Continuing the Coffee Spot Awards is the shortlist for the 2022 Coffee Spot Awards, the “Best Filter Coffee” Award, which was won last year by Freak & Unique (and Other Coffees). One of the great journeys that I’ve taken with the Coffee Spot is realising the amazing range of flavours in a good pour-over or batch brew, which has opened my eyes to a whole new world of coffee.
To give you an idea of how far I have come since starting the Coffee Spot, I initially owned a cafetiere and an espresso machine and either drank my coffee at home with milk (cafetiere) or as espresso. Now I have mulitple pour-over filters, a Clever Dripper, an AeroPress, dedicated grinder for filter coffee and a gooseneck kettle. I drink my filter coffee black and if I have to put milk in my coffee to make it drinkable, then I’m drinking the wrong coffee! This award celebrates those Coffee Spots which continue to help me on my journey of discovery.
You can see the shortlist after the gallery.
There are 12 Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.
We start over on The Wirral, at Lateral, where I had Girl Crush from Girls Who Grind (at the time a naturally-processed coffee from El Salvador). Served in a large carafe with a cup on the side, my coffee was the perfect drinking temperature, which allowed its rich and fruity flavours to come through immediately. Lateral also been shortlisted for the Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Award.
Moving along the North Wales coast to Haus in Colwyn Bay, I had an excellent selection of coffees from Neighbourhood Coffee to choose from. I ended up with a V60 of an anaerobic natural from Nicaragua Halle-Brew-Jah, this was an outstanding coffee, fruity, but with lots of subtle notes. Haus has also been shortlisted for the Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting Award.
Crossing the Atlantic our next entry is Flight Coffee of Dover, which offers V60, Chemex, Syphon, Cafetiere and Clever Dripper for its filter options. I had a V60 of the Agaro Duromina, a washed Ethiopian heirloom. Served in a carafe with the cup on the side, this was another lovely coffee, rich and complex. Flight Coffee has also been shortlisted for the Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting Award.
Switching to Berlin, Meier’s – Vietnamese Specialty Coffee does exactly as the name suggests. I had the D’Ran, a naturally-processed coffee roasted by Là Việt ni Vietnam. It was prepared using the traditional cà phê phin (the metal cup-top filter much loved in Vietnam), resulting in a lovely, smooth coffee.
Staying in Berlin, Bonanza is unusual for putting its best coffee on batch brew. When I was there, Bonanza had two micro-lots, the Guatemalan El Injerto and the Costa Rican La Laguna Anaerobic. I had samples of both and was sufficiently impressed with the El Injerto to buy a bag. The La Laguna was even better: complex, sweet and very, very weird (and also sold out). Bonanza is also on the Best Outdoor Seating and Best Espresso shortlists.
Staying in Germany, but moving to Köln, I had a Brazilian single-origin on batch brew and a Rwandan single-origin made with the AeroPress, both roasted by JB Kaffee. The Brazilian was rich and fruity, while the Rwandan was just as good, but very different, best described as funky. Coffee Gang is also shortlisted for the Best Flat White Award.
Our fourth entry from Germany sees us back at Bonanza Coffee in Berlin, but this time in the roastery, where I had a wonderful filter tasting flight, consisting of three different coffees. The barista brings the coffes one at a time, along with some details about the coffee, presented, in my case, in flawless English by my excellent baristas.
Back in the UK, I had a V60 of the Ruby Hills, a honey-processed coffee grown by the Arrow Brothers in Myanmar, imported by Indochina Coffee. Served in a carafe with the cup on the side, this proved to be a full-bodied coffee, but at the same time was lovely, smooth and sweet, a real treat. Crosby Coffee has also been shortlisted for the Best Cake Award.
Back in America, and this time in Oakland, California, our next entry is The Crown: Royal Coffee Lab & Tasting Room. Established to showcase Royal Coffee’s excellent range of beans, I had the light-roast batch brew option, the Kenya Mumwe Mahiga Double Fermented Double Washed, which was rich, fruity and incredibly sweet.
Back in Berlin, I had a V60 of the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Grassroots at KaffeeKirsche Café & Bakery. Served in a carafe with the cup on the side, this was a fine, rich, fruity, full-bodied, naturally-processed coffee, which more than held its own as it cooled. KaffeeKirsche has also been shortlisted for the Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Award.
Next we move to New York City, home to Devoción, which only serves coffee from Colombia, where it has its own coffee mill, the coffee being flown to Brooklyn, where it is roasted. I had a pour-over, made using the Kalita Wave filter using the Las Rosas, a limited-edition Pink Borbón varietal which was excellent, proving to be very rich and fruity in the cup.
Our final entry on this year’s shortlist sees us staying in the US, but this time in Nashville where Sump Coffee offers an impressive six/seven single-origins on pour-over all prepared using the Poursteady automatic pour-over system. We tried three coffes, the Guatemala El Nogal, Guatemala Canoguitas and Kenya Karindundu AB, all served in carafes with cups on the side.
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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