However did that happen? There I was, minding my own business, when I looked at the calendar and realised that the Coffee Spot is five years old tomorrow. Where has all the time gone? I launched the Coffee Spot four years and 364 days ago on Friday, 28th September 2012 (at 14.15 to be precise). Back then, I had no idea just how big it would become and how it would evolve to drive (takeover?) much of what I do.
In the Coffee Spot’s fifth year, I published 215 times, covering 139 Coffee Spots, with the remaining posts covering various coffee events, roasters and the Coffee Spot Awards. I’ve also been getting around more, visiting six countries outside the UK, including four for the first time. In turn, you have been looking at the Coffee Spot in ever greater numbers. In the last year, more than 83,000 people visited the Coffee Spot and between you, you’ve looked at more 137,000 pages.
So, thank you, everyone, whether you dip into the Coffee Spot every now and then, or whether you read every single post and page. Without you, there really would be no point in my doing this.
You can read a review of the Coffee Spot’s fifth year after the gallery.
The Coffee Spot’s fifth year me travelling more than ever, and to lots of places I’d not been before. I celebrated the Coffee Spot’s fourth birthday in Shanghai, the second stop on a round-the-world trip which saw me start in Hong Kong before heading on to Shanghai, then across the Pacific to Chicago, before heading home in mid-October. The good news is that I found lots of great coffee along with way!
I’d hardly been back when I was jetting off again, at the end of October, this time to Phoenix and the Grand Canyon, my first time in Arizona, where I found the likes of Press Coffee. I got back to the UK in time for the Manchester Coffee Festival at the start of November, which was also a chance to catch up with one of my favourite cities, Manchester.
From there, it was a head-long rush to the end of the year, with the Coffee Spot Calendar making an appearance along the way, plus the 2016 Coffee Spot Awards. Somewhere along the way I managed to squeeze in a bizarre trip which took in Harrogate, York, Newcastle and Bristol.
2017 had hardly begun when I was off again, this time back to Phoenix which served as a starting point for my grand adventure, which saw me driving from Phoenix to San Francisco, via Los Angeles, both new venues for the Coffee Spot. I then flew to Chicago, Miami (another new destination) and Boston before flying home.
I wasn’t back at home for long before I was off again in March for a first ever trip to Belfast and on to Galway. I had enough time on my return to wax lyrical about my new Sage Barista Express espresso machine and visit the London Coffee Festival. Then, in April, I was off again for another first, a trip to Japan, which took in Tokyo and Kyoto as well as day-trips to Osaka and Hiroshima.
No sooner had my feet touched the ground on my return in May than I made a first-ever visit to Canterbury and, in the same week, returned to Glasgow for the Glasgow Coffee Festival. There wasn’t much of a lull before I was off again, in June, for a first-time trip to Vietnam, which started in Ho Chi Minh City, ended in Hanoi and contained a two-day train-trip in between. In another first, I flew back in business class.
This time I had six days in the UK before jetting off to Chicago and Madison, returning in early July, when, miracles of miracles, I had almost two months in the UK with no coffee events to attend and no planes to catch. I did manage trips to Leicester in July; Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter in early August and Leeds at the end of August though.
So finally to September, which I mostly spent back in Chicago (for work) and Madison (friends), where I tried out my new Aergrind grinder, before returned at the weekend, just in time to realise that it’s the Coffee Spot’s fifth birthday tomorrow. I will be celebrating this, but in fairly low-key fashion. However, if you want to come and say hello, I’ll be splitting my time during the afternoon between my two locals, Surrey Hills Coffee and Canopy Coffee.
Here’s to another successful year!
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