Next up today, the 2022 Coffee Spot Award shortlist for “Best Physical Space”, which was won last year by Medicine New Street. One of the most important things for me is how a Coffee Spot looks and feels. This, to me, is just as important as the coffee.
This award celebrates those Coffee Spots in which there’s a pure joy in just sitting there, soaking it all in. It’s not just about physical beauty and elegance. Instead, it’s as much about atmosphere, layout and overall feel. It’s another where I could have filled the shortlist many times over, all with worthy winners. However, I have managed to whittle it down to just a single list for this year’s Award.
You can see the shortlist after the gallery.
There are 15 Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.
Let’s start with Fika⁺, which occupies a beautiful spot on top of Chester’s city walls. It’s a gorgeous, perfectly-proportioned space that has also been shortlisted for the Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting and Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot Awards.
Crossing the Atlantic to New Hampsire, Flight Coffee of Dover is spread across two adjacent units. This allows it to provide a range of seating options, giving it something for (almost) everyone. Flight Coffee is also on the shortlists for this year’s Best Filter Coffee and Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting Awards.
Staying in New England, Elements: Books Coffee Beer is in Biddeford, Maine. It’s made it onto the shortlist due to the books part of the name, since it’s a coffee shop (and bar) in a bookshop, which means you get to drink your coffee surrounded by shelves and shelves of books. Elements has also been shortlisted for the Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Award.
Moving over to Berlin, the original Five Elephant coffee shop occupying a pair of high-ceilinged rooms with whitewashed walls and wooden flooring on the ground floor of a lovely old Kreuzberg tenement. The outside seating, under the shade of some lovely old trees is just as good, gaining Five Elephant a place on the shortlist for the Best Outdoor Seating Award as well.
Staying in Berlin, this is the home of The Barn’s original roastery. The roaster has now gone, leaving a wonderful coffee shop in its place. Occupying the left-hand part of the ground floor of a lovely old building, The Barn stretches out ahead of you and to your right, making for a large, L-shaped space.
Slightly closer to (my) home, Tabernacl is a newcomer to Wrexham. Part of the Hope Street Church, it occupies a corner spot on the ground floor of the iconic old Burton building. With floor-to-ceiling windows on two side, it makes for a gorgeous, light-filled space in which to enjoy your coffee.
Combining café, bar and venue space, while also hosting the Open Door Charity (which the coffee shop part funds), Bloom Building and Coffee occupies a unit on an industrial estate in Birkenhead (shortlisted for the Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot Award). This has been put to good use to create a series of spaces, including a large mezzanine (shortlisted for the Coffee Spot with the Best Basement/Mezzanine Award).
From Bloom to Blooming, Blooming Coffee Bar occupies an interesting corner space in the heart of Köln. I was in awe of the fit-out, with the designers making the most of the space with a series of bespoke seats and tables tucked into various corners. Blooming Coffee Bar has also been shortlisted for this year’s Best Espresso Award.
Re-crossing the Atlantic, this time to San Francisco, we come to Sightglass, which always seems to find some fabulous buildings for its coffee shops. This one, on Divisadero in in The Haight, is no exception, occupying the ground floor of a beautiful old building which dates from 1903. Sightglass has also been shortlisted for the Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting Award.
Staying in California and moving down the Peninsular to Redwood City, Coffeebar also occupies the ground floor of a lovely old building. In this case it’s the Fitzpatrick Building, from 1905. Inside is a large, high-ceilinged space with exposed brick walls and wooden flooring. The outside seating is just as good, winning Coffeebar a place on the shortlist for the Best Outdoor Seating Award.
Crossing the Bay to Berkeley and another high-ceilinged space, this time home to the CoRo Coffee Room. This is a more modern, warehouse-like space with a great view of the roasters through a window at the back. CoRo Coffee Room has also been shortlisted for the Best Roaster/Retailer and Best Cake and Best Espresso Awards.
Back in San Francisco, Réveille Coffee Co. is on Columbus Avenue in North Beach, where it occupies a wedge-shaped building on the corner where Kearny Street intersects Columbus Avenue at 45°. This leads to a really interesting space, which Réveille has taken full advantage of, making the building and its interior as much of a draw as the coffee.
Staying in the USA, but crossing back to the East Coast, we have the original Café Grumpy in the Greenpoint district of Brooklyn. The modest exterior belies a much larger interior which stretches all the way to the back of the building, including a magnificent back room. Café Grumpy has also been shortlisted for the Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Award.
CSONS occupies the ground floor of a two-storey building in Shrewsbury which, if looks are anything to go by, is several hundred years old. It’s a lovely space, with the seating spread across multiple rooms, including a large, sheltered courtyard at the back which also got CSONS a place on the shortlist for the Best Outdoor Seating Award. Best of all is probably the cosy back room with its stained glass windows and with a table in an old fireplace.
Our final entry is Hardline Coffee, which is a coffee bar and roaster inside the Art SUX Gallery in downtown Sioux City. You can take your coffee and sit anywhere in the gallery, or go upstairs to the artists studios. Perhaps my favourite spot was the cosy library nook, lined with bookshelves and a three-piece suite. Hardline Coffee has also been shortlisted for the Best Roaster/Retailer and Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot Awards.
A special mention needs to go to the following:
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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