Posts Tagged ‘Jimmy Bean’

Savage & Bean

October 29, 2015
Savage & Bean

Savage & Bean

Savage & Bean

Savage & Bean

Savage & Bean

Savage & Bean

Jimmy Bean is no more.

I was in Winchester for the afternoon, looking forward to a coffee and something to eat off Jimmy Bean, but where was he? He was not in his usual pitch, down a side street opposite the cheese stall, his pitch was taken by another coffee van.

Where was he? I asked the ever helpful cheeses stall, and headed off back down the street whence I had come.

Jimmy Bean is no more, now have Savage & Bean. Jimmy Bean still does his excellent coffee, but no longer food, Savage does food with a wood fired oven.

I tried halloumi cheese in a burger-style bun, albeit a superior bun, but still a burger-style bun. It came with coleslaw, relish and mayonnaise. I rejected the mayonnaise.

It was not good.

I had returned the previous week from over four weeks in Cyprus, then Athens. No self-respecting Greek, Greek-Cypriot or Turkish Cypriot would serve halloumi cheese in this way.

I can walk into a traditional Greek-Cypriot taverna with a  wood fired clay oven. They do not serve lunch. They will though quite happily knock out for me halloumi cheese, with a few slices of tomato, in pitta bread, hotted up on the charcoal grill. It is delicious, which is more than can be said for what Savage serves up.

The previous week I was at the South Bank Street Food Market on the bank of The Thames. It puts to shame what masquerades as a street food market in Winchester. And they enforce high environmental standards. I was spoilt for choice. I had an excellent Indian a meal for what the Savage offering cost (or maybe one pound more). The coffee stalls were not good, and in that Jimmy Bean wins hands down. Or at least what I had on that trip was not good.

Note: At the South Bank street food market four weeks later,  I had a coffee off the Ethiopian coffee stall. Excellent, in the same league as Jimmy Bean.

This is a retrograde step for Jimmy Bean. Originally I only had coffee, then I tried his food, which was also excellent. A rare example of somewhere worth eating in Winchester. I was looking forward to his mozzarella cheese with slices of tomato, in excellent bread, which he hotted up in an oven.

Now I am back to square one, nowhere decent to eat in Winchester.

Not to say no quality stalls on the food market. The cheese stall is well worth a visit.

By evening, I was feeling ill from food poisoning. I hasten to add, the cause unknown. I had had chicken and sweetcorn soup off a nearby Thai stall which was disgusting. And a coffee and cake off the coffee stall in Jimmy Bean’s old pitch which was excellent.

Jimmy Bean used to have seats and tables. Removed by edict from the local council.

The local council needs to get its act together.

The food stalls at the lower end of the street are packed too close together.

They need higher environmental standards. Why are stalls still serving coffee and food in polystyrene, using plastic spoons and forks? To be fair to Jimmy Bean, he does not use. But he is the exception. If he can, why not the others? At London South Bank, if you do not comply with high environmental standards, you do not get a pitch.

Where have the seats gone?

Late October afternoon in Winchester

November 1, 2014

I had decided to give Wednesday a miss, as cold and wet, Friday was a better option.

I knew Friday was going to be warm and sunny, but I did not expect it to be hot.

Nightmare getting down to Winchester.

Weekend rail works make train travel a nightmare. During the week, public transport is dysfunctional.

A bus every 10 minutes. No bus for over twenty minutes, then three buses including two clapped-out double-decker buses fit for a scrapyard. Net result miss train to Alton. Next train running 15 minutes late. Net result miss bus to Winchester. Next bus ten minutes late, and it gets later and later, arriving Winchester 20-30 minutes late. En-route, bus waived down to pick up passengers from the earlier bus. A body lying in the road. Apparently, according to a passenger, man knocked down by the bus.

I arrive Winchester mid-afternoon not late lunchtime as planned had I caught train etc.

A busy market day.

Winchester is a terrible place for lunch. I have a burger off a stall, New Forest Steak Burger Co. It is excellent. I tell the man, Winchester terrible place for lunch. He tells me I am the third person that day to tell him that.

I find Jimmy Bean. Excellent coffee.

Winchester has some excellent food stalls.

  • Jimmy Bean for coffee
  • New forest Steak Burger Co
  • Bread stall
  • Cheese stall

Ask any of them about their produce and they will be able to tell you.

Jimmy Bean will be able to tell you about coffee. The bread stall what flour, how baked, where it is from. The cheese stall, where the cheeses are from how they have been produced, a sliver to taste.

Revolution in WHSmith half price. Person in front, given a 20% off voucher, I use and get a further 20% off.

I am in time to catch six o’clock bus, but as it is a warm evening, I decide to walk along the river and the back streets behind the cathedral.

Very pleasant walking by the river in the dark.

The back streets poorly lit. It is as would have been years ago.

Lovely book display in the window of P & G Wells, as bookshops should be, very tempting, luckily they are closed. Contrast with the display in Waterstone’s Godalming a few days ago, celebrity crap. It empathises once again a disgrace that Guildford Book Festival used WHSmith as festival book seller.

I look in a provisions store around the corner.

Large number of sheds behind Winchester Cathedral. They smell of fresh wood. I assume for Christmas Market. What happens to the sheds afterwards? Available at knock down prices?

I make the 1850 bus, the last bus, with less than a minute to spare.

Luckily at Alton Station, catch the train as it is leaving.

On my way down I popped in Station Cafe, to say hi and see of it was open night time. No, only Wednesdays nights, Biker Night. They said few were there on Wednesday as a cold wet night. I tell them of the bikers who were there Saturday afternoon, disappointed to find closed.

Note: 23.6C, warmest Halloween on record. Nine out of the 10 months so far this year have been warmer than average The planet has marked record high temperatures. And still they deny global warming.

Jimmy Bean

September 10, 2014
Jimmy Bean

Jimmy Bean

cappuccino and Allpress coffee beans

cappuccino and Allpress coffee beans

On an afternoon in Winchester I spot Jimmy Bean on the food market selling coffee from a battered old Citroen van, very much like HoBo Co. I see they sell coffee as well as serve coffee. I am invited to try the coffee and we have a long chat about coffee.

Jimmy Bean started work in a Italian chain, now long gone. He made the coffee and thought he did a pretty good job, until he was in London one day and had coffee in an indie coffee shop, and his mind was blown away.

This started him on a quest on how to roast and serve quality coffee. He visited Latin America, he was on the coffee farms, he saw the coffee being grown, picked, roasted, served, he went to Australia, he read the books, he learnt all there was to learn about coffee, but is still learning. He then set up this little business.

His philosophy is, and I entirely agree, as an indie coffee shop, in this case a van, you do not serve what masquerades as coffee in the chains, you serve quality, as that is the only way to compete, as they cannot compete on quality. They may wear the t-shirt that says barista but that does not make you a barista.

He had for sale coffee beans, only roasted Monday. I bought a pack, and he offered to make me a coffee to see what the coffee was like.

The coffee was Allpress, roasted in Shoreditch in London.

I asked for a cappuccino, as I would then have a point of reference. It was good. It was better than Harris + Hoole Guildford (and that is not to belittle them as they have excellent coffee and have excellent baristas), possibly on a par with Stokes of High Bridge in Lincoln.

The coffee is served in biodegradable paper cups.

Looking at the Hobo Co battered old Citroen van, I think maybe looks old, but not actually old. That of Jimmy Bean is a lovingly restored 1954 Citroen HZ Van, then custom kitted out to serve coffee and food.

Beside the van was seating and tables, the seating covered in coffee Hessian sacks.

My mind was set on lunch at Ginger Two, which by the time I eventually got there, the kitchen was closed, but next visit, if a pleasant afternoon, I think this is where I will sit and have lunch.

It begs the question: Why does anyone visit the tax-dodging chains further up the High Street for overpriced disgusting coffee when they can obtain a quality coffee off Jimmy Bean?

Jimmy Bean is in Winchester High Street Wednesday to Saturday. Stop by and try a coffee, you will not be disappointed.

Jimmy Bean is an absolute must for the Guildford farmers market, first Tuesday of the month in Guildford High Street.

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