Archive for the ‘NotoCosta’ Category


November 22, 2020

On a visit to Infinity Foods Saturday of last week I noticed on the shelves a coffee I had not encountered before, Wolfox. Not that I would buy coffee from Infinity Foods, not when spoilt for choice in Brighton and the coffee will be freshly roasted.

Sunday the following day I passed by their coffee shop.

Wolfox Coffee. New. I have never noticed before. I saw their coffee in nearby Infinity Foods on Saturday. Claimed to be specialty coffee. Girl did not know q grade. But she brewed an excellent coffee.

I picked up a bag of coffee. A criticism, coffee when the coffee roastery, should be freshly roasted. Most of the coffee on sale was roasted in October. No excuse for this, the coffee should be rotated.

I picked up a bag roasted November.

The walnut coffee cake looked good. It was not. I should have known better. It was vegan and vegan cakes are nearly always disgusting.

A couple of days later I revisited Wolfox and had take away vegetable soup. Not hot, warm. but tasty. Not the weather for sitting in the street with a takeaway.

Black Mocha revisited

November 22, 2020

A couple of years ago, not long opened, I had a coffee in Black Mocha.

I was not impressed.

Saturday of last week I looked in and said I would give then a second chance.

Sunday, the following day, I returned.

I picked up a bag of of coffee from Cast Iron Roasters.

I am asked of chocolate. I again recommend Bare Bones, Bullion and Luisa’s. Local? No. Local has merit but never at expense of quality.

My takeaway coffee was reasonable, far better than my first visit, definitely heading in the right direction. Not in the top league in Brighton but getting there.

Bread & Milk

November 21, 2020

Last Saturday finding Coffee at 33 closed, it closes at three, I decided to try Bread & Milk a little further down the street.

I once decided not to have a coffee at Bread & Milk, I cannot recall why. Coffee from Pharmacie. A good sign. Loud music not. Covid-19 death trap. I tell girl too loud. She cannot hear me.

Girl clueless on coffee. Chocolate dumped on top. I take it back. She argues with me. My fault for not telling her. My fault that she is clueless on coffee and I failed to second guess. Coffee hot, too much froth and foam. Quality of beans manages to prevail but not doing Pharmacie any favours.

Ambience pleasant, apart from girl serving, let down by lack of a skilled barista to do justice to the beans.

Note: As I learnt the following day, I confused with a different place of similar name, Milk Not Sugar. Not specialty coffee as sign suggests, once was, now Vietnamese food and coffee Vietnamese style with condensed milk (yuk).

Coronavirus biosecurity poor. Door open keeping well ventilated, restrictions on numbers, but loud music blasting out, refusal to acknowledged a problem, let alone turn it down, turning Bread & Milk into a coronavirus death trap.

Cafe Coho The Lanes

November 19, 2020

Brighton in lockdown, Cafe Coho in The Lanes one of the few coffee shops if not the only coffee shop open after four in the afternoon.

Coronavirus lockdown, coffee shops closing at four if not earlier, takeaway only, I try my luck at Cafe Soho in The Lanes.

I found open a couple of days ago. Yesterday I was too late, it was closed. Today I am in luck.

Coffee supplied by Union. No guarantee of excellent coffee as Union supply anyone.

My coffee reasonable though not in the same league as the best in Brighton and not doing any favours to espresso blend Revelation from Union.

Cakes sourced from the same bakery as found in Grocer & Grain.

Loud music blasting out.

Coronavirus biosecurity poor. Door open, hand sanitiser as enter by the door, restrictions on numbers, but loud music blasting out, have to shout to be heard by the barista.

Takeaway coffee The Underdog

November 8, 2020

Night time curfew. Tuesday bars, restaurants and coffee shops closed. Saturday first day of lockdown.

Only allowed out with special papers. Luckily I have.

I take a walk around The Acropolis. Allowed out for exercise. Not specified for how far or for how long, other short near home or accommodation.

A detour to The Underdog. I was very surprised to find open. Me, a barista and somewhere a chef. Usually on a weekend The Underdog would be heaving.

Chef? For deliveries.

They have now expanded their choice of coffee in Nespresso capsules. The day before I noticed Kudu and Mind the Cup were offering Nespresso capsules. Even Panama Geisha sourced from 90 Plus in Nespresso capsules.

Buy a 60 euros Nespresso machine and coffee from quality coffee roasteries, for example The Underdog, Kudu, Mind the Cup, but never ever use Nespresso capsules.

I came away with a takeaway coffee. Not great, though my fault, I allowed it to cool. Not the same as sitting in The Underdog.

The Third Room

October 21, 2020

En route to Koffea from Lazaris I go on a little detour and encounter a coffee shop The Third Room. I stop and have a coffee. Coffee not good. Not bad, not undrinkable like Costa or Starbucks but not good either.

Design contemporary, part of a boutique hotel.

I ask is it third wave, as definitely not? Guy does not hear me due to awful moronic loud music. I say I will sit outside and can talk to me there.

When coffee arrives, with a glass of water and two tiny little biscuits, thus service good (unlike Athens in Cyprus water never brought without asking) I explain music too loud and must be turned down, 30x covid-19 ejected at high velocity across the room straight into his face. I am thanked and music turned down.

Coffee not good, I leave it cup half full.

Asked what I think of the coffee I say not good. A sour taste though I cannot pinpoint what is wrong. I suspect the beans and recommend source better quality beans.

Currently source coffee beans from Jasmine a local roastery. Sourcing locally, supporting local producers, the circular economy, is always to be commended, but not at the expense of quality.

I ask of the name. Not third wave, maybe third place, nether home nor office. No, coffee shop during the day, cocktail bar at night. Though that is two not three.

I am fascinated by what appears to be an avocado growing as very difficult to grow. I want to inquire more but distracted by our discussion and it slips my mind.

Guy asks can I return and discuss coffee. Not very likely as lack the time otherwise maybe yes.

Later I have a coffee at Paul’s Coffee Roasters. A world of difference good coffee and skilled barista makes.

Covid-19 biosecurity good, apart from loud music which was then turned down on request. Open and airy, open to the street, clean, outside seating, staff wearing masks correctly (which is more than can be said of most places).

Improve the coffee and this will be an excellent addition to the Larnaca coffee scene hidden in the back streets of Larnaca.

Coffee tasting Blue Bear Bookshop

October 3, 2020

Passing by Blue Bear Bookshop, oh just who we need, would you please come in and give your opinion of two blends of coffee we are trying?

Yes but first I am going for lunch. I checked when closed and said I would pop back.

When I popped back after lunch at Gail’s bakery it was less busy, earlier very busy, too busy.

I had given some thought and decided would have four coffees, two as expresso and two as cappuccinos.

I decided to be a little more professional, asked for pen and paper to make notes.

I would emphasise this was coffee tasting, not coffee cupping which is a formal method of tasting and evaluating coffee.

Of the two, one a slightly smoking aroma and a slight fruitiness, the other insipid by comparison. Not a lot in it and neither were pleasant as espresso.

My cappuccino was intended for a customer, too hot, too much foam and horror of horrors, chocolate on top. Not a very good cappuccino.

My opinion, neither of the two blends were good.

I was also not happy with coffee beans being bagged as Blue Bear Bookshop. No reputable roastery would do this. Coffee, specialty coffee, traceability, transparency, through roastery, to region to the farm.

Blue Bear Bookshop need a good blend as a basic workhorse for espresso based coffee.

I recommended visit DT Roastery in Winchester, speak with Dhan Tamang and recommended their espresso blend which they serve in Coffee Lab.

An idea, try the Congo coffee from Waitrose. By the till. At the front no, but that at the yes, beautiful aroma.

Coffee at 33 their espresso blend is excellent.

If going to sell bags of coffee, there are many excellent coffee roasteries to choose from spoilt for choice, but ensure does not sit on the shelves.

I suggested an Ethiopian from Cartwheel Coffee very unusual as an espresso.

Cakes are far better than Gail’s.

I would suggest Blue Bear Bookshop stock high quality bean-to-bar chocolate from Luisa’s and Bullion.

The only downside of Blue Bear Bookshop they are in a lousy location, on a busy congested polluted road.  Long overdue the centre of Farnham was pedestrianised.

Unlike Gail’s in Farnham, Pho in Guildford, no issues with covid-19 biosecurity, but then that is the difference between an indie business that cares about reputation and customers and a corporate chain employing bored zero hours minimum wage temporary staff.


If coffee commercials were honest

August 21, 2020

Brilliant spoof of promotion of crap undrinkable commodity coffee.

I like coffee, I enjoy coffee, but I am not addicted.

Coffee contains a psychoactive substance, caffeine.

The coffee plant is closely related to qat (there are many variations of spelling for example khat) often referred to as coffee’s evil sister. Qat is highly addictive and as a more profitable crop has replaced coffee in Yemen where for generations coffee grew on terraces and the port of Mokka grew rich on the export of coffee beans. WHO has a separate category for qat, US classifies as dangerous as heroin. Qat contains the alkaloid cathinone. The leaves are chewed or used as an infusion to produce qat tea.

Unlike it’s evil sister qat, coffee is a legal psychoactive drug.

I am bombarded every day with offers of coffee and coffee equipment I do not want.

No, I do not want Nespresso. Coffee from a Nespresso machines is vile undrinkable coffee. That is not to say the machine cannot make decent coffee, it can, just do not use Nespresso pods. A €60 Nespresso machine will make excellent espresso, but only if use third party pods.

I used to be bombarded daily by CoffeeJack, but since highlighting the many flaws, gone very quiet. They blocked me and deleted my critical questions. Er, blocked me, it was they trolling me with their promotions.

Nor do I wish to buy coffee from roasteries I have never heard of, that not once have I ever encountered in a coffee shop as guest coffee.

For me coffee is a drink to be enjoyed as would a good wine.  To be enjoyed at leisure served in glass or ceramic.

Good coffee does not need sugar or syrups or to be carpet bombed with chocolate. The over-roasted cheap commodity coffee served up by corporate chains does require to mask the vile taste of what would otherwise be undrinkable.

Fair Trade is a marketing scam to make middle class feel good and to never delve deeper into the exploitation surrounding coffee.

Fair Trade pays a tiny premium above the commodity price. There is no incentive for farmers to improve as they will not get a higher price for quality.

Talk to your barista, buy coffee that is Direct Trade, where farmers get a higher price for quality, where there is traceability back to origin.

And of course we never mention tax dodging that we structure our company across borders to avoid paying tax where we make money.

Imagine honest advertising for what masquerades as a bar of ‘chocolate’.

‘Chocolate’, a bar of fat and sugar, it would not be every palatable, nor sound too good in our marketing, so we add a little cocoa powder, though if we wish to be real cheapskates it will be flavouring, then we add palm oil or soy but keep quiet about the environmental damage, may be listed as emulsifiers, added to improve the texture, we could use coca butter but the alternatives are far cheaper and we have to have margins to pay for the advertising for you suckers, then additives as it kinda does not taste too good a bar of fat and sugar.

Next time you buy what you think is a bar of ‘chocolate’ please check the list of ingredients. If it ain’t cocoa solids, sugar, cocoa butter, maybe vanilla, but nothing else, then it ain’t chocolate.

Yirgacheffe Ethiopian coffee

August 18, 2020

Opening the box from Coffeelink two bags of coffee from Ethiopia, Yirgacheffe and a wild coffee from Zege Forest.

Aroma incredible.

A visit to Stokes at The Lawn.

As always I let Mike decide.

He chose the Yirgacheffe, as already ground for Aeropress. He noticed which I had not noticed ground for Aeropress. Why? I had specified whole beans. Maybe as complimentary bag with Aeropress to save me grinding. Always grind coffee fresh, and invest in a high quality grinder. A cheap grinder a false economy.

We decided V60.

I learnt during cupping at Taylor St Roasted roastery, no correlation between aroma and taste.

And so it proved to be. After the initial impression of the aroma, the V60 proved to be a disappointment.

Why? Maybe because not ground fresh?

We agreed maybe better as espresso.

Put beans through EK43 to get finer grind for espresso. I tried cappuccino, Mike an espresso.

An improvement over the V60 but still sadly not great.

Next, as ground for Aeropress, I will try Aeropress, Mike recommended push through fast, but first order a Hario digital scale. Using the scoop lacks accuracy and consistency and thus not recommended.

I have also picked up a bottle of spring water from M&S. No, cannot make coffee with tap water. Can try, but the coffee will be dreadful.

A visit to Madame Waffle. Miriam tries as inverted Aeropress.

  • 15g coffee
  • 140g hot water
  • stir
  • infuse for two minutes
  • extract

The coffee was not good. Hints of liquorice and fig.

Tried adding milk. Yuk.

This coffee should be far better. What is wrong? Pre-ground not fresh, grind too fine for Aeropress, poor quality beans, roast profile not good?

Opening the box

August 17, 2020

A delivery from Coffeelink, a Suffolk based roastery.

Inside the box

Wonderful aroma from the Ethiopian coffee within well designed packaging. Freshly roasted the previous week.

Contents currently at reduced prices from Coffeelink and with free delivery.

Over the next few days unpacking of the box and an exploration of its contents.

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