Archive for the ‘NotoCosta’ Category

Cappuccino in Makushi

March 15, 2017

A lovely warm sunny spring day.

A walk up Steep Hill, then on the way back down, coffee at Makushi.

Different to last week, different barista, different beans.

Makushi change their beans roughly every month.

Interesting conversation with fellow coffee drinkers and the barista.

Makushi roast their own single origin beans and unlike undrinkable coffee from Costa, the beans are not over-roasted and burnt.

Barista recommended I try The Plant Room in Brighton. Not a coffee shop I am familiar with.

Other places to try coffee in Lincoln:

  • Stokes on High Bridge
  • Coffee Aroma
  • The Little Bicle Coffee Shop

One to avoid, Angel Coffee House.

Henry’s tea room, marginal.

Had I had time, I would have popped in The Cheese Society and picked up some cheese.

Plenty of people wandering around, High Street was packed.

Cappuccino in Coffee Aroma

March 9, 2017

Lovely sunny spring day.

A few minutes stroll by South Common.

Today was the first day I have ever found St Swithin’s open. Only because a group was holding a meeting. When I passed by later, it was not open.

Deressing to see how the inside of the church has been ruined, and that they allow the malignancy of Alpha to enter the church.

Quick chat at The Little Bicycle Coffee Shop.

Followed by an excellent cappuccino at Coffee Aroma.

Coffee Aroma has been ordered to remove its tables and chairs by four in the afternoon. A pedestrianised street through which motorised traffic is allowed after that time.

So concerned are useless jobsworth at Lincolnshire County Council, who lack the common courtesy to put a name to e-mails, with public safety, they have ordered Coffee Aroma to remove their tables and chairs by four in the afternoon, but not so concerned to actually stop motorised vehicles, cars,  vans, huge lorries, to drive through the pedestrianised city centre.

As I was drinking my coffee, sometime between 1215 and 1220, white van man drove through, with Chub Community written down the side of the van, but ok, he had his hazard lights flashing.

Cappuccino in Makushi

March 7, 2017

A pleasant sunny morning to walk up Steep Hill.

High Street follows Ermine Street, an old Roman road, as does The Strait, as does Steep Hill.

Makushi is well located, half way up Steep Hill, but I prefer to drop in on my way back down.

Excellent cappuccino.

Today a different barista, noticeably different coffee.

On my way back down, Cornish yarg from The Cheese Society.

A new coffee shop opening at the bottom of The Strait, it what until recently a deli,and before that a second outlet for The Cheese Society.

Neither did well, lack of footfall. Wrong location for a coffee shop, beginning of the climb, not halfway up.

Advertising for baristas. Hmm, if opening a coffee shop, that should have already been sorted. If know nothing about coffee, forget it, there are sufficient number of outlets serving bad coffee.

Caffè Nero dodge tax

February 26, 2017

Caffè Nero has joined the growing list of tax dodgers, which includes Starbucks.

Coffee shop chain Caffè Nero paid no corporation tax in the UK last year, despite ringing up profits of £25.5m.

Companies House filings show turnover at Caffè Nero grew 6.7 per cent to £257.6m as it opened 31 stores over the year.

Caffè Nero has not paid UK corporation tax since 2007 and came under criticism last year for not paying corporation tax in 2015 on profits of £23.6m.

Starbucks has also faced backlash in the past over alleged tax avoidance, but has since changed the structure of its company and paid an £8.1m UK corporation tax bill in 2015.

It is unfortunate Caffè Nero now own Harris + Hoole – Tolley, Tolley and Tolley having sold the staff down the river. They did the same to Taylor St Barista staff when they closed the coffee shop in Brighton.

In both cases, these excellent coffee shops, especially Taylor St Barista in Brighton and Harris + Hoole in Guildford, could have been made available to their staff and customers to run as open coops, but that would not have satisfied the greed of Tolley, Tolley and Tolley.

The solution is simple, avoid disgusting coffee in Costa, tax dodging Starbucks and Caffè Nero and support local indie coffee shops.

Cappuccino at Makushi

February 20, 2017

I walked up Steep Hill, then on the way back down, cappuccino at Makushi.

Today different beans, today from Honduras.

Cappuccino and latte at Stokes on High Bridge

February 16, 2017

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

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.

Cappuccino in Makushi

February 13, 2017

A pleasant sunny day, though very cold in the shade with a  bitter cold wind blowing.

I decided, walk up Steep Hill to the top, then if I had time, a cappuccino in Makushi on the way back down.

Steep Hill surprisingly very busy, as was the High Street. It was like Christmas and New Year. I assume because school half term.

Makushi though was surprisingly not busy.  I sat by the window. It often works, people do not go in a  place that looks empty. And yes it did work, a steady stream of customers.

My cappuccino was excellent, but and a curious but.

In many ways a perfect cappuccino, only had like this in Coffee Lab and a couple of other places, but, and it has been three times now, an excellent cappuccino, but always a strange taste within the cappuccino.

Why I do not not know.

The Little Bicycle Coffee Shop down in the town has exactly the same coffee beans, roasted the same way, and yet never has this strange taste. And last week, following my suggestion, the cappuccino was better, though Makushi even better but for the strange taste.

At the back of Makushi, in a back room, there is an undercroft. It has always been occupied when I have visited previously. I guess if you know it is there, a good place to sit, and not everyday can have a coffee in an undercroft.

But, luckily for me, today not occupied.

A long table down the middle, coffee books and coffee mags on a shelf at the back, and as I walked in a bookcase of books.

Whether can take the books or for show I do not know, as I did not ask, but they looked as though there for people to read.

Maybe they ought set up as a BookCrossing zone.

Walking back down very cold.

A car decided ok to drive through the lower half of top end of High Street cos I am a Hermes driver delivering. No, it is not ok, and your are a mug working for Hermes.

But, in the High Street there is a problem. A pedestrianised street and yet after four o’clock lorries allowed to drive through.

After four o’clock the High Street was packed and yet vans and lorries are allowed to drive through.

Coffee Aroma has been ordered to remove its tables and chairs by four o’clock.

Who is causing the problem and a danger to the public, Coffee Aroma or Lincoln City Council and Lincolnshire County Council, with bad town centre planning and allowing cars, vans and lorries through the city centre?

Last week, I was almost run down at four o’clock by a white van as I walked by Coffee Aroma with their tables and chairs neatly stacked up.

Cappuccino from The Little Bicycle Coffee Shop

February 9, 2017

Independents are thriving and Lincoln is full of them and I want to continue that trend. — Matthew Deyn, The Little Bicycle Coffee Shop

It’s just one of those things I have had a passion for. There’s the social aspect of serving customers and also the speciality grade coffee. I taste coffee like people taste wine. — Matthew Deyn, The Little Bicycle Coffee Shop

I thought today I would continue trying different coffee shops, always a risky venture, as never know what will be served.

I was going to try Cafe W, the new coffee shop in Waterstone’s, which I have yet to try. They kicked out Costa which was a smart move.

Then I thought, no, I will walk up to Makushi half way up Steep Hill.

I stopped for a chat at The Little Bicycle Coffee Shop, and that was as far as I got.

It was though, a good move,  I had an excellent cappuccino.

I asked that it be made differently. Instead of one shot, I had two shots.

My first sip, maybe too strong. I was wrong, it was perfect.

Prices too have now improved. £2-80 a cappuccino was too high for a stall, pushing it for a coffee shop. Now £2-60. Better.

A chat with a few of the customers. They were very impressed with their coffee.

The Little Coffee Shop source their roasted beans from Makushi, which are also on sale.

Several different brew methods.

A quick visit to the market and Sincil Street, then a look in Waterstone’s.

An illustrated Alice on display.

As I walked past Stokes on High Bridge on the dot of four o’clock, I notice literally empty, not a single person enjoying a tea or a coffee.

Coffee Aroma had their tables and chairs stacked up. By edict of Lincolnshire County Council. The problem is not Coffee Aroma with tables and chairs outside their coffee shop. The problem is traffic allowed in a pedestrianised street.

It is time to consider the launch of an indie coffee shop chain disrupter loyalty card.

A bit of a mouthful, though the concept is simple enough.

Quality indie coffee shops, for example Stokes, Coffee Aroma, Makushi, The Little Bicycle Coffee Shop, launch a joint loyalty card. To have  a free coffee, would have to show had been stamped by at least three of the participants, and would  be taken at one of the coffee shops where stamped.

New participants could join the scheme, but they would have to be approved, show they source quality beans, traceable to the finca or farm, had skilled baristas who take a pride and were knowledgeable on the coffee they served.

The card itself could be  a collectors item, featuring on one side an illustration or quote related to Lincoln.

Each new card, a local artist or designer. Sharing, collaborative commons, they would not be paid, but would be entitled to free coffee at any of the participants for the duration of the card.

Cappuccino in Stokes on High Bridge

February 2, 2017

Service in Stokes is deteriorating. It was not good a couple of weeks ago when  I had a coffee, today even worse.

Long wait until my my order was taken, then another long wait. Even the lady at the adjacent table commented how slow, that at least twenty minutes had passed by.

No explanation, no apology for the piss-poor service. And not even excuse that it was busy. Stokes is never busy these days. It used to be very busy, if not there before ten in the morning, would be waiting for a table.

And was it worth the long wait?

The latte was nowhere near what it would usually look like.

And my cappuccino, looked as though someone who did not know what they were doing, or did not care, or it was rushed.

No coffee shops I frequent, would not serve a cappuccino looking like this. I have had far better cappuccinos served, then taken back, with an apologetic barista saying not good enough.

Taste wise, it was good.

Pleasant chat with the lady at the next table. We were discussing local coffee shops.

I suggested try Coffee Aroma around the corner. She knew of but had never tried.

I also said try Makushi, the new coffee shop half way up Steep Hill.

The one place I said do not try, The Angel Coffee House, the place lacks any ambience, the chairs are threadbare and filthy, the coffee looks disgusting and tastes disgusting.

As she was interested in coffee I suggested check out No to Costa.

On leaving I saw Stokes now has on sale Northern Independent Coffee Guide.

Stokes did not make the first edition. Which I thought was a major omission. They are in the second edition, but if they let their standards slip, I cannot see them making the third edition.

On my way, I passed the guy with The Little Bicycle Coffee Shop in the grotty shopping Arcade opposite Stokes. Another location for good coffee, The Little Bicycle Coffee Shop that is not the grotty shopping arcade.

Cappuccino in Makushi Coffee Shop

January 24, 2017

I tried Makushi a couple of weeks ago.

Passing The Little Bicycle Coffee Shop, he suggested visit Makushi.

Good idea, I just had time to walk half way up Steep Hill and back.

Wonderful ambience inside.

From the outside, it does not look anything special, nor do you have the impression of how old.

Whitewashed walls, stonework projecting through, excellent use of off cuts of wood.

The wood off cuts also used for wonderful solid wooden tables.

Further in, another room, then beyond that an undercroft.

Upstairs leads to a terrace, though at the moment not open.

Dog friendly.

Excellent cappuccino, but …

When I had a cappuccino a couple of weeks ago, the cappuccino had an unpleasant taste, that left an unpleasant aftertaste.

Today, no unpleasant taste, but did have a strange taste.

Makushi roast beans and supply The Little Bicycle Coffee Shop.

Cappuccino from The Little Bicycle Coffee Shop lacks the strange taste, though their preparation of the coffee slightly different, also use a different machine, and one shot not two.

Something that needs further investigation.

Prices are a little on the high side, £2-80 for a cappuccino, £5 for a bowl of soup.

Makushi is located half way up Steep Hill. Below where once was the excellent Readers Rest, sadly no more. The two would have complimented each other.

The strange name? Apparently Makushi is the name of a tribe in the Amazon, who the owner, who I met and complimented for the work on the building,  had spent time with learning survival skills, and with had his first experience of coffee.