Archive for the ‘NotoCosta’ Category

Tarrant Street Espresso

August 3, 2018

In Arundel, we look in a few coffee shops, catering supply coffee.

We find Tarrant Street Espresso. It is closed. It is a little after 3-30.  What sort of place is this? He closes at four, but today early. We make do with a takeaway. For Square Mile Red Brick espresso blend it is a disappointment. The coffee shop more of a kiosk.

Best of a bad bunch.

Coffee shops serving catering supply coffee. Could get away with this five years ago, not today with discerning coffee drinkers.


V60 Japanese iced filter coffee at Coffee Lab Chichester

August 3, 2018

Far too hot for a cappuccino.

I had passed Coffee Lab earlier on my way to the farmers market.

They have bagged the beans, cold brew not brewed, make me a Japanese iced coffee.

Half the water than usual fora V60, the other half as ice in the carafe.

As the hot coffee drips through, instantly chilled by the ice.

First wash the filter.

Let the ground coffee bloom to reelase CO2.

Continue to pour.



July 29, 2018

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.

V60 Japanese iced filter coffee at Krema

July 27, 2018

Today a hot day, not as hot as Thursday when it hit 35.1 C, but still a very hot day.

Did I want cold brew? No, I would have V60 Japanese iced filter coffee, and showed how to make it.

Ratio of water to ice 1:1. Half the usual amount of water, the other half as ice in the carafe. As the hot coffee drips through instantly chilled by the ice.

Served in an ice cold glass out of the fridge.

Not cold brew, nor the same as a V60, brewed with hot water then chilled.

Very refreshing on a hot day.

This was 50:50 hot water to ice. May wish to try a ratio of 3/2.

Brewed with a Kenyan single origin from Horsham Coffee.

Possibly better with a high Q grade Colombian, or better still Panama Geisha.

Last word to James Hoffman.


Afternoon in Guildford

July 27, 2018

Another very hot day. Though not as hot as yesterday when 35.1C.

Stopped at FCB kiosk cappuccino Origin guest coffee.

I learnt FCB are going to set up their own coffee roastery, to which I was invited to visit.

Lunch at Pho, fake Vietnamese restaurant, a pleasant day and can sit outside.

Service at Pho is not poor, it is non-existent. A very long wait, maybe half an hour before anyone came to take an order. They could at least have brought a drink. In the top coffee shops in Athens it is the norm to bring ice cold water as soon as take a seat.

Order taken, another long wait before food arrived. Drinks were not brought until food was delivered.

As eating, heavy thunder, then lightning, followed by heavy rain. To their credit, staff rushed out and helped carry things indoors. And replaced my drink.

Another long wait for bill to be brought. In the end it had to be asked for.

In gaps in the rain, dash across to Krema.

Did I want cold brew? No, I would have V60 Japanese iced filter coffee, and showed how to make it.

The Brewhouse Project

July 25, 2018

The Brewhouse Project is a joint crowdfunded venture between Edgcumbes Coffee and Arundel Brewery.

Should they raise the funds they wish to create a café, roastery and brewery located on a site outside Arundel serving and selling craft beer and freshly roasted speciality coffee.

It will be possible to drink a coffee and smell the beans being roasted, drink a beer and see it being brewed.

It is hoped to have a food truck at weekends and evenings.

Union Hand-Roasted Coffee supply coffee to British Airways

July 24, 2018

Union Hand-Roasted Coffee are supplying coffee to British Airways for serving from automated machines in airport lounges and by stewards on their flights.

This is is not good news, indeed it is very bad news.

It is not good news if care about coffee, if Union care about their reputation, if care about the planet.

Global warming is killing coffee. The only people who will be able to afford coffee, the 1%, the very same people sitting in airport lounges pontificating on the delights of Union coffee being served by British Airways, now BA as not British owned.

Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gases. Does Union really wish their name to be linked to a major climate polluter?

In the northern hemisphere we are seeing record high temperatures this summer. This is not the new norm, this is the beginning of relentless rise in global temperatures as climate change kicks in.

How are Union to explain to the poor farmers when their crops fail due to rising temperatures that they were a willing party?

Supply coffee to other than speciality coffee shops harms the reputation of Union. On the other hand, if profit is the driving motive, then maybe a good deal.

Union supply coffee to Waitrose. On the shelf can be found coffee at least two months old. If lucky, only a month old.

Union supply coffee to Gail’s Bakery. The coffee at Gail’s Farnham is undrinkable.

Clifton Coffee supply coffee to Cosy Club. A corporate chain of fake 1930s bars, so fake a parody of fake. The coffee served in Cosy Club Guildford is undrinkable.

Jamie Oliver has a coffee kiosk at Gatwick serving Italian corporate brand coffee, barely drinkable coffee. A tragedy. With many excellent coffee roasteries locally the coffee kiosk could be used to showcase excellent local coffee.

If care about reputational damage, take care where supply coffee.

Yet one of life’s ironies, Grocer and Grain in Brighton, the owner passionate about coffee, has a good range of coffee on the shelves, including Union, but that on the shelves not as fresh as could be, he would love to serve Union coffee, but Union will not supply, therefore obtained through a third party, thus that on the shelves not as fresh as he would like it to be.

How not to social media

July 24, 2018

A classic example of how not to by Canopy Coffee.

Pictures posted to twitter via Instagram are not visible on twitter.

Always post pictures direct to twitter, assuming that is the reason for posting pictures to social media is wish pictures to be seen.

Scroll down the Canopy Coffee twitter feed and all that is seen is er, nothing.

It is a reasonable assumption that in posting pictures Canopy Coffee did wish the pictures to be seen, otherwise why go to the trouble of posting.

How not to use social media. Pictures posted to twitter via instagram are not visible on twitter. Always post pictures direct to twitter, assuming that is the reason for posting pictures to social media is wish pictures to be seen.

Redber coffee tasting at Steamer Trading

July 22, 2018

I avoid town centres on a weekend. On Saturday Guildford was packed.

The only reason I was in Guildford, coffee tasting at Steamer Trading, a kitchenware shop.  Coffee provided by Redber, a local coffee roastery.

The choice on offer of coffee beans seriously over roasted, dark black and oily, a dark roast and a medium roast.

A cappuccino was made in an automated expensive domestic espresso machine. Price well over a thousand pounds. Pour the beans in the top, the machine will automatically tamp the ground beans, extract, even has a wand for steaming the milk.

The result looked disgusting, tasted disgusting, an unpleasant bitter coffee.

These machines are a  complete waste of money. If you want an espresso, flat white or cappuccino, go to an indie coffee shop where they serve speciality coffee, have the gear in which to make it, and employ skilled baristas.

And do not part money for a Nespresso machine, expensive low quality coffee, the pods bad for the environment.

If wish to see how bad Nespresso, take a Nespresso off the stall in Tunsgate Quarter, I am assuming free, do not part with money, then visit Krema in Tunsgate and try a cappuccino.

As I walked in I noticed rCup on sale. Not recommended, not barista friendly.

I am not sure what was the purpose of the coffee tasting. Was it to showcase the coffee or the machine? It was a dismal failure either way.  And if to bring people in, also a failure as I was the only one taking an interest.

Edgcumbes Coffee

July 21, 2018

Edgcumbes Coffee is a coffee roaster and tea blender located in a barn middle of nowhere somewhere outside Arundel.

I had tried their coffee, cold brew and a cappuccino off their coffee truck at Draper’s Yard in Chichester. To say the least neither was very good. I was also less than impressed not possible to pay cash.

I decided to pay them a visit. They are not in Arundel, the nearest station Ford, then a trek along country lanes with a risk of being run down.

To get from Chichester where I had lunch at St Martins Coffee House (excellent lunch but awful coffee), it necessitated a change of trains to get to Ford.

Alighting at Ford, I found myself in the middle of nowhere. Walking along the country lanes on a very hot day, I questioned why was doing this, especially as no idea would find them open.

Eventually I located the barn, half a dozen people sat outside in a courtyard, I assumed drinking coffee, though could have been tea.

If people were willing to visit middle of nowhere for a  tea or coffee, then must be worth it.

A large barn one side of the courtyard which housed the roasting operation, on the other side a coffee shop, The Edge Cafe.

I was greeted by a very helpful young man, with which I had an interesting conversation long after they had closed.

He made me a cold brew and a cappuccino. Both were far superior than I had had off their coffee truck in Chichester, good but not as good as Coffee Lab.

I questioned why brew the cold brew for 72 hours, to then water down?

I would have liked to have tried one of their single origins as V60, but the filter papers could not be located.

V60 is a must, maybe also Chemex and Japanese syphon if to showcase their single origin coffee.

I suggested they have a stall on the local farmers market in Chichester, first and second Friday of the month. There is a stall from a local coffee roastery The Crafted Coffee Company, but I was not impressed, coffee beans in the midday sun, the woman manning the stall singularly unhelpful.

If they do obtain a pitch, then use their coffee truck. It will be absence from Draper’s Yard twice a month, but will help publicise Draper’s Yard and help all the excellent indie businesses located there.  It is absolutely essential a skilled barista and someone who knows their beans manning the stall and the van if they wish to showcase their coffee in Chichester.

A quick look at their roastery.

I came away with bags of beans, a sample of tea, and at £7 a very expensive bar of chocolate.

The chocolate I tried when I arrived home. Excellent, but then had to be at £7 a bar.

The beans, a lovely aroma. Four bags of beans neatly fits inside one of their paper carrier bags.

I learnt of The Brewhouse Project, a joint crowdfunded project with Arundel Brewery.