Posts Tagged ‘cappuccino’

Nick’s Coffee Bike

October 3, 2018

To find coffee worth drinking in Cyprus is a rarity.

To find specialty coffee in Larnaca in a street lined with every disgusting corporate chain can think of, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Coffee Island (Greek version of Starbucks), Ocean Basket (seafood equivalent of McDonald’s), where an independent coffee shop is made to look like a corporate chain and may as well be when serving LavAzza, to find good coffee, is like finding a pearl on the dirty grey beach, a cause to celebrate, to dance in the street.

And there it was a sign for Nick’s Coffee Bike, with a promise of specialty coffee and beyond the sign a bicycle, strictly speaking a tricycle, with Nick himself chatting to customers when not serving coffee.

The bicycle Nick had imported from Manchester, stripped and rebuilt.

Nick had learnt coffee by working coffee in Manchester the only way to learn.

The coffee he serves is from Has Bean, one of the top coffee roasteries in the UK.

A pouring jug from Coffee Lab in UK, designed by Dhan Tamang, UK latte art champion for six years author of Coffee Art.

Nick participated in a coffee throw down at TAKK a coffee shop in Manchester and came first. His prize was the pouring jug and the book.

I ordered a cappuccino. It was excellent.

I had been told Nick was one of the best baristas in Cyprus. I would not beg to differ. Knowledgeable and passionate about coffee.

A person of integrity, willing to take the risk to do something he believes in, to follow his dreams.

A risk that appears to be paying off.

A steady steam of customers, many greeted him as old friends even though he had only been there for a couple of months. One customer told me she was from Romania had tried the coffee yesterday and was back today, the first time she had found decent coffee in Cyprus.

The coffee cups in what must be a first for Cyprus are compostable.

Cyprus is an island, it is dependent on the sea. Plastic is killing the sea. Everywhere serves coffee in plastic, in plastic-lined cups.

At first I thought he was not in a good location. But on reflection this is an excellent location, as away from the ghastly chains and in front of Larnaca Marina.

A little way past the coffee bike exercise machines. An excellent idea.

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Kiosk

September 14, 2018

Kiosk a lovely little coffee shop in Fossgate I was recommended to try.

Fossgate is a little foodie mecca, three coffee shops cheek by jowl, The Fossgate Social opposite Kiosk, Spring Espresso nearby, next to Kiosk, what looked like an amazing food shop but no time to look in.

Kiosk did serve Maude and Dark Woods, both excellent coffee roasteries. That in itself sufficient recommendation. Now Assembly.

I order a cappuccino. Excellent.

It is very rare to have the perfect cappuccino, smooth, this was one of those very rare occasions. Assembly house espresso may also have played its part, as described as creamy.

On the walls art, on the shelves several magazines for sale. I recommend Standart and Drift.

Food is served, ask, and something will be knocked up.

Outside, three Chinese girls, excellent coffee, they take me at my word, and walk in.

From the questions one is asking of single origin, that she orders a V60, tells me, here is someone who knows her coffee.

We get into conversation, I learn she used to work for La Marzocco in China. She ask me for recommendations, I suggest several coffee shops, not only York, but also Old Town Hull, Lincoln and Nottingham. And further afield in Brighton and Winchester.

Craft Coffee

August 22, 2018

I usually give myself an hour to get across London to catch a train from King’s Cross, if lucky I can do it in half an hour. Today I gave myself an hour and a half. Why? I wished to visit the street food market and a coffee stall located somewhere behind the station.

I was looking for Noble Espresso. All I could find was a wooden counter with Craft Coffee written across it. Was this declaring what they served or the name of the stall?

Craft Coffee is the name of the stall. Nobel Espresso has sold up, moved on, and Craft Coffee had taken over their pitch.

Was their coffee as good? They hoped so.

I was served an espresso. It was excellent. A single origin coffee from Brazil roasted by Notes.

I asked why was their stall tucked behind the station not as would logically expect with the street food market. No gas or electricity which they need to power their stall.

Coffee Lab Chichester

July 13, 2018

Chichester is an old Roman town, the pedestrianised centre still follows the Roman Street plan, a medieval buttercross Chichester Cross in the centre, medieval side streets, surrounded by the Roman wall.

A town I thought where I would be spoilt for choice for coffee shops.

I was to be gravely disappointed.

Corporate chains a plenty, the pedestrianised centre ruined by corporate chains. Plenty of what were little more than greasy spoon cafes masquerading as tea rooms and coffee shops. But nowhere serving speciality coffee.

Then at the end of East Street and beyond, Draper’s Yard, well worth a visit, and within Edge an old Citroen van serving Edgcumbea Coffee. I tried cold brew and a cappuccino. Neither were good.

It was then to St Martins Coffee House which I had stumbled across earlier in the medieval streets in the North East Quarter between between North Street and East street for late lunch. A restored town house, wonderful garden out the back, a restaurant and not as the name would imply a coffee house.

Commenting on this, I was directed to Coffee Lab.

A couple of years ago Coffee Lab was one tiny coffee shop in a side street in Winchester serving excellent coffee. In the following two years, two more making it three in Winchester, pus a few more in other towns. Together with Flat Whites van and Flat Whites coffee shop, Winchester has become a thriving coffee city.

I have had my reservations, grave reservations, Coffee Lab opening several coffee shops, but I was not disappointed. The guys knew their coffee.

I was served an excellent cappuccino. I also tried their cold brew. It put to shame what I had tried at Edge aka Edgcumbes Coffee earlier.

I also noticed guest coffee.

Guest coffee is new for Coffee Lab, as until now all they have had is their Einstein and Hesienberg blends from The Roasting Party.

Chichester now has one coffee shop serving excellent coffee.

Cappuccino in Cosy Club

July 6, 2018

Cosy Club, not a place I would normally be seen dead in, a fake 1930s bar, a corporate chain. But I was curious they are sourcing coffee from Clifton Coffee.

How to get in? From the High Street, into Tunsgate, then into Tunsgate Quarter.

Tunsgate Quarter, a new shopping centre, artificial and sterile, boarded-up units, a few corporate chains, devoid of people. The glass ceiling turns it into a greenhouse, hotter than the street. The only positive, provides a useful short cut.

Nothing on this level other than a Nespresso stall. Did I want a Nespresso? No, I like coffee.

Down a spiral staircase. Again nothing. I find myself walking back into the High Street to find Cosy Club. Only you enter and climb the stairs.

I am surprised how large. Did I wish to be taken to a table? No, I will have a look around.

I decide on a seat by an open door leading onto a balcony, fresh air.

Cosy Club far worse than I expected, so fake it is a parody of fake.

At the bar, beers from industrial chemical factories. Only one real ale on a hand pump. No craft beers.

Has nothing been learnt from Wetherspoon? Apparently not.

I order a cappuccino. It is covered in chocolate. I send it back. A long wait for a second cappuccino, too large a mug, scalding hot, and yes, undrinkable.

The coffee is Clifton Village blend. Clifton are doing themselves no favours, not if they care for their reputation.

Do I wish to eat, do I wish to see the food menu? I decline.

It is then to Krema, where I have an excellent cold brew coffee.

Why is Guildford Tourist Information sending out tweets promoting Cosy Club? To date, I think nine, so many I am losing count. Yet another one today. Why did they tweet as a place for coffee? Is not the role of a tourist office to promote what is of interest locally, not as the PR office of a corporate chain? Is this an appropriate use of public money?

All the more ironic when on 4 July the launch of a month to celebrate independent businesses in Guildford.

Second Cup

June 3, 2018

Second Cup is a franchise scam, a specialty coffee franchise scam.

Why open a franchise, why not open an indie coffee shop?

I sort of get it. Well actually I do not, I cannot see why anyone wants to serve rubbish coffee, employ people who do not care about coffee. I sort of get it if open Starbucks or Costa, fools who do not like coffee will walk through the door. But an unknown name?

Franchise speciality coffee is an oxymoron.

The corporate website pushes the franchise, no mention of the coffee.

If opening a specialty coffee shop would open an indie coffee shop, would have gained experience. Or would employ experienced professional baristas.

Second Cup Paralimni is like walking into a McDonald’s of coffee. Ok if I am fair, Pret a Manger.

Despite the corporate feel, a reasonable ambience. Jazz playing, not the loud moronic noise blasting out elsewhere.

And the coffee?

The beans dark and overroasted.

The Q grade? After all this is supposed to be speciality coffee.

I am met by blank expressions.

I draw a Q. Q grade, Q for quality.

I explain all coffee is graded, explain cofee over 80 is speciality coffee.

I could be talking a foreign language. The guys try to be helpful but have not a clue what I am talking about.

They tell me the coffee is 100% arabica, but that is the extent of their knowledge.

The coffee cups are far too large, even the smallest is too large for a cappuccino.

I order a cappuccino. It is undrinkable. Too hot, bitter, mainly froth and foam. A long way down I find actual coffee.

When I place my order I am given an electronic device. What is this, they track me to my table? No, self service, it beeps and I collect my coffee. Completely and utterly pointless gimmick

I ask of V60. They understand, but no. A machine grinds and delivers filter coffee. Would I like? Er no thanks.

On a board, dark, medium roast, a few other options. No mention of origin.

On the back shelf rows of syrups which says it all.

The staff and service excellent, did their best but as a coffee shop Second Cup is a joke.

For speciality coffee, only one coffee shop in Paralimni, Robustos.

Cappuccino at Robustos

May 16, 2018

Following my visit to Robustos yesterday, I decided to revisit late afternoon today.

Today bearing gifts, copies of Caffeine, Cold Brew Coffee and guest coffees from Alchemy and The Barn.

George kindly brewed me a capuucino, one for him too, we then sat outside in conversation.

He surprised me when he said the espresso blend from Cup 10 contined a small percentage of Robusta, nevertheless the cappuccino was excellent.

Angel Coffee House revisited

April 29, 2018

When I last visited Angel Coffee House a year or so ago, it was grim, a dreadful place, noisy, sofas black with ingrained dirt, cushions with stuffing falling out, and the coffee awful, the bags of coffee stacked on the shelves well past its best.

Not a place I would recommend to anyone. I had been in better squats.

Shortly thereafter it closed, the place gutted.

I was told following refurbishment it had improved.

I would not usually return to somewhere this bad, but as I was passing by, I thought with much trepidation I would try.

The interior much improved, clean, very light and airy due to whitewashed walls.

The walls provide an excellent back drop to use as an art gallery, and many coffee shops are now doubling as art galleries.

I do not know for how long, an excellent exhibition of art by Charlotte Jane Kessler.

My eye was caught by kaffee form coffee cups. It looked like an exhibition of pottery.  I knew what it was, the first time though I have seen, let alone held and examined. Nor did smell of coffee as I expected. Nor as I expected a rough surface. No, smooth. The cups surprisingly light.

Kaffee form coffee cups are made of recycled coffee grounds. They are used for serving coffee. I asked could I have a coffee in one, was told no. If used, and if break, can be composted.

These coffee cups though are very expensive, espresso cup and saucer 15 euros, cappuccino cup and saucer 20 euros, which is why not likely to find in use in a coffee shop any time soon.  There is also a takeaway cup 15 euros, which puts in the same ballpark as KeepCup.

A coffee shop. How was the coffee?

It was better than before. It would have had to have been very bad to have been worse than before. OK, not great, not undrinkable, weak and insipid. And they did at least ask, did I wish for chocolate dumped on top. As mentioned in the current issue of Caffeine, chocolate is dumped on cappuccino to hide a multiplicity of barista sins. They need to examine their extraction and weigh the coffee not guess. If I was to give a ballpark, I would say not quite as good as 200 Degrees house blend, and it is not great.

The coffee is sourced from Forge in Sheffield.

Forge have committed the cardinal sin of what no reputable roastery would do, try to poach business from other coffee shops, not when they are sourcing from one of the best coffee roasteries in the country.

Angel Coffee House still has a fair way to go, but at least is heading in the right direction.

If compare with coffee shops in Lincoln, not in the same league as Coffee AromaMadame Waffle or Makushi aka Base Camp on Steep Hill, but better than Coffee Bobbins which was recently awarded best tea or coffee shop in Lincolnshire by Good Taste Lincolnshire (which makes a farce of awards) and of course far better than any of the corporate chains, Costa, tax-dodging Caffé Nero or Starbucks.

Cappuccino on St George’s Day

April 23, 2018

What better way to celebrate St George’s Day than a cappuccino in Madame Waffle, brewed using Red Brick roasted by Square Mile?

Well ok I could have had a single origin V60 pour over. I could have had a bottle of red wine from Melissonas Hill Vineyard.

 

Spring Espresso Lendal

April 20, 2018

What a difference walking down a street can make.

Excellent brunch at Burr Coffee, the coffee awful.

Is my sense of taste awry? No, bad coffee.

Spring Espresso Lendal serves coffee from Square Mile, Red Brick espresso blend and single origin.

I have yet to have a bad Square Mile coffee and Spring Espresso Lendal was no exception.

Excellent cappuccino, restoring my faith that my sense of taste had not gone awry.

Did they have guest coffees? Occasionally, but very rarely as always a changing guest coffee from Square Mile.

I noticed a Synesso espresso machine. Showing an interest, I was told the only one in the country, at least of that model. Spring Espresso have a second coffee shop in York with a different Synesso.

On the counter a small cold brew tower. I have never seen one so small, though unusual to ever see one in the UK.  It was dripping at one drip every two seconds through the coffee and into a carafe below. Eight hours.  Odd though to serve with tonic.