2014 Awards – Most Passionate About Coffee

Workhouse Coffee Company on the ground floor of the George Hotel in ReadingWelcome to the next Coffee Spot Awards Shortlist for 2014, the “Most Passionate About Coffee” Award, which was won in 2013 by Workhouse Coffee, King Street. For me, this is one of the most important awards, and also one of the hardest to judge, which is why I’ve left it to the last day.

It’s not just about the coffee, it’s also about people who love and care about coffee. Everyone who I’ve covered in the Coffee Spot is passionate about coffee and one of the great things is how much love there is out there, both for the coffee and for those who make it. However, those shortlisted for this award stand out from the crowd.

You can see the shortlist after the gallery.

  • Workhouse Coffee on Reading's King Street, coffee passion personified.
  • Colonna & Small's in Bath, now a destination for coffee tourists!
  • Down in Queenstown Road Station, Coffee Affair is passionate about all things coffee.
  • Quarter Horse Coffee, bringing Chicago coffee passion to Oxford via London.
  • 3FE in Dublin, were the bean comes first & foremost. Can't get much more passion than that.
  • The irrepressible Edy Piro of Terrone Coffee.
  • Sharps Coffee Bar on London's Old Windmill Street, coffee geek heaven.
  • Cafe and Roaster, Hot Numbers in Cambridge, as passionate as anyone about its coffee.
  • Craft London Coffee, bringing single-origin coffee, dedication and commitment to Greenwich.
  • The Attic, upstairs at Harlequins in York, where I learnt an awful lot about coffee.
Workhouse Coffee on Reading's King Street, coffee passion personified.1 Colonna & Small's in Bath, now a destination for coffee tourists!2 Down in Queenstown Road Station, Coffee Affair is passionate about all things coffee.3 Quarter Horse Coffee, bringing Chicago coffee passion to Oxford via London.4 3FE in Dublin, were the bean comes first & foremost. Can't get much more passion than that.5 The irrepressible Edy Piro of Terrone Coffee.6 Sharps Coffee Bar on London's Old Windmill Street, coffee geek heaven.7 Cafe and Roaster, Hot Numbers in Cambridge, as passionate as anyone about its coffee.8 Craft London Coffee, bringing single-origin coffee, dedication and commitment to Greenwich.9 The Attic, upstairs at Harlequins in York, where I learnt an awful lot about coffee.10
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There are ten Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.

Workhouse Coffee Company on the ground floor of the George Hotel in Reading

Workhouse Coffee, King Street

I’ve long admired Reading’s Workhouse Coffee, both as a roaster and as the operator of two fantastic cafes. However, the other thing that shines through is the sheer passion for the coffee. Workhouse was also nominated for the Happiest Staff Award and won this award last year!

The coffee menu at Colonna & Small's, with three beans on espresso and three on filter.

Colonna & Small’s

A legend amongst coffee enthusiasts and credited as an inspiration for a whole generation of coffee shops and roasters in the South West, the passion of Colonna & Small’s has never been in doubt. Also in the running for the Most Popular Coffee Spot Award.

Making a V60 pour-over at Coffee Affair, Queenstown Road Station.

Coffee Affair

In the unlikely setting of London’s Queenstown Road Station, Coffee Affair is passionate about all sorts of things, not just the excellent coffee. The coffee really in excellent though, with so much crammed into a what, when all’s said and done, is a pretty small spot. One of London’s unsung gems. Also nominated for Best Coffee Spot Near a Railway Station and Smallest Coffee Spot Awards.

The Quarter Horse Coffee Logo, a style white chess piece (a knight) against a black background

Quarter Horse Coffee

Out on Oxford’s Cowley Road, Quarter Horse Coffee has imported some Chicago coffee passion via London and with excellent results.  Bringing London roaster Square Mile to Oxford, Quarter Horse also started doing filter coffee (bulk brew, betraying co-owner Nathan’s American origins, and Aeropress). It also continues its coffee education/evangelism with regular events such as monthly cupping classes and a general all-round enthusiasm for great coffee.

The 3FE logo, simply the letters 3fE in cursive script, with the 3 a mirror image of the E

3FE

Dublin’s 3FE is both coffee shop and roaster, where the bean is first and foremost. In an innovative move, 3FE only serves single-origin beans, offering a choice of three, which can be had as espresso or filter. This makes for a refreshing coffee menu, since it only lists the beans, not the brew methods, shifting the focus back onto the coffee itself. 3FE has also been nominated for the Happiest Staff and Best Overseas Coffee Spot Awards.

Edy Piro making a Shakerato at the Village Green Market.

Terrone & Co, plus the Irrepressible Edy Piro

Although I often write about Coffee Spots which are firmly associated with an individual (Charlie’s Coffee Shop in St Albans springs to mind), this is the first time I’ve really written about an individual, the irrepressible Edy Piro. Edy is a force of nature who is never without a smile, and has a contagious passion for great coffee. A roaster, barista and coffee shop owner, Edy Piro is also the Coffee Spot’s number one photo-bomber.

An Ethiopian Duromina from Workshop at Sharps Coffee Bar, beautifully presented in a glass carafe and a white, handless cup on a white china tray.

Sharps Coffee Bar

Sharps Coffee Bar, on London’s Windmill Street, is one of a new breed of coffee shops sharing premises with other businesses, in this case, a barbers. I’ve tracked its progress over the last year and seen it become more accessible to the average customer, but lose none of its passion in the process. And, of course, I go to drool over the Kees van der Westen Spirit Triplette, but don’t tell anyone!

The Hot Numbers logo: a red espresso cup on a saucer drawn to look like a vinyl record. The surface of the coffee in the cup is also a vinyl record.

Hot Numbers

Hot Numbers in Cambridge is a café, single-origin roaster, music venue and, by association, art gallery. While it’s got something for everyone, there’s more than enough here to satisfy any coffee geek, including a choice of two espresso beans (with milk and without) as well as decaf. Another single-origin is on offer as filter coffee through Aeropress, Clever Dripper and Syphon.

The word "CRAFT" written above the word "LONDON" in the window of CRAFT London, the O2 Arena in the background.

CRAFT London Coffee

CRAFT London is a new project by chef Stevie Parle and designer Tom Dixon. As the name suggests, it’s focused on the craft of making things. One of those things is coffee, which will be roasted on site, and with a focus on single-origin, filter coffee.

Thumbnail - The Attic (DSC_9395t)

The Attic Gallery Coffee Bar

The Attic Gallery Coffee Bar, occupying the floor above York’s Harlequin Coffee and Tea House, is the speciality coffee wing of the operation. Serving a variety of Has Bean coffee through a variety of methods, I learnt so much just by sitting at the counter and talking with (and listening to) owner/head barista, Gordon. The Attic has also been shortlisted for the Best Espresso Award.


A special mention also needs to go to the following, any of whom could have made it onto this year’s shortlist:

Mother’s Milk
Prufrock Coffee
Fortitude
Vice Coffee Inc.
Stumptown West 8th Street
Box Kite
Bean & Bud
Machina Espresso
Dear Green Coffee
La Caféothèque
Strangers Coffee House
Mrs Atha’s
Number 35 Coffee House & Kitchen

And the winner is Colonna & Small’s
Runners-up: Hot Numbers and The Attic Gallery Coffee Bar

Don’t forget to check out the other 19 Coffee Spot Awards for 2014.


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