2015 Awards – Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot

Kaffeine's A-board at Lord's, with apologies to 10CCThe first shortlist for the 2015 Coffee Spot Awards is the “Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot” Award, won in 2014 by Kaffeine at Lord’s. Finding Coffee Spots in cities such as New York, Edinburgh or Manchester is to be expected. However, good Coffee Spots are everywhere, some of them are in very unexpected places, both geographically and in terms of setting.

This Award is very much defined by the nominees on the shortlist. Some of these are geographical, a reward for bringing great coffee to unexpected places. Others are a recognition of a great or unusual setting for a Coffee Spot.

You can see the shortlist after the gallery.

  • A lovely flat white from La Bottega Milanese in The Light, Leeds
  • Another lovely flat white, this time from Bluestone Lane in Manhattan, a rare find!
  • Finisterre: coffee and surf reports, not something you see side-by-side very often.
  • Slate Coffee Roasters, a rather unexpected find in suburban Seattle!
  • Tandem Coffee Roastery, which I had to brave roadworks to find in Portland, Maine
  • 200 Degrees Coffee Shop in a lovely old building in the heart of Nottingham.
  • Lyme Regis, on the Dorset Coast, is not where you'd expect to find Amid Giants and Idols...
  • ... nor is nearby Bridport somewhere you'd necessarily expect to find Soulshine Cafe...
  • ... or indeed the equally fabulous Box Office Coffee!
  • In Birmingham, Six Eight Kafe is bringing speciality coffee to Millennium Point.
  • A flat white in Dovecot, speciality coffee in an Edinburgh art gallery, by Stag Espresso.
  • Another flat white, this time from Artisan Roast in Stockbridge, located in a florists!
A lovely flat white from La Bottega Milanese in The Light, Leeds1 Another lovely flat white, this time from Bluestone Lane in Manhattan, a rare find!2 Finisterre: coffee and surf reports, not something you see side-by-side very often.3 Slate Coffee Roasters, a rather unexpected find in suburban Seattle!4 Tandem Coffee Roastery, which I had to brave roadworks to find in Portland, Maine5 200 Degrees Coffee Shop in a lovely old building in the heart of Nottingham.6 Lyme Regis, on the Dorset Coast, is not where you'd expect to find Amid Giants and Idols...7 ... nor is nearby Bridport somewhere you'd necessarily expect to find Soulshine Cafe...8 ... or indeed the equally fabulous Box Office Coffee!9 In Birmingham, Six Eight Kafe is bringing speciality coffee to Millennium Point.10 A flat white in Dovecot, speciality coffee in an Edinburgh art gallery, by Stag Espresso.11 Another flat white, this time from Artisan Roast in Stockbridge, located in a florists!12
Photo Carousel by WOWSlider.com v4.6

There are 12 Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.

A flat white from La Bottga Milanese in Leeds. The coffee is in a white, tulip cup with the words "La Bottga Milanese" written on the inside of the rim, with the cafe's logo on the front.La Bottega Milanese, The Light

One of two branches of La Bottega Milanese in Leeds, this is an example of bringing speciality coffee to a mainstream setting, in this case, the Light, a wonderful multi-use space that includes shops, restaurants and a cinema. Plus, of course, an excellent, Italian-inspired speciality coffee shop (Alex, the owner, is from Milan), with coffee from nearby Grumpy Mule in Holmfirth.

A flat white from Bluestone Lane in a classic grey cup, with tulip motif latte art.

Bluestone Lane, Manhattan

I’m not sure what was more unexpected, finding Bluestone Lane in among the towering skyscrapers of downtown Manhattan, or discovering somewhere which served a decent flat white in America, a land where the Aussie/Kiwi (you decide which) inspired drink is in short supply. In the case of Bluestone Lane, however, it’s definitely Aussie-inspired, since the owners are from Melbourne. Bluestone Lane was also shortlisted for the Happiest Staff Award.

The coffee menu at Finisterre. Next to the cold water surf report!

Finisterre

Coffee and surfing are not necessarily something you expect to see side-by-side, except at the London branch of surf-outfitters, Finisterre, where the store has a lovely, sun-drenched espresso bar serving Brighton‘s Small Batch.

The sign from the window of Slate Coffee Roasters in Seattle: the words 'SLATE COFFEE ROASTERS', one word per line

Slate Coffee Roasters

I knew where Seattle‘s Slate Coffee Roasters was, but even so, I did a double-take, not expecting a slice of coffee-heaven in such a suburban setting. Slate has also been shortlisted for Best Overseas Coffee Spot and Most Passionate About Coffee Awards.

A light bulb in the shape of a tandem bicycle from the wall of the Tandem Coffee Roasters Roastery

Tandem Coffee Roastery

Talking of coffee shops in unexpected suburban settings, early on the same trip, I ventured off the beaten track in Portland (Maine, not Oregon), and down a dusty road that was in the process of being completely dug up and relaid. However, my perseverance was rewarded with a visit to the wonderful coffee bar and roastery that is Tandem Coffee. Tandem was also shortlisted for the Happiest Staff Award.

The 200 Degrees Coffee Logo

200 Degrees Coffee Shop

Another example of bringing speciality coffee to the High Street in an amazing setting is Nottingham‘s 200 Degrees Coffee Shop, which is the flagship store of 200 Degrees Coffee Roasters. Set in an iconic old inn right in the centre of the city, it is an amazing location and flies the flag for speciality coffee in Nottingham. 200 Degrees has also been shortlisted for the Most Popular Coffee Spot Award.

The Amid Giants & Idols logo from the A-board outside.Amid Giants & Idols

The seaside resort of Lyme Regis, on the Dorset Coast, is not where you’d immediately think of when it comes to speciality coffee and yet, there it is: Amid Giants & Idols, an amazing, lovely, friendly coffee shop which roasts all its own coffee in a shed out back. Also shortlisted for the Best Roaster/Retailer and Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Awards.

The A-board outside Soulshine Cafe in Birdport promises coffee, juice, meals, snacks, lots of indoor seating and a lovely courtyard.

Soulshine Café

Continuing the theme of finding amazing coffee in unexpected places, just a few miles to the east of Lyme Regis is the market town of Bridport, which has not one, but two top-notch speciality coffee shops. The first is Soulshine Cafe, which combines excellent local food with coffee from the likes of Bristol’s Extract, coupled with regularly-rotating guest roasters. It’s also got an amazing setting, including some great outdoor seating, which got it a place on the shortlist for the Best Outdoor Seating Award. Soulshine has also been shortlisted for the Best Cake Award.

The sign from the window of Box Office Coffee, Bridport.: the words "Box Office Coffee" in capitals, one word per line. The word "coffee" is in pink.Box Office Coffee

Box Office Coffee is the second amazing coffee shop in Bridport, tucked away in the box office of the local community theatre. An offshoot of Dorchester’s highly-regarded Number 35 Coffeehouse and Kitchen, Box Office is also a multi-roaster coffee shop. Box Office has also been shortlisted for the Smallest Coffee Spot Award.

The 6/8 Kafé logo, the numbers "6/8" in black, with the words "six eight" in red beneath them.

6/8 Kafé, Millennium Point

Back in the big city (Birmingham, to be precise), local power-house, 6/8 Kafé, has brought speciality coffee to the city’s Millennium point, is a science centre extraordinaire, housing Birmingham’s Thinktank science museum and faculties from both Birmingham City University and Birmingham Metropolitan College. And 6/8 Kafé, serving Has Bean espresso to families on their way to Thinktank and students taking a break from their studies.

A flat white in a classic white cup seen from directly above with a multi-leaf fern motif in the latte art.

Dovecot Café by Stag Espresso

Another example of a coffee shop in a mainstream setting is Edinburgh‘s Dovecot Café. Run by Stag Espresso, for the last four years, it has been serving top-notch coffee to unsuspecting visitors to the Dovecot Contemporary Art Gallery and Tapestry Studio. It also does an excellent line in lunches, making it a big hit with the locals Stag Espresso was also shortlisted for the Coffee Spot Special Award.

Some lovely latte art in my flat white at Artisan Roast in Stockbridge, Edinburgh.

Artisan Roast, Stockbridge

Staying in Edinburgh, local roaster/coffee shop chain, Artisan Roast opened a new branch this year, sharing space with a florists in Stockbridge, part of Edinburgh’s New Town. The New Town itself is not that surprising as a location, while the combination of florist and coffee shop is slowly gaining ground. In an era of high rents, sharing makes an awful lot of sense to all parties!


A special mention also needs to go to the following.

Laynes Espresso, Belgrave Music Hall (bringing quality coffee to a multi-use venue)
Peña (tucked away down a pedestrian lane in Glasgow in what looks like a garden shed)
Grindsmith (Manchester‘s original coffee shop in a pod)
Society Café, The Corridor (bringing speciality coffee to the High Street)
Opposite Café Victoria Quarter (another bringing speciality coffee to the High Street).

And the winner is Amid Giants & Idols
Runners-up: 6/8 Kafe, Millenium Point and Soulshine Café

Don’t forget to check out the other 19 Coffee Spot Awards for 2015.


If you liked this post, please let me know by clicking the “Like” button. If you have a WordPress account and you don’t mind everyone knowing that you liked this post, you can use the “Like this” button right at the bottom instead.


Don ‘t forget that you can share this post with your friends using buttons below.

11 thoughts on “2015 Awards – Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot

  1. Pingback: Coffee Spot Awards 2015 | Brian's Coffee Spot

  2. Pingback: 2015 Awards – Best Outdoor Seating | Brian's Coffee Spot

  3. Pingback: 2015 Awards – Smallest Coffee Spot | Brian's Coffee Spot

  4. Pingback: 2015 Awards – Happiest Staff | Brian's Coffee Spot

  5. Pingback: 2015 Awards – Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot | Brian's Coffee Spot

  6. Pingback: 2015 Awards – Most Passionate About Coffee | Brian's Coffee Spot

  7. Pingback: 2015 Awards – Best Saturday Supplement | Brian's Coffee Spot

  8. Pingback: Coffee Spot Awards 2015: Winners | Brian's Coffee Spot

  9. Pingback: Soulshine Café | Brian's Coffee Spot

  10. Pingback: 6/8 Kafé, Millennium Point | Brian's Coffee Spot

  11. Pingback: Amid Giants & Idols | Brian's Coffee Spot

Please let me know what you think. Guidelines for comments are in the "Posts" drop-down menu.