Edge coffee van in Draper’s Yard

Chichester an old Roman town has sadly been ruined by corporate chains interspersed with greasy spoons cafes masquerading as tea rooms and coffee shops.

Wandering down East Street and beyond I happened upon Draper’s Yard, a little oasis of independent businesses. It was here that I found Edge, an old Citroen van serving Edgcumbes coffee.

Did they have cold brew? Yes, but seems perverse to make with espresso blend not high quality single origin coffee.

I thought I had misheard when told brewed for 72 hours. It must be so over extracted as to be undrinkable. Brewed in a jug. I asked could I try.

The young guy put an ice cube in a plastic cup. Plastic! Poured in a small amount of the cold brew. Very dark to the point of being opaque. I thought this was for me to sample, it did not even cover the ice cube. No, it is concentrate, as it was snatched from me. He then topped up with lukewarm tap water. At least I assumed tap water. As a van, maybe not.

To say the least, it was undrinkable. It was like coffee that had been left to go cold, then watered down.

I asked for a cappuccino. It was not good either.

Coffee beans on display were high Q grade, 85 plus, and Ethiopian was 90. And surprisingly cheap, £6 a 250g bag.

I picked up a bag of Ethiopian. £8-50 including the cappuccino. I handed over a tenner. Sorry, we do not take cash.

I have never ever come across anywhere that does not take cash. I may be wrong, and stand corrected if wrong, but I believe it is illegal to refuse to take coin of the realm, legal tender. And the reason why? Inconvenient for them.

But as neither the cold brew nor cappuccino were good, maybe I was fortunate.

What is not good, when we are all focused on reducing waste especially plastic, Edgcumbe launch a van serving takeaway coffee exacerbating the problem. There were on sale reusable cups but that does not solve the underlying problem, it addresses the symptoms. The only way is to relax with speciality coffee served in glass or ceramic. Although there were seats, only takeaway cups.

The plastic in which my cold brew served not compostable, the coffee cup yes. The coffee cup to be added to the compost heap.

When my coffee experience not good I wonder, am I losing my sense of taste. Then I have a good coffee, and I realise no, I was served bad coffee.

Later I visited Coffee Lab. A world of difference, excellent cold brew and cappuccino.

Note: A week later I visited Edgcumbes Coffee outside Arundel. And what a difference, excellent coffee, knowledgeable staff.

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