Often, in the world of blogs, we tend to hype over all the amazing finds we have made during our extra spectacular travels. So, on the contrary to the typical, today I am going to be a strictly objective blogger, and write about the candidates for Best Independent Coffee Shop in Europe 2016, according to the European Coffee Symposium. The candidates were Dublin’s 3fe, Amsterdam’s Bocca Coffee Roasters and Bath’s Colonna & Small’s, which won the competition.
Bocca Coffee got the tag “highly-commended” and came out as third, but as Bocca is my personal favourite of the nominees, I’ll start from it (oh dear, my apologies for the subjective lapsus so early in the text!).
Bocca Coffee Roasters is located in Amsterdam’s Kerkstraat, near the shops and tram lines of Leidestraat and Bloemenmarkt’s floating tulip shops. There are also plenty of art galleries and boutiques nearby, as well as vintage shops and, for example, the Photography Museum FOAM. On Kerkstraat, you’ll find Bocca, some sex shops and lovely, historic Amsterdam houses. So we are in a typically charming Amsterdam neighbourhood!
You won’t find filled croissants or perfect Insta breakfasts from Bocca, but you’ll find some perfect coffees prepared with various methods, and some simple, yet delicious sweet snacks to go with your beverages. Try also the refreshing juices! The atmosphere in Bocca is relaxed and calm, and they have a good taste in music too. People come here to meet up with friends, to sip on some specialty coffees or work on their laptops around a big communal table.
If I was living in Amsterdam, I would be living in this coffee shop or at least somewhere nearby (not in the sex shop though!).
Colonna & Small’s was the Symposium’s choice for the best Independent Coffee Shop in Europe in 2016. The café is located in ever-so-charming Bath in England. You can read my little guide to Bath’s coffee shops in this link. I also included Colonna & Small’s, which I declared, if not the best coffee shop in Europe, at least the best in Bath. Colonna & Small’s is located in Chapel Row and offers you a calm and cosy space to relax amid all the hecticness of sight seeing: nearby, you’ll find some of the best sights in Bath. Such as Jane Austen Museum, the famous architecture of Royal Crescent and, of course, the main sight in Bath, the Roman Baths. Colonna & Small’s also had a very informative blackboard on their wall to help you make an educated decision on your coffee choice – I liked it! The dominantly white space is softened with wood, and the atmosphere is calmly elegant, much like it is in Bath in general.
If I would go and visit Bath now, I’d start (and end) my sightseeing day in Colonna & Small’s!
3fe was, according to the Symposium, the second best Independent Coffee Shop in Europe. It is located on the south side (yes, the good side) of Dublin, on Grand Canal Street Lower, quite close to the famous Georgian houses and colourful doors of Merrion Square.3fe is also very close to Dublin’s modern and stylish harbour area, the Docklands. It was 3fe’s café and roasters which started the coffee revolution in Dublin and Ireland a few years back, and now you can find 3fe coffee sold in almost all third wave coffee shops on the whole of the Republic, and even beyond the border, as you can see from this little coffee post from a Belfast establishment.
When I was living in Dublin, I didn’t make it to 3fe as often as I should have – but anytime I did make it to the south side and 3fe, I was not left disappointed: the flat whites and brownies were a perfect match. 🙂 My only regret now is, that I didn’t try their savory, very Instagrammable foods I keep seeing on my feed…
So, if I was still living in Dublin, I would correct this error in my life immediately!
According to European Coffee Symposium:
Best Independent Coffee Shop — Europe
Winner: Colonna & Small’s
Highly-commended: Bocca Coffee Roasters
Would you like to read some more coffee tips? Try: