Another year, another post wondering where all the time has gone! The Coffee Spot celebrates its seventh birthday today! I launched the Coffee Spot exactly seven years on Friday, 28th September 2012 (at 14.15 to be precise) with a vague idea that it might become a useful resource for coffee (shop) lovers and an entertaining way for me to spend (some of) my spare time. Little did I know just how much the Coffee Spot would take over my life!
In the Coffee Spot’s seventh year, I published 240 times (up on 219 since last time), covering 185 Coffee Spots of various sorts, with the remaining posts covering coffee events, roasters, my travels and the Coffee Spot Awards. Since 2016, the contents of Coffee Spot has been largely shaped by my work travels and the last 12 months have been no different, with six major overseas trips, and short jaunts to Rome and Prague. Despite this travel, I only visited six countries outside the UK, including three visits to the USA and two to Japan (the other countries were Canada, China, Czechia and Italy).
You can read a review of the Coffee Spot’s seventh year after the gallery.
The Coffee Spot’s seventh year saw me continue my hectic travel schedule, which has seen me so busy that sometimes I just long for a week at home! I started the Coffee Spot’s seventh year having just returned from Chicago and a mammoth Midwest road trip. After a few weeks in the UK I was off again on my second around the world trip (the first having come in 2016, when I flew to Hong Kong, then Shanghai, and finally across the Pacific to Chicago before returning home again). This time I went the other way around, flying first to Montreal and then back to Tokyo for my second visit of the year.
No sooner had I returned from Tokyo than I was off to Manchester for the coffee festival and, from there, straight to Rome, where I found a surprising amount of good coffee. That was it for international travel for 2018, although I still had time for long overdue returns to Cheltenham and both Edinburgh and Glasgow.
However, 2019 saw me back in the air, with a visit to the USA in January. This included an unexpected upgrade to first class on my flight out and the contrasting extremes of Arizona (think British summer) to Chicago, just in time for the polar vortex and the second-coldest January on record!
At the end of February, I was off again, visiting Shanghai for a month, although I flew there via Boston, making it my third around the world trip, although I refer to this one as my “almost around the world” trip since I flew around the wrong side of the North Pole, so I’m not sure that it counts.
I returned to the UK in late March, managing to squeeze in the London Coffee Festival, before I was off again, this time on a mammoth five week trip to the US, taking in New Orleans, Los Angeles, San Francisco and the Bay Area and then Chicago for a third time in under a year! It was an awesome trip, including two amazing train rides, one along the Pacific Coast from Los Angeles to San Jose, and then all the way from San Francisco to Chicago.
I returned to the UK at the end of May, managing to fit in a visit to the Birmingham Coffee Festival, then, in June, I was off to Prague for the first time with my Coffee Spot hat on. July was a bit of a novelty, since I spent the entire month in the UK (for the first time since December 2018), but to make up for it, I was off again on 1st August for two weeks, visiting Portland in Maine and then, at the end of August, I went back to Japan for three weeks, including a two-week stint in Tokyo. I got back just under two weeks ago and here I am looking forward to another year of hectic travel!
As a postscript, the last twelve months is the first time that visitor numbers have dropped compared to the previous 12 months. That said, just under 65,000 of you visited the Coffee Spot (down from 91,000) and between you, you’ve looked at over 110,000 pages (down from around 150,000). I don’t know why this is, but 65,000 people is still awesome, so thanks to everyone, whether you occasionally dip into the Coffee Spot, or read every single post/page. Without you, there really would be no point in my doing this.
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