Posts Tagged ‘coffee’

Cappuccino Café Amárena

October 15, 2019

Café Amárena opened in the centre of Protaras last year. It was something of a disaster, waiter making the coffee, poor quality coffee, no surprise always empty.

It was a surprise it re-opened this year, but with one big difference, now employing a skilled barista. But still poor quality coffee beans, still always empty of customers. Syrups on display never a good sign. It is like raising a flag we serve bad coffee.

Two weeks ago I passed by with a friend, it was empty, not a single customer. By contrast Patisserie Amelie was busy.

Late in the evening, after an excellent meal at Nissiotis overlooking Protaras Pier, I dropped by and had a cappuccino.

As always empty, only a couple of tables occupied. When I left, I was their one and only customer. Not helped by the deafening noise from the bar next door.

My cappuccino reasonable, the girl who made my cappuccino has consistently improved her coffee making skills, which is good news.

But, never going to be able to serve good coffee let alone great coffee until they buy quality coffee beans, and these days no excuse for sourcing poor quality coffee.

It is depressing when a coffee shop could be better, they have the staff, a good machine, the grinders could be better, to be let down by poor quality coffee beans.

May get away with it in Cyprus with the locals, but visitors expect to be served a decent cup of coffee.

Cyprus is at a least a decade behind England. Every chain have heard of and others be grateful not heard of, all serving bad coffee, bad coffee in takeaway cups.

Larnaca is nearest will obtain a descent cup of coffee. Local bus to Ayia Napa then Intercity bus Ayia Napa to Larnaca.

Try Paul’s Coffee Roasters and Nick’s Coffee Bike, both serve excellent coffee.

Patisserie Amelie overlooking Vali tou Xadajixeni

October 5, 2019

Cyprus is a country where with a handful of rare exceptions are guaranteed to find bad coffee. Every chain have heard of and many would not wish to hear of. What is equally depressing is the indie coffee shops follow suit and serve bad coffee, bad coffee in takeaway cups.

Several years ago Patisserie Amelie opened in the centre of Protaras. By the abysmal standards of Cyprus a step in the right direction, an improvement, but coffee LavAzza and was never going to be serving great coffee, and always empty but for staff employed in the hotel and the occasional tourist. This year surprisingly busy.

Now a second Patisserie Amelie has opened overlooking a small bay Vali tou Xadajixeni, a little way along the coast from Fig Tree Bay, maybe ten minutes walk.

The design is poor. It is part of Sunrise Jade. It looks as though tacked on as an afterthought.

It could have been adjacent to the bay, not set back

No lessons learnt from Antamoma, a terrace below Gold Coast Hotel overlooking Kalamies Beach.

The coffee LavAzza, the person who made the coffee head waiter from Sunrise Jade. When asked, apart from that it was San Remo, he had no idea the coffee machine and made clear he had no interest in knowing.

The coffee looked disgusting, tasted disgusting. The unpleasant taste of the cheap low quality LavAzza dominated.

There is no excuse these days for not using high quality coffee. A five-star hotel insulting its clientele with this low quality coffee.

What could be, a coffee shop with quality beans, skilled barista, would become a destination as word got around.

Sunrise Jade 5*, superficially looks good, but on close inspection, cheap and tacky, not of the quality of Sunrise Beach. The small lounge, serried rows of seats, has as much ambience as the gate at an airport when waiting to board a flight. It was as though had walked into a Tsokkos hotel. But would caution, initial impressions,  have not stayed or tried the food.

Its big plus, a quiet location, especially if compared with Sunrise Beach where kept awake until early hours of the morning by the bars.

The staff not friendly, clearly bored. Maybe end of season fatigue.

A quiet location and yet the coffee shop has moronic music blaring out.

No beach, not unless class a dirty stretch of sand accessed by a causeway is classed as a beach.

At the opposite end of the bay, steps that do not look safe descend to the sea.

For those who love coffee, it is worth a trip to Larnaca for one of those rare exceptions, Nick’s Coffee Bike outside Larnaca Marina. Catch the local bus to the Ayia Napa International Sculpture Park, then Intercity Bus to Larnaca.

Also worth finding Paul’s Coffee Roasters hidden in the backstreets of Larnaca.

Cappuccino and toastie at Jamie’s Coffee

October 5, 2019

It is easy to see why Jamie’s Italian failed, a talented chef does not a successful chain make.

The same is true of Jamie’s Coffee at Gatwick North Terminal.

What started as a van, now a counter serving coffee, toasted sandwiches and cakes.

The coffee low quality Italian coffee, or was.

Not sure if still cheap Italian coffee as could not see what it was, but not good.

What is depressing is what could be.

Sussex and nearby Brighton no shortage of high quality coffee roasteries. This could be a coffee shop showcasing the best London, Sussex and Surrey has to offer on coffee, different rotation of guest coffee.

And you do not improve by wasting money on PR, improve by focusing on quality, buying speciality coffee, employing skilled baristas.

Cappuccino Starbucks Farnborough

October 3, 2019

What is it with tax-dodging Starbucks, incapable of serving a decent coffee, but still managing to overcharge? Greed.

Starbucks Farnborough, very noisy, has about as much character and ambience as a railway station waiting room.

The only good point staff are pleasant.

Sunday evening before they closed, to my surprise, music by Kronos Quartet. My curiosity piqued, I asked. Tita – Trio Da Kali and Kronos Quartet. Starbucks is full of surprises. A pity about the coffee.

Lunch and cappuccino Caracoli Alresford

September 25, 2019

After a wander around Alresford and missing the next bus to Winchester, I decided to take lunch and a coffee in Caracoli.

Caracoli was a small chain of half a dozen coffee shops. It came as little surprise when they went bust. Poor quality coffee and did not know what they were, a coffee shop or a deli. Now only two coffee shops, Alresford and Haslemere. Guildford closed, Farnham a greasy spoon cafe serving coffee.

Lunch was fine, the coffee ok, they need to source better quality coffee. But the best coffee in Alresdford, and would be better if sourced quality coffee beans.

I have suggested Coffee Gems, DT Roastery as two excellent coffee roasteries from which to source their coffee beans.

A few doors up the street a strange setup, DIY Coffee. Insult customers with Cupsmith coffee served from a coffee machine. No surprise empty.

Coffee #1, undrinkable coffee, poor service, poor quality food. A chain of masquerading as independent, owned by Caffe Nero.

Jericho Coffee Traders

September 23, 2019

When a coffee shop slags off another coffee shop, we know there is something wrong.

On a visit to Oxford I was heading to Colombia Coffee Roasters in the Oxford Covered Market only to my annoyance I found closed.

I have passed by Jericho Coffee Traders in the past, but never found open. With Colombia Coffee Roasters not open, it afforded the opportunity to try.

I have had mixed reports on Jericho Coffee Traders, none of which were favourable. Time to see for myself.

An interesting building on the outside, quite small on the inside, roast their own coffee.

My cappuccino was ok, not great, nothing to go out of my way for, not on a par with the best coffee shops in Oxford.

I was somewhat surprised to be told Colombia Coffee Roasters do not know how to roast coffee. This I queried as I know not to be true. Not my experience nor that of anyone I know who knows good coffee. They roast excellent coffee.

My only criticism of Colombia Coffee Roasters is their failure to note roast date on their bags of coffee.

I queried, asked to explain the reasoning.

I was then fed bullshit. It was my opinion, it was their opinion. Lacked any understanding coffee.

Then followed by a diatribe of how bad Colombia Coffee Roasters treat their staff. Not my experience, indeed it has been quite the opposite.

Disgusting undrinkable coffee at Starbucks

September 22, 2019

A cappuccino, looks disgusting, tastes disgusting.

Every mistake. too hot, bitter, all foam and froth.

How can anyone make coffee this bad?

Sadly the norm for tax-dodging Starbucks.

Offered three cups sizes, normal, too big and far too big.

Put off my coffee even before it was served by the girl who served constantly scratting at her hair.

A bunch of out of control kids, no parents, shouting as though in a playground. No one deals with the problem, either shut them up or kick them out.

Also very very hot inside.

The only reason I am here with reluctance, to use the wifi.

Ichamara washed Kenyan

September 11, 2019

Three bags of coffee. An excellent espresso blend roasted for Refinery by Bonanza, single origin Kenyan roasted by Coffee Gems, and a Costa Rican roasted by Red Roaster.

Of the three, which to choose? The aroma was excellent. Not my choice, that of Mike head barista at Stokes at The Lawn.

No contest, he chose the Kenyan from Coffee Gems.

He made himself a black Americano, for me a V60. Although Mike chose an Americano for himself, an espresso based coffee, he said would not work as a cappuccino, wrong flavour profile.

He thought the Americano excellent, even I was impressed.

For me the real test was the V60. I had tried a Colombian brewed as V60 at Blackbird and it was excellent, a hard act to follow.

Wonderful colour, as was the Americano. And the taste? At first I thought not in the same league as the Colombian. But as it cooled, and every V60 improves as it cools, it was probably on a par with the Colombian.

Mike commented it was like red wine.

His comment was most apt, I agreed, we both agreed mulled red wine without the spices.

Worth noting coffee has more flavour notes than red wine. Something coffee drinkers are unaware of when are so used to the crap served by coffee chains, over-roasted coffee, over-roasted to hide the defects of cheap coffee, then the vile taste masked with sugar and syrups. Coffee does not should not taste like this, but so used are people used to drinking crap coffee that they identify it as the taste of coffee. Sadly nothing could be further from the truth.

What coffee drinkers also forget, the care to bring us quality coffee, that of the coffee pickers, the processing of the beans, the roasting, and finally the skill of the barista.

Ichamara fully washed Kenyan, var Batian, Rairu 11, SL28, SL 34, red volcanic soil, taste notes grapefruit, lime, creamy and sweet, roasted by head roaster Ricardo.

Cappuccino correct size cup 200 Degrees Lincoln

September 6, 2019

Many problems with coffee at 200 Degrees, poor quality coffee beans, coffee served a cup size too large, for example flat white served in size for cappuccino, cappuccino served in a size too large.

This unfortunately is the bad practice in chains like Costa, serve a cappuccino in a soup bowl to give the false impression of value (super size me philosophy), dump chocolate on top to mask the vile taste of bad coffee.

Seating outside catches the late afternoon sun, and No Smoking a bonus, I decided to dally, enjoy the sun and if possible try a little experiment.

Cappuccino served in cup size too large results in weak and insipid cup of coffee. Could I improve the coffee by requesting in the cup used for a flat white, in other words the correct cup size?

When offered a size that is big, it is not offering value for money, it is offering bad coffee.

To have a sign outside a coffee shop offering big, is simply embarrassing.

I had had a cappuccino at 200 Degrees Lincoln two weeks earlier, how would it compare?

My experiment unfortunately flawed as not comparing like with like, no guest coffee and was obliged to use their house blend (which is terrible).

Anyway staff kindly acceded to my request, cappuccino tried whilst sat outside.

A tad too hot. Yes, an improvement as far as improvement went, but an unpleasant taste, which I could not determine what or why, but not the unpleasant bitter taste of robusta.

200 Degrees unfortunately contaminate, adulterate, call it what you will, their arabica coffee with vile tasting cheap robusta, something no self-respecting roastery or coffee shop would do, other than to bulk out their coffee, profit rules ok.

The unpleasant taste unfortunately remained in my mouth for the next hour.

Indian Balanoor washed coffee

September 6, 2019

Three bags of coffee, Brazilian, Indian and Tanzanian from DT Coffee Roastery.

Which to try today?

A couple of days ago Tanzanian Arusha Natural brewed as cappuccino at Stokes at The Lawn. Today an Indian brewed as V60 at Madame Waffle.

This was the first time either of us had tried an Indian coffee.

It was excellent as cooled, brought out the fruitiness of the coffee.

V60 always improves as cools, until turns cold. Balanoor was excellent even when cold.

Balanoor single origin Indian washed, var Kent, altitude 1300m, taste notes red grape, pecan and raisins, roasted by either Dhan Tamang or head of coffee Don Altizo.