The last of today’s 2020 Coffee Spot Awards shortlists is the “Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot”. In 2019 this went to Lost Sheep Coffee and it celebrates those Coffee Spots which are firmly rooted in, and which serve, their local communities. Unsurprisingly, the shortlist contains some of my favourite Coffee Spots of the year, which are often slightly off the beaten track.
This year the shortlist is a fairly concise affair due to my lack of travelling, but nevertheless it manages a wide geographical spread, with Coffee Spots from around the UK as well as from both coasts of the USA and with a pair of entries from Phoenix and the surrounding area.
You can see the shortlist after the gallery.
There are eight Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.
I have long been a fan of San Jose’s Chromatic Coffee, California and that was before I discovered that the roastery was just around the corner from my friends house. Since then, two important things have happened. Chromatic has opened a coffee bar in the roastery, serving the local community, and my friend has moved house. Oh well, you can’t win them all. Chromatic is also on the shortlist for the Best Roaster/Retailer Award.
Mythical Coffee is in Gilbert, Arizona, one of the cities that make up the greater Phoenix area. A new opening this year, it already had a real community feel to it when I visited in January. This hasn’t stopped it from offering some amazing single-origin coffees, all roasted in-house. Mythical Coffee is on the Best Espresso, Best Flat White (for the same coffee) and Most Popular Coffee Spot shortlists.
Staying in Arizona, but on the other side of Phoenix in Peoria, we have Driftwood Coffee Co., a wonderful multi-roaster and another place with a real community feel to it. Like Mythical Coffee, Driftwood is very firmly rooted in its surroundings in a small industrial unit away from the town centre. Driftwood Coffee Co. has also been shortlisted for the Best Outdoor Seating and Most Passionate About Coffee Awards.
The first of four UK entries, Coffeeology is in Richmond-upon-Thames, located in the old Victorian fire station. It’s a lovely little spot, popular with locals and visitors alike from its cosy interior. These days, there’s a second Coffeeology in nearby Chiswick, but this is the original. Coffeeology has also been shortlisted for this year’s Best Espresso and Smallest Coffee Spot Awards.
Staying in the UK, Whaletown Coffee Co. is in Crookes, in the hills to the west of Sheffield city centre. A simple, minimalist, Scandi-inspired place, Whaletown is a multi-roaster with a different roaster each month on espresso and filter and where visitors and locals feel equally at home. Whaletown Coffee Co. has also been shortlisted for the Best Filter Coffee and Best Cake Awards.
Returning to the USA, but this time to the east coast and Portland, Maine, although I discovered Little Woodfords last summer, I only had the chance to write up at the start of this year. Another place that is firmly rooted in its community, Little Woodfords is a little way out of the city centre, a bright, sunny spot full of good coffee and good cheer. Little Woodfords has also been shortliested for the Best Breakfast Award.
Little Yellow Pig is in Chester, on the other side of the train tracks in Hoole, which has a village feel to it. And what better to have at the heart of your village than Little Yellow Pig, a wonderful coffee shop (good enough to be shortlisted for the Best Flat White Award) and brunch spot (good enough to make the Best Breakfast Award shortlist)? From humble beginnings, Little Yellow Pig has grown organically, now with a second location in Nantwich.
Our final entry is Heartwork Coffee Bar, which has also been shortlisted for the Best Takeaway Coffee, Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot and Best Outdoor Seating Awards, making this its fourth entry! A rare example of how a coffee shop can thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic, Heartwork opened in January and serves a community of walkers and cyclists from its horsebox in the heart of the Surrey Hills.
Don’t forget to check out the other 19 Coffee Spot Awards for 2020.
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