I first came across Pharmacie, a small coffee roastery in Hove, when I came across their coffee as guest coffee in Flat Whites Coffee Shop in Winchester.

I decided to pay them a visit. Hence the reason for finding myself in Brighton on a Saturday when I would usually visit on a Sunday.

What I did not expect was the long trek to Hove.

I was looking forward to a pleasant walk along the seafront, but instead found myself battling a gale force wind.

First though, after an excellent lunch at Iydea in North Laine, a cappuccino from Brass Monkey, an ice cream parlour. I had learnt from my last visit to Brighton early June they would be serving coffee from Pharmacie.

The cappuccino was not good, neither was the ice cream, honey and lavender.  Not a good sign.  On the other hand the person who served the coffee, not a clue on coffee, served too hot. It makes the point, if care about the reputation of your coffee, take care to where you supply.

It had been windy. I assumed would be sheltered walking along the seafront.  Quite the opposite. A gale blowing from the south-west.

The seafront at Hove is ugly. A wide monotonous expanse of tarmac that goes on for ever. The monotony only broken by a Victorian Bandstand, a sculpture entitled Constellation and painted sheds, otherwise known as beach huts. People pay a small fortune for one of these sheds, to sit in and stare at the sea.

Past the sheds, I head inland.

It is far far further than I thought to walk to Pharmacie. I arrive at a quarter to four, fifteen minutes before they close.

Pharmacie is located in an old cobbled mews. One side used to be stables, the other side housed the carriages.

Pharmacie is housed in one of the old stables, a coffee shop and roastery.

I am the only customer.  Apparently they are busy in the morning.

I order a cappuccino. It is excellent.

I only wish time fora V60, a cold brew.

A guy brings in a Swiss roll he has made. He offers me a slice. I am reluctant to accept as no fan of Swiss roll. I find it is excellent. Very tasty, my only regret I declined a larger slice.

He later offers me chocolate coated coffee beans, which he has also made.

I buy beans, roasted that morning, single origin from Colombia and Ethiopia. I am given a tote bag to carry away my four bags of beans.

I query the packaging. Can be recycled, the average coffee bag cannot as a composite structure.

The bags have details of the beans, how processed, the farm they came from.

When meet coffee roasters who can tell you nothing of their beans, offer light, medium or dark roast for the same beans, have beans so over-roasted they are black and oily, have roasted beans in open hessian sacks on a stall at 30C or at the same temperature in bags in the midday day sun, or can tell you nothing of the provenance of the beans, where they were roasted, who lack any respect for the beans they are selling, then look elsewhere.

Sadly I have met several charlatans this month alone who are a disgrace to the coffee industry.

Sitting in the corner a large coffee roaster,  Geisen. Maybe the same model I saw at Edgcumbes Coffee the previous week.

I pick up latest Caffeine and what I have not seen before, The Independent Brighton & Hove Coffee Guide, an independent guide to coffee shops in Brighton and Hove. It is stressed it is genuinely independent, the coffee shops have not paid to be listed. Contrast with The North and North Wales Independent Coffee Guide which is a blatant scam, coffee shops pay £500 for a listing and write their own entry.

I would have liked to have tried a V60, maybe a cold brew, but arrived too late and they were wishing to close.

I head back down to the seafront for the long trek back to Brighton.

Interesting villas line the street, as did the road I walked up. A few appear to be single residence, many have been converted to flats, a few are hotels.

I pass Small Batch, look in, but no time to stop for a coffee.

As I approach the road that runs along the seafront I am nearly blown off my feet. It is now worse than before.

Pharmacie is four people with long experience in coffee, including a Master Coffee Roaster. Contrast with the many coffee roasteries established by people with no experience of coffee let alone coffee roasting.

Pharmacie is only open on a Saturday. On the first Saturday of the month they add a food truck.

Their tweets often make little sense, and posting pictures to twitter via Instagram is pointless as the pictures not visible on twitter.

Yes, it is possible to walk from Brighton along the seafront, and in the absence of a gale, would be a pleasant walk, otherwise Hove Station is close by.

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2 Responses to “Pharmacie”

  1. Says:

    Hi, sorry to be leaving a comment not related to you blog post, but I cannot find any way to contact you and. Regarding Pret, do you know why the hashtag #boycottPret on Twitter is gone? Can hashtags be deleted? I just wanted to post something there, you posted once on there, but it’s gone:

    Can a hashtag on Twitter be started again?

    On FB there is the same hashtag and pretty well visited.

    Sorry, to be contacting like this on comments.

  2. keithpp Says:

    Comments should always be relevant.

    All you had to do was search on the blog for Pret.

    Twitter hastags do appear to expire over time. I have no idea why. Raise with twitter.

    Yes, hastags can be recreated,

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