The third wave is, in many ways, a reaction. It is just as much a reply to bad coffee as it is a movement toward good coffee. – Trish R Skeie, Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters
A cappuccino and latte plus a cookie at Stokes on High Bridge.
Cookie was excellent, but mixed feelings about the coffee.
We have third coffee wave, little indie coffee shops, small indie coffee roasters, coffee plantations, all working together to bring you the best in a cup of coffee.
The roasters go to the plantation, to ensure the best growing conditions, the best beans are then picked. Next stage is how the beans are extracted and washed. The coffee roaster attempt to bring out the best character of the beans. Finally the barista coaxes the best the beans can offer.
Get any part of the chain wrong, and you will have poor quality coffee.
Stokes, instead of moving forward embracing this third wave, are not standing still, they are regressing.
A latte should look good, that is why it is served in glass. In Stokes, up until a couple of weeks ago, served an excellent latte, not any more.
A barista will take pride, not only in how the cappuccino is brewed but also in the art.
This used to be true of Stokes, not any more.
What is going wrong? Nothing like asking.
Orders from head office. We have to serve the classic Italian cappuccino. Repeated like an automaton with no great faith in what they were saying.
No, Italy does not serve great coffee. This is to go backwards.
It is a myth Italy is associated with good coffee. That myth has arisen because the Italians invented the espresso machine, though the French may beg to differ.
The myth that Italy is synonomous with quality coffee, is just that, a myth.
Italy invented the espresso machine, though the French may wish to dispute this.
It was the French who first applied steam to drive water under pressure through coffee.
In 1818, Mr Laurens of Paris used a percolator system to create coffee. Further refinements by Louis Bernard Rabaut in 1822.
It was not until the early 1900s Italians came on the scene.
antique espresso machine
In 1901, Luigi Bezzera created a primitive espresso machine.
It was not until post-WWII we had the forerunner of the modern espresso machine.
It was Italian Fascists who coined the term barista, to differentiate from the American barman.
The world has moved on from bad Italian coffee, leave that to the likes of Costa, with their over roasted coffee.
And speaking of Costa. Stokes has appointed a training manager, from er, Costa!
Stokes is a very old coffee business, dating from 1902, now a fourth generation family business. The current location of Stokes on High Bridge, in a Tudor building on a Norman Bridge over the River Witham dates from 1937.
Stokes have recently acquired The Lawn, though begs the question when will it open? It will serve coffee, roast coffee, run coffee classes. Though why has the Joseph Banks Conservatory been relocated? A key feature of The Lawn.
The service of late in Stokes on High Bridge has been abyssal. Today service was much improved.
The River Witham, which runs beneath Stokes, was today running very fast and very muddy.
From Waterstone’s, four copies of The Spy. Strictly speaking, swapped four copies. Waterstone’s stick stickers on the front of their books, which damage the books.
Outside Waterstone’s, between Stokes and The Stonebow, a man was playing a saxophone. He was quite good, but why oh why ghastly backing music? It would have been far better, a sax on its own.
A little further up the High Street, Richard Silvester playing violin. I suggested he recorded and released on bandcamp. He asked what would did I like? Paganini.