2020 Awards – Smallest Coffee Spot

The single-origin Brazilian espresso from Red Bank Coffee served in an over-sized, classic white cup at Alex Coffee.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.

  • Let's start on a corner in the Mission in San Francisco with Linea Caffe.
  • Coffee and Riot in Prague, spread over two rooms, feels a lot smaller than it actually is.
  • Coffeeology, Richmond, occupying a lovely little spot in Richmond's old Victoria fire station.
  • Reference Coffee, pretty much standing room only in Dublin.
  • Terremoto Coffee, another tiny spot in New York City.
  • Moss Coffee, the first of two small Chester coffee shops on this year's shortlist.
  • Back in London with the newly revamped Coffee Addict. Still tiny though.
  • Obscure Coffee is our 2nd entry from Chester also the 2nd one spread over two rooms.
  • Over Under Coffee, West Brompton, a coffee cube if ever there was one.
  • Over Under Coffee, Earl's Court, the second Over Under on today's shortlist.
Let's start on a corner in the Mission in San Francisco with Linea Caffe.1 Coffee and Riot in Prague, spread over two rooms, feels a lot smaller than it actually is.2 Coffeeology, Richmond, occupying a lovely little spot in Richmond's old Victoria fire station.3 Reference Coffee, pretty much standing room only in Dublin.4 Terremoto Coffee, another tiny spot in New York City.5 Moss Coffee, the first of two small Chester coffee shops on this year's shortlist.6 Back in London with the newly revamped Coffee Addict. Still tiny though.7 Obscure Coffee is our 2nd entry from Chester also the 2nd one spread over two rooms.8 Over Under Coffee, West Brompton, a coffee cube if ever there was one.9 Over Under Coffee, Earl's Court, the second Over Under on today's shortlist.10
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There are ten Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.

The Linea Caffe sign, from my visit in April 2019, with the words "Linea Caffe S.F" written in white in a cursive script on a red, circular background.Linea Caffe

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.

A washed Colombian espresso from Rebel Bean, served in a classic white cup at Coffee and Riot in Prague.Coffee and Riot

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.

Details of the Coffeeology logo (a letter C with the word "Coffeeology" written on it) from the sign hanging outside the original coffee shop in Richmond.Coffeeology, Richmond

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.

 

My espresso, a Colombian single-origin from Carlos Alberto Ulchur, roasted by Colonna Coffee and served in a classic white cup at Reference Coffee in Dublin.Reference Coffee

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.

The Terremoto Coffee logo, taken from the A-board outside the coffee shop on W 15th Street in New York.Terremoto Coffee

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.

A flat white, made with the Arboretum Blend from Dark Woods and served in my HuskeeCup at Moss Coffee, Chester, one of the few times I've been able to use my own cup during COVID-19.Moss Coffee

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!).

Coffee Addict On Vauxhall Bridge Road, sporting its new, pink colour scheme. It occupies the site of the original Costa Coffee, which opened in 1978 (Coffee Addict, in contrast, opened in 2019).Coffee Addict

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.

 

A lovely flat white, made with Climpson & Sons signature Estate espresso, served in a classic yellow cup at Obscure Coffee in Chester.Obscure Coffee

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.

The front of Over Under Coffee, West Brompton, which is pretty much the extent of the store!Over Under Coffee, West Brompton

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.

A black and white line drawing of Over Under Coffee, as seen from the street, which is on the menu boards hanging behind the counter.Over Under Coffee, Earl’s Court

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.


And the winner is Over Under Coffee, West Brompton
Runners-up: Reference Coffee and Coffee Addict

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


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10 thoughts on “2020 Awards – Smallest Coffee Spot

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