Archive for the ‘NotoCosta’ Category

Cappuccino at Tamp kiosk

November 5, 2018

In front of Reading Minster, Tamp kiosk. I was not going to have a coffee, as last time it was not good and I poured down the drain. As I am chatting to them, I think only polite to have a coffee.

My cappuccino is little better than last visit, weak and insipid. I half drink then pour down the drain.

Coffee was roasted in Staffordshire, now roasted in Wales.


Cappuccino Coffee at 33

November 5, 2018

A cappuccino in Coffee at 33.

Very busy lunchtime. Usually I visit towards the end of the day.

Excellent cappuccino.

Cappuccino at Pelicano

November 5, 2018

I look in Pelicano before late lunch at Iydea.

They have changed the frontage. And not for the better.

Too busy to stay.

I will save as last port of call before catching my train.

Now dark, no one about.

Excellent cappuccino and coffee cake. Too large a portion for one, sufficient for two people to share. They pop in a box for me to takeaway.

The Longhouse

November 4, 2018

On my last visit to Brighton I found The Longhouse, but closed for renovation.

I decide to revisit.

Plant based should have set warning bells, a vegan place.

A cappuccino, not possible, only fake milk. And no it is not possible to make a cappuccino with fake milk. It will look disgusting and taste disgusting.

The best one can do is to use Oatley, the best of the fake milk, then blend in the pouring jug.

Vegan cakes are also disgusting.

If refusing to use real milk, then why use fake milk, offer V60 pour over. But not on offer.

Pleasant ambience, and nice cups made locally. These were also for sale.

It goes without saying I did not stay.

Owner suggested I take a coffee at the nearby supermarket. An odd suggestion, odd that is until I happened upon HISBE.

Coffee Cherry Artisan Coffee Shop

November 1, 2018

Weirdest experience ever in a coffee shop.

New coffee shop in Alton which I had passed some weeks ago with a sign promising artisan coffee.

Fancying a decent coffee I decided to pay a visit, even though out of my way on a cold wet November afternoon.

Coffee sourced from Union.

What was the coffee like?

I do not know.

Chatting with who I took to be the owner, she refused to serve me a cappuccino on the grounds I appeared to know a lot about coffee and she would not wish to disappoint me.

I then asked for a V60.

Again refused as on a high shelf and too much trouble to get down.

To say the least, her behaviour was bizarre.

Equally bizarre, her claim that the owner of Krema had helped her to establish the coffee shop, as he had not and it was news to him that he had.

The cafe, I would not call a coffee shop, screams fake. Fake plastic marble counter and table tops, wallpaper fake exposed brick wall. I was sat adjacent to a fake log fire giving out no heat.

Why bother? Why not use wood? But do not fake something that is not as will look cheap,

The day before, in Coviar white marble from Tinas, also green marble, maybe a darker marble too. In the restroom, a long marble wash basin.

No surprise the coffee shop empty.

It is not located in the centre of Alton, just outside, where footfall is not great, not that a lot better in the centre, Alton has all but died

It could be serves great coffee, but I was not permitted to discover.

The reviews on TripAdvisor all singing from the same hymn sheet, written by people who by their own admission frequent Caffe Nero or Costa.

What I did notice was the coffee was served in cups too large and the row of syrups on the shelf.  Both are a sign of bad coffee, or at least do not care about the coffee being served. It is what to expect in a cafe serving bad coffee, not in what is claimed to be an artisan coffee shop. Though sadly artisan has no meaning, as neither does gourmet, when  applied to coffee

80% of new businesses fail within the first 18 months. With a coffee shop, have a couple of weeks, maybe a month, to get it right, if not will fail. People will try. If good will return bring their friends, If not good, will not return will tell their friends not good,

I have spent several weeks with the elite of the coffee world, everyone knows everyone. What I find is openness, a desire to innovate, open minds, willingness to share. No one will say I do not wish you to try my coffee. Quite the opposite, try this, what do you think?

A speciality coffee shop is a welcome addition in any town, especially a dying town like Alton where there is no decent coffee, and once one arrives, others follow. The only way Alton will recover is by way of quality indie businesses, from the bottom up.

Aeropress cold dripped coffee at Coviar

November 1, 2018

What I refer to as Japanese iced filter, made using pour over for example V60 or Chemex, half the water as hot water poured from a swan-necked kettle, the other half ice in a carafe which instantly chills the hot coffee as it drips through, in Athens is known as cold dropped coffee. Not to be confused with a cold drip tower, where ice cold water drips through a bed of coffee at one drop a second.

In Coviar,  Christos Loukakis demonstrated a different method using an Aeropress.

The ice cold coffee poured into a glass containing ice, cloudy.

Why an Aeropress, why cloudy?

With the V60 it will not be cloudy, will be brighter. The Aeropress favoured as the cold coffee has more body.

In England, Aeropress rarely seen. Even less so in use. Are though starting to see more filter coffee.

In Athens Aeropress in use all the time, and for tea not coffee.

What is is called cold dripped coffee quite common.

Foyer espresso bar

October 30, 2018

Were it not for my walking into a shop selling dried fruit and nuts I would have walked past Foyer espresso bar without giving a second glance. One of many coffee shops. Had I given more than a second glance, I would have noticed a board offering guest coffee from one of the top roasteries in Europe.

The owner suggested, if I wished for a coffee, pop next door. I said no, I was on my way to Taf.

He agreed, Taf excellent coffee. Then I do not know who was the more surprised, me when he wrote out a list of coffee shops worth visiting, or he when I said I already had and added to his list.

He said he owned the coffee shop next door.

I said I would look in, but that was all I was gong to do as I was on my way to Taf, until I saw what they were serving, Standart on sale (the only place I have seen Standart on sale). The guest coffee they were sourcing from some of the best coffee roasteries in Europe.

I stayed and had a coffee. An excellent cappuccino.

I was then offered a V60 to try. A single origin from Ethiopia. Again excellent.

On leaving, a visit to second floor toilet, I passed through a lounge on the first floor, with boards on the stairs giving more information on the guest coffee.

Not in a pleasant location, on a very busy main road. On the other hand, for the coffee shop a good location for passing trade with university nearby.

On leaving, I popped back into the little shop and thanked the owner for his recommendation and for excellent coffee.

As I was leaving, a customer with Coffee Island takeaway in her hand. A suggestion. If pour down the drain, we will offer you a free coffee. If like, please come back, bring your friends.

Peek a Bloom

October 26, 2018

After a cappuccino at Just Made 33 I went in search of Peek a Bloom which is nearby.

Could I find? No.

Google maps showed in the middle of a block. Maybe Google maps wrong.

Then I walked down an ally and found at the end of the ally.

A bar cum coffee shop cum micro-roastery.

I was too tired to stay. I then decided to stay and ordered a V60.

So long to arrive that I assumed had forgot and cancelled my order and left.

Sister coffee shop of Mind the Cup. Of the two I prefer Mind the Cup.

Mind the Cup has atmosphere which Peak a Bloom lacks

I was surprised they roast when roast at Mind the Cup and have skilled coffee roaster at Mind the Coffee. I assumed all the roasting carried out at Mind the Cup. Consistency?

Poor choice of coffee compared compared with Mind the Cup and beans on sale not on open display as Mind the Cup.

Cappuccino at Just Made 33

October 26, 2018

The baristas of last year all appear to have left. And it shows. The female barista I met several days ago, not there.

A cappuccino and a cake.

I then went in search of Peek a Bloom which is nearby. Could I find?

No. Or at least I did eventually, hidden down an alley.


October 26, 2018

The only reason I went in search as featured by The Life Lab in their excellent short film Favorite Coffee Shops in Athens. No barista or coffee shop had recommended I try.

I had tried several day ago, could not find, but when checked I saw where to find.

Today on my way to Just Made 33 I tried again.

Not worth trying to find, which explains why no one has recommend to me, and when I ask, do not know what I am talking about.

A bar tucked in the entrance to a mall, nothing more. A bar serving corporate coffee.