2020 Awards – Best Filter Coffee

A tasting flight of three single-origin filters at Glitch Coffee & Roasters in Tokyo.We continue the second day with the next shortlist for the 2020 Coffee Spot Awards, the “Best Filter Coffee” Award, which was won last year by Tasting Flights at Glitch Coffee. One of the great journeys that I’ve taken with the Coffee Spot is realising the amazing range of flavours in a good pour-over or batch brew, which has opened my eyes to a whole new world of coffee.

To give you an idea of how far I have come since starting the Coffee Spot, I initially owned a cafetiere and an espresso machine and either drank my coffee at home with milk (cafetiere) or as espresso. Now I have two pour-over filters, a Clever Dripper, an Aeropress, dedicated grinder for filter coffee and a gooseneck kettle. I drink my filter coffee black and I have to put milk in my coffee to make it drinkable, then I’m drinking the wrong coffee! This award celebrates those Coffee Spots which continue to help me on my journey of discovery.

You can see the shortlist after the gallery.

  • Starting the shortlist as I started 2020, in Ritual Coffee Roasters, Mission in San Francisco.
  • Staying with a Californian roaster, Verve, but this time in Kamakura, Japan.
  • Don't be fooled by the picture: Pair Specialty Coffee & Tea does a mean filter coffee too!
  • A pair of wonderful pour-overs from the Ue Coffee Roastery Cafe & Kitchen.
  • Another where you shouldn't be fooled by the picture: Sheffield's Whaletown Coffee Co.
  • Dancing Goats Midtown in Atlanta, where the Seraphim auto brewer makes a mean cup.
  • Back in the UK, and this one, from Faculty in Birmingham, was made by hand.
  • Staying in the UK and I had another fabulous pour-over at Jaunty Goat in Chester.
  • Back to London, where I enjoyed the Coffee Experience at Queens of Mayfair.
  • And finally, staying in London, here's Catalyst. Again, don't be fooled by the picture!
Starting the shortlist as I started 2020, in Ritual Coffee Roasters, Mission in San Francisco.1 Staying with a Californian roaster, Verve, but this time in Kamakura, Japan.2 Don't be fooled by the picture: Pair Specialty Coffee & Tea does a mean filter coffee too!3 A pair of wonderful pour-overs from the Ue Coffee Roastery Cafe & Kitchen.4 Another where you shouldn't be fooled by the picture: Sheffield's Whaletown Coffee Co.5 Dancing Goats Midtown in Atlanta, where the Seraphim auto brewer makes a mean cup.6 Back in the UK, and this one, from Faculty in Birmingham, was made by hand.7 Staying in the UK and I had another fabulous pour-over at Jaunty Goat in Chester.8 Back to London, where I enjoyed the Coffee Experience at Queens of Mayfair.9 And finally, staying in London, here's Catalyst. Again, don't be fooled by the picture!10
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There are ten Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.

The Ritual Coffee Roasters logo (a stylised cup tilted at 45 degrees with a star balanced on top).Ritual Coffee Roasters, Mission

Let’s start this shortlist how I started 2020, in the Bay Area where I visited Ritual Coffee Roasters in the Mission in San Francisco. I had a Colombian single-origin pour-over, the El Uamo, with intriguing tasting notes of guava and strawberry, served in a tall, white, cylindrical coffee pot, complete with lid, along with a matching tall, cylindrical, handleless mug.

The window at the side of Verve Coffee Roasters in Kamakura Japan, which proudly states Verve's roots in Santa Cruz, California.Verve Coffee Roasters, Kamakura

I had a wonderful tasting flight of three single-origin filters coffees at Verve Coffee Roasters in Kamakura, Japan. Verve is also on the Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot Award shortlist.

My espresso, a Colombian Geisha, roasted and served at Pair Speciality Coffee & Tea in Mesa, and presented on a square, wooden tray with a glass of water on the side.Pair Specialty Coffee & Tea

Returning to America, Pair Speciality Coffee & Tea is a roaster with a coffee bar inside the tap room at Cider Corps in Mesa, Arizona. There are a choice of five single-origins on pour-over, from which I selected the Colombian Geisha. A delicate coffee, it developed more body and flavour as it cooled. Pair is also on the Best Roaster/Retailer and Most Passionate About Coffee shortlists.

A pair of pour-overs sitting on a table in the window of the Ue Coffee Roasters Cafe & Kitchen in Witney, slowly steaming in the afternoon sun.Ue Coffee Roastery Cafe & Kitchen

Another coffee roaster offering a wide range of single-origin pour-overs, the Ue Coffee Roastery Cafe & Kitchen is co-located with the roastery in Witney, Oxfordshire. Amanda and I had a pair of fruity pour-overs, served in carafes with a cup on the side, each presented on a small wooden tray. We also had some excellent cake which earned Ue Coffee a place on the Best Cake Award shortlist.

A lovely flat white, made with the Dark Horse blend from Quarter Horse, and served in a gorgeous, handleless cup at Whaletown Coffee Co. in Sheffield.Whaletown Coffee Co.

Whaletown Coffee Co. is somewhere else Amanda and I enjoyed some excellent pour-overs, this time from Quarter Horse Coffee Roasters. We had a rich, smooth Finca La Esquinita (Nicaragua) and a floral, fruity Shakiso Wako #2 (Ethiopia), both served in metal jugs, with cups on the side, presented on a neat wooden tray. Whaletown is also on the Best Cake, Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot and Most Passionate About Coffee shortlists.

The logo for The Dancing Goats® Coffee Bar , a goat dancing on its hind legs holding a cup of coffee, taken from the sign outside the Midtown location in Atlanta.Dancing Goats Midtown

The third “Amanda and I had” entry on the shortlist is Dancing Goats in Midtown, Atlanta, where our coffee was made using the Chemex and the Seraphim automated system. We sampled the Indonesian Sumatra Mandheling and Guatemalan Volcan, enjoying both coffees. Dancing Goats also made it onto the shortlist for the Best Outdoor Seating Award.

Faculty

Returning to the UK and to Faculty in Birmingham, which is directly opposite New Street Station, gaining it a place on the Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station Award. Here I was treated to a V60 of a washed Kenyan Kii AB from Round Hill Roastery. This was served in a carafe, a neat handleless cup on the side, all presented on a tray. The coffee itself was lovely and smooth, with subtle, fruity hints.

The Jaunty Goat logo, which was painted on the wall to the left as you enter the store in Chester.Jaunty Goat

Since I last visited Jaunty Goat in Chester, it’s taken to roasting its own coffee. Based on the single-origin from the Democratic Republic of Congo that I tried, it’s got a bright future. I had this as a V60, my coffee served in carafe with a cup on the side. An excellent, rich, fruity brew, it improved as it cooled, proving to be gorgeous when cold. Jaunty Goat has also been shortlisted for the Coffee Spot with the Best Basement and Best Roaster/Retailer Awards.

The coffee service at Queens of Mayfair, with a V60 on a brass stand, and a large wine glass to the left of that.Coffee Experience at Queens of Mayfair

Queens of Mayfair is in this year’s Awards as a Coffee Spot in its own right, but this entry is about the Coffee Experiences, where a barista comes to make your coffee at your table. You need to book the Cup of Excellent Experience in advance, while I had the Geisha Experience, using a micro-lot from Hacienda La Esmeralda. Queens is also on the Best Saturday Supplement Award shortlist.

An Ethiopian Chelelektu, roasted and served as an espresso in a classic, white cup at Catalyst.Catalyst

Our final entry sees us staying in London, this time at Catalyst where I had another Geisha, this time a naturally-processed one from Taiwan. Up until then, I didn’t even know coffee grew in Taiwan, so I had to try it! I found it quite full-bodied, but sweet and fruity, while lacking the punchiness that can sometimes overwhelm some naturals. It also really held its own as it cooled. Catalyst is also shortlisted for the Best Breakfast Award.


And the winner is Pair Specialty Coffee & Tea
Runners-up: Jaunty Goat and Verve Coffee Roasters, Kamakura

Don’t forget to check out the other 19 Coffee Spot Awards for 2020.


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10 thoughts on “2020 Awards – Best Filter Coffee

  1. Pingback: 2020 Awards – Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot | Brian's Coffee Spot

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