Welcome to the next Coffee Spot Awards Shortlist for 2020, the “Most Passionate About Coffee” Award, which was won in 2019 by Coffee Curiosity. For me, this is one of the most important awards, and also one of the hardest to judge, which is why I’ve left it to the last day.
It’s not just about the coffee, it’s also about people who love and care about coffee. Everyone who I’ve covered in the Coffee Spot is passionate about coffee and one of the great things is how much love there is out there, both for the coffee and for those who make it. However, those shortlisted for this award stand out from the crowd.
You can see the shortlist after the gallery.
There are eight Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.
There was something about Driftwood Coffee Co. in Peoria, Arizona, that really spoke to me. It could so easily have been another local coffee shop, but it’s so much more than that, offering the sort of multi-roaster experience that you only usually get in the heart of big cities. Driftwood has also been shortlisted for the Best Outdoor Seating and Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Awards.
Staying in Arizona, but in Mesa, on the other side of Phoenix, is Pair Speciality Coffee & Tea. Passion oozes from everything about Pair, right down to owner, Kimhak, running the coffee bar in the morning and roasting on a 500g capacity, gas-fired roaster in the afternoon! Pair Specialty Coffee & Tea has also been shortlisted for the Best Filter Coffee and Best Roaster/Retailer Awards.
Back in the UK and to Whaletown Coffee Co, in Crookes, in the hills to the west of Sheffield city centre. This is another offering the sort of a multi-roaster experience that you just don’t expect to find in places like Crookes! Whaletown Coffee Co. has also been shortlisted for three other Awards: Best Cake, Best Filter Coffee and Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot.
We’re back in the USA, in New York City, where Terremoto is another that stands out, in part thanks to its gold Slayer espresso machine. The real star, though, is the coffee itself, from roaster/importer Neat, with a wide selection of single-origins on both espresso and filter. Best of all, it was serving the rare Eugenioides coffee species when I visited. Terremoto Coffee has also been shortlisted for the Best Flat White and Smallest Coffee Spot Awards.
Back in UK and this time in London, Kafi is another multi-roaster, one which has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, Kafi has stayed true to its founding principles, not reducing its coffee offering. As a result, there two options on espresso (both single-origins), plus decaf, with three more on filter (V60, AeroPress and siphon). Kafi is also on the Best Takeaway Coffee shortlist.
Staying with the theme of places sticking to their principles through the COVID-19 pandemic takes us to Bean & Cole in Chester. There’s the house roaster (Assembly) on espresso, alongside a regularly rotating guest roaster, plus there’s a different guest roaster available on filter. Bean & Cole has also been shortlisted for the Best Cake Award.
Moving on to Reading, it’s Anonymous Coffee Co., where owner, Phil, is happily doing his own thing, serving some great coffees from roasters around the UK. There’s a house option from Union Hand-roasted on espresso & filter, plus a guest option. Anonymous is also on the Best Cake and Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot shortlists.
Our final entry sees us back in London with Queens of Mayfair, which opened this year. You have to be pretty passionate to open in a pandemic, but what really got Queens of Mayfair a place on this year’s shortlist is the way it is championing its coffee experiences. Queens of Mayfair has also been shortlisted for this year’s Best Physical Space and Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot Awards.
Don’t forget to check out the other 19 Coffee Spot Awards for 2020.
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