Afternoon coffee at Harris + Hoole

Harris Hoole

Harris Hoole

I would have gone to Glutton & Glee in Tunsgate, but got delayed, and they close at 5pm. This sadly is where indie coffee shops lose out to the chains, who stay open until 7pm.

And so it was Harris + Hoole aka Tesco.

To be fair, the coffee is good, the staff are very pleasant, but it is 49% owned by Tesco and it is a tax-dodging chain even though it does its best to look and act like an indie coffee shop.

The coffee is sourced from Guatemala (this has changed since the last visit). It is not Fairtrade, but they do claim, they buy from farms that are to that standard. Problem is, who audits the claim?

I have sympathy with them not wish to deal with Fairtrade. Not because they do not wish to maintain standards, but a lot of people are telling me dealing with Farirtrade is a bureaucratic nightmare.

The ambience is awful. Loud pop muisc from a moronic pop radio station, noise from espresso machines, people shouting to make themselves heard (and nearly empty), hard surfaces, makes it very noisy and impossible to relax or have a quiet conversation. It may be better upstairs.

Nowhere to sit outside. North Street is the wrong street. They ought to have located in one of the side streets.

Harris + Hoole claim they do well in reviews. Reviews by who, compared with who? Compared with Costa or tax-dodging Starbucks, one would have to be really bad to do worse. Compared with Cafe Mila in Godalming or Stokes on High Bridge and several other indie coffee shops in Lincoln, I do not think so.

At the end of the day, fresh sandwiches, sausage rolls etc are thrown away. I have passed by in the past and seen two black sacks thrown out.

This is appalling food waste, which costs the company money to dispose of.

I have suggested, towards the end of the day, sell off half price, give away with a tea or a coffee, or simply give away.

And if there is still food left over to be thrown away then arrange for collection by a local charity, to be given to the growing army of homeless and destitute.

Pret a Manger, aka McDonald’s, just around the corner, does make such an arrangement. I had a chat. They did not know who does the collecting, and apparently it is not every day. Pret a Manger not as fresh as they claim? I have asked that they ask whoever does the collecting, please have a chat with Harris + Hoole, and see if they can arrange the same deal.

This is something local jobsworth should be doing, linking people up, reducing food waste, helping the destitute, but that would require imagination and vision, not box ticking.

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8 Responses to “Afternoon coffee at Harris + Hoole”

  1. V Says:

    I think you will find that your claim about how much Tesco’s own is wrong. They own less than 45% of the company as a silent partner, they invest money. There is nothing wrong with big companies helping smaller ones out. You are a closed minded old fool if you think this is the only company that does it.

    I have spent alot of time in Harris + Hoole. There coffee has always been directly sourced meaning no middle man and that means better quality at a decent price. We have strong ties with their coffee growers and use a hand roasting company that can authentic the origin. Again you are closed minded and don’t have your facts right. I was in Harris and Hoole yesterday and I know the music was jazz Fm. They by far make the best coffee around, and I have traveled around the world with my job and tasted coffee all over.

    I would say to you that if you don’t have anything nice to say then shut up. You have no right to talk about things you are not verst in. Again learn your facts right, not from media. I know Harris + Hoole are open about there cradentials. Just beacause someone invests doesn’t make you part of that company. Tesco’s has shares in the company same as you or I can buy share for BT, British Gas or any other company. Doesn’t mean we own them.
    So maybe you should be nice, not a grumpy old man who knows little of the world

  2. keithpp Says:

    Yet another childish puerile rant in support of Hollis + Hoole and their disingenuous practices.

    49% ownership by Tesco is widely reported, including in an interview with Tesco.

    Customers criticise ‘indie’ image of the coffee shops part-owned by Tesco

    Let us see Hollis + Hoole publish who owns what and if the ownership has changed.

    Tesco is not a benign corporation. They have seen coffee shops as a lucrative market to get into and have done so through a front company.

    You could not have spent a lot of time at or in Harris + Hoole as they have not been on the go for very long.

    Harris + Hoole are not open about the ownership by Tesco. Not mentioned in store, to find on their website have to dig around to find, then it does not state who owns what percentage. .

    If you had a large shareholding in any company like BT, not only would you have a major say, including seats on the board, you would have the option to bid for the rest of the company.

    If Tesco has the reported shareholding, if more than one other shareholder, assuming one of those shareholders does not hold an insignificant share, then Tesco is the largest shareholder.

    Tesco was approached because the banks would not provide the funding and Harris + Hoole are going for aggressive expansion, rather than growing organically.

    Very disingenuous tale about Harris and Hoole, quoting from the diary of Samuel Pepys, to give the air of authenticity, to give the false illusion that Harris + Hoole are somehow inked to 16th cent London coffee shops.

    Sourcing coffee directly does not make the coffee better. The quality is the growing, selection of the beans, the roasting, all of which requires expertise.

    The coffee is not Fairtrade, not organic. The former does not matter, if to the same standards, independently audited.

    No information on this given on the Harris + Hoole badly designed website. Or if it is there, not easy to find due to poor design.

    Music late Tuesday afternoon at Guildford Harris + Hoole in North Street was moronic pop, too loud and very intrusive.

    To claim Harris + Hoole the best coffee in the world is laughable. Obviously not travelled much. That better than Costa or tax-dodging Starbucks, not difficult, but does not compare with a good indie coffee shop and never will.

    A barista after two days training visited Cafe Mila in Godalming and tried to impress the staff knew better on coffee. They are still laughing.

    • V Says:

      I’m sorry, but you are really closed minded. No where does that article have anything that Tesco say they own 49% that is what the tabloids have said. If you read the article it states that they don’t control. The Tolly’s have control over all decisions. If you believe everything the newspapers say then you are clearly an idiot. You really only know what they want you to know.

      I have had coffee from source in over 30 different countries. This is the only company in the UK that source proper coffee, not over roasted and left to talk for itself.

      The coffee itself is organic, where ever you get your information is miss informed. They pay well over fairtrade prices for the coffee and it is all hand picked. Obviously you have never been to a coffee plantation. Where I have spent 2 weeks at one in costa rica.

      If you don’t like Harris and Hoole then don’t go there. No ones forcing you to.

      Also maybe learn to compliment things, you should first cast an eye on yourself before you critize other people. People don’t appreciate others being perverts and taking picture without consent especially young girls. I know what you are and don’t think highly of it at all. So maybe you need to look at yourself dry carefully before you bad mouth others.

  3. keithpp Says:

    More pathetic juvenile drivel from a brain-dead troll.

    I have not noticed The Guardian to be a tabloid.

    No one else sources coffee direct, does their own roasting? Really!

    Try Stokes on High Bridge.

    Winchester Coffee Roasters source direct fairtrade, organic beans, which they roast.

    Taylor St Baristas Brighton would probably beg to differ Harris + Hoole best place for coffee, as would any excelent indie coffee shop up and down the country.

    From Coffee With Love blog:

    I still believe that in order for you to serve the best you need to serve it with heart and that’s why for me, Taylor St Baristas is one of the best coffee shop experiences I’ve ever had.

    The coffee is organic? That is presumably why it fails to say so either in store or on their website, and why their barista says it is not organic. To be organic it would have to be certified as organic.

    Fairtrade is more than paying farmers a fair price. It is support and education for the producers, social investment.

    This site has zero tolerance of trolls. Occasionally their posts are allowed, simply to show how bad they are and why they are normally blocked.

    The level of ignorance, and when this does not work, abuse, is sadly typical of a moronic troll.

    Persistent and unpleasant trolls, have their e-mail published, and more information, should they continue.

  4. keithpp Says:

    Welcome to Taylor St Baristas!:

    The first time you have a really good coffee can be a bit of a curse. With one sip, your expectations are radically transformed. All other coffee is ruined for you. Coffee shops that used to prop up every corner of every city block soon reveal themselves to be mere pretenders: the blind serving the blind. Purveyors of limp and burnt and watery coffee.

    With one sip, your coffee options dwindle to a precious few: a mere handful of skilled baristas capable of meeting your newly enlightened needs.

    Yours is a wretched plight, indeed. For those who inhabit this lonely world, we welcome you to our humble little corner of the web: a place where real coffee lovers can gather around and share and console and learn from each other.

    • TheShadow Says:

      Have you not even looked at Taylor St Baristas website. I think you shall find that the people behind it are also the people behind Harris + Hoole. So if the people behind it are both the same you can assume the training for both is the same. Also Taylor St Baristas is a chain

  5. keithpp Says:

    Yes, I was aware that the same people were behind Harris + Hoole and Taylor St Baristas, which is why I mentioned them.

    Taylor St Baristas is a very small chain, almost a chain of indie coffee shops.

    They are though aimed at different markets, Taylor St Baristas aimed at discerning coffee drinkers, whereas Harris + Hoole aimed at the mass market, albeit a cut above Costa and Starbucks.

    Whether they have the same training I do not know, though I doubt it. Harris + Hoole baristas tell me Taylor St Baristas serve better coffee and are more knowledgeable.

    Nothing though beats experience.

  6. keithpp Says:

    Harris + Hoole is not the only company to play the game of let’s con the punter.

    Teapigs is not the small indie family business they con people into believing themselves to be. They are 100% owned by global corporation Tata (who also own Tetley).

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