200 Degrees Nottingham Station

A very fleeting visit to Nottingham.

Alighting at Nottingham Station, I was surprised at the size of the station.

I exited via a side exit, which was also the exit for the tram into the city centre.

I did not take the tram, as no idea how far to the city centre or how frequent the trams, and preferred to walk.

I followed the sign for city centre at least there was a sign, and found myself at the main entrance.

I could not find what I was looking for 200 Degrees. A Costa and a Gourmet Coffee stall serving Union Hand-Roasted.

I left the station forecourt, passed by tax dodging Starbucks, and there on a corner by a bridge overlooking the Nottingham Canal was 200 Degrees. Not quite the station, but near enough.

A wonderful ambience within, interior much larger than the exterior would suggest. Divided into three zones, a serving area, an open airy light space and a darker brick-lined interior. Exposed riveted steel columns. Wood panelled walls.

I was reminded of speciality coffee shops in Athens.

An enticing array of cakes. Leftovers of lunch. I would imagine lunchtime a wider choice.

There was a reason I was looking for 200 Degrees. I had tried their espresso blend Brazilian Love Affair a few days earlier at The Bean and Vine in Newark. Wonderful aroma, but not so great coffee.

Brazilian Love Affair. Strange I thought, espresso blend from Brazil, one country, though as Stephen Leighton quotes in Coffeeography, there is an awful lot of coffee in Brazil. On closer inspection, Brazilian (unknown), Colombian (Arabica), Vietnamese (Robusta).

What self-respecting roastery uses Robusta? Vietnam is infamous for dumping rubbish coffee onto the world market.

Vietnam, to the surprise of many, is world No 2 coffee producer after Brazil.  The country was conned by the World Bank into growing coffee as a cash crop. Guaranteed prices, they were promised. Guaranteed prices that never materialised.  A large volume of cheap inferior coffee was dumped on the world market. The price for coffee collapsed and has never recovered.

I was curious, what was it like when brewed by 200 Degrees in their own coffee shop, and why do they bizarrely include Vietnamese Robusta in their espresso blend, Brazilian Love Affair, Brazilian (unknown), Colombian (Arabica), Vietnamese (Robusta)?

Only one way to find out.

I had time for a cappuccino. A cake for tea.

The cappuccino though was blended with chocolate.  Not what I wished for, as I wished to see what the coffee was like.  I was offered another coffee. I said thanks, declined the offer, then changed my mind, I would take a takeaway and have on the train, much as I dislike takeaway coffee. Nothing beats sitting and relaxing with a coffee in glass or ceramic.

The coffee would have been brought to me table,  I carried it, as I had stayed chatting with the baristas. Very helpful, pleasant and knowledgeable baristas.

Coffee beans were on sale, as was tea.

Adjacent to the coffee beans, a grinder. Moot point, have the coffee professional ground but not fresh coffee or grind at home, fresh but not the best grind.

I raised my query, why Robusta? They were as perplexed as myself, and they too would like to know why the roastery includes Robusta?

Three grinders offering a choice.

The coffee menu, quite a choice, including cold brew.

Cold brew, if get the method right and if a quality single origin, is excellent. But not today. Excellent way to drink coffee in the summer.

I was though surprised to see nitro cold brew on offer. A disgusting gimmick, nothing more.

An interesting flask on the counter, klean kanteen, I say flask rather than refillable cup, as not exactly barista friendly. Stylish design, shale black, looks expensive, looks more suitable to carry around trekking, than everyday to and from the office via a coffee shop.

A busy coffee shop, being nearby a railway station, takeaway trade too.

True to their word, a takeaway coffee as I left. Were the takeaway cups compostable? Not known and does not say on the cups, therefore I assume not.

I should have tried at least a taste, but did not until several minutes after my train pulled out. A little weak and insipid I hate to admit, but improved with the addition of the coca maybe that is why they add. With Robusta, I would have expected strong and bitter.

It raises yet more questions on why Robusta?

The takeaway cup has an account of a coffee shop from 1642. It does not though say where. For that have to go on-line. If nothing else, a clever way to direct to their blog. I did, and could not find.

Being so close to the station, why does anyone frequent Costa or Starbucks? And if in the station forecourt why Costa when there is a guy with a stall serving Union-Hand Roasted Coffee.

A very fleeting visit, forty minutes.

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