The last of today’s 2018 Coffee Spot Awards shortlists is the “Best Saturday Supplement” Award, won in 2017 by Goodbye Ridley Place. 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 reusable cups, coffee festivals, an espresso machine, a magazine, a podcast, a day at the cricket, airline coffee and a pour-over experience in Rome, all of which makes the comparison a little tricky, but that’s my problem!
You can see the shortlist after the gallery.
There are 12 Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.
For the last couple of years, I’ve made a big push on reusable cups, championing the wonderful producers out there. While there’s still a long way to go, the Government’s proposed “latte levy” made a big splash at the start of the year. The good news is that there are more reusable cups than ever, and this Saturday Supplement is dedicated to their wonderful manufacturers. It has also been shortlisted for the Most Popular Coffee Spot Award.
A perennial contender for the Best Saturday Supplement Award, Caffeine Magazine is now entering its seventh year (lagging just a few months behind the Coffee Spot on that front!). As I have from the start, I’ve been summarising each issue, although I’m a little behind this year, what with all my travelling.
Another perennial contender, I’ve been going to the London Coffee Festival every year since 2013. This year it was bigger and, dare I say it, better than ever before, although eagle-eyed readers will notice that my coverage of the festival has changed as I no longer have the time for the long, multi-part write-ups of previous years.
This year I appeared on a coffee podcast for just the second time. The podcast in question is My Favourite Coffee Story, where I got to wax lyrical about my favourite subject: coffee!
I first came across the Decent Espresso machine in Hong Kong in October 2016 at the start of my around the world trip. Back then it was a prototype on a bench, but fast-forward two years and I got to see a demonstration model in action in Glasgow. It’s a home espresso machine that is aimed firmly at the coffee geek, with the sort of control you find in high-end machines. Decent Espresso was also shortlisted for the Most Popular Coffee Spot Award.
Back for another year, the Glasgow Coffee Festival has become a fixture on my calendar and a great excuse to head up to Scotland. Although it’s a celebration of Scottish speciality coffee, there are exhibitors from all over the UK. A smaller, more relaxed festival compared to London, it’s one of my favourites. Glasgow Coffee Festival has also been shortlisted for the Most Popular Coffee Spot Award.
Great coffee and sporting events don’t usually go together, but Lord’s, the Home of Cricket, is leading the way with multiple speciality coffee outlets around the ground, including Kaffeine (a fixture for many years), Coffee Space, Browns of Brockley, Tom’s Coffee, Ground Coffee Society and the in-house Portman’s Café serving Union Hand-roasted (seen here with my Eco To Go Cup). Also shortlisted for Best Takeaway Coffee Award.
Another month, another coffee festival. This year I made it to the Birmingham Coffee Festival (now in its second year) for the first time ever. And you know what? I really loved it!
The World of Coffee is the Specialty Coffee Association’s annual European jamboree,moving cities ever year. I attended in Dublin in 2016 before making back this year when it graced the fair city of Amsterdam. A similar size to the London Coffee Festival, it’s more orientated towards trade and is a much more relaxed affair. It’s also a great opportunity to meet lots of wonderful European roasters.
Let great coffee and sporting events, great coffee and airlines don’t usually go together, but British Airways & Union Hand-roasted are changing that, one cup at a time. Currently only available in business and first class, both in the air and in UK lounges, it’s a massive step in the right direction. British Airways / Union Hand-roasted are also on the Brian’s Coffee Spot Special Award shortlist.
Back to reusable cups and this time, the focus is on this year’s new crop of reusable cups, which include the Eco To Go Cup (made from rice husk), the Global WAKECup (with its bamboo sleeve) and the HuskeeCup (made from coffee husk). The increasing numbers of reusable cups on the market, and the wide variety of materials, including sustainable ones, is great news.
I went to Rome for the history and architecture, not necessarily the coffee. And when it came to coffee, I was expecting some pretty decent espresso. What I wasn’t expecting was great pour-over, which made my experiences at Roscioli Caffè Pasticceria all the more wonderful. If you’re going to do pour-over, then this is the way to do it!
And the winner is Improving Airline Coffee: British Airways & Union Hand-roasted
Runners-up: Speciality Coffee at Lord’s and Pour-over at Roscioli Caffè
Don’t forget to check out the other 19 Coffee Spot Awards for 2018.
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