Posts Tagged ‘Lincoln’

Cultivate

December 10, 2019

Hidden down a side street off the top of the High Street.

Not open, though according to a sign positioned for dogs to read was open.

Lincoln Christmas Market

December 5, 2019

Why is it that every town thinks dump a few sheds selling tat and junk food in a town centre and call it a Christmas Market?

One of the worst if not the worst is Lincoln Christmas Market, 90% crap, and that is being generous. The travelling circus masquerading as a street food market that is held occasionally in the High Street is bad but this is far far worse.

I had wandered through Monday as was being set up, not impressed by what I saw.

Visiting Thursday afternoon, far worse than I expected, and locals had warned me it was not worth visiting.

Plastic identical shrink-wrapped in plastic flavoured fake cheddar cheese, stomach churning junk food.

Not to say there were not quality stalls, for example local farm cheese, quality meat from Redhill Farm,  local craft beer, speciality coffee from Seven Districts, but very much the exception and could count on one hand.

Seven Districts I stopped by and had a chat.

Yes, well designed packaging, but if to be taken seriously the coffee has to have details of the coffee, not local history no matter how interesting that may be.

Coffee is seasonal. It  does it help,  different single origin packaged under the same name.

Only possible to try a not very well poured V60. OK but not great. It would be interesting to see in the hands of a skilled barista.

Not having encountered before, I picked up two bags of Seven Districts coffee, but the cheese, can obtain every third Saturday from the Lincoln farmers market and from The Cheese Society, Redhill Farm has an excellent farm shop in Bailgate, where later I picked up Lincolnshire sausages.

A stall claiming its coffee was specialty coffee. It was not, it was over-roasted coffee beans sticky with flavourings. This is not specialty coffee. The stall must be kicked off the market, a prosecution by local Trading Standards. Stallholder turned unpleasant when the scam was exposed.

Market patrolled by police bearing side arms and carrying semi-automatic weapons.

I feel sorry for those come from afar to this tacky market.

A claimed 250,000 visitors. How are they counted?

Lincoln is close to gridlock ever day. This is gridlock, roads closed, bus routes diverted, long queue to enter the railway station.

Look to Winchester for a quality Christmas market. Runs end of November until Christmas, does not overload the local infrastructure, includes a large ice rink, attracts quality.

Winchester Christmas Market attracts half a million visitors a year, is ranked as not only the top Christmas Market in UK, but one of the top ten in Europe.

In Lincoln, the car park by Lincoln Castle hosting a big wheel, could be a large ice rink.

The organisers of this appalling market need to think again.

For visitors, visit any time of the year and not be jostled, or if wish to come when an event do so over the August Bank Holiday Weekend for the Asylum Steampunk Festival when will enjoy a far more pleasant experience.

Travelling street food circus returns to Lincoln

September 20, 2019

It is bad enough this travelling circus of junk food, poor quality street food, German sausages, chips, kebabs, poor quality cheese, passes through Lincoln once a year. Now it seems twice a year.

Added to which, as if Lincoln has enough problems with drunken yobs in the High Street on a Saturday afternoon, without adding a bar in the street in Corn Exchange.

Quality street food this is not, and yet another example of how Lincoln BIG wastes public money and why they should be wound up.

Quality Street food can be found in Lincoln for example Curry Jacks (outside Central Market, St Mark’s and once a month at Coffee Aroma), The Mint Box (outside Central Market), Barbell Burger Co (Lincoln Castle during Lincoln Steampunk Festival), Redhill Farm slow roast pork (Lincoln Castle during Lincoln Steampunk Festival).

It is long overdue these quality street food vendors got together as the founders of a Lincoln Street Food Festival, locally organised, local traders, invite only, if not quality, do not get a repeat invite. Would need a craft beer stall, a quality coffee stall, possibly cheese stall, if also served cheese in bread, pasta, paella, wood-fired clay oven pizza.

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.

DT Coffee Roastery Coffee Lab espresso blend

September 7, 2019

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

What was the Coffee Lab blend like as a cappuccino?

Three choices, today the espresso blend for Coffee Lab brewed as cappuccino at Madame Waffle.

In one word, excellent.

Coffee Lab espresso blend, a blend of Brazilian pulp natural and Colombian washed, var Catuai and Caturra, taste notes dark chocolate, nutmeg, ginger and green apple, roasted by either Dhan Tamang or head of coffee Don Altizo.

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.

Tanzanian Arusha Natural

September 5, 2019

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

I have tried before an Ethiopian from DT Coffee Roastery, brewed as a V60 at Blackbird. It was good, but a disappointment compared with a Colombian from Coffee Gems we tried the week before which was excellent.

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 Tanzanian.

I would have brewed as V60, thus surprised when he chose espresso.

Espresso for Mike, cappuccino for me.

I was pleasantly surprised, it made an excellent cappuccino, interesting flavour profile.

Arusha Natural Burka State Tanzania, var Kent, N39, Blue Mountain, alt 1350m, tasting notes stone fruit, red berries, bright citrus, roasted by either UK latte art champion Dhan Tamang or head of coffee Don Altizo.

BeerHeadZ Lincoln

August 26, 2019

I had been told by two ladies of a new bar, BeerHeadZ in East Gate.

As I was in the vicinity for the Lincoln Steampunk Festival I decided to check it out.

Very much like Growlers & Cans in Guildford, main difference more than twice the size, lacked the selection of cans and bottles, a much larger selection on tap.

The guy behind the bar knowledgeable and helpful.

I settled on 1/3 pint of Pekko limited edition Ashover Brewery. I enjoyed it, ordered another 1/3 pint.

One long table, cf Growlers and Cans, then smaller tables by the wall. Handy 13A sockets on the wall with usb charging sockets.

In design, it could have been a coffee shop.

What I did not like and hope they get rid off, a widescreen TV and quiz nights.

Occasional live music.

For people who appreciate good beer and do not like pubs.

Located off Bailgate, a little way down East Gate.

Lincoln Steampunk Festival Asylum X1

August 23, 2019

The eleventh Lincoln Steampunk Festival, day one of the four day event held over the August Bank Holiday Weekend.

A very hot day, and due to get hotter over the next few days.

Today possible to walk through the grounds of Lincoln Castle, as can do every day, but next few days, will be charged the same entrance fee as though walking the Castle walls, simply to visit a few stalls. This is not acceptable and something the steampunk organisers need to resolve. Those who have a stall in the Castle grounds pay a lot of money for their stalls and a barrier is then created to deter those wishing to visit their stalls. It also hits local businesses either side of the Castle entrances

Not many steampunks around, but next for days will be very many.

Bailgate, Steep Hill, The Strait, five o’clock nearly every single business, shop, tea room, cafe, closed, many would have closed at four if not earlier. Sheer madness, biggest steampunk festival in the world, brings in thousands of people, people with money in their pockets, and nowhere open to spend that money.

For visitors a few recommendations.

For coffee avoid the chains and their undrinkable coffee. Walking up the High Street

  • turn left before The Stonebow, Coffee Aroma on the right
  • through The Stonebow, a little further up the High Street, Madame Waffle on the right

For quality beer forget the pubs, pick up a bottle or two of craft beer.

  • on the left in The Strait, Crafty Bottle, craft beer and a bottle opener

For gear no better than

  • The Strait, J Birkett
  • bottom of Steep Hill, antique shop