2016 Awards – Best Saturday Supplement

A stylised outline of a white cup on a black background with letters cupnorth written above it (also in white).The last of today’s 2016 Coffee Spot Awards shortlists is the “Best Saturday Supplement” Award, won in 2015 by Cup North. The Saturday Supplement is a place where I can write about coffee, coffee-related events, places which I liked but which didn’t really fit into the category of a Coffee Spot and frankly, anything else that takes my fancy! This Award recognises the best of this year’s Saturday Supplements.

Just so we’re clear on this, the Award is not about my writing (that would be far too self-serving). It’s about the actual subjects that I’m writing about, which this year included coffee festivals, magazines, books, and going for dinner, all of which makes the comparison a little tricky, but that’s my problem!

You can see the shortlist after the gallery.

  • First on this year's shortlist, Coffee with Luke: A Brewing Masterclass.
  • A perennial favourite, Caffeine Magazine, where I write the Neighbourhood Watch feature.
  • Next, Cherie Did This, an exhibition of Cherie Jerrard's art at the Shrewsbury Coffeehouse.
  • New for this year, the Beyond The Bean Barista Bursary.
  • The coffee talk of the year? The question of Speciality Coffee in Capsules.
  • Another perennial favourite, the London Coffee Fesitval.
  • And talking of perennial favourites, there's the Caffe Culture Show and Awards.
  • It's fun getting in on the start of things. Case in point, the Flat Caps Kickstarter.
  • This year was my first at the World of Coffee event, which was held in Dublin.
  • One of my rare pieces on coffee equipment and the joys of the Bonavita Gooseneck Kettle.
  • Talking of Caffe Culture, I also write a monthly column for Caffe Culture Connect.
  • And finally, another perennial favourite, the Manchester Coffee Festival (aka Cup North).
First on this year's shortlist, Coffee with Luke: A Brewing Masterclass.1 A perennial favourite, Caffeine Magazine, where I write the Neighbourhood Watch feature.2 Next, Cherie Did This, an exhibition of Cherie Jerrard's art at the Shrewsbury Coffeehouse.3 New for this year, the Beyond The Bean Barista Bursary.4 The coffee talk of the year? The question of Speciality Coffee in Capsules.5 Another perennial favourite, the London Coffee Fesitval.6 And talking of perennial favourites, there's the Caffe Culture Show and Awards.7 It's fun getting in on the start of things. Case in point, the Flat Caps Kickstarter.8 This year was my first at the World of Coffee event, which was held in Dublin.9 One of my rare pieces on coffee equipment and the joys of the Bonavita Gooseneck Kettle.10 Talking of Caffe Culture, I also write a monthly column for Caffe Culture Connect.11 And finally, another perennial favourite, the Manchester Coffee Festival (aka Cup North).12
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There are 12 Saturday Supplements on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.

Luke Pochron, at his Brewing Masterclass, Coffee with Luke, simultaneously pouring from a Chemex into two cups.Coffee with Luke: Brewing Masterclass

Let’s get things underway with Coffee with Luke, a Brewing Masterclass I attended with my friend Luke. Sadly, due to the pressures of his day job, Luke no longer has time to run his masterclasses, which is a shame, since I learn a lot from my two hours. Even if you are an experienced coffee brewer, I find that courses like these always teach you something new or give you something to think about.

The front cover of Issue 24 of Caffeine Magazine, showing the Barirro Alto brew and flask, part of a feature on synthetic coffee.

Caffeine Magazine

A perennial favourite, Caffeine Magazine was back again this year, in as good form as ever. Of course, I do have an interest to declare: Ever since Issue 4, I’ve written the “Neighbourhood Watch” feature found at the back of each issue. Strangely, I missed one this year, when, instead of being sent to Dublin, Caffeine Magazine got me to write an article on decaf instead. Do you think someone was trying to tell me to calm down?

A self-portrait by the talented Cherie Jerrard, entitled "Me - Crosslegged"Cherie Did This: Shrewsbury Coffeehouse

My friend Cherie Jerrard is a talented artist and illustrator who sketches every day life in coffee shops. Earlier this year she held an exhibition at the Shrewsbury Coffeehouse which I went along to cover.  Cherie’s artwork would grace the walls of any coffee shop (she has a huge mural up at Grindsmith Deansgate) and she will also do pieces on commission.

The Beyond the Bean Barista Bursary logoBeyond the Bean Barista Bursary

2016 saw the awarding of the first ever Beyond the Bean Barista Bursary, a support package designed to help one talented barista compete in the UK Barista Championships (and beyond). I was part of the judging panel which met in January to determine who would receive the first ever bursary. That honour went to Diana from Taylor Street Baristas and Diana has now joined the judging panel for the 2017 Beyond the Bean Barista Bursary.

A shot of speciality coffee from an Nespresso-compatible capsule served by Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood at a talk at Modern Society.Speciality Coffee in Capsules?

Perhaps the single most influential event I went to in 2017 was the talk given by Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood at  to Modern Society about speciality coffee in capsules. This talk completely changed my mind about the subject and made me realise that there’s a large, untapped market out there for speciality coffee. The Speciality Coffee in Capsules article is also shortlisted for the Most Popular Coffee Spot Award.

The London Coffee Festival LogoLondon Coffee Festival

Another perennial favourite, the London Coffee Festival was back again this year, bigger and better than ever before. Naturally, I was there to cover it, once again producing a series of articles from the cups through to the coffee, taking in subjects as diverse as automated pour-over machines along the way.

The Caffe Culture Show logo from this yearCaffè Culture 2016

Another perennial favourite, I was back at the Caffè Culture show where I was judging the Caffè Culture Awards “Best New Drink Product” for the second year running, which this year went to the Himalayan Coffee & Tea from Himalayan Treasures, helping the coffee farmers of Nepal.

An espresso in a classic white cup, plus a glass of water, on an oval wooden platter, separated by a tea spoon.Flat Caps Coffee Kickstarter

It’s great to be on the start of something, a case in point being when Joe, of Flat Caps Coffee in Newcastle, invited me along before the launch of his Kickstarter. The Flat Caps Kickstarter article is also shortlisted for the Most Popular Coffee Spot Award.

A beautiful flat white, with latte art by Dhan Tamang, the reigning UK Latte Art Champion, made at the World of Coffee 2016 using the Conti Espresso 60th Anniversary espresso machine.World of Coffee 2016

This was my first World of Coffee Event and provided me with a good excuse to head back to Dublin. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and you can be sure that I’ll be back this year when the World of Coffee returns, this time heading to Budapest. As is the case with these events, I produced a number of articles covering aspects such as the equipment and a run-down of all the roasters I met.

A 1 Litre Bonavita Gooseneck Kettle, a kind gift from Bonavita.Bonavita Gooseneck Kettle

I don’t usually write about coffee equipment, but I was very taken with my new gooseneck kettle (a gift, it must be admitted, from Bonavita). This has revolutionised my pour-over technique, so much so that it has seen me dusting off several pour-over filter cones that had lain unused for more than a year. Now I don’t know where I’d be without my trusty gooseneck kettle!

The store front of Modern Society on London's Redchurch StreetCaffè Culture Connect

As well as writing for Caffeine Magazine, I also write a column for the online publication, Caffè Culture Connect. These are more trade-orientated and allow me to give my views (as a customer) on various issues surrounding the coffee industry.

thumbnail-manchester-coffee-festival-2016-part-i-dsc_0004Manchester Coffee Festival 2016

Finally, another perennial favourite is Cup North, which was back this year, rebranded as the Manchester Coffee Festival. Another that was bigger and better than before, I thoroughly enjoy my annual visits to Manchester. The Manchester Coffee Festival is also shortlisted for the Best Espresso Award (although that has a lot to do with Ancoats Coffee).

And the winner is Beyond the Bean Barista Bursary
Runners-up: Speciality Coffee in Capsules? and Bonavita Gooseneck Kettle.

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


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