2019 Awards – Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting

A lovely light-fitting from Exe Coffee Roasters in Exeter, made from an upcycled espresso boiler.We kick off the second day with shortlist for the 2019 Coffee Spot Award for “Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting”. This was won last year by Exe Coffee Roasters.

Lighting in coffee shops has long held a fascination for me, with most of the galleries containing a shot or two of an interesting light-fitting. This Award celebrates those Coffee Spots with particularly outstanding lighting.

You can see the shortlist after the gallery.

  • Cartel Coffee Lab, Downtown Tucson, a beautiful, sunlit space with some awesome lights.
  • The Steam Room in Harborne, Birmingham, with some lovely lighting.
  • Rally, in Philadelphia, another beautiful, sunlit space with some awesome lights.
  • Stumptown Coffee, in the Ace Hotel in New Orleans, elegance personified.
  • B2 Coffee in the San Pedro Square Market in downtown San Jose.
  • Doughnut Vault, Canal Street, come for the doughnuts, stay for the awesome chandelier.
  • Big Bad Wolf Coffee, with the lights perfectly offset by the exposed brick walls.
  • Second Shot, Bethnal Green, small and elegant, just like its light fittings.
  • Canary Coffee, a surprise discovery in my hotel in Canary Wharf with some classic lighting.
  • Knockbox Coffee, a veteran of London's speciality coffee scene with more classic lighting.
  • Cherry Coffee Roasters: more elegance in New Orleans, looking like an old mansion.
  • Java Lounge, Colmore Row, more classic lighting and a lovely back room.
  • Coffee Addict, a small, striking space, with flower-decked walls & lighting to match
  • 65mm Coffee, rocking its new space opposite Tonbridge Castle.
  • Curio Espresso and Vintage Design in Kanazawa with some vintage light fittings.
Cartel Coffee Lab, Downtown Tucson, a beautiful, sunlit space with some awesome lights.1 The Steam Room in Harborne, Birmingham, with some lovely lighting.2 Rally, in Philadelphia, another beautiful, sunlit space with some awesome lights.3 Stumptown Coffee, in the Ace Hotel in New Orleans, elegance personified.4 B2 Coffee in the San Pedro Square Market in downtown San Jose.5 Doughnut Vault, Canal Street, come for the doughnuts, stay for the awesome chandelier.6 Big Bad Wolf Coffee, with the lights perfectly offset by the exposed brick walls.7 Second Shot, Bethnal Green, small and elegant, just like its light fittings.8 Canary Coffee, a surprise discovery in my hotel in Canary Wharf with some classic lighting.9 Knockbox Coffee, a veteran of London's speciality coffee scene with more classic lighting.10 Cherry Coffee Roasters: more elegance in New Orleans, looking like an old mansion.11 Java Lounge, Colmore Row, more classic lighting and a lovely back room.12 Coffee Addict, a small, striking space, with flower-decked walls & lighting to match13 65mm Coffee, rocking its new space opposite Tonbridge Castle.14 Curio Espresso and Vintage Design in Kanazawa with some vintage light fittings.15
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There are 15 Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.

A mug of the Providencia Black Honey single-origin from El Salvador, served at Cartel Coffee Lab in downtown Tucson.Cartel Coffee Lab, Downtown Tucson

Cartel Coffee Lab occupies a beautiful, sunlight spot in Downtown Tucson, good enough for it to be on the shortlist for the Best Physical Space Award. Despite this, it also has some amazing light fittings. And, of course, the usual excellent Cartel coffee, six seasonal single-origins, all roasted in-house and available through the Chemex. One of the single-origins is on espresso while another is available as a daily batch brew option.

An espresso in a classic blue cup at The Steam Room in Harborne, Birmingham.The Steam Room

The Steam Room is the Birmingham suburb of Harborne. It has some lovely light- fittings, which are particularly welcome in the cosy room at the back. The Steam Room has also been shortlisted for this year’s Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot and Most Popular Coffee Spot Awards.

 

The interesting sign hanging outside Rally in Philadelphia.Rally

Next stop is Philadelphia, where Rally is another sun-filled coffee shop with some awesome light-fittings. There’s also a great range of coffee from local roaster Blind Tiger Coffee (set up by Charlie, one of the baristas at Rally). There’s a concise espresso-based menu, plus batch-brew and pour-over through the Clever Dripper. Rally has also been shortlisted for the Best Filter Coffee Award.

A beautiful, colourful bag of coffee from Stumptown Coffee Roasters which I swapped for a copy of my book, The Philosophy of Coffee, at Stumptown's New Orleans branch in the Ace Hotel.Stumptown Coffee, Ace Hotel (New Orleans)

Stumptown’s long association with Ace Hotels has seen its coffee shops in various hotels in cities across America. One common feature is the high standard of the fit-out which extends, in the case of the New Orleans Ace Hotel, to the lighting, which is stunning. It’s also good enough for a place on the Best Physical Space Award shortlist. Finally, Stumptown has also been shortlisted for the Happiest Staff Award.

"B2 PROUDLY serving KICK BACK", taken from the board outside B2 in San Pedro Square Market.B2 Coffee

B2 Coffee occupies a small corner in the communal hall of the San Pedro Square Market in downtown San Jose. One of the area’s speciality coffee pioneers, it serves some excellent coffee from sister company, Kickback, while also having some outstanding light fittings, courtesy of a complete refit of the lighting in the main hall. B2 Coffee has also been shortlisted for the Best Filter Coffee and Best Cake Awards.

Some gorgeous latte art in Amanda's cappuccino at the Doughnut Vault on Canal Street, Chicago.Doughnut Vault, Canal Street

I’ll be honest, the doughnuts are the main draw of Chicago’s Doughnut Vault (if you get up early enough that is). However, it’s also a pretty decent coffee shop (good enough to have been shortlisted for the Coffee Spot with the Best Basement Award) and it happens to have a stunning central chandelier, which gained it a spot on this shortlist.

 

An El Salvador single-origin espresso from Clifton Coffee Roasters in a classic white espresso at Big Bad Wolf Coffee.Big Bad Wolf Coffee

From Chicago to Streatham and Big Bad Wolf Coffee, which, as a coffee shop, is good enough to be shortlisted for this year’s Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Award. However, it’s also got some lovely lighting, particularly at the back of the long, thin store, where it goes well with the exposed brick walls. Big Bad Wolf Coffee has also been shortlisted for this year’s Most Passionate About Coffee Award.

My Peruvian single-origin espresso from Cast Iron Roasters, served in a gorgeous, handleless blue cup at Second Shot in Bethnal Green.Second Shot, Bethnal Green

The original Second Shot in Bethnal Green is a social enterprise, helping homeless people. It’s also a lovely little coffee shop (earning a place on the Smallest Coffee Spot shortlist), with some excellent, understated light-fittings. When it comes to coffee, Second Shot stands on its own two feet, up there with some of the best in London, offering a different roaster on espresso and filter. Second Shot is also on the Brian’s Coffee Spot Special Award shortlist.

The Canary Coffee sign, from outside of the Novotel on Marsh Wall, London.Canary Coffee

Canary Coffee was one of my chance finds of 2019, attached to my hotel in Canary Wharf, which was enough to get it on this year’s shortlist for the Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot Award. It also has some excellent light fittings, from exposed bulbs to the industrial lights beloved on third wave coffee shops (and me, obviously).

 

A single-origin Colombian espresso from Workshop in a classic white cup at Knockbox Coffee.Knockbox Coffee

Knockbox Coffee is one of the stalwarts of London‘s speciality coffee scene, a lovely little spot on Lamb’s Conduit Street in Bloomsbury (earning a place on this year’s Smallest Coffee Spot Award shortlist). Like many of this year’s entries, it doesn’t lack natural light, with windows on two sides, but that doesn’t stop it from having some lovely light fittings.

A cortado, made with a single-origin espresso, and served in a lovely glass at Cherry Coffee Roasters in New Orleans.Cherry Coffee Roasters

The original Cherry Espresso in the Uptown District of New Orleans is best described as a “typical American coffee shop” (and a very nice one at that). The second location, in the Lower Garden District, has the feel of an elegant New Orleans mansion and, naturally enough, it has the lighting to go with it. And the coffee too. Cherry Coffee Roasters is also shortlisted for the Best Physical Space Award.

My flat white, served in a classic black cup at Java Lounge on Colmore Row, Birmingham.Java Lounge, Colmore Row

Birmingham‘s Java Lounge occupies a lovely old building on Colmore Row, good enough for a place on the Best Physical Space Award shortlist. It has an excellent array of lighting, including the traditional bulbs in cast-iron cages, industrial lights, and, taking pride of place in the back room, a lovely large circle hanging from the ceiling, from which hangs multiple exposed light bulbs.

Coffee Addict on Vauxhall Bridge Road, occupying the site of the original Costa Coffee, which opened in 1978 (Coffee Addict, in contrast, opened in 2019)Coffee Addict

Coffee Addict is a recent addition to the area around London‘s Victoria station. It’s a small, but striking space, with beautiful, flower-decked walls (good enough for this year’s Smallest Coffee Spot shortlist). However, it’s the amazing circle of bulbs hanging from the ceiling that caught my eye, gaining Coffee Addict a place on the shortlist as a result. Coffee Addict has also been shortlisted for the Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station and Most Passionate About Coffee Awards.

Details from the A-board outside 65mm Coffee in Tonbridge.65mm Coffee

65mm Coffee in Tonbridge started life in the Old Fire Station, but has now moved to its own place opposite the castle, where the interior designers have done a fantastic job, including the lighting, which is excellent. This is all backed out with some great coffee and some awesome brunch options. 65mm Coffee also been shortlisted for the Best Flat White and Best Breakfast Awards.

Details of the sign from outside Curio Espresso and Vintage Design in Kanazawa.Curio Espresso and Vintage Design

Curio Espresso and Vintage Design in Kanazawa takes its name in two parts, with the Vintage Design giving a clue as to its look and feel. Decorated with vintage pieces originally bought for the owners’ house, it has some fantastic light fittings which would grace any coffee shop. Curio Espresso also been shortlisted for the Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Award.


And the winner is Coffee Addict
Runners-up: Curio Espresso and Vintage Design and Big Bad Wolf Coffee

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


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7 thoughts on “2019 Awards – Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting

  1. Pingback: 2019 Awards – Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot | Brian's Coffee Spot

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