2013 Awards – Smallest Coffee Spot

Excellent Espresso in a Glass from the Exploding Bakery, ExeterCoffee Spots come in all shapes and sizes, but for some reason I have a real soft spot for small Coffee Spots. Last year the Award was won, somewhat controversially, by Exeter’s Exploding Bakery (controversial since I went by the floor area dedicated to coffee rather than the size of the whole place, which included an open-plan kitchen).

This year I have once again been blessed by some very small Coffee Spots serving some very fine coffee. As in 2012, this Award is entirely subjective: no Coffee Spots were measured during the judging process!

You can see the shortlist after the gallery.

  • Wellington Coffee in the heart of Edinburgh
  • Small Street Espresso, pleasingly small, pleasingly on Bristol's Small St
  • Castello Coffee, another tiny offering from Edinburgh
  • Caffeine & Co, or as I prefer to call it, the espresso cube
  • I Am Coffee, New York City, is taller than it is long or wide!
  • Gimme! Coffee, located just above Little Italy in New York City
  • Brewsters N7, bringing fine coffee in a confined space to Islington
  • Goodge St Espresso, pleasingly on London's Goodge Street
Wellington Coffee in the heart of Edinburgh1 Small Street Espresso, pleasingly small, pleasingly on Bristol's Small St2 Castello Coffee, another tiny offering from Edinburgh3 Caffeine & Co, or as I prefer to call it, the espresso cube4 I Am Coffee, New York City, is taller than it is long or wide!5 Gimme! Coffee, located just above Little Italy in New York City6 Brewsters N7, bringing fine coffee in a confined space to Islington7 Goodge St Espresso, pleasingly on London's Goodge Street8
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There are eight Coffee Spots on the shortlist (or should that be small list?) this year, all listed in order of publication.

The view through the door of Wellington CoffeeWellington Coffee

Wellington Coffee, in the heart of Edinburgh, got things off to a good start in the Smallest Coffee Spot stakes. Not really large enough to swing a cat, it still manages to serve up some excellent espresso-based coffee, along with some tasty-looking scones.

The exterior view of Small St Espresso on a rainy December day in BristolSmall Street Espresso

The appropriately-named Small Street Espresso is both small AND on Bristol’s Small Street. It’s also beautiful and serves some superb coffee and wonderful cake. It’s also one of my all-time favourite Coffee Spots. And a tiny bit too big… Then again, I did say the award was subjective…

Castello Coffee's Logo at 7A Castle StreetCastello Coffee

Another contender from Edinburgh, this time on Castle Street. If anything, Castello is even smaller than Wellington and yet manages to pack even more in, adding soup to the mix (though thankfully not to the coffee!).

The store front of Caffeine & Co, on Manchester's St James's Square, where the most is made of what little frontage there is with a huge logo!Caffeine & Co

I was convinced that Manchester’s Caffeine Cube (as I like to refer to it) was a sure-fire winner of the Smallest Coffee Spot Award when I visited in January. I couldn’t conceive of anything smaller. Despite the size, it serves excellent coffee, cake and some lovely sandwiches, plus soup to warm the soul on cold and rainy Manchester days (in fairness, it wasn’t raining that day; it was snowing!).

The I Am Coffee logo on St Mark's Place, New York CityI Am Coffee

My conviction that Caffeine & Co would win lasted until I stepped into I Am Coffee in New York City. Here was a place to challenge my preconceptions: taller than it is both wide and long, I Am Coffee is amazing and serves some equally amazing coffee.

I Am Coffee is also on the shortlist for the “Most Passionate About Coffee” Award.

An espresso in a proper gimme! coffee cup, on the bench outside the Mott Street branch.Gimme! Coffee

Another tiny place in New York City, just above Little Italy, I loved Gimme! Coffee from the start. It might be tiny, but it was packed with customers while I was there, all wanting the lovely coffee which could be taken away or had in with proper cups (although “in” meant sitting outside on a bench on Mott Street). All the beans are roasted in Gimme! Coffee’s own roastery in upstate New York.

A fine piccolo with excellent latte art, made by head Barista, Sonny, at Brewsters N7.Brewsters N7

Brewsters N7 is a recent addition to the ever-expanding coffee scene in Islington. Another tiny place, it somewhat blows its chances by having just enough space to put in a little seating bar running the length of the wall opposite the counter. Despite the size, Brewsters has food, cake and plenty of coffee options.


Goodge Street Espresso's Famous Manual Typewriter

Goodge St Espresso

Goodge St Espresso is really small. No, I mean it. So small that I can simultaneously put my hands against both walls. And that’s while standing against one of them! Long, but very thin, with the counter right at the back, it’s a bit like having a coffee shop in a corridor.

Goodge St Espresso is also in the running for the “Best Takeaway Coffee” Award.

And the winner is I Am Coffee!
Runners-up: Caffeine & CoGoodge St Espresso

You can find all 20 of the 2013 Coffee Spot Awards here.

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9 thoughts on “2013 Awards – Smallest Coffee Spot

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