The second shortlist in the 2022 Coffee Spot Awards is the “Best Takeaway Coffee” Award, won last year by Lily London, Guildford. It recognises those places which, often braving the elements, still produce an excellent cup of coffee. This includes coffee carts, coffee stalls, those Coffee Spots which are so small that they only serve takeaway coffee and those Coffee Spots where I regularly get my takeaway coffee (even if they offer a regular sit-in option).
It was the case that I didn’t feature many takeaway places on the Coffee Spot, but these days, now that I travel extensively for work, I often have to grab a coffee to go during a break in the meeting (always remembering to bring my own cup with me!). As a result, I’m finding lots of great takeaway places out there, serving some really excellent coffee.
You can see the shortlist after the gallery.
There are ten Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.
George Howell, Boston Public Market
George Howell is a legendary coffee roaster in his home state of Massachusetts. I’ve featured his coffee bar in the Boston Public Market before, but this year I was back, taking a coffee to go from the new, improved coffee bar, enjoying it sitting out in the sun across the road on the Rose Kennedy Greenway.
The Espresso Room, Great Ormond Street
This is the original Espresso Room, a legend of the London speciality coffee scene, which has been on my list for a very long time. 2022 was the year I finally got to visit and it didn’t disappoint. A tiny spot which made it onto this year’s Smallest Coffee Spot shortlist, it mostly serves coffee to go, although you can sit outside on various benches opposite the famous Great Ormond Street Hospital.
I was in Berlin for work in May and while The Visit, just down the street from the hotel where we were meeting, offers a full sit-in service, it was my go-to place for coffee. I would pop over before my meeting for a flat white to go, and be back during the coffee breaks for more great coffee!
Blooming Skull Coffee on The Wirral is both a plant shop and coffee bar. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a small seating area inside, but these days it only serves coffee to go, with no plans to go back to providing seating. A multi-roaster, it has coffee from some of the country’s best roasters on batch-brew filter. Blooming Skull has also been shortlisted for this year’s Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Award.
Staying on The Wirral, Adams + Russell is a long-established coffee roaster in Birkenhead, although its entry on today’s shortlist is for the attached shop. As well as being able to buy brewing kit and bags of coffee from Adams + Russell’s extensive range, you can also get coffee to go from the espresso machine in the room next door.
Earlier this year, Canopy Coffee took over running the coffee container on London Square in Guildford. A convenient location (when I lived in Guildford), Canopy Coffee serves tasty treats, toasted sandwiches and coffee to go (espresso-based and batch-brew filter) to the local office workers, although it’s also a destination worth visiting in its own right. Canopy Coffee is also on this year’s Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station shortlist.
This is where it all started for San Francisco‘s Spro. Part of Spark Social SF, a large outdoor food truck park, beer & sangria garden and event space, Spro has an impressive output, given that it’s literally a trailer, serving from a window at one end. The menu is identical to Spro’s Mission Dolores/Castro coffee shop. Although it’s takeaway only, you don’t have to go far and can sit anywhere in Spark Social.
Marathon Coffee was a chance find on the 10-minute walk from my hotel to the office when I was working in New York City in September. Another tiny spot, which made it onto the Smallest Coffee Spot Award shortlist. it serves coffee to go from a concise espresso-based menu, plus batch-brew filter. Unusually for New York, Marathon uses an out-of-state roaster, Providence’s Bolt Coffee.
For the Good of the People, Euston Station
My association with For the Good of the People has been going for as long as I’ve been doing the Coffee Spot. This is the new location for the old South Bank coffee stall and is a welcome addition to the forecourt of Euston Station, where I stop for coffee on my way through London to/from North Wales. Unsurprisingly, For the Good of the People has also made it onto this year’s shortlist for the Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station Award.
Houndstooth Coffee, Downtown Austin
The final entry is another work-inspired choice. Houndstooth Coffee in downtown Austin was around the corner from where I was working. Although offering a large sit-in area which I made use of on a couple of occasions, it was my go-to spot for a pre-meeting flat white to go, while I was also a regular visitor during coffee breaks.
The winner will be announced on Monday, 2nd January. In the meantime, don’t forget to check out the other 19 Coffee Spot Awards for 2022.
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