Posts Tagged ‘Guildford farmers market’

Guildford farmers market

August 6, 2019

Weather forecast was cool with rain. Not only did it not rain, it turned hot in the sun.

Small producers should set high standards, if not, what is the point, I can obtain low standards in a supermarket. Many take a pride in their produce, too many do not.

Coffee that is very poor quality. The only reason they get away with it is that the average Joe or Jo is used to bad coffee.

For coffee try Krema, excellent coffee, plus they sell coffee from Horsham Coffee Roasters. They will also advise on what is best suited on home coffee making and no not a Nepresso machine, no not a home espresso machine, they will never produce a good cup of coffee, a French press, not really.

I had hoped Coffee Gems would have a stall. Excellent coffee.

Cheese, quality cheese, comes from raw milk, grass fed cows, not pasteurised milk, not the black and white bulk milk producers.

If want quality cheese, check the cheesemonger end of Chapel Street also the French cheese stall on the Friday market in North Street.

On farmers market in Lincoln not only cheese made from raw milk, also raw milk on sale.

A chat with a chocolate maker. Craft chocolate is a meaningless designation, we see the same with coffee, gourmet coffee, artisan coffee, meaningless designations.

Looking at the chocolate stall, only one chocolate would I call a quality chocolate, the rest had emulsifiers, additives, adulterated chocolate, and that is even before I try the chocolate.


  • cocoa mass – sugar – vanilla
  • cocoa mass -cocoa butter – sugar – vanilla

The purists will not allow vanilla, others say ok if enhances the quality of the chocolate. A moot point.

Always check the list of ingredients.

Quality chocolate will be bean-to-bar. Anything that is not bean-to-bar paying a lot of money for someone to buy in chocolate and turn into bars.

Asked why chocolate on the stall had soy? Soy destroys rain forests, likely to be gmo, most probably unless organic, sprayed with glyphosate. It could be worse. it could be palm oil. Green and Black chocolate is padded out with palm oil. Emulsifiers are used instead of cocoa butter. Why, because it is cheaper.

EU permits emulsifiers, USA does not.

Chocolate, high quality single origin bean-to bar chocolate has many subtle flavours, no quality chocolate maker would dream of adding additives. This would be like adding syrups to a good coffee.

Chocolate has more flavour profiles than coffee. Coffee has more flavour profiles than red wine.

We are going backwards. Chocolate wrapped in plastic. Why? Chocolate used to be foil wrapped, then wrapped in paper.

To claim cannot as small business is nonsense.

It is indie coffee shops that have been leading the way on reusable cups compostable cups, on direct trade not the fair trade scam which is little more than a marketing scam to make the smug middle class feel good. Being small, is being nimble.

What asked these questions, lady manning chocolate stall turned very unpleasant and refused to answer.

Excellent beer from the beer stall next to Silent Pool Gin stall. I bought three bottles, one chilled to have with my lunch. My only criticism, the bottles are too small, should be 330 ml not 250 ml.

A year ago I was assured the market would be plastic free this year. It is not, if anything it has got worse.

Persuasion is not working. It should not be individual stalls, the paella and dosa stalls set high standards. If stallholders are not cooperating and clearly they are not, then rules have to be set and enforced. No plastic. If not plastic free, then will not be allowed on the Guildford farmers market. If stallholders whinge its is costing them, tough. If their businesses model is not valid they should not be in business. It is not acceptable to externalise their costs onto the environment and the rest of society.

Guildford is the only farmers market where I see what should normally be in a fridge 0-5 C sat on a stall at 20 C or higher. Any stall wishing to sell meat, poultry, fish and dairy products must have refrigerated stalls. No refrigerated stall then not permitted on the market.

Last month Guildford declared a Climate Emergency. Empty words unless followed by action. Markets in Guildford should demonstrate best practice not worst practice, set a lead for others to follow.

And please get rid of the ice cream van at the bottom of North Street with engine running belching out toxic fumes at the height of toddlers.

Excellent lunch at Bamboo Shoots with a bottle of craft beer off the market, but 250 ml too little.

Passing by Surrey Hills coffee five people, when I passed by later one person. I cannot see how they survive.

Walking back down the High Street to Tunsgate, craft beer stall said they would return on Saturday. I was surprised as I was not aware there was a market on Saturday. A vegan market. No publicity, no mention by any of the stalls.

As always, excellent cappuccino at Krema.

Guildford farmers market

July 2, 2019

A warm sunny day, that turned very warm during the afternoon.

A loaf of bread and cake off one stall.

Riverford are working with Exeter University and hope to be plastic free by 2020.

Apple stall had raspberries in card boxes and hope to move their strawberries to similar boxes.

The farmers market was supposed to be plastic free this year. Why is it not?

I prefer to see strong paper bags to carry produce. Plastic bags I do not have too much of a problem with if people use and reuse, and as I do put out rubbish in. Though even these can be compostable as used by Infinity Foods. It is packaging for produce that is the problem, especially the obscene us of plastic and over packaging.

We though seem to be going backwards. What is claimed to be quality chocolate the bars wrapped in plastic.

The worst by far the turkey sausage stall. Their sausages in polystyrene boxes, shrink-wrapped with plastic.

But it gets worse, far worse, sausages taken out of the polystyrene boxes, cooked in a pan, put back in the boxes and offered to customers. Flies crawling over the cooked sausages.

The turkey sausages sitting on the stall on a very warm afternoon.

When the stall arrived, according to someone who was there at the time, an appalling stench from their van when they offloaded.

Why is this stall on the market? Where are Environmental Health?

Food and hot weather do not mix. Environmental Health should be patrolling the market. According to one witness they were seen first thing in the morning. First thing in the morning when it is cool. They should be there in the afternoon when it is very warm.

It is not though only Guildford. Every council market I have visited has had abysmal environmental standards.

A zero waste stall has appeared. Most of what was on their stall of no interest. Mainly of interest that people can bring their own bottle and refill with shampoo, washing up liquid.

Try Okomo zero waste in Downing Street in Farnham.

Cupsmith back with their low quality coffee. Coffee beans in open hessian sacks, bags of beans in the sun.

Coffee to avoid.

If wish to buy coffee, try Krema end of Tunsgate where they have coffee on sale from Horsham Coffee Roasters, a reputable roastery. Canopy opposite Waitrose have guest coffee, though last time I looked not on sale.

A pity Fire Chimney Coffee do not have a stall.

Three bottles of craft beer off a stall not seen before, Binary Botanical craft beer. One chilled to consume with lunch at Bamboo Shoots.

Unusual, brewed with hop leaves, not with hop flowers. At least that was what I was told. Their websites says brewed with hop flowers infused with hop leaves.

Dumb to proclaim beer for wine drinkers. Beer should stand on its own merits.

Craft beer sells on taste and word of mouth, not on bullshit marketing.

Binary Botanical superior table beer is unlike any beer you have tasted before. Its tropical aroma, prosecco-like taste, and clean finish come from the infusion with organic hop leaves and choice of wine yeast. It is a flavourful beer brewed to be enjoyed with food.

The name “binary” not only refers to the stem of the hop plant, but also two-digit number system underpinning our technological progress; the stem of the hop plant; and the black and white perspective we take on brewing standards and quality. It conveys the sense of useful science that we rely on to make sure that our beers taste great consistently, travels well and are better for you than alternatives.

And there was worse. Whoever wrote this bullshit no understanding of either beer or wine. No surprise Growlers & Cans declined to stock. Had I seen this bullshit first and not come across on a market stall, I would never have tried. Not doing the beer any favours.

It resembles sparkling elderflower wine, very light. Ideal chilled, sitting under the shade of trees in the garden on a hot sunny day.

Popped around to Growlers & Cans. Had 1/3 pint of the same beer I had last week.

Would have had a coffee at Krema but very warm, decided to call it a day and go home.

But first looked in cheesemonger end of Chapel Street and recommended they stocked Binary Botanical craft beer.

Guildford farmers market

December 18, 2018

A day like last Saturday, windy and heavy rain. Luckily the rain held off until afternoon, then killed the market.

I learnt from one stall the market was open until four, but closed earlier due to the inclement weather.

A farmers market should be growers, farmers and producers. Non-producers only allowed at last minute if a spare pitch. It would also be worth following the example of South Bank Street Food Market, a couple of spare pitches reserved for guest stalls.

There is something very very wrong when producers are denied participation on the market, told fully booked, when pitches are taken by non-producers and on the day spare pitches where regulars or maybe not regulars have failed to turn up. All the worst when producers are local and have experience of other markets, where they are made welcome.

Stalls selling tat, an importer of Spanish foodstuffs, tea.

If something from a chiller cabinet is found on the shelves where it should not be in a supermarket, it is not put back in the chiller cabinet as not known how long it has been out of the chiller cabinet.

Why then a stall with poultry, turkeys, turkey sausages, the worst meat products to leave outside of a fridge, sitting on stall all day with temperature a little below 10C? Though not as bad as the summer when on a stall with temperatures exceeding 25C if not 30C.

Why no action by Environmental Health?

Talking to one cheese producer, cows the black and white bulk milk producers, I asked was the milk unpasteurised? No. Did I wish to buy? No. I did not ask were they using bought in cultures for the milk, or traditional methods for what was claimed to be Cheddar.

I can do no better than cite the excellent advice given by Bronwen Percival on buying cheese in an Appendix to Reinventing the Wheel (the book on cheese):

Buy unadulterated cheese … if a cheesemaker hides behind added ingredients, whether smoke, added fruits or spices … it is either a tragedy … or a sign their milk was devoid of character in the first place … Buy raw-milk cheese … Buy complex cheese … Buy from a cheesemonger … good cheesemongers are curators of good cheese.

We are fortunate in Guildford, excellent cheesemonger at end of Chapel Street.

One stall had 10% off vouchers for the cheesemonger, but objected to taking any on the grounds that I had taken a few off her stall before. Whilst this was true, I had given these away to encourage people to visit the cheesemonger. Not only had I given away, but at the time I had asked could I take more then one as I wished to give them away. Her attitude short sighted and infantile to say the least, as the only loser is the cheesemonger.

Cupsmith appear to have given up. No bad thing. Excellent coffee can be obtained in Guildford either from Krema in Tunsgate or FCB Coffee kiosk on Guildford Station. In both cases will be talking to baristas knowledgeable about coffee.

A long queue at the paella stall.

What looked like peanut butter was not. Very cloying when I tried. A nut, I cannot recall what, and added espresso. Did they mean coffee beans? Yes. If so, say so, espresso is from an espresso machine. Tasted not of coffee but of chocolate.

Engaging in one conversation, overhearing another, lack of knowledge on use of social media. To be fair, I would not expect otherwise.

One stall, was I going to tag on Instagram? Absolutely no way. Another how a food writer increased their sales. And no it was not me.

In use of social media, twitter is a must, facebook a very low second, instagram a major no no. Always post pictures direct to twitter, never via instagram. If posted via instagram, not visible on twitter.


  • claims ownership rights of pictures
  • acts as bait to entice into facebook walled garden
  • facebook business model theft and abuse of personal data
  • pictures posted to instagram not visible on twitter

Social media should never be used for marketing, it is an intrusion into personal space. It is not broadcast, the clue is in the name, social networks, ie interaction, many to many.

  • broadcast — one to many
  • social — interaction
  • network — many to many

A blog may be useful if have something worthwhile to say, if can write. For example a chocolate maker may describe bean to final product, direct trade, why use cocoa butter, not pad out with cheap alternatives such as palm oil, a cheesemaker rare breed cows, out on pastures, unpasteurised milk, a cake baker recipe for a cake.

The market was to be plastic free in 2019, except no one knows anything about it, and the very idea is being denied.

How many retailers will be around in the New Year?

House of Fraser bankrupt, Debenhams on the verge of bankruptcy, at least one coffee shop closing, others on the verge of closing, The Edinburgh Woollen Mill will close if unable to negotiate a lower rent, Tunsgate Quarter boarded up units, corporate chains selling overpriced tat, devoid of people other than those using as a short cut when raining.

Excellent lunch at Bamboo Shoots in Jeffries Passage, the only business I ever see busy in Jeffries Passage. The coffee shop, three customers.

Excellent coffee in Krema. Like Ben’s Records next door, always busy.

Unlike chains which compete with on-line by cutting service, in other words engage in a death spiral, indie businesses offer quality in products and service.

Guildford farmers market

December 4, 2018

Hazy sun, frost first thing, a cold day around 7C.

Market very busy but also a lot of overpriced tat.

Celtic Baker had sold out of most bread.

Apple stall sold out of small apples, and brought extra lot.

The stall that occupies where once Secretts Farm had a stall, I learnt was the former head grower at Secretts Farm. He had managed to find a plot of land and has started up his own business. The quality of the produce always high.

A cake stall got shirty when I took a picture of the stall, wanted to know what I was doing. I would have thought obvious. I wish people would learn, it is ok to take pictures in public space.

The market is due to go plastic free next year. No information on this and news to the stall holders.

Interesting conversation with Riverford, suppliers of veg boxes, on their moves to go plastic free by 2020.

Ever wondered why never see any Police? Half a dozen Police at the Experience Guildford stall, who now have a presence to try and justify their squandering of public funds, like for example offering free car parking on the lead up to Christmas, the one time of the year the car parks full to overflowing and delivering a one sheet newsletter devoid of content that is treated as junk mail and goes straight in the bin.

And what were the Police doing, a farmer branching out into illicit poppies? I have no idea.

Last market everyone thought the turkey stall had been kicked off the market. Sadly not, they are back, with turkeys siting on their stall, plus their usual turkey sausages. At least not covered in flies. And who buys turkeys three weeks before Christmas?

Fresh meat and poultry should be kept in a fridge at  between 0-5C. Today, although a cold day, 7C. Last few days not far off 15C. Next few days hovering above and below 10C. Or in other words not the temperature inside a fridge.

During the summer poultry sat on their stall at plus 25C if not above 30C.

And where were Environmental Heath? They claim to regularly patrol the market. Strange how no one ever sees them. Maybe they would care to give dates and times, stalls inspected, and why the turkey stall is still on the market.

Why would anyone wish to buy turkeys three weeks before Christmas?

If wish to buy a turkey, buy from a reputable local butcher.

Excellent local butcher in Downing Street in Farnham.

Mushroom stall had oyster mushrooms growing. I commented could grow on coffee grounds. He said no, alien species could grow. He uses a mix of sawdust and straw. Those using coffee grounds would beg to differ, they also add straw. Coffee grounds are sterilised but could subsequently become contaminated.

One thing one learns from coffee roasteries, even if nothing else, is respect for the coffee bean. Not so Cupsmith. During the hot summer, roasted coffee beans in open hessian sacks. Cold damp winter days, roasted coffee beans in open hessian sacks.

There are two places to obtain quality coffee beans in Guildford, and two places only. FCB Coffee kiosk on Guildford Station has occasional guest coffee on sale. Krema in Tungate has coffee from Horsham Coffee Roasters on sale.

When buying cheese, things to look for, rare breed cows, cows pastured on grass, unpasteurised milk, traditional cheesemaking. What you do not want is pasteurised milk from black and white bulk milk producers, and cheese made on the farm where  simply replicating an industrialised process on a smaller scale including adding cultures. And never vacuum packed adulterated fake Cheddar in 17 flavours or waxed cheese with a picture of a Lancaster bomber.

But do not take my word for it, heed what Bronwen Percival has to say on buying cheese in an Appendix to Reinventing the Wheel:

Buy unadulterated cheese … if a cheesemaker hides behind added ingredients, whether smoke, added fruits or spices … it is either a tragedy … or a sign their milk was devoid of character in the first place … Buy raw-milk cheese … Buy complex cheese … Buy from a cheesemonger … good cheesemongers are curators of good cheese.

Adulterating cheese is akin to adding syrups to coffee. Don’t. It either ruins a good coffee or is used to hide bad coffee.

For quality cheese in Guildford spoilt for choice in the cheesemonger end of Chapel Street.

Farmers markets are synonymous with quality, or so they would like us to think, but do not be fooled, that something is produced locally, does not make it quality.

I will buy bread off Celtic Bakers, eat a dosa off the dosa stall, fresh produce off the stall that has taken the place of Secretts Farm, apples and apple juice off the apple stall, meat from the farm cooking the roast pork.

I noticed many of the stalls were stickered with little black Great Taste Awards maybe half, maybe more than half. Do not be fooled, these stickers mean absolutely nothing, and are certainly no indication of quality.

A dosa off the Indian stall, as always excellent.

Excellent honey crunch chicken with brown rice in Bamboo Shoots.

Passing Surrey Hills Coffee to and from Bamboo Shoots, as always empty, ok one customer. On my second pass, a girl I have not seen before. Pleasant and helpful. I commented that one of the bags of coffee grounds sat outside had been picked up. Did I want she asked, more behind the counter. No, as wrong time of year.

As always, excellent coffee at Krema.

I was greeted by an ex-barista from Harris + Hoole. Since the takeover by caffe Nero and death by a thousand cuts, Harris + Hoole have lost all their good staff.

There will be an extra market in two weeks time, a special Christmas market. If there was any information or publicity, I did not see. I only know thanks to a  couple of the stalls telling me.

The market needs to up its game, better environmental standards, emphasis on quality having priority over local, though ideally both.

A must for the Christmas market, Hidden Curiosities Gin and Chimney Fire Coffee, local producers of exceptional quality.

Guildford farmers market

November 6, 2018

A grey wet day for Guildford farmers market.

This time of year usually a dreary affair, fewer stalls, but not today. Many new stalls I had not seen before. The downside is fewer and fewer growers and farmers.

I was pleased to see the turkey sausage stall had gone. Whether kicked off I do not know.

The scandal was not only the turkey sausages sitting on their stall in a heatwave and the manner in which they handled raw meat. The scandal was also the manner in which the market manager and environmental heath handled the situation, or more to the point failed to handle. They simply turned a blind eye. What were they waiting for, a mass outbreak of food poisoning?

This also raises question of oversight of officials who fail to diligently carry out the responsibility of their office.

The market manager should have kicked the stall off the market, environmental health should have seized the stock, closed the stall down and mounted a prosecution.

It also begs the question of why during the hot weather environmental health were not out patrolling the market?

But then when the council locks an elderly infirm couple in Tunsgate then blatantly lies about it, maybe we should not be surprised.

Or the major cock up at the expense of local taxpayers of the market in shipping containers.

The use of plastic on the market is not acceptable. There should be minimum standards. If music festivals, South Bank Street Food Market, Hisbe rebel supermarket can set minimum standards, why not a council-run farmers market?

Roasted coffee should be kept in the absence of air, in a cool, dry, dark place.

Cupsmith during the summer in open hessian sacks in temperatures in excess of 30C. Today 15C very damp, in open hessian sacks.

Freshly roasted coffee is meaningless. Yes, is should be freshly roasted, but need to know the roast date.

And who wants coffee beans left in the heat, left in the damp absorbing moisture and oxidising in open hessian sacks?

Jamie Oliver knows nothing about coffee. Try drinking his disgusting Italian corporate brand coffee at Gatwick Airport. Italy is infamous for bad coffee.

No country of origin. Single origin coffee will at the very least show country of origin, if direct trade, the farm, the variety, the Q grade.

When a coffee roastery is this clueless on coffee, has this lack of respect for their coffee, go elsewhere.

Krema in Tunsgate has a choice of coffee from Horsham Coffee. Not yet but soon, FCB Coffee kiosk on Guildford Station will be roasting their own coffee. Whether also coffee beans for sale I do not know.

Excellent lunch as always in Bamboo Shoots, honey crunch chicken.

Passing to and fro Surrey Hills Coffee as always empty, well ok three people, as near as empty.

Cappuccino and hot chocolate in Krema. Hot chocolate for a friend. As always Krema busy.

From Krema we wandered through Tunsgate Quarter, as always deserted, boarded-up units and ghastly chains such as Cosy Club, a fake 1930s bar so fake it is a Monty Python parody of fake.

Assuming the few retailers within Tunsgate Quarter are paying full rents and businesses rates, they must be regretting their decision to move into this sterile shopping centre. They must be haemorrhaging money. How long before they pull out?

Guildford farmers market is held first Tuesday of the month. There will be an extra Christmas market in December. There is no market in January.

Guildford farmers market

August 7, 2018

Another very hot day.  Coolish before ten, half an hour later hot.

Thoroughly disgusted to see turkey stall on the market with turkey and turkey sausages sitting on their stall, not refrigerated. Sitting on cold packs will make not a jot of difference.  Ambient temperature close to if not exceeding 30C.  Ice in a glass melts within minutes.

One stall had bottles in water in a box with large blocks of ice. The ice melted within an hour.

Food and hot weather do not mix. Where were the Environmental Heath Officers? In this hot weather they should be patrolling all food markets.

If this is what we see in public, what happens behind the scenes?

What is is market waiting for, a major outbreak of food poisoning, for people to die?

Farmers market a synonym for quality is a myth they like to project.

I would not buy from many of the stalls. Fresh, quality produce, on many this is not the case.

Fresh produce wrapped in plastic, sweetcorn with dry papery outer leaves which should be lush and green.

Cupsmith coffee stall with open hessian sacks of roasted beans. If this lack of respect for coffee beans then avoid.  I have had the misfortune of trying both the tea and the coffee, neither are good.

Spoilt for choose these days for excellent coffee roasteries there is no excuse for buying low quality coffee.

Locally if looking for coffee beans, then visit Krema in Tunsgate (next to Ben’s Records).  For tea, Bamboo Shoots in Jeffries Passage.

Very disappointed  have again failed to have a stall on Guildford farmers market, especially as the market lacks and needs a speciality coffee stall from a local coffee roastery.  In the meantime Horsham Coffee from Krema.

Not to say there is not quality on the market.  Wholemeal bread off Celtic baker, cakes off a stall, excellent sweetcorn off the stall where Secrett’s used to have a stall, plums, strawberries, apples and chilled apple juice off the apple stall.

Guidelines have been produced on food handling, but they are meaningless.  Meat, fish and cheese has to be as in any shop, in refrigerated units.

Winchester has an excellent cheese stall, a refrigerated stall. In the hot weather he knocks of early as impossible to keep the cheese cool and it would have to be thrown away.

From where to obtain excellent cheese? Cheesemonger in Chapel Street? Direct from the farm?

I had a chat with one cheese stall. Raw milk, not pasteurised? No. Milk has many microbes, these are what makes the cheese, gives it character. Pasteurisation does not make the cheese ‘safe’ as cheese ideal breading ground for microbes. Kill off the microbes and have to add a culture. Far from making the cheese safe, grant the opportunity for pathogens that otherwise would not get a look in. And the cows? Those black and white bulk milk producers, feed in one end, watery milk out the other. Totally unsuitable for quality cheese production. This is sadly to reproduce on the farm industrial cheese production. The only difference scale and lack of mechanisation.  Contrast with artisan cheese producers in France, milk straight into a wooden bucket, cheese left to mature on wooden planks.  Maybe that is why French produce excellent farm cheeses that command a  premium price.

Excellent lunch at Bamboo Shoots.

Passed by Surrey Hills Coffee twice, on both occasions empty.  Passing by a second time, coffee grounds for the garden.

Why do more coffee shops not put the coffee grounds outside for passers by to help themselves? Maybe something to be encouraged.

V60 Japanese iced coffee sat outside Krema. A little disappointed compared with their cold brew.  Maybe not suited to Ethiopian coffee. Maybe needs a single origin Colombian, or better still Panama Geisha. I have offered to bring in beans from Burundi to try.

Apple stall had saved me a chilled apple juice. Drank and bought a second to take home.

Passing the ginger ale stall, a cold ginger ale.

Cold ginger ale, like cold brew coffee, very refreshing on a  hot day.

Two girls dropped off a leaflet for social media. Only problem showed they were clueless on social media. Some fliers they had not even bothered to cut out straight, leaflet lacked web address, twitter account.  Classic example of how not to social media.

The market is to go plastic free next year. A step in the right direction which is long overdue. It needs to be rigorously enforced, offenders barred from the market.


July 16, 2018

When I came across Cupsmith at the Guildford farmers market I did not know whether to laugh or cry.

I first encountered Cupsmith last year running a stall at Farnham Maltings Christmas Market. The conversation that ensued was to say the least bizarre. If roast the beans, have a stall, at least have someone knowledgeable about the coffee manning the stall. The lady running the stall impressed me with her lack of knowledge of coffee.

To put in context, Workhouse have in their coffee shop, a choice of single origin, blends, I counted 18 different, available to be weighed and bagged. Staff were only too helpful to explain the beans, how roasted, where sourced from, roast date.

Roast date, not on the bag. Roasted the previous day, so at least freshly roasted but would it not be better and no excuse to actually have on the bag? Best by is meaningless.

The lady disagreed. She claimed their customers did not want to know the roast date.

Really, have they been asked, do they know the importance of roast date?

And why the silly names, Breakfast coffee, Glorious espresso? Quality coffee will have country of origin often the name of the farm, how the coffee has been processed. All important information.

Q grade of the coffee? Did not know, would need to talk to the man who roasts their coffee.

Would I like to smell the beans. I did, and they did not smell good.

Quality beans have a lovely aroma, these did not. I would certainly not buy coffee that smelled liked this.

If the coffee I had tried was not good, that was the fault of the barista. It was a problem as coffee roasters they were up against all the time, lack of good baristas, impossible to find in Farnham, it was not London.

I had not encountered this problem in Farnham, I can think of an excellent coffee shop Krema, source coffee from Horsham Coffee Roasters a reputable roaster, had at the time of the conversation at least three skilled baristas who never failed to serve me excellent coffee. Krema now have a second coffee shop in Guildford.

Nor elsewhere, be it Winchester, Brighton, Lincoln, Nottingham, York, Hull or Athens. But then apart from skilled baristas, they are also using quality coffee.

The high end of the coffee industry, traceability, transparency, quality is important.

I had wished to visit their roastery outside Farnham, a request to visit a year ago was ignored.

I have come across Cupsmith coffee served in two places, neither occasion good. The first time a skilled barista tried his best, the result was not great, and he would much rather have had better quality beans, the second time at Farnham Maltings Riverside Cafe, the coffee was disgusting.

When I next encountered Cupsmith the first Tuesday of July on the Guildford farmers market I did not know whether to laugh or cry.

Local yes, quality they are not.

The roasted coffee beans were in open hessian sacks, exposed to the heat and sun. One thing you learn in coffee is respect the beans. When coffee is treated like it says all you need to know about the vendor.

A sign on the stall cited Jamie Oliver as praising their coffee.

Coffee any Italian would be proud of — Jamie Magazine

Jamie Oliver may be a celebrity chef, that does not make him an expert on coffee, as his coffee kiosk at Gatwick demonstrates. The Gatwick kiosk is a tragedy and a lost opportunity. It could be a showcase to visitors to the UK for local coffee roasteries, serve excellent coffee, not barely drinkable coffee, corporate catering Italian brand coffee.

Coffee any Italian would be proud of. Was this meant to be ironic? Italy is infamous for its bad coffee. Something Italians are finally getting to grips with.

There are exceptions, there are always exception, Bar Italia, The Speciality Coffee Shop, Rubens Gardelli coffee roaster and owner of Gardelli Coffees won the World Coffee Roaster Championship in China last year, but these are exceptions, not the norm for Italian coffee.

I asked of the Q grade. Over 80.

The coffee lacked aroma. But then hardly surprising when exposed to the elements.

Cupsmith a roastery supplier of catering supply coffee, the bags lack essential information, country of origin, roast date, where sourced from.

To supply catering supply coffee is a mug’s game, a race to the bottom. Up against dodgy practices, we supply the machine, you have to buy our rubbish coffee at higher price then you would pay for quality coffee.

There is a myth peddled, people do not want quality coffee.

And yet, when speciality coffee shops open, they are busy, as when people discover what quality coffee tastes like, served by people who care about coffee, there is no going back.

These days spoilt for choice for quality coffee, no excuse for frequenting coffee shops serving poor quality coffee. And if wish to buy bags of coffee, good indie coffee shops will often have on sale, or go direct to the coffee roasteries.

Cupsmith also deal in tea and chocolate.

The chocolate I cannot comment on as I have not tried.

The tea is supplied in tea bags. Er, quality tea is supplied as loose leaf tea. The tea bags looked remarkable similar to those supplied by a tea supplier in Winchester.

To experience quality tea, try CUP, Coffee Lab Academy, Bamboo Shoots, all of which serve quality loose leaf tea.

In Guildford for loose leaf tea, Bamboo Shoots in Jeffries Passage is a must. They also serve excellent tea.

For coffee spoilt for choice in Guildford. Krema has a choice of single origin and espresso blend from Horsham Coffee Roasters. Canopy Canopy has guest coffees. Surrey Hills has coffee. FCB coffee kiosk on Guildford Station. And for a drink of coffee, Krema end of Tunsgate.

Yes, I wish to see coffee on the market, but quality coffee, not poor quality catering supply coffee. Invite Chimney Fire Coffee, speciality coffee roasted locally in the Surrey Hills.

I will leave last thoughts with Stephen Leighton, head honcho, green bean buyer, coffee roaster at Hasbean and author of Coffeeograpghy:

And do remember, life is too short for bad coffee.


Guildford farmers market

July 3, 2018

A very hot day for the farmers market.

Half a loaf off Celtic Bakers.

A very hot day, poultry sitting on a stall, flies and wasps crawling over their cooked sausages.

A farmers market should not only be local produce, it should also be quality.

I have pushed for some time for a coffee stall. I did not know whether to laugh or cry, Cupsmith Coffee, quality it is not. Coffee beans displayed open to the air in the heat.

One of the first things learn about coffee, respect the beans.

Yes, I wish to see coffee on the market, but quality coffee, not poor quality catering supply coffee. Invite Chimney Fire Coffee, speciality coffee roasted locally in the Surrey Hills.

It is Plastic Free July. Why low environmental standards on the market? What steps are being made to eliminate plastic?

The only steps are initiatives of the individual stall holders. It is not acceptable fresh produce in plastic.

Full marks to the paella stall, card boxes, wooden cutlery. And to the apple stall, apple juice in glass bottles.

Odd, what I thought was Secretts Farm, no longer is. I wonder how many others have not noticed? I had not noticed until it was pointed out to me.

A detour to Partisan excellent cheese shop end of Chapel Street. I recommended they stock Chimney Fire Coffee. Picked up Lincolnshire Poacher Cheese.

Hidden Curiosities Gin, why no stall, I was intrigued to see how craft gin compared with what was on the market. Silent Pool Gin, virtually no aroma, very bland to drink, 24 botanicals. Tom Cat Gin, slight aroma, rough firewater, 6 botanicals.

As always, excellent lunch from Bamboo Shoots.

Surrey Hills Coffee has relocated from Chapel Street to Jeffries Passage. I asked was it a pop up shop as gave the impression of being temporary.  Coffee was not great.

It was then to Krema, where guaranteed excellent coffee.

The roadworks in Tunsgate still not complete.

Guildford farmers market

December 19, 2017

A hard frost this morning.

Colombian guest coffee off FCB kiosk at Guildford Station. Not as good as yesterday. What a difference a barista makes.

Walking in the High Street, two people dressed to look like Police, but not Police. On their backs, Surrey Law Enforcement. I later did a bit of checking. As I suspected, and not acceptable, the council has its own private security force patrolling the streets.

Today an extra farmers market. A Christmas market. The farmers market at the beginning of the month a fortnight ago, was not as incorrectly reported by Guildford Tourist Information Office a Christmas market.

Why does a stall have turkeys on the stall all day? This raises serious health issues, to which the local council turns a blind eye.

The honey stall, today their last market. They will not be doing any more markets. I suggested try the Farnham Maltings Christmas Market end of November, as at least it is indoors.

There is another honey stall, but not as good.

With a friend in Maplin, she bought a pair of headphones. I asked coud be brought back if faulty. The girl serving said no. This is clear breach of Consumer Protection Legislation. She then backed down, and said yes, if faulty. It is appalling the way these shops try it on.

Excellent lunch at Bamboo Shoots, honey crunch chicken.

Yesterday The Village was open. Today not. Clueless what they are doing.

I was pleased to see Surrey Hills Coffee put their coffee grounds out to be collected. I asked, did pople actually collect. They said yes.

Santander goes from bad to worse. As walk in, someone with obviously nothing better to do, can I help you? Yes, man the tills. A girl having hassle. Has lost her card, waiting three weeks and no card. Cashier, who claimed to be the manager, said address was invalid. Why not actually ask the girl to confirm whether the address correct or not, not claim the address invalid? Only when the girl created a fuss, was she then offered £50. Is this £50 every day? In which case, why not say so? In Halifax, £50 every day whilst waiting for a new card, £300 if take in passport. And why this hassle at cashier desk? Why not a desk for problems? Maybe manned by the jobsworth stood around doing nothing.

Coffee at Harris + Hoole. OK, but not great.

I asked of their KeepCups, was there a great take up? No. I suggested, target those who are picking up a coffee to take back to the office with a big discount. Everyone else, encourage to relax with a coffee in store. No, not aware that in the New Year Pret a Manger will be selling takeway coffee for 49p. Nor that 2.5 billion coffee cups are thrown away every year. Some people ask for two cups, one inside the other. I suggested check out Kaffeeform coffee cups, coffee cups made from recycled coffee grounds. Though the best use of coffee grounds is for the garden.

The famers market was busy, or at least there were a lot of people on the street. Probably Christmas shoppers, as a lot pf people on the street yesterday. I doubt for the farmers market due to complete lack of publicity at last market. And I noticed in contrast to the last market, everyone had a lot of stock left.

Guildford farmers market the first Tuesday of the month. There will be no market in January.

Guildford farmers market

December 5, 2017

A cold damp day, that got colder.

Missed my train thanks to barriers going down and unable to cross the line. Thirty-seven minutes wait in the cold for next reain. Train has no wifi, or at least has wifi, wifi does not connect to Internet.

Today new fare increases announced for the railways, the biggest hike in five years.

Waterstone’s marginally better choice of coffee books, but still not great.

Lots of stalls selling junk.

Many stalls either sold out or almost sold out.

Guildford Tourist Information Office becoming very tardy of late. Usually they are pretty good, but of late, erroneous information.

Today was not the Christmas market. I asked one of the stalls. No, he then told me Christmas market in two week’s time. He thanked me for reminding him, and said he only found out this morning.

Apple stall also told me a Christmas market in two week;s time.

But no information on the market.

I popped in Guildford TIC and let them know their mistake. Due care not taken as they  sent out incorrect information. I am pleased to see, they did send out the correct information later in the day for the Christmas market.  Though to be fair they were not the source of the wrong information, they simply re-tweeted it.

Turkey stall piled high with turkeys. Who is going to buy a turkey twenty days before Christmas? What are they going to do with it?

And why was the stall piled high with turkeys. Temperature was 9C. This is well outside safe storage limit for poultry. The only positive that could be said, is that in the summer, they have poultry on their stall when 30C.

Does Environmental Heath turn a blind eye when it is their own market.

Excellent lunch at Bamboo Shoots.

The Little Red Book of Offers, an offer at Kalm Kitchen, what used to be Glutton & Glee, hot drink, free mince pie. Con would be a better description, a tiny mince pie, what many would give away free. The girl serving looked embarrassed and apologised that is twas so time. The coffee undrinkable.

By now, even before I made the mistake of a coffee in Kalm Kitchen, very cold.

Next to Ben’s Records, a new coffee shop to open, but who?

I should have caught four o;clock train, as last Friday, caught five o’clock train. No functioning wifi on the train.

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