2021 Awards – Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station

A flat white, made with Clifton Coffee Roasters' Suspension Espresso and served in my HuskeeCup at Gourmet Coffee Bar & Kitchen on Platform 6, Crewe Station.Today’s third shortlist is for the “Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station”, although it should really be called “Best Coffee Spot at or near a Railway Station”, except that was a bit of a mouthful, even for me. This was won in 2020 by Gourmet Coffee Bar & Kitchen, Crewe and rewards those Coffee Spots serving great coffee to travellers on rail networks around the world.

When you’re desperate for good coffee, railway stations are rarely the best places to be. But what if there was a great Coffee Spot just outside the station (or even in the concourse!) or a few minutes’ walk away and you didn’t know about it? Then this award is for you!

This year, for whatever reason, has been particularly good for Coffee Spots near stations, so much so that I could have filled the shortlist two times over, although two thirds of the shortlist is from London, which reflects my limited travel options this year!

You can see the shortlist after the gallery.

  • Coffee Notes, outside Ravenscourt Park Station on the District Line in London.
  • Lily London, Shard, out the back of London Bridge Station.
  • Nostos Coffee, next to Battersea Park station on the line into London Victoria.
  • Over Under Coffee, Wandsworth Town, opposite Wandsworth Town station.
  • MONIES, midway between Putney train station and East Putney tube station.
  • Saucer & Cup, just down the hill from Wimbledon Park station on the District Line.
  • Green Monkey London, around the corner from Tooting Bec station on the Northern Line.
  • Communion Coffee, on the other side of Tooting Bec station.
  • Taylor's Coffee House, in a parade of shops next to West Byfleet Station.
  • Heartland Coffee Bar, inside Heartland Coffee Roasters, next to Llandudno station.
  • La Colombe, across the road from Boston's South Station (train and coach).
  • Peregrine Espresso, opposite the Eastern Market metro station in Washington DC.
Coffee Notes, outside Ravenscourt Park Station on the District Line in London.1 Lily London, Shard, out the back of London Bridge Station.2 Nostos Coffee, next to Battersea Park station on the line into London Victoria.3 Over Under Coffee, Wandsworth Town, opposite Wandsworth Town station.4 MONIES, midway between Putney train station and East Putney tube station.5 Saucer & Cup, just down the hill from Wimbledon Park station on the District Line.6 Green Monkey London, around the corner from Tooting Bec station on the Northern Line.7 Communion Coffee, on the other side of Tooting Bec station.8 Taylor's Coffee House, in a parade of shops next to West Byfleet Station.9 Heartland Coffee Bar, inside Heartland Coffee Roasters, next to Llandudno station.10 La Colombe, across the road from Boston's South Station (train and coach).11 Peregrine Espresso, opposite the Eastern Market metro station in Washington DC.12
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There are 12 Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.

A single-origin Guatemalan espresso extracting from a Fracino lever espresso machine and into my Kaffeeform cup at Coffee Notes in Hammersmith.Coffee Notes

Coffee Notes is a small coffee stand at the front of Ravenscourt Park Station on the District Line which opened last summer. Hari, the charismatic owner (who won a place on the Happiest Staff shortlist), sources the coffee himself, with an emphasis on Indonesian coffee. There’s a blend and single-origin on espresso, all the shots pulled on a lovely Fracino lever machine, resulting in Coffee Notes being on the shortlist for this year’s Best Espresso Award.

A flat white in my HuskeeCup at Lily London, ShardLily London, Shard

This is the second Lily London I visited this year. Located in a telephone box in the shadow of the Shard, it’s also conveniently located around the back of London Bridge Station. Like Hari, Lily sources her own coffee, this time from Brazil, with a standard, espresso-based menu. Lily London, Shard, has also been shortlisted for this year’s Best Takeaway Coffee Award.

An espresso, made with Kiss the Hippo’s Bensa from Ethiopia, an anaerobic natural with tasting notes of blackberry, pineapple and strawberry jam, served at Nostos in a classic blue cup.Nostos Coffee

Nostos Coffee opened in May this year, occupying a small, quirky space (small enough for the Smallest Coffee Spot shortlist) next to Battersea Park station. The coffee is excellent, with Kiss the HippoUe Coffee Roasters providing contrasting options on espresso (plus decaf), along with multiple choices from the current guest roaster on pour-over. Nostos Coffee has also been shortlisted for the Best Espresso and Happiest Staff Awards.

A lovely flat white with an abstract latte art pattern in it, made with the Over Under house blend and served in my HuskeeCup at Over Under Coffee, Wandsworth Town.Over Under Coffee, Wandsworth Town

This is the first Over Under south of the river, occupying a large kiosk outside Wandsworth Town Station, serving coffee and brunches to commuter and locals alike. Over Under Coffee, Wandsworth Town has also been shortlisted for this year’s Best Takeaway Coffee Award.

 

A V60 of the Worka Chelchelie, a natural yeast process coffee from Ethiopia, roasted by Yallah Coffee and served in a glass cup at MONIES in Putney.MONIES

MONIES is another new opening (May this year), bringing a small slice of Cornwall to Upper Richmond Road between Putney train station and East Putney tube station. There’s a seasonal single-origin espresso from Cornwall’s Yallah Coffee, with another single-origin from a guest roaster on pour-over via the V60. There’s also Cornish tea (Tregothnan) and ice cream (from the Monies family farm, no less).

A double shot of espresso in a classic, oversized blue cup, served at Saucer & Cup.Saucer & Cup

Saucer & Cup is on the other side of Wimbledon Park from the famous All England Law Tennis and Croquet Club, just down the hill from Wimbledon Park tube station on the District Line. The focus is on the coffee, with Saucer & Cup only offering single-origins from Workshop, plus a regularly changing guest roaster. Saucer & Cup has also been shortlisted for the Coffee Spot with the Best Basement and Best Espresso Awards.

The Green Monkey London logo from the menu, showing the silhouette of a green monkey in a tree.Green Monkey London

Located just around the corner from Tooting Bec tube station on the Northern Line, Green Monkey London styles itself “coffee and brunch”. Living up to both these tags, there’s Nude Coffee Roasters’ East Blend from a standard espresso-based menu, plus an extensive breakfast and brunch menu with various vegetarian and vegan options alongside meat-filled classics. Green Monkey London is also shortlised for this year’s Best Breakfast Award.

The façade of Communion Coffee, with a large window on the right, the left-hand side split between the door (right) and a much smaller window (left). The yellow branding at the top stands out against the grey paintwork.Communion Coffee

On the other side of Tooting Bec tube station is Communion Coffee. Another relative newcomer, it opened just before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. It has a simple offering of quality coffee and baked goods in an equally simple (and small) space. Communion Coffee has also been shortlisted for the Smallest Coffee Spot and Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Awards.

The front of Taylor's Coffee House, seen from Station Approach, with the vines growing across the edge of the roof and tables either side of the recessed, central door.Taylor’s Coffee House

Moving out of London, albeit just down the line from Waterloo, brings us to West Byfleet, where Taylor’s Coffee House plies its trade in a parade of shops near the station. It’s a lovely spot, like a collection of sitting rooms, which has earned it a place on the shortlist for the Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting and Best Physical Space Awards.

The Los Nogales, a naturally-processed single-origin from El Salvador, roasted and served as a cortado by Heartland Coffee Roasters.Heartland Coffee Bar

If you find yourself in Llandudno Station, do yourself a favour and head around the corner to Heartland Coffee Bar. Tucked away inside Heartland Coffee Roasters, this is as much as coffee expereince as it is a coffee bar, although there’s nothing stopping you just popping in for a coffee and sitting upstairs overlooking the roastery. Heartland Coffee Bar is also shortlisted for this year’s Best Physical Space Award and Brian’s Coffee Spot Special Award.

A cortado, made with the Sun Peak, a Guatemalan single-origin, and served in a glass at La Colombe, South Station in Boston.La Colombe, South Station

Our last two entries take us to the USA. First is La Colombe, across the road from Boston’s South Station, idea if travelling by train or by coach. The classic La Colombe offering sees two options on espresso, another two on batch-brew and two more on pour-over. There’s also a range of in-house teas and draft lattes and, if you’re hungry, cakes and items from the grab-and-go fridge, with the cakes good enough for the Best Cake shortlist.

A lovely cappuccino from Peregrine Espresso, Easterm Market, served in my HuskeeCup.Peregrine Espresso, Eastern Market

The final entry is at the other end of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, in Washington DC, where you’ll find Peregrine Espresso, opposite the Eastern Market metro station (it’s also half an hour’s stroll from the magnificent Union Station). Peregrine Espresso is a lovely coffee shop, although right now it’s only offering takeaway due to COVID-19 (which is why it’s also on this year’s Best Takeaway Coffee shortlist).


A special mention needs to go to the following:

Chief Coffee
Electric Coffee Co., Goldhawk Road
Surbeanton
Wags N Tales, Surbiton
WatchHouse Roastery & Café
Medicine New Street
Tilt
The Table
Caffeina Coffi
Medicine Codsall
Bank Street Social
Lockdown Bakehouse
Little Yellow Pig, Nantwich


And the winner is Over Under Coffee, Wandsworth Town
Runners-up: MONIES and Lily London, Shard

Don’t forget to check out the other 19 Coffee Spot Awards for 2021.


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11 thoughts on “2021 Awards – Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station

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