Our second shortlist in the 2019 Coffee Spot Awards is the “Best Takeaway Coffee” Award, which was won last year by CanDo Coffee, Merchant Square. It recognises those places which, braving the elements, still produce an excellent cup of coffee. This includes coffee carts, coffee stalls, those Coffee Spots which are so small that they only serve takeaway coffee and those Coffee Spots where I regularly get my takeaway coffee (even if they offer a regular sit-in option).
Traditionally, I haven’t featured many takeaway places on the Coffee Spot, but these days, as I travel more for work, I often have to grab a coffee to go during a break in the meeting (always remembering to bring my own cup with me!). As a result, I’m finding lots of great takeaway places out there, serving some really excellent coffee.
You can see the shortlist after the gallery.
There are 15 Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.
Maverick Coffee was a serendipitous find in an outdoor mall in Phoenix, a short walk from my hotel. This made it the perfect spot to start my day, with a coffee to go before the drive to the office. I enjoyed all sorts of coffee, including multiple flat whites to go in my Therma Cup, along with a variety of filter options. Maverick has also been shortlisted for this year’s Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot and Best Filter Coffee Awards.
Story Works is a relatively new addition to London‘s speciality coffee scene, opposite the entrance to Clapham Junction station. A relatively small spot, it primarily caters to takeaway customers, although there’s a small amount of seating for those who want to sit in. There’s a single option on espresso plus batch brew if you are in a hurry. Story Works has also been shortlisted for the Smallest Coffee Spot Award.
La Colombe, Philadelphia Airport
Airport coffee (quite often deservedly) has a bad reputation, although Philadelphia Airport is bucking the trend with La Colombe having an outlet in four of its six terminals when I changed planes there in February. I only had a chance to try two of them, but they were vastly superior to the coffee on offer in the lounge. The range is not quite as extensive as a typical La Colombe coffee shop, but it’s impressive none the less.
The second location for the Shanghai coffee shop/roaster chain is bigger than the original (which is no more than a hole-in-the-wall), but nonetheless is still pretty small, with no seating, so takeaway coffee is your only option. The small size doesn’t stop it from offering an impressive array of coffee, with a blend on espresso and up to seven single-origins on pour-over through the V60. Manner is also on the Smallest Coffee Spot Award shortlist.
Mouse Tail Coffee Stories, Whitechapel
Back in London, Mouse Tail Coffee Stories occupies a tiny spot on Whitechapel Road, which earned it a spot on the Smallest Coffee Spot shortlist. One of the area’s early speciality coffee pioneers, it offers a concise espresso-based menu using Mouse Tail’s seasonal house-blend and decaf from roasting arm, Mission Coffee Works. Although there is limited seating inside and out, it’s takeaway cups only, so don’t forget to bring your own.
Taylor Street Baristas, Canary Wharf
Staying in London, I spent a week in Canary Wharf this year, where the first of two Taylor Street Barista branches (both sadly now closed) provided me with some excellent coffee on my way into the office, including a flat white in my HuskeeCup, using the Benchmark blend and a naturally-processed heirloom varietal from Ethiopia, which I had as a batch brew in my Therma Cup.
Staying in Canary Wharf, 640East was conveniently located directly opposite my office, which made it the natural destination for practically every coffee break. Serving a Caravan blend on espresso, it goes just as well in milk as it does on its own (pictured here in my Kaffeeform cup). Despite having plenty of seating, it’s takeaway cups only, so don’t forget to bring your own. 640East is also on the shortlist for the Best Outdoor Seating Award.
Later in the year, I spent a week in London, this time around Paddington, my old stomping ground until work sent me around the globe. Lots of places have opened since then, including Workshop Coffee, which took over the coffee operation at The Pilgrm, a boutique hotel, where I stopped most days en-route to the office for a flat white in my HuskeeCup. Workshop is also shortlisted for the Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station Award.
Department of Coffee and Social Affairs, Paddington Central
Staying in Paddington, and another new addition is the Department of Coffee and Social Affairs, conveniently located across the street from the office, so I would frequently pop out, trying pretty much the full range of coffee, which included a blend, single-origin and decaf on espresso, with two single-origins on batch brew. The Department of Coffee is also on the Best Flat White shortlist.
One of three % Arabicas in Kyoto, the Arashiyama location has an idyllic setting on the banks of the Katsura River to the northwest of the city. In keeping with all the locations I’ve been too, it only serves coffee in disposable cups, although in this case it has an excuse, being little more than a kiosk. % Arabica, Arashiyama also been shortlisted for the Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot Award.
Back to office-related coffee, and Café Névé, on Rue Rachel, was on my way to the office in Montréal, so I called in every morning for a cappuccino to go. It’s also a lovely, spacious coffee shop in its own right, where I had breakfast at the weekends. Café Névé has also made it onto the shortlist for this year’s Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot and Best Breakfast Awards.
Like airports, station coffee has a bad name. While technically not in a station, Blue Monday is close enough to Kanazawa Station to get itself on the Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station shortlist. Although just a kiosk in a shopping mall basement (which won it a spot on the Coffee Spot with the Best Basement shortlist), it has proper cups if you’ll be standing at the small counter. As well as the espresso (pictured), I had a very fine cappuccino.
Stockholm Roast has become my to-go option on the way the office. Despite the name, the office is in Tokyo, not the Swedish capital (which is where the coffee is roasted). There’s an impressive range of coffee on offer considering that it’s just a kiosk, with a pair of blends and two or three single-origins, all available as pour-overs (plus one of the blends on espresso). Stockholm Roast is also on the Best Filter Coffee and Smallest Coffee Spot shortlists.
Lost Sheep Coffee is a veteran of Canterbury’s speciality coffee scene, starting with a cart on the High Street, followed by a neat black pod down by the bus station, which is turn has been replaced by a larger neat black pod. There are two options on espresso, a seasonal blend roasted in-house and a guest option on the second grinder. Lost Sheep is also on the Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot and Most Passionate About Coffee shortlists.
The final entry is from Chicago, where Big Shoulders on the Loop really ought to be a regular option when I’m in the office. Except that the office has its own speciality coffee shop in the foyer, so I don’t venture out to Big Shoulders as often as I could. When I did, however, I had a lovely Peruvian single-origin pour-over in my Therma Cup.
And the winner is Workshop Coffee at The Pilgrm
Runners-up: Stockholm Roast and Department of Coffee and Social Affairs, Paddington Central
Don’t forget to check out the other 19 Coffee Spot Awards for 2019.
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