Posts Tagged ‘cappuccino’

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?

 

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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.

Burr Coffee

April 20, 2018

Alighting at York Station the final stop, wandering through  the streets, over a bridge over the River Ouse and into the city centre.

Passed a couple of coffee shops, one of which was Brew and Brownie, but too hot to sit inside.  Ended at York Minster, back tracked to Lendal and found Burr Coffee.

Excellent brunch at Burr Coffee, the same cannot be said of the coffee. The cakes looked tempting, but I did not try.

Looking at the menu outside, brunch field mushrooms and halloumi cheese with pine nuts on toasted sourdough bread. Generous portion size and excellent.

North Star Coffee on sale, espresso blend and single origin, though no single origin served, no pour over.

I have had North Star before at Canopy Coffee, not good, therefore was curious.

Cappuccino ordered. It was terrible, chocolate dumped on top, scalding hot, undrinkable.

I kept taking a tentative sip whilst eating my lunch, but my opinion did not change, it was terrible coffee.

I had been tempted to buy a bag of North Star coffee was not sure which, though my decision had been made for me, as apart from The Docks an espresso blend, the single origin which I would have preferred, was all too old.  Having experienced an awful coffee, I decided not.

Further down the street, Spring Espresso Lendal serving Square Mile Coffee.  What a difference a few steps can make.

Sometimes I wonder, is my sense of taste awry. I then have a decent cup of coffee, and realise no, I have been served bad coffee.

Burr Coffee has on sale The North and North Wales Independent Coffee Guide in which they are listed.  The listing opens up a whole can of worms. If not serving quality coffee, why are they listed? How independent is this guide, what credibility, when coffee shops are paying £500 to be listed?

Burr Coffee, excellent for lunch, not somewhere for coffee.  A cafe serving coffee, not a coffee shop serving food.

 

Wired

April 6, 2018

We’re quirky, we’re truly independent, we’ve got a La Marzocco… and we’re not afraid to use it! — Wired

As I excited Cobden Chambers in Reading, I noticed opposite, I did not notice before, Wired.

Appearances can be very deceptive. Wired looks like a greasy spoon cafe and I wondered what I was doing there, until I noticed serving Allpress, on display Standart, Drift, and London Coffee as reading material.

I had not had Allpress since Jimmy Bean vanished from Winchester.

Good reasons to stay.

I found a window seat and ordered a cappuccino. A sprinkling of chocolate, not enough to bother me and send it back.

Excellent, far better than the house blend at 200 Degrees (I have yet to try their guest espresso).

Down below a basement, better described as a basement lounge, as completely different in character to the ground floor.

A handful of seats outside.

I could, if ordered a takeaway, returned to Cobden Chambers.

In addition to Allpress,  guest single origin coffee for pour over, Craft House Coffee (Colombia and Costa Rica) and Pharmacia.

Craft House Coffee is based in Sussex, though I have never come across them in Brighton.

All the coffee was available to buy as coffee beans.

I was kindly given a sample of CHC Burundi for coffee cupping.

Synchronicty: I opened Standart an early edition of which I had not seen before. It opened at an article about Martin Hudak, who I met last year at the Union Summer Carnival.

The Drift, was an early edition, volume 3 the Havana edition.

The very first time I have seen Drift in the UK, apart from Magazine Brighton.

I was advised, try Ideas on Paper, it is from where all the coffee books and magazines came, they may have a copy, they keep back copies.

I did and found the Havana edition. I did not think to inquire of earlier editions or of earlier editions of Standart.

Synchronicty:  Next day reading the Havana edition, a tweet of the strange yellow taxis featured in Drift.

Very knowledgeable, pleasant and helpful barista, the manager, not the owner, the owner I did not meet.

 

Bar Unico

February 20, 2018

A bar serving coffee, a coffee shop?

Actually neither, Italian concept, there is not the distinction between a bar and a coffee shop, a bar will serve coffee and food.

I had been recommended try.

Low expectations, Italian coffee is dark, over roasted, and even Italians are beginning to recognise they have  a problem when a cup of coffee is served at one euro.

There are exceptions, Bar Italia in Soho for example.

I tried a cappuccino. Not as I expected, dark and over roasted. Served too hot and somewhat weak and insipid

I noticed bags of beans on sale. Roast date listed, where beans sourced from but nothing on where or who roasted by. Accountability, transparency, traceability is important. Every bean has a story to tell.

The aroma from one of the bags of beans pleasant.

Occasional live music.

Cappuccino at International Bomber Command Centre

February 11, 2018

Last visits to the International Bomber Command Centre were a couple of weeks ago when not yet open to the public, press day and a preview for veterans, I was curious what it was like now open to the public, what better way to find out than to drop in for a cappuccino.

Sunday roast dinner at the Butcher and Beast at Heighington, then on to the International Bomber Command Centre for a cappuccino.

I was pleasantly surprised on arrival to find how many cars parked in the car park, almost full.

Shocked to find have to pay £3 to park. This was a planning condition imposed by the local council. The money will go to the centre, but only I assume after covering the cost of the parking machines.

How to access by public transport I do not know.

There needs to be access from South Common, otherwise quite a trek if on foot.

Speaking with the Director, previous weekend, the first weekend open to the public,  was even busier, I think she said 1100 visitors.

Excellent news, as they need visitor numbers to make the centre viable and provide cash flow.

On entering the open plan reception area, I noticed cabinets arranged corralling a central area, books on sale, souvenirs, including bags of coffee and tea.

The range of books quite limited. I assume not long open, hopefully a wider selection in the near future.

My cappuccino, too hot, weak and insipid. Classic mistake to serve piping hot.

The coffee served, Bomber Command blend, is a blend from Brazil, supplied by Stokes, exclusive to IBCC.

The Bomber Command beans are on sale, but already ground. For freshness, beans have to be whole, ground on demand. Also essential when supply beans, the roast date, best by or use by is meaningless.

Information on the bag about a Bomber Command pilot from Brazil, but nothing about the beans, where sourced from in Brazil, Q grade, not even if Arabica or heaven forbid Robusta.

Also on sale Bomber Command tea, again exclusive to IBCC supplied by Stokes. Disappointingly, in tea bags, not loose leaf tea.

Café W

January 31, 2018

What used to be Ottaker’s in the High Street got taken over by Waterstone’s. It had a Costa, which has been replaced by Café W.

Ambience ok nearly always empty apart from a few working on laptops or reading books scavenged from the book shelves.

Girl serving pleasant enough though not a clue on coffee. I have never ever seen anyone pour out of the side of a pouring jug. She did at least ask did I want chocolate.

My cappuccino undrinkable. Served piping hot and a very unpleasant bitter taste indicating rubbish coffee.

The coffee Mathew Algie catering supply. A skilled barista would be pushed to do anything with this rubbish.

Yes, excellent Waterstone’s have kicked out Costa, but if running as your own coffee shop, at least buy in quality coffee, employ skilled baristas and buy a decent espresso machine and grinder. Otherwise why bother?

For excellent coffee in Lincoln try Coffee Aroma, Madame Waffle and Makushi.

Cappuccino at Vero

December 14, 2017

 

Yesterday late lunch at Caffe Macchiato. On leaving I check the bags of coffee. Roasted at Vero.

Hard to tell, the Ethiopian had a caramel aroma. If nothing else, indicated a light roast.

Hence cappuccino at Vero. I wished to try the Ethiopian.

I have only had a coffee a couple of times in the past, both times not good, the second time a marginal improvement, therefore at least heading in the right direction.

I would have liked to have tried the Ethiopian, but what was on offer was from Costa Rica. I could maybe have asked for the Ethiopian, but never very helpful, therefore stuck with the Costa Rican.

I asked were they now choosing a lighter roast. Sadly no intelligent response.

The bags at least give country of origin, the estate, but no roast date. Best by is meaningless. Contrast with Cupsmith, no roast date, no information, silly names.

My cappuccino not great, though an improvement on previous visits. Not helped by chocolate dumped on top. What is the point of serving single origin coffee if dunk chocolate on top, as any subtle flavours are lost?

Why do coffee shops not know, you do not dump chocolate on a cappuccino? Or if tempted at the very least ask.

I suggested why not a V60, but was met with a blank look and monosyllabic response.

Vero in addition to roasting and serving coffee, a wide selection of loose leaf tea. I counted 29 jars.

Vero potentially could  be a good coffee shop, at least heading in the right direction, but still a long way to go.

National Cappuccino Day in Coffee Lab

November 8, 2017

Where better to have a cappuccino on National Cappuccino Day than in Coffee Lab?

On my way down to Winchester I learn from Guildford Tourist Information that today is National Cappuccino Day. No one is aware of this, and neither was I.

The coffee shop they show is not somewhere I would recommend. Not unless you enjoy bad coffee and cigarette smoke blown in your face.  A cafe serving coffee masquerading as coffee shop.

If I were in Guildford there are better places for coffee.

Lucky for me, cappuccino in Coffee Lab Academy , though sadly no Dhan.

I had hoped to find Dhan, but he was nowhere to be found, I looked in both Coffee Lab and Coffee Lab Academy, but no Dhan. I returned to Coffee Lab Academy where it was warmer.

Both Coffee Lab and Coffee lab Academy have had a makeover, forced by change of logo. I like the new look.

Charming lady who I often chat with is pleased to see me.

I am surprised when she makes my coffee. I did not know she was a barista. She is very good.

I have a brief look at Coffee Art, a book by Dhan released a month ago. It looks worth having. None are signed.

A flapjack as well. I learn made in the Salisbury coffee shop.  Excellent.

If you wondered what really happens when a cappuccino is made, a clip from the BBC Archive.

Warehouse Speciality Blends

November 2, 2017

Quite a trek to find, and no it was not worth the effort.

More a trendy bar serving coffee than a coffee shop.

Service apalling.

A very long wait to be served. Had I not shouted at the waitress, I would still be waiting.

I would have walked out, the only reason I did not was, it would have been an entirely wasted trek to find.

And was the coffee worth the wait when It finally came? Sadly not.

Something like a third to half foam. On the top cold.

I was asked by the barista how was it? I replied not good.

They used to use Sapid coffee, now from their own roastery Wisecup.