2016 Awards – Best Takeaway Coffee

Amazing latte art in my JOCO Cup at Notes, Canary Wharf.Our second shortlist in the 2016 Coffee Spot Awards is the “Best Takeaway Coffee” Award, which was won last year by Notes, Canary Wharf. It recognises those places which, braving the elements, still produce an excellent cup of coffee. This includes coffee carts, coffee stalls, those Coffee Spots which are so small that they only serve takeaway coffee and those Coffee Spots where I regularly get my takeaway coffee (even if they offer a regular sit-in option).

In fairness, I don’t feature a lot of takeaway places on the Coffee Spot, partly because, for me, a lot of what makes a good Coffee Spot is the atmosphere. This can be hard to achieve at a stall when you’re serving your coffee in a paper cup (another bugbear of mine; so these days I always take my own cup with me!). However, there are plenty of great takeaway places out there, serving excellent coffee, so don’t be afraid to give them a try.

You can see the shortlist after the gallery.

  • First up, Terrone & Co, serving fine coffee from a container in Netil Market, London.
  • Birmingham's Upstairs Coffee is upstairs from the cocktail bar in the basement.
  • Located in an old parking attendant's hut in Newcastle, it's Hatch Coffee.
  • The Look Mum No Hands! Pop-up was back again under Hungerford Bridge this summer.
  • Taking on the big boys at their own game, it's Pitch in Fulham Broadway station.
  • Located in a telephone box in Birmingham, it's Jake's Coffee Box.
  • Serving excellent coffee from the foyer of the British Library, it's Cornwall's Origin.
  • Coffee with a conscience, it's Can Do Coffee, on the canalside by Paddington Station.
  • Knocking out excellent coffee in all weathers, it's London's Rag & Bone Coffee.
  • An old favourite, Beany Green at Regent's Place, still a go-to place for takeaway coffee.
  • Literally a hole-in-the-wall, it's Shanghai's Manner Coffee.
  • Just across the way from Brixton Underground is Brixton Blend.
First up, Terrone & Co, serving fine coffee from a container in Netil Market, London.1 Birmingham's Upstairs Coffee is upstairs from the cocktail bar in the basement.2 Located in an old parking attendant's hut in Newcastle, it's Hatch Coffee.3 The Look Mum No Hands! Pop-up was back again under Hungerford Bridge this summer.4 Taking on the big boys at their own game, it's Pitch in Fulham Broadway station.5 Located in a telephone box in Birmingham, it's Jake's Coffee Box.6 Serving excellent coffee from the foyer of the British Library, it's Cornwall's Origin.7 Coffee with a conscience, it's Can Do Coffee, on the canalside by Paddington Station.8 Knocking out excellent coffee in all weathers, it's London's Rag & Bone Coffee.9 An old favourite, Beany Green at Regent's Place, still a go-to place for takeaway coffee.10 Literally a hole-in-the-wall, it's Shanghai's Manner Coffee.11 Just across the way from Brixton Underground is Brixton Blend.12
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There are 12 Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.

A flat white, seen from above, with a simple tulip pattern latte art.Terrone & Co, Netil Market

I’ve known Edy Piro of Terrone & Co for a long time, so a visit to where it all started, the stall in Netil Market, Hackney, was long overdue. Serving some excellent coffee, all roasted in-house, from a container just inside the market gates, Terrone loses nothing for being outdoors in all weathers. As well as espresso, there’s batch brew and a wide range of alcohol too!

An old-fashioned, heraldic shield, in white, with a black diagonal line running through it, bottom left to top right, with a handle added on the left to turn it into a coffee cupUpstairs Coffee

A newcomer this year, Birmingham’s Upstairs Coffee seems, at first sight, to be a bit of a misnomer, since it’s located on the ground floor. However, it is upstairs from the cocktail bar in the basement, hence the name. Serving some excellent espresso-based drinks, Upstairs Coffee is also shortlisted for the Smallest Coffee Spot and Most Popular Coffee Spot Awards.

The word "Hatch", written in cursive script in white on black, over the word "COFFEE", separated by a horiztonal white line.Hatch Coffee

Another newcomer, Newcastle‘s Hatch Coffee is in a disused parking attendant’s hut. Despite the cramped surroundings, Hatch serves a varied menu of espresso-based drinks, including decaf. Hatch is also shortlisted for the Most Popular Coffee Spot Award.

"Look mum no hands!", written on the side of the south-bank pop-up.Look Mum No Hands! Pop-up

Now looking like a permanent (summer) fixture on the South Bank, the Look Mum No Hands! Pop-up was back from another year under Hungerford Bridge. Each year the fit out seems to get bigger and better, but the core remains the same: excellent espresso-based drinks, plus alcohol and an interesting selection of hot and cold food. Look Mum is also shortlisted for the Best Outdoor Seating  Award.

A flat white from Pitch in Fulham Broadway in my Therma Cup, a double-walled, thermally-insulated china cup which I take with me on my travels.Pitch, Fulham Broadway

Another newcomer this year is Pitch, which opened its second branch in Fulham Broadway station, where it takes on all comers, including a couple of the national chains. Pitch serves up an espresso-based menu, with decaf on a second grinder. Pitch has an astonishing seven types of milk-substitute, plus there’s seating at the horseshoe-shaped, tiled counter, which includes power sockets. Pitch is also shortlisted for the Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station and Most Popular Coffee Spot Awards.

Jake's Coffee Box, occupying the left-hand of the two red telephone boxes, with a table out front, acting as a counter. Jake himself stands in the door, waiting his next customer.Jake’s Coffee Box

Jake’s Coffee Box serves coffee from a telephone box of all places, supplying the good people of Birmingham with fine coffee in all weathers. Jake’s Coffee Box is also been shortlisted for the Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot Award.

The words "ORigiN coffee roasters" in illuminated white on a black backgroundOrigin at the British Library

Another newcomer this year, Cornwall’s Origin continues its take over of London with a delightful coffee bar in the foyer of the British Library. Serving an excellent range of single-origin coffee, including espresso, aeropress and bulk-brew filter, it’s reason enough to visit the British Library by itself.

An A-board showing two stick figures talking. The first asks "So where do the profits go?" and the second answers "All our profits are spent on training and giving jobs to people that need it!". Underneath it says "100% non-profit coffee project using Monmouth espresso".Can Do Coffee, Paddington

Can Do Coffee is a not-for-profit social enterprise which aims to provide a route back to work for various disadvantaged people. Along the way it is serving some excellent coffee from a small container on the side of Regent’s Canal, just outside the rear entrance to Paddington Station. Although predominantly a takeaway place, there is also canal-side seating. Can Do Coffee is also shortlisted for the Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station Award.

A heart-shaped tulip in my Therma Cup, a white, porcelain reusable mug, with a circular rim and an octagonal interior.Rag & Bone Coffee

Located in the front of a churchyard between Victoria and Whitehall, Rag & Bone Coffee is a welcome oasis of speciality coffee in area that has been sadly lacking in options. Another which serves its coffee in all weather’s Rag & Bone has a rotating cast of single-origin beans on its espresso machine, all served with a cheery enthusiasm which defies the elements. Rag & Bone is also shortlisted for the Coffee Spot Special Award.

A pair of multi-coloured, Beany Green banana-themed deckchairs. Each bears the slogan "Your banana needs you" although the word banana is replaced with the picture of a partially-peeled banana.Beany Green, Regent’s Place

A perennial favourite, Beany Green on Regent’s Place is still one of my go-to options for takeaway coffee (despite the inside seating and the wonderful deck chairs) whenever I am in the area. You can always be sure of a cheerful greeting, and the food is just as wonderful as the coffee. Be sure to stop long enough to admire the amazing artwork from the inspirational Shubby (who did the deckchairs).

The word "Manner" written partly across an inverted triangle.Manner Coffee

One of the more surprising places I found on my first ever visit to Shanghai this year was Manner Coffee, literally a hole-in-the-wall on a Shanghai Street. However, it’s reputation is such that there is always a queue. Not content with serving excellent coffee, Manner also roasts all of its coffee, with a staggering array on offer, including espresso, pour-over and a range of beans to buy.

The front of Brixton Blend, with the downstairs clearly visible through the glass door and windows.Brixton Blend

Another newcomer this year, Brixton Blend is spread out over two floors of a unit near Brixton Underground Station. Despite all this space, Brixton Blend is aiming, for now at least, for the takeaway market, with a choice of two espresso blends, decaf and a single-origin on bulk-brew. Brixton Blend is also is shortlisted for the Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station and Happiest Staff Awards.

And the winner is Hatch Coffee
Runners-up: Can Do Coffee, Paddington and Origin at the British Library.

Don’t forget to check out the other 19 Coffee Spot Awards for 2016.


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