2019 Awards – Best Saturday Supplement

An espresso at the British Airways lounge in Heathrow Terminal 5, made with Union Hand-roasted coffee.The last of today’s 2019 Coffee Spot Awards shortlists is the “Best Saturday Supplement” Award, won in 2018 by Improving Airline Coffee: British Airways & Union Hand-roasted. 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 and besides, that’s what the Sprudgies is all about). It’s about the actual subjects that I’m writing about, which this year included coffee festivals, coffee at cricket, coffee and science, and going for dinner, all of which makes the comparison a little tricky, but that’s my problem!

You can see the shortlist after the gallery.

  • London Coffee Festival, a perennial contender, back for another year.
  • Doughnut Vault, Franklin Street, the original source of the doughnuts!
  • Birmingham Coffee Festival, back for a second year, and bigger and better than ever!
  • Dinner at Kavárna Místo, fine food as well as excellent coffee!
  • Out of the Box, Tonbridge, bringing Out of the Box to the public.
  • Crush the Rush, a new favourite coffee competition.
  • Speciality Coffee at Lord's. continuing to lead the way for coffee at sporting events.
  • Maruyama Coffee Experiences, such as having the same espresso in different-shaped cups.
  • Tasting Flights at Glitch Coffee, comparing three coffees side-by-side. Twice.
  • Chromatic Coffee, enjoying a public cupping and a tour of the roastery in San Jose.
  • Coffee & Science with Bean Thinking, monthly events at Amoret Speciality Coffee.
  • The 2019 Sprudgie Awards, celebrating (and supporting) great coffee around the world.
London Coffee Festival, a perennial contender, back for another year.1 Doughnut Vault, Franklin Street, the original source of the doughnuts!2 Birmingham Coffee Festival, back for a second year, and bigger and better than ever!3 Dinner at Kavárna Místo, fine food as well as excellent coffee!4 Out of the Box, Tonbridge, bringing Out of the Box to the public.5 Crush the Rush, a new favourite coffee competition.6 Speciality Coffee at Lord's. continuing to lead the way for coffee at sporting events.7 Maruyama Coffee Experiences, such as having the same espresso in different-shaped cups.8 Tasting Flights at Glitch Coffee, comparing three coffees side-by-side. Twice.9 Chromatic Coffee, enjoying a public cupping and a tour of the roastery in San Jose.10 Coffee & Science with Bean Thinking, monthly events at Amoret Speciality Coffee.11 The 2019 Sprudgie Awards, celebrating (and supporting) great coffee around the world.12
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There are 12 Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.

The 2017 London Coffee Festival LogoLondon Coffee Festival

A perennial contender, I’ve been going to the London Coffee Festival every year since 2013. The year, the London Coffee Festival was back again in the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane. It was, once again, immense fun, and continues to make positive strides forwards. The London Coffee Festival has also been shortlisted for this year’s Most Popular Coffee Spot Award.

A lovely glazed doughnut from the Doughnut Vault on Franklin Street, Chicago.Doughnut Vault, Franklin Street

Chicago’s Doughnut Vault has two locations. This is the original, a tiny spot (winning it a spot on the Smallest Coffee Spot shortlist) which sells doughnuts, baked in the downstairs kitchen. While there is coffee on hand, you’d be better off going to the Canal Street location if that’s what you’re after. The doughnuts, by the way, are to die for, good enough to get the Doughnut Vault onto the shortlist for the Best Cake Award.

The Birmingham Coffee Festival logoBirmingham Coffee Festival

Last year, I made it to the Birmingham Coffee Festival for the first time and was really impressed. So, I made sure that I went this year too. The festival, now in its third year, is bigger and better than before, offering the perfect showcase for Birmingham’s growing speciality coffee scene. This year’s Birmingham Coffee Festival has also been shortlisted for the Best Espresso Award.

The coffee tasting flight at Kavárna Místo in Prague: three different single-origin filters. But can you guess which is which?Dinner at Kavárna Místo

Amanda and I visited Kavárna Místo in Prague twice, once for coffee and again for dinner, which I wrote up as a Saturday Supplement, hence its inclusion on the shortlist. Confusingly, I also included the filter tasting flight in my write up, even though we had that when we went for coffee. As a result, Kavárna Místo also been shortlisted for the Best Filter Coffee Award.

A flat white, made with the The Roasting Party's Elixir 22 blend and served in my Huskee Cup at Out of the Box in Tonbridge.Out of the Box, Tonbridge

I’ve always considered Out of the Box as an industry event, held by coffee people for coffee people. However, this year Out of the Box was held in Tonbridge Castle and was open to the public. The result was a surprising and wonderful mini-coffee festival. If you’ve never been to one and were wondering what they’re like, you could do worse than go to the next Out of the Box!

The trophy for the first ever UK Crush the Rush competition, held at Out of the Box in Tonbridge, 2019.Crush the Rush

Regular readers may be aware of my indifference to watching barista competitions (with the exception of the Cup Tasters Competition). However, you can now add Crush the Rush to that list. It’s a new barista competition from La Marzocco, introduced to the UK at this year’s Out of the Box event at Tonbridge Castle.

 

Watching espresso extract for a Victoria Arduino Black Eagle espresso machine in the Browns of Brockley mobile coffee van at Lord's cricket ground.Speciality Coffee at Lord’s

Great coffee and sporting events don’t usually go together, but Lord’s, the Home of Cricket, has been leading the way for several years. These days, there are multiple speciality coffee outlets around the ground, including Kaffeine (a fixture for many years), Browns of Brockley, Ground Coffee Society and the in-house Portman’s Café serving Union Hand-roasted.

A single-origin espresso served in a wide-brimmed demitasse cup at Maruyama Single Origin in Aoyama, Tokyo, part of an espresso set where the same coffee is served in two different cups.Maruyama Coffee Experiences

Although I only went there for the first time in 2016, Japan has become one of my favourite places, not least for the wonderful coffee shops. This extends to some interesting coffee experiences, which I wrote about in a pair of posts, the first covering the coffee experiences at the Maruyama Single Origin store in Aoyama, where you can have such delights as the same espresso in different shaped cups.

A tasting flight of three single-origin filters at Glitch Coffee & Roasters in Tokyo.Tasting Flights at Glitch Coffee

The second of my two pieces on my Japanese coffee experiences covered the two tasting flights I had at  Glitch Coffee & Roasters, where you can compare three coffees side-by-side, something I have always enjoyed. In this case, all the coffees were outstanding, which led to Glitch also receiving a place on the shortlist for this year’s Best Filter Coffee Award.

A bag of Chromatic Coffee's Gloria from San Jose, El Salvador, the very first farm that Chromatic worked with.Chromatic Coffee

Chromatic Coffee is one of my favourite roasters in the Bay Area and this year I was fortunate enough to pay a visit to the Chromatic Coffee roastery (conveniently located a few blocks from my friend’s house), where I attended a public cupping. If you’ve never been to one, I encourage you to go since they are a great way to learn about coffee. Chromatic Coffee is also on the shortlists for this year’s Best Roaster/Retailer and Most Passionate About Coffee Awards.

The Coffee & Science logo, a coffee cup with an equation written in a light-beam projecting from the cup.Coffee & Science with Bean Thinking

I’ve followed the Bean Thinking coffee and science blog for some time now. This year, Bean Thinking started a series of evening coffee and science events, held every month at Amoret Speciality Coffee in Notting Hill. These are excellent and I was fortunate to be around for the one about milk foams.

The official Sprudgie Award nomination for the Best Coffee Writing Award.The 2019 Sprudgie Awards

The Sprudgie Awards are now into their 11th year, recognising outstanding achievements in coffee around the world. Each year, the readers of the website Sprudge put in nominations for each category, which are then voted upon. This year I’ve been nominated for the Best Coffee Writing category, so I guess this is a little self-serving, although the shortlist is for Sprudge and the tireless work it does promoting speciality coffee.


And the winner is Coffee & Science with Bean Thinking
Runners-up: Out of the Box, Tonbridge and Birmingham Coffee Festival

Don’t forget to check out the other 19 Coffee Spot Awards for 2019.


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2 thoughts on “2019 Awards – Best Saturday Supplement

  1. Pingback: Coffee & Science with Bean Thinking | Brian's Coffee Spot

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