Before I launch into the actual winners, I should explain that the awards are for those places featured on Brian’s Coffee Spot during 2012. This means that there are many wonderful places that I’ve visited but yet to write up (and those that I’ve yet to visit) who have missed out. Never mind: you’ll be in the 2013 awards instead!
Anyhow, it’s been a great 2012 and thank you all for supporting Brian’s Coffee Spot. It’s all about sharing the love for great coffee and great places to have coffee. Without you, my readers, I’d have no-one to share the love with, so thanks for stopping by.
I also wish to thank Andrew Rilstone who gave me the idea for the awards with his own Monty Awards (for
Country Folk Music).
You can find the winners after the gallery.
So, without further ado, here are the winners. If you are interested, you can find the full list of nominees here. Also, if you can’t be bothered scrolling down this (very long) post, all the winners are featured in the gallery above.
Where It All Began
The first award recognises those special places which played a big part in my personal coffee journey. In all honesty, it has to be the Boston Tea Party on Park Street. This is where it all began for me, the place where I first realised my deep love for coffee shops (as opposed to coffee).
Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot
The winner was pretty obvious here. At the northern end of the Great Glen Way, halfway between Drumnadrochit and Inverness, it’s one thing to find a cafe, but to fine one serving such great coffee is frankly amazing. So, hats off to the Abriachan Camp Site and Café!
Coffee Shop Most Resembling a Coffee Shop
The “Most Resembling…” award was much closer. I could have given it to half a dozen places, but at the end of the day, I still dream about the upstairs lounge in Plymouth’s Coffee Bean Central. I really do think it might be the perfect place to spend a day drinking coffee…
I’ve drunk a lot of espresso this year, but I can honestly say, hand on heart, that nothing has bettered Bar Italia! I know this is very, very subjective and I’ve had some very fine espresso, prepared with real love, but I swear in another life I was Italian…
Smallest Coffee Spot
I could have tossed a coin for this one, but at the end of the day, I decided that Exeter’s Exploding Bakery edged it. It has nothing to do with the excellent cake. And the friendly staff. Honest.
Most Passionate About Coffee
This was another tough one, but in the end of the day (year?) I decided that Edinburgh’s Brew Lab should win it on the arbitrary grounds that the menu confused the hell out of me! That and the 30 minute tutorial co-founder Dave gave me on brewing methods…
Perhaps the most important award of all goes to the wonderful people at Café Boscanova who really were the happiest and friendliest bunch I’ve seen all year. They had stiff competition, but in all honesty, I couldn’t give it to anyone else!
Best Coffee Bean Retailer
This one was easy. I couldn’t have looked Trish in the face again if I hadn’t given the award to Coffee Charisma. Then where would I get my coffee beans?
This was absolutely the toughest one to decide on, but on the grounds that Bea’s nearly finished me off not once, but twice, with her cheesecake, it has to be Bea’s.
Brian’s Coffee Spot Special Award
Really, it was no competition. I know I don’t go in there as often as I should, but there’s no way I could show my face in Bar des Arts again if I didn’t give it an award for something! And honestly, it’s a lovely place (and I’m not just saying that 🙂 ).
And finally, the only award not decided by me. It’s given to the Coffee Spot which received the greatest number of views (according to JetPack) up to the end of the year. It was a close run thing, with the winner only having been on the Coffee Spot for a few weeks, which is pretty incredible in itself. The Awards shortlist actually managed to finish in second place, but I decided that it should excluded on the grounds that it’s not really a Coffee Spot :-).
Finishing third was Bea’s of Bloomsbury, obvious popular with you discerning Coffee Spot readers. I have checked back and I’m as sure as I can be that it was lots of different people visiting the page and not just Bea checking it twice a day to push it up the ratings!
Finishing in a strong second was one of the original Coffee Spots that’s been on the site since it went live at the very end of September. Obviously longevity has played a part, but on the other hand, I had a handful of readers when I launched the Coffee Spot. So, it is a testament to the Abriachan Camp Site and Café that lots and lots of new readers have taken the trouble to go back and read up on it.
And the clear winner is the amazing Café Boscanova, which leapt to the top spot, despite only going live on the Coffee Spot two weeks ago! Clearly there are lots of dedicated coffee lovers down there on the Bosca del Sol!
So, congratulations to the winners and to all those who were nominated. Remember, Brian’s Coffee Spot is all about spreading the love for great coffee and great places to have coffee. Stay tuned in 2013 for more great Coffee Spots every Monday and Thursday throughout the year.