2021 Awards – Brian’s Coffee Spot Special Award

My espresso, made with Square Mile's Red Brick blend, and served in a classic black cup at Kaffeine on Great Titchfield Street.Welcome to the penultimate Coffee Spot Awards Shortlist for 2021, the Brian’s Coffee Spot Special Award, which was won last year by Kaffeine. This is a special award for those Coffee Spots which don’t quite fit into the other categories, but which nonetheless I absolutely love… It’s also a chance for me to recognise and reward those wonderful Coffee Spots that I come across during the year and which mean something special to me.

You can see the shortlist after the gallery.

  • The Hideout, continuing to do great things on the University of Surrey campus.
  • Open Grounds Cafe, a new social enterprise for Guildford.
  • The Hideaway, another new social enterprise for Guildford.
  • Another Brother, a lovely new coffee shop in Wandsworth.
  • Heartland Coffee Bar, talking coffee in the roastery in Llandudno.
  • NewGround Coffee Roastery & Coffee Shop, helping ex-offenders into work.
  • Mini Beans Coffee, reinventing itself in Crewe's newly-refurbished Market Hall.
  • Little Woodfords, thriving despite downsizing and moving in the middle of a pandemic.
The Hideout, continuing to do great things on the University of Surrey campus.1 Open Grounds Cafe, a new social enterprise for Guildford.2 The Hideaway, another new social enterprise for Guildford.3 Another Brother, a lovely new coffee shop in Wandsworth.4 Heartland Coffee Bar, talking coffee in the roastery in Llandudno.5 NewGround Coffee Roastery & Coffee Shop, helping ex-offenders into work.6 Mini Beans Coffee, reinventing itself in Crewe's newly-refurbished Market Hall.7 Little Woodfords, thriving despite downsizing and moving in the middle of a pandemic.8
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There are eight Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.

The coffee profile for the Brightnote blend from Union Hand-roasted, as served at The Hideout.The Hideout

Let’s get this shortlist started with The Hideout, bringing  Union Hand-roasted coffee to the University of Surrey campus. Beau and Charlie have done amazing things at The Hideout, including staying open all this year despite various COVID-19 restrictions. Throughout it all, they’ve continued to expand The Hideout and build a strong, sustainable business.

An espresso in a classic blue cup at Open Grounds CafeOpen Grounds Café

Open Grounds Café was one of several new openings in Guildford this year. What’s more, it’s a volunteer-run social enterprise, part of the Baptist Church on Millmead. It’s a lovely cafe in its own right, serving Ethicaladdictions on espresso, although my favourite part is the large terrace at the front, which gained Open Grounds a spot on the Best Outdoor Seating shortlist. Open Grounds is also on the Most Popular Coffee Spot shortlist.

A classic espresso in a handmade cup from Surrey Ceramics, served at The Hideaway in Guildford.The Hideaway

Staying in Guildford, the Hideaway is another new opening and another social enterprise. Tucked away inside the walled gardens of Guildford’s Allen House Grounds,The Hideaway uses NewGround‘s Big House blend on espresso. It too has a lovely terrace, this one running along the front of the cafe, which sees The Hideaway also shortlisted for the Best Outdoor Seating Award. The Hideaway is also shortlisted for the Most Popular Coffee Spot Award.

The A-board outside Another Brother in Wandsworth, proclaiming: "Coffee | Brunch | another brother"Another Brother

From Guildford to Wandsworth and Another Brother, another new addition this year. Despite this, it has made a big impact, with friendly, welcoming staff, serving great coffee and brunch from its sunny corner spot. Another has also been shortlisted for the Best Breakfast and Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot 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

Moving on the Llandudno and the Heartland Coffee Bar, tucked away inside Heartland Coffee Roasters. Designed to showcase and promote Heartland’s range of coffee, you can sit at the counter at the back, chatting with the barista about all things coffee, or pop upstairs to the mezzanine area overlooking the roastery. Heartland Coffee Bar also been shortlisted for the Best Physical Space and Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station Awards.

A box the Worka Wuri, the surprise coffee I was served at NewGround Roastery and Coffee Shop in Oxford. From Ethiopia, it's a washed heirloom coffee with tasting notes of Earl grey, lemon and elderflower, roasted five days before my visit.NewGround Coffee Roastery & Coffee Shop

Another coffee shop in a roastery, Oxford’s NewGround Coffee is also another social enterprise, this time working to create jobs and training opportunities for ex-offenders. The coffee shop itself is lovely, minimalist space, while the coffee is excellent, which has seen NewGround also shortlisted for this year’s Best Roaster/Retailer Award.

A lovely flat white, made with the bespoke house blend at Mini Beans Coffee and served in my HuskeeCup.Mini Beans Coffee

From Oxford to Crewe and yet another new opening. Mini Beans Coffee began a mobile horse(coffee)box, but the COVID-19 pandemic led to a change of tack. In May, Mini Beans became one of the founding tenants in Crewe’s Market Hall, a wonderfully refurbished Victorian market hall. Mini Beans has also been shortlisted for the Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot Award.

The front of Little Woodfords on Congress Street in Portland, Maine, proudly flying its Progress Pride flag.Little Woodfords

The final entry in this year’s shortlist takes us to Portland, Maine, and Little Woodfords. Moving premises, particularly to one half the size of the original, was never going to be easy. Doing it in the middle of a pandemic just added to the difficulty, but despite all these setbacks, Little Woodfords has thrived in its new location. Little Woodfords has also been shortlisted for the Smallest Coffee Spot and Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Awards.


And the winner is The Hideaway
Runners-up: Heartland Coffee Bar and Little Woodfords

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


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