Coffee Spots come in all shapes and sizes, but for some reason I have a real soft spot for small Coffee Spots. Last year the “Smallest Coffee Spot” Award was won by Alex Coffee.
This year I have once again been blessed by some very small Coffee Spots serving some very fine coffee. As in previous years, this Award is entirely subjective: no Coffee Spots were measured during the judging process!
You can see who is on the shortlist after the gallery.
There are ten Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.
Linea Caffe stands on a corner in the Mission in San Francisco. Although the interior is fairly spacious, much of that space is taken up with a pair of large counters, leaving little room for anything else. When it’s busy (like when I first visited) it’s pretty much standing room only inside. Linea Caffe has also been shortlisted for the Best Espresso Award.
Prague’s Coffee and Riot is another which is actually bigger than it feels. Spread over two basement-like rooms (which gained it a place on the shortlist for the Coffee Spot with the Best Basement Award), each is quite small, especially the first room, where you will find the counter. Coffee and Riot has also been shortlisted for this year’s Best Physical Space Award.
Richmond’s Coffeeology is tucked away inside the old Victorian Fire Station, right in the centre of town. It’s a lovely, cosy, L-shaped space with a handful of seats (and more outside). Coffeeology has also made it onto this year’s shortlists for the Best Espresso and Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Awards.
Reference Coffee is part of the excellent brunch spot, Meet Me in the Morning, supplying all the coffee to the diners next door. However, it’s also a standalone coffee shop in its own right, with the emphasis on “stand”, although you can sit on the bench outside if you like. Reference Coffee has also been shortlisted for the Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot Award.
Terremoto Coffee occupies a tiny spot in Manhattan in New York City with just a bench outside and three small tables inside. Its size is no limit to its ambition when it comes to coffee though. Its most eye-catching feature is the gold Slayer espresso machine, but the real star is the coffee itself with a wide selection of single-origins on both espresso and filter. Terremoto is also on the Best Flat White and Most Passionate About Coffee shortlists.
Midway between Chester‘s bus exchange and railway station (winning it a place on this year’s Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station shortlist), Moss Coffee was always a fairly small space, but since switching to takeaway only (good enough for a spot on this year’s Best Takeaway Coffee shortlist) it feels even smaller (even though it is exactly the same size!).
Another tiny Coffee Spot, I first wrote about Coffee Addict last year. Since then it’s had a significant makeover and, while as small as ever, Coffee Addict has managed to pack even more into what is effectively a tiny space. Coffee Addict has also been shortlisted for the Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station Award.
Back in Chester, Obscure Coffee is another Coffee Spot that is split over two rooms, neither of which is very big, particularly the small, windowless back room. If you are claustrophobic, you might want to stick to the bright, well-lit front room, where a makeover of the tables has led to a lot more seating. Obscure Coffee has also been shortlisted for this year’s Best Physical Space Award.
Bring the shortlist to a close is the first of two entries from Over Under, a mini-chain which seems to specialise in small coffee shops. West Brompton takes this to its logical conclusion, effectively a cube with a door at the front and counter at the back. Despite this, it still manages to turn out a decent brunch menu. Over Under is also on the Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station and Best Takeaway Coffee shortlists.
The second Over Under on today’s shortlist is just around the corner, opposite Earl’s Court tube station (which earned it a spot on the shortlist for the Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station Award). This is the original Over Under, and is long and thin, with the counter on one side and seating along the other, serving coffee and brunch by day. before morphing into a cocktail bar in the evenings. Over Under is also on the Happiest Staff shortlist.
Don’t forget to check out the other 19 Coffee Spot Awards for 2020.
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