Welcome to the penultimate Coffee Spot Awards Shortlist for 2022, the Brian’s Coffee Spot Special Award, which was won last year by The Hideaway. 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.
There are eight Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.
NewGround Coffee is an interesting place to start this year’s shortlist since the folks behind NewGround are also involved with the team behind last year’s winner, The Hideaway. NewGround works to create job opportunities and provide training for ex-offenders, helping them back into employment, which has earned it a spot on this shortlist. It’s coffee, meanwhile, has seen it shortlisted for the Best Roaster/Retailer Award.
Moving across the Atlantic to Boston, Phin Coffee House opened in 2021. Owned by a lady originally from Ho Chi Minh City, there’s a fairly traditional third wave offering of espresso-based drinks, batch brew filter, pour-over and cold brew, which is joined by a number of house specials, including Ca Phe Phin, made with the Vietnamese cup-top filter of the same name.
Back in the UK, Tabernacl opened in 2022, part of the Hope Street Church in Wrexham. It’s a lovely spot in the iconic old Burton building, earning it a place on the shortlist for the Best Physical Space Award. However, it’s a lot more than that, looking to help build a sense of community in Wrexham while not compromising on the quality of the coffee, which is from Manchester-based Blossom Coffee Roasters.
Staying in the same area, Bloom Building and Coffee is in Birkenhead on The Wirral. An interesting place, it combines café, bar and venue space with hosting the Open Door Charity, which is funded, in part, by Bloom Building’s profits. Bloom Building and Coffee also been shortlisted for the Best Physical Space, Coffee Spot with the Best Basement (for its mezzanine!) and Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot Awards.
Crossing over to California, The Crown in Oakland is coffee bar, set up to showcase green bean importer Royal Coffee’s excellent range of beans. While you can just have a cup of coffee, you’ll miss out if you dodn’t take the opportunity to explore some of The Crown’s amazing coffee, with frequently changing options on espresso, pour-over, batch brew and cold brew. The Crown has also been shortlisted for the Best Filter Coffee Award.
Just across the Bay in San Francisco is Spro Coffee Lab. This shortlist entry is effectively for both the original Spro (a trailer in Spark Social SF) and its bricks-and-mortar store. Spro is an innovative coffee shop, which puts just as much emphasis on its awesome food. Spro – Mission Bay/SOMA has also been shortlisted for the Best Takeaway Coffee Award.
Returning to the UK, Koja Coffee has been through a lot in 2022, abruptly disappearing from its then home in Jeffries Passage in June only to reappear inside New House, a recently-opened space for artists and creatives on Fays Passage. This nomination is recognition for the work owner Victor has put in to keep the business going. Koja is also on the shortlists for the Smallest Coffee Spot and Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station Awards.
Our final entry is from Kansas City, where I visited Monarch Coffee. Monarch is a roaster which used to have two bricks-and-mortar stores in Kansas City, one of which was this lovely store on Broadway. Sadly, Monarch took the difficult decision to close both stores at the end of October, although it’s still going strong as a roaster. Monarch has also been shortlisted for the Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting Award.
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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