots.

Anyone who wants to is welcome to join me at any (or all) of the three Coffee Spots. You can just pop in to say hello or you can stay as long as you like (well, as long as the individual Coffee Spot will have you; I suspect you’ll have to leave when they close for the night!).

You can find out all about it after the gallery, which contains a summary of the Coffee Spot’s second year.

  • The Coffee Spot's second year got underway with a road trip, taking in Manchester, Shrewsbury & Cirencester. However, the highlight was the wonderful White Mulberries.
  • November saw the first meet the roaster feature as well as the Coffee Spot's continued travels, including Newcastle, Brighton & South Coast Roast in Bournemouth.
  • In December the Coffee Spot was back in London before the end of year Coffee Spot Awards. Highlight was my 1st visit to The Dry Goods Store, part coffee shop, part grocer!
  • The New Year saw more travelling, including trips to Bristol and Bath, where a visit to the coffee mecca that is Colonna & Small's was in order.
  • February saw the Coffee Spot continue a south west theme with a first-ever visit to Exeter. Pick of the bunch was the Cathedral to Coffee that is Artigiano Espresso.
  • In March the Coffee Spot was back in the US, including a return to Boston & New York City, plus a first trip to Philadelphia & the wonderful La Colombe.
  • April means the London Coffee Festival. This year I was able to spend three whole days there! I ended up writing six Saturday Supplements: here I present the cups...
  • In May, the Coffee Spot was on the road again, visiting Oxford and returning to old favourite, Edinburgh, as well as a first-ever visit to Dublin and the fantastic 3FE.
  • More travels in June, with trips to Glasgow, York & Harrogate. I also found myself a new home-from-home, the wonderful, off-the-wall Beany Green in Paddington.
  • July, the height of summer, and the Coffee Spot was still reporting from March's US trip, plus more from Edinburgh & Glasgow, where I visited roaster Dear Green Coffee.
  • August saw the Coffee Spot in Glasgow, Leeds & Birmingham, but the undoubted highlight was a long-overdue visit to The Wren, a wonderful coffee shop inside a church.
  • The Coffee Spot's 2nd year was rounded off with a trip to France, including a 1st visit to Nantes & a return to Paris, where the coffee scene's taken off with the likes of Loustic.
The Coffee Spot's second year got underway with a road trip, taking in Manchester, Shrewsbury & Cirencester. However, the highlight was the wonderful White Mulberries.1 November saw the first meet the roaster feature as well as the Coffee Spot's continued travels, including Newcastle, Brighton & South Coast Roast in Bournemouth.2 In December the Coffee Spot was back in London before the end of year Coffee Spot Awards. Highlight was my 1st visit to The Dry Goods Store, part coffee shop, part grocer!3 The New Year saw more travelling, including trips to Bristol and Bath, where a visit to the coffee mecca that is Colonna & Small's was in order.4 February saw the Coffee Spot continue a south west theme with a first-ever visit to Exeter. Pick of the bunch was the Cathedral to Coffee that is Artigiano Espresso.5 In March the Coffee Spot was back in the US, including a return to Boston & New York City, plus a first trip to Philadelphia & the wonderful La Colombe.6 April means the London Coffee Festival. This year I was able to spend three whole days there! I ended up writing six Saturday Supplements: here I present the cups...7 In May, the Coffee Spot was on the road again, visiting Oxford and returning to old favourite, Edinburgh, as well as a first-ever visit to Dublin and the fantastic 3FE.8 More travels in June, with trips to Glasgow, York & Harrogate. I also found myself a new home-from-home, the wonderful, off-the-wall Beany Green in Paddington.9 July, the height of summer, and the Coffee Spot was still reporting from March's US trip, plus more from Edinburgh & Glasgow, where I visited roaster Dear Green Coffee.10 August saw the Coffee Spot in Glasgow, Leeds & Birmingham, but the undoubted highlight was a long-overdue visit to The Wren, a wonderful coffee shop inside a church.11 The Coffee Spot's 2nd year was rounded off with a trip to France, including a 1st visit to Nantes & a return to Paris, where the coffee scene's taken off with the likes of Loustic.12
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The whole point of the Coffee Spot is to share the love of great coffee and great places to have coffee. Without you, my readers, there would be no sharing, so without you, it really would be a pointless exercise. So thank you one-and-all, whether you’ve read every single Coffee Spot since the launch or whether you just dip in and out when you feel like it.

To celebrate, I’m going to be at three Coffee Spots this Sunday, 28th September. I apologise to all of you who aren’t in or around London: I’d love to visit my favourite Coffee Spots all over the country (and beyond), but sadly I can’t be in two places at once (three in one day is pushing it). If you can’t make it to London, please feel free to have your own birthday celebration on my behalf. Just pop into your favourite Coffee Spot, and have a cup of coffee and, if you must, a slice of cake, and the Coffee Spot will be with you in spirit.

Back to London and the actual tour. The plan is to start at the magnificent Doctor Espresso Caffetteria, just across the road from Putney Bridge tube station, at 10.30 in the morning. From there, I’ll be moving on to the lofty halls of The Wren, where I’m aiming to arrive at one o’clock. Finally, I’ll be making my way over to the fantastic White Mulberries, which I’m hoping to reach just before four o’clock. I suspect I’ll be there until Rana and Peyman throw me out!

There will, of course, be coffee, and cake (if anyone wants to bake me a cake to bring along, please feel free!). Please bear in mind that these are working coffee shops and they’re all open to the public. I’ve not hired out anywhere or made any special arrangements, other than with The Wren, who have kindly agreed to open specially on the day as a combined end-of-summer and Coffee Spot Birthday bash. So, please be mindful of the other customers as they go about their normal business, and buy lots of coffee and cake so that these lovely Coffee Spots won’t go bust!

See you on Sunday!

Competition

I’ve also decided to hold a competition, which you can enter on Twitter and Facebook. You can win a copy of this year’s The London Coffee Guide or some coffee from the lovely Round Hill Roastery.

The rules are as follows (and, due to the arcane nature of social media, you will need to follow them quite strictly).

First of all, find your favourite Coffee Spot. It doesn’t have to be one that’s been published in the last year, it can anywhere I’ve published since the Coffee Spot started. Go to the top of your browser and copy the link address. It should look something like this:

http://www.brian-coffee-spot.com/2013/08/29/dr-espresso-caffetteria/

You then need to share the link on Facebook or Twitter and let me know which of the prizes you’d like if you win. Alternatively, can use the “Share” button at the bottom of the post.

On Twitter

To qualify, your tweet needs to contain the link to your favourite Coffee Spot, the name of the Coffee Spot (or the twitter name of the Coffee Spot) and either @ldncoffeeguide if you want to win a copy of the London Coffee Guide or @roundhillcoffee if you want to win some coffee.

Finally (and this is the really important bit), you need to tag the Coffee Spot (@BrianCoffeeSpot) in your tweet (otherwise I won’t know that you’ve entered).

An example might look like this:

My favourite Coffee Spot on @BrianCoffeeSpot is The Wren http://www.brian-coffee-spot.com/2014/08/14/the-wren/. I’d like to win a @ldncoffeeguide.

or

My favourite Coffee Spot on @BrianCoffeeSpot is White Mulberries http://www.brian-coffee-spot.com/2013/10/28/white-mulberries/. I’d like to win some @roundhillcoffee.

On Facebook

Post the link to your favourite Coffee Spot on your own timeline (not the Coffee Spot’s!) and let me know if you’d like to win a copy of the London Coffee Guide or some Round Hill Roastery coffee. If you could tag the Coffee Spot in the post, along with your chosen prize, so much the better, but Facebook’s a bit more selective about who it lets you tag.

Then, and this is very important, send me a private message on Facebook messenger. If you don’t, I won’t know that you’ve entered and, even more importantly, I won’t be able to let you know if you’ve won since I can’t send people messages from the Coffee Spot Facebook account, only reply to messages sent to me. Facebook’s great, isn’t it?


You can enter as many times as you like, but you must choose a different Coffee Spot each and every time and you can only enter once per day for each prize. So, if you were really keen, you could tweet twice a day, once for the London Coffee Guide and once for the Round Hill Roastery Coffee, and you could post twice a day on Facebook. The closing date is Friday, 17th October.

For each prize I’ll pick, at random, two winners from Twitter and two from Facebook. That makes eight lucky winners in all! Winners will be contacted via private message and you will need to provide me with a postal address which I’ll forward on to the London Coffee Guide or Round Hill Roastery. They will then send you your prize. If you’ve chosen the Round Hill Roastery, I’ll also need an e-mail address so Round Hill can contact you and let you choose what coffee you want.


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