Next up in the 2015 Coffee Spot Awards with the shortlist for the “Best Overseas Coffee Spot”. This was won in 2014 by 3FE and celebrates all those wonderful Coffee Spots that I’ve visited outside of the UK. I’d love to travel more, since I keep hearing about great coffee all over the world.
This year I’ve not around as much as I would have liked, only managing a couple of trips to the USA. However, what trips they were: in March, New York, Philadelphia & Washington DC; in June, Boston, Providence, Portland (Maine), Chicago, Portland (Oregon) and Seattle. I also published some spots at the start of the year from a trip to Paris in 2014.
You can see the shortlist after the gallery.
There are 12 Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.
One of my favourite spots in Paris, Télescope is a semi-legendary multi-roaster with beans from roasters from around the world. The espresso typically changes every week, while there are usually two or three filter options available through the Aeropress. Télescope also does a traditional French petit déjeuner and there’s an excellent selection of cake. Télescope has also been shortlisted for the Coffee Spot with the Best Basement Award and could easily have been nominated for loads more.
Café Lomi is a café/roaster in the northern reaches of Paris and is the closest I’ve come in Paris to what I think of as a hipster café, right down to the undecorated walls, exposed air-conditioning conduits and bare bulbs hanging from the ceiling. Café Lomi roasts all its own coffee at the back of the store. Sadly you can’t wander back there to see the roaster in action though.
Fondation, situated near the northern edge of the Marais, is one of the new breed of French cafés that have sprung up around Paris in the last few years. It takes some of its inspiration from nearby Ten Belles, drawing in a mainly ex-pat crowd, which perhaps explains why it’s one of the few Parisian cafés to stay open in August. In style and feel, Fondation wouldn’t be out of place in London or New York, although it uses local roasters, Belleville. Also shortlisted for the Smallest Coffee Spot Award.
Not really a Coffee Spot per se (although it does serve pretty decent coffee), Boston‘s L.A. Burdick serves some of the best hot chocolate there is (as well as excellent chocolate) in some sumptuous surroundings.
Daily Press a delightful spot, offering a simple menu of coffee, cakes & pastries, plus an all-day breakfast menu, with breakfast burritos made on demand. The coffee is from New York roasters, Irving Farm, with a concise espresso menu, bulk-brew filter and the house speciality, Café con Leche.
Tucked away down a short flight of steps in a basement just north of Washington DC‘s Dupont Circle, Filter reminds me of Boston’s Wired Puppy. Filter has a small courtyard at the bottom of the steps, while the door gives access to a long, thin basement space which, rather disconcertingly, runs off at about 30 degrees to the door! All the coffee is from nearby Ceremony Coffee Roasters, while there’s a small selection of cake. Also shortlisted for the Coffee Spot with the Best Basement Award.
Rival Bros started as a roaster with its own coffee van in Philadelphia. However, since last year it’s also had a lovely little coffee shop in southern Philadelphia. The focus is firmly on the coffee, showcasing Rival Bros’ output. There’s a blend, single-origin and decaf on espresso, another blend on bulk-brew and a choice of four single-origins through the Chemex. Rival Bros was also shortlisted for the Most Passionate About Coffee Award.
Coffee Exchange is an old-hand in Providence’s speciality coffee scene. Founded in 1984, it can be said to have inspired a generation of Providence coffee-drinkers. Coffee shop, roaster and retailer all in one, Coffee Exchange roasts all its own coffee on a pair of Deirich roasters at the back of the store.
Slate, in Seattle, is a new breed of coffee shop-cum-roaster. For starters, it offers full table service and an amazing curated coffee service. Slate was also shortlisted for Most Unlikely Place to find a Coffee Spot and Most Passionate About Coffee Awards.
Portland‘s Extracto is a great spot, with all the coffee roasted in its original Killingsworth branch. There’s a choice of the the house-blend, a single-origin or decaf on espresso, while on pour-over there were four different beans on offer during my visit. Extracto was also shortlisted for the Best Filter Coffee Award.
Anthony’s Italian Coffee House is a slice of culture/ history in Philadelphia’s Italian Market district. Anthony’s is an old-fashioned (in style; Wifi being just one of the concessions to the modern age) Italian-American espresso bar/café of the type that I love. Less grand than say Boston’s Caffé Vittoria or New York’s Caffe Reggio, it has more in common with Soho’s Bar Italia, which is much more in keeping with Philadelphia’s working class, blue collar roots.
Washington DC‘s Slipstream is, by speciality coffee shop standards, huge. The coffee is from Michigan’s Madcap, is excellent, and there’s a good range of loose-leaf tea. Add to that there’s decent breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, with all the food being prepared on-site in the kitchen behind the counter. And, as befits a place that’s open well into the night, there are cocktails from a fully-stocked bar. Slipstream was also shortlisted for the Best Filter Coffee Award.
A special mention also needs to go to the following:
Coutume Instituutti, a large, open space in the Finish Institute in Paris
Shot Tower Coffee, a unique space with great coffee in Philadelphia
Bluestone Lane, Manhattan, bringing great Aussie-inspired coffee in downtown NYC
Brooklyn Roasting Company, Jay Street, a massive, rambling space under in Brooklyn
Asado Coffee, Pickwick Place, a delightful spot, hidden away down a Chicago alley
Tandem Coffee Roastery, flying the flag for Portland (Maine)
Peregrine Espresso, 14th Street, another gem from Washington DC.
Don’t forget to check out the other 19 Coffee Spot Awards for 2015.
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