Posts Tagged ‘coffee’

Cappuccino and granola bar in Gail’s

July 22, 2017

Not long after Gail’s opened last year, I had a cappuccino. It was not good.

I have been tempted to try again, to see if improved, on the other hand I hate throwing good money after bad.

Today, was one of those days.

Cappuccuno and  a granola bar.  Neither were good.

The granola bar was hard and dried up. Either made that way, or left out all day and had dried up. Not good for what claims to be an artisan bakery.

I think that claim is to try and justify the extortionate prices, rather than a measure of quality. £2-95 for a small wholemeal loaf.

The cappuccino did not look great, the taste was equally unappetising. It was bitter, far too hot.

There is no excuse, they have Union Hand-Roasted Coffee, an expensive La Marzocco espresso machine. The problem lies with the staff making the coffee, who are completely clueless on coffee.  I would hate to call them ‘baristas’ as it would be to insult baristas.  It is rare to ever see the same staff twice.

Bags of Union coffee are prominently displayed. It is not giving Union a good name.

I then visited Krema, the only coffee shop in Farnham capable of making coffee where at least I knew I would find a half-decent cappuccino.

Afternoon in Farnham

July 22, 2017

Coolish start, then once it rained, turned cold.

Had I left when not raining, but as I was about to leave, heavy rain, but even if I had, the rain  would have caught me later

Bus driver Aldershot to Farnham got lost, turned off the road for some inexplicable reason. Then had difficulty turning the bus around.  Not helped by parked cars and motorists not giving the driver sufficient room to manoeuvre. I think he thought he was on a different route. Easily done I suppose.

I would usually alight from the bus and walk alng the river and up through Gostrey Meadow into Farnham. Not today, running late, and may get caught in a heavy downpour.

Made it to the butcher, luckily they had not closed early.

No soup in Gail’s, but at least they had taken the sign down. Very little of anything.

I tried a cappuccino and granola bar. Cappuccino not good, granola bar dry.

Gail’s a little busier than usual, very noisy, loud moronic music blasting out, noisy out of control children.  I was glad to leave.

At least a  decent cappuccino and flapjack in Krema.

V60 Japanese iced coffee

July 18, 2017

V60, as with Chemex, is a pour over filter coffee.

Pour hot water, just off boiling, over the ground coffee, collect below.

The difference with Japanese iced coffee, is that the hot coffee drips straight into a jug of ice to be immediately chilled.

Note: This is not cold brew coffee. Cold brew coffee is made with cold not hot water, made over a period of hours, not minutes.  For more on cold brew coffee see Cold Brew Coffee.

Pour hot water into the V60 filter, then discard. This cleans the filter and for a hot coffee warms the jug cf warming the tea pot.

Note: To appreciate why cleanse the filter. Fill two mugs with hot water, into one place a filter paper.  Leave for four minutes. Taste the water in both mugs.

Pour water in concentric spiral to wet the ground coffee.

Pause, then pour water again in concentric spiral over the wet grounds.

Pour and enjoy.

Unfortunately a takeaway used. KeepCup would have been better, better still a glass suited to Japanese chilled coffee.

Coffee used was Pacamara Natural de El Salvador.

Special thanks to the ever helpful baristas at Coffee Island in Covent Garden for indulging me and making a Japanese iced coffee.

 

Bar Italia

July 18, 2017

In the back of Real Fresh Coffee are two pages, easily missed, of famous cafés, only five listed, of which Bar Italia in Soho is one.

Established  in 1949 by Lou and Caterina Polledri, Bar Italia in Soho is claimed to be the oldest coffee shop in London.

It was from here on 26 January 1926 at 22 Frith Street, though not then a coffee shop, John Logie Baird made his first TV broadcast, the first TV broadcast in the world.

It took me a while to find Frith Street in Soho then Bar Italia.

Italians are infamous for awful coffee, and were it not for the mention in Real Fresh Coffee, I would not have sought it out, and even then it was with trepidation, wondering was this to be another wasted journey when pushed for time.

Walking through the door, very much entering a time warp, 1950s, or maybe 1960s, then ruined by the large widescreen TV occupying most of the back wall.

Italian coffee is that awful coffee found in Costa and tax dodging Caffe Nero.

I ordered a cappuccino, expecting the worse, look awful, made with chocolate dumped on top to disguise how awful.

I was pleasantly surprised, a well crafted cappuccino.

A pleasant late afternoon, very warm, a helpful waitress escorted me to a table outside an Italian restaurant.

What did it taste like?

It was excellent. One of the best coffees in London.

Inside, a wide range of delicious looking cakes, and savoury food too.

Next time, maybe lunch here.

An ancient cash till, equally ancient espresso machine, maybe both original when the coffee shop opened.

On the back wall, a large signed poster of Rocky Marciano, donated by his widow.

I asked of the coffee. Their own blend roasted for them.

Very much old Soho, much of which greed has destroyed in the last decade.

Coffee House at 62 Haydon Place

July 14, 2017

I had popped in Food for Thought, where I was recommended a new coffee shop further down the street. After a wasted journey to Oxfam Bookshop to see if they had any coffee books, they had not, I decided to check it out.

From North Street head off down the street passed Food for Thought, keep on going, past Waitrose, and there on the corner, opposite Waitrose car park, 62 Haydon Place.

Nicely laid out.  Outside seating.

Coffee is Square Mile. Also guest coffee.  During my visit two guest coffees from Glen Lyon Coffee Roasters, a blend and an Ethiopian coffee.

They tell me they wish to have guest coffees.

I suggest try Karuna Coffee.  Also Ethiopian Coffee Roasters.

I mention Caravan, which I had found in The Deli at 80 last week in Finsbury Park. I am told a very good coffee, which confirms my thoughts. If a competent barista, then would be very good.

I am offered the guest coffee., the Ethiopian single origin.  I find a little over roasted, and at the same time, a little weak. Maybe it was only one shot.  I would have preferred the Square Mile.  Ethiopian coffee from Ethiopian Coffee Roasters is better.

Whilst there, I notice a constant flow of people, more than I ever see at Surrey Hills Coffee, which when I pass by is always empty. 62 Haydon Place is out of the way, apart from opposite Waitrose, therefore must be spreading by word-of-mouth, which is how I learnt, as I would never have known of otherwise, which is good news.

They close at five. I suggested six, maybe even seven, for the summer.

The big problem with Guildford, the little coffee shops close at five which is far too early. They stand at the door turning customers away, which is bizarre.  Why does anyone turn away business? But I accept, long hours if open at eight in the morning to catch the morning trade. Winter is different close at five.

There are too many coffee shops opening that know nothing about coffee. Esquires Coffee is a good example. If wish for rubbish undrinkable coffee, we have Costa, Caffe Nero and tax-dodging Starbucks. It is therefore always good to find a coffee shop opening where they are passionate about coffee.

Definitely a coffee shop to visit in Guildford.

Now have four places for coffee, FCB coffee kiosk on Guildford Station, Harris + Hoole in North Street and Dylan’s ice cream at The Village.

I am calling 62 Haydon Place. I had to go back and ask, what is this coffee shop called? It is actually called Canopy, but I think 62 Haydon Place is a far better name, and as it is writ above the shop in gold lettering, I think that is what they should call it.

If 62 Haydon Place are regularly changing the guest coffee, meanwhile Food For Thought who recommended the coffee shop are looking for recommendations of quality coffee to stock, why not an informal arrangement whereby Food For Thought stock the guest coffee, direct to the Coffee House to taste, and vice a versa the Coffee House direct to Food for Thought to buy the beans.

Iced latte in Caffe Macchiato

July 10, 2017

Maybe third time lucky.

A couple of  weeks ago I had an iced latte in Caffe Macchiato.

The following week a variant on what I had the previous week.

This afternoon, a further variant

Two weeks ago, milk, ice cream, two shots espresso, ice, mixed in a blender, poured into a glass, add a straw.

Last week, as before, but no sugar. I was not aware before sugar had been added. The espresso at least ten minutes in  a freezer to chill.  Add to blender as before, but not the espresso. Pour into the glass, then add the espresso. This should achieve a marbled effect as the espresso is added. It did not, practice required. Then add straw.

This afternoon, ice in the glass, blend milk and ice cream in the blender, pour into glass, then add two shots of espresso, which has been chilled in freezer for at least ten minutes.

This was best to date. Improvement in taste and appearance. Practice required to perfect the marbled appearance.

 

Cold brew coffee at FCB kiosk

July 7, 2017

A couple of weeks ago, FCB kiosk at Guildford Station was experimenting with cold brew coffee. They were using their FCB espresso blend. I suggested use the Kenyan coffee they have as a guest coffee from Horsham Coffee Roasters. They have heeded my suggestion.

It is now available in a bottle from the fridge.

Straight out of the bottle, excellent. On ice not quite so good. The ice waters it down. If to serve with ice, need to make cold brew with half the water the other half is in the ice.

Begs the question why is Harris + Hoole serving rubbish nitro brew coffee out of a can when they could be serving cold brew coffee?

Affogato Dylan’s ice cream

July 7, 2017

An affogato at Dylan’s ice cream in The Village.

A dollop of vanilla ice cream, a single shot of espresso, Ideally a double shot, but would not have fitted in the tub.

It was excellent, though I was left with a  liquid mess in the bottom of the tub.  Maybe I should have eaten sooner, as very hot day, over 30C.

Boulangerie Bon Matin

July 4, 2017

A coffee shop  cum fancy cake shop in Finsbury Park.

What does it say of nitro cold brew coffee when have to add syrup?

What does it say when it needs a whole page ad in Caffeine to promote the ghastly stuff?

Matter of personal taste, come and visit us.

A trek on an awful jammed-in-like sardines Tube journey from Covent Garden, when I could have relaxed in Monmouth Coffee where guaranteed a decent coffee.

A pleasant job done on the interior, but sadly not coffee to match.

Stripped back bare  brick walls out the back, at a  guess a covered in yard. In many ways though a pity as no outside seating out the back.

Interesting art by David Bage on the walls, though only interesting because copies of original works, and it is difficult to see how an unknown artist can justify prices in excess of £200 for copies of originals.  A bit like being stopped in Puerto de la Cruz by illegal immigrants and being asked for twenty euros for a  fake Rolex (which they insist is the real thing).

A cappuccino ordered. Cappuccino with coffee dumped on top, immediately sent back.

What then came not a lot better.

No cookies. I ordered a chocolate brownie. It was not good. I asked was it vegan, as that often explains why not good. No.

Food looked decorative, though nothing to say what it was, or the price.

I asked to see the coffee they used.

Italian coffee, catering supply.

When are coffee shops going to learn? If you want to serve good coffee, source quality beans, employ a skilled barista. There is no excuse for importing rubbish coffee from Italy, when there are excellent coffee roasters in London.

Try The Deli at 60, far better coffee and cakes.

 

Iced latte in Caffe Macchiato

July 3, 2017

Last week I had an iced latte in Caffe Macchiato.

Today a variant on what I had last week.

Last week, milk, ice cream, two shots espresso, ice, mixed in a blender, poured into a glass, add a straw.

Today, as before, but no sugar. I was not aware before sugar had been added. The espresso at least ten minutes in  a freezer to chill.  Add to blender as before, but not the espresso. Pour into the glass, then add the espresso. This should achieve a marbled effect as the espresso is added. It did not, practice required. Then add straw.