Posts Tagged ‘Lincoln’

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.

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

Cappuccino at 200 Degrees Lincoln

August 22, 2019

Size in coffee matters.

When offered a choice of size it shows no understanding of coffee.

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.

And no, never serve a cappuccino with chocolate.

There is only one size for a cup of coffee. The correct size.

At 200 Degrees, a flat white is served in a cup for a cappuccino. The cappuccino is served in a size that is too large.

Not the fault of the baristas, it is the company that is clueless on coffee. Instructing the baristas how not to serve coffee.

Nor does one add Robusta to coffee. A cheap nasty species of coffee that tastes disgusting and has none of the subtlety of Arabica. The best coffee is always Arabica, not cheap commodity Arabica, high quality Arabica.

Since opened in the spring, tables have been added in the street. Kudos to 200 Degrees for making these tables No Smoking. Other coffee shops please take note.

Easter street food festival Lincoln Castle

April 20, 2019

Chow Down travelling circus Easter street food festival in the grounds of Lincoln Castle.

A pleasant walk along Minster Yard running south side of Lincoln Cathedral.

People enjoying the sun on the grass on the east side outside the Chapter House.

Passed through a farmers market in Castle Hill, with a mental note to return later, but first the street food festival in the grounds of Lincoln Castle.

Long queue to get in, £3 entry fee for what is usually free access.

Inside packed.

Dogs are usually welcome in the Castle grounds. Not today. Not acceptable no dogs. No street food festival I have a visited has barred dogs. But then can usually access and walk through the Castle grounds for free.

£3 entry fee, £5 for French fries, £3-10 takeaway coffee.

Recently a new shed has been built at the West Gate. Usually manned. When queried why build a new shed which is no longer manned, told only manned when pay to gain access to Castle grounds.

West Gate closed for Chow Down which hits local businesses either side of Lincoln Castle. Something Bailgate Guild must raise.

A problem for disabled, and possibly illegal. A car park at The Lawn, a ramp for easy access. West Gate closed.

Claimed to be largest street food festival in the country. Not true.

Street food market in Lower Marsh, South Bank street food market, Godalming street food market, Street Food Picnic in a park in Guildford a couple of years ago, all much larger, all far better street food.

The burger at the Guildford Street Food Picnic, grilled on a charcoal grill, served with a side of new potatoes.

Claimed 25% of the offering being either vegetarian or vegan. I did not see a single vegetarian stall let alone a vegan stall.

Claimed craft beer breweries from across the UK will be attending so you can sample some of the finest beers the country has to offer – whether it be draught or in cans.

Really? Where were they?

A craft beer stall, but nothing to say what was on offer. Same true of the beer tent. What was really weird, what was being served behind a partition to block sight of what was being served.

Later I had an excellent local craft beer off the farmers market outside.

Chow Down yet another travelling circus. A couple of weeks ago, a travelling circus of disgusting junk food in the the High Street.

Yes, Chow Down better than the junk food in the High Street but it would have had to have been pretty disgusting to be worse. Not a high bar to exceed.

They also appeared to have minimum environmental standards. Stalls using recyclable containers. Though then let down with no obvious bin for compostable waste. My burger served in a card box went in general waste. Only later did I see a bin for recycling. But saw no bin for compostable waste. I saw a grand total of two bins, with one young man going round collecting the rubbish ignorant people had tossed on the ground.

Chow Down also had better food offering than the disgusting offering at the Lincoln Vegan Festival a couple of weeks ago in the Drill Hall, though vegans and vegetarians would have been very disappointed by what was on offer.

I expected to be spoilt for choice. I was not.

I settled for a burger. It was good, but I have had far better. Dirty Organic Burger in Brighton, burger from street food festival in a park in Guildford a couple of years ago (and it was charcoal grilled and came with a side of new potatoes).

A cappuccino off Laynes Espresso coffee stall using Dark Woods Arboretum espresso blend. It too was good, far better than usually get at such events, undrinkable coffee served from a van and better than the undrinkable coffee served in the Lincoln Castle cafe which is to insult visitors, but not in the same league as Coffee Aroma or Madame Waffle.

And on a hot day, why no cold brew coffee? A very refreshing drink on a hot day.

Nor were the waffles on a waffle stall in the same league as Madame Waffle.

Laynes espresso claimed the Chow Down travelling circus was curated, in other words they have selected the best. If this was curated, I hate to think what it would have been if not.

If this is the best the North and Midlands has to offer on street food, then a poor reflection of street food culture in the region.

Not last year but the year before, Steam Punks had a far better street food offering.

I was there lunchtime, the Castle grounds were packed, and yet what was noticeable the food stalls were not busy.

There was better food on offer at the local farmers market outside the Castle in Castle Hill, from where I was also able to pick up an excellent local craft beer

After returning to the farmers market, where I found better food on offer, then walked down Steep Hill.

Drunks spilling out of the Magna Cart were blocking the street.

If Lincoln is to host a street food festival, then do not invite a travelling circus, organise own street food festival. If stalls not of quality, then do not invite again. For example, South Bank street food market has regulars, plus a couple of pitches for guest stalls.

Follow the example of Staycation Live in Godalming (underwritten by the local Town Council). Host in the Castle grounds a weekend of live free music in the summer, Lincoln BIG or the community fund that hopefully replaces Lincoln BIG as Lincoln BIG not fit for purpose underwrites, performers have their expenses covered, sell albums, and not only music, also drama and poetry, a collection for a worthy cause, street food, quality street food, around the periphery and dogs welcome.

Free summer weekend music festival in the grounds of Lincoln Castle, street food, finish at 2000 to give time to pack up in daylight, then continue in the evening in the town, for example Coffee Aroma street party, jazz with pizza from clay oven at Caffe Portico.

Extinction Rebellion Lincoln

April 18, 2019

Mail on Sunday saw a ludicrous feature on Extinction Rebellion, they were deluded, they wished to take us back to a fossil free dark age.

No, they recognise we face a Climate Emergency, that a fossil free future is our only future.

London, key points were taken. It was not until the third day BBC started to report.

Police have been deployed to arrest peaceful protesters. Would they not be better deployed to deal with knife crime?

Arresting people is pointless, and on dodgy legal grounds. For every person arrested, two more take their place.

Nothing learnt from Civil Rights protests in US. Arresting people, more take to the streets.

In Algeria and Sudan, the people have taken to the streets, faced down oppression, kicked two brutal dictators out of office.

In Lincoln, on Day 4, a small gathering under a tree in the High Street.

Were they there days before, I do not know.

One ignorant man shouted abuse, hit out at the disruption in London.

That disruption is as nothing when London floods due to rising sea levels.

Extinction Rebellion have taken direct action as a last resort, for far too long our corrupt politicians have been in the pocket of big business, giving the go ahead to fracking, to Heathrow expansion, subsidies to oil industry, go ahead for open cast mining.

Direct action is the only action that has ever changed anything.

It will cost far more not to address climate change to sit back and do nothing.

Protesters in Lincoln were calling on Lincoln City Council to declare a Climate Emergency, as many councils already have, to halt the Western Growth Corridor.

Activists need to seize control of the local Town Hall, to end the one-party state in the pocket of the local coop and big business, follow the example of Madrid, Barcelona and A Coruña, open to public participation, network across Europe with other citizen-controlled Town Halls.

Lincoln and Lincolnshire have an appalling bus service. Try getting a bus to anywhere after 1900 in the evening.

The pedestrianised High Street is not. Lorries drive through any time of the day. No enforcement action, local council and police turn a blind eye.

There is a ban between 1000 and 1600, but no one takes a blind bit of notice.

There should be a ban 24/7, emergency vehicles only. Lorries park on the periphery, deliver by hand cart and trolley. The norm in Europe

Maybe they will, but the protesters should have sat down on High Bridge and blocked the High Street.

Ban wood burning stoves from the city.

It beggars belief we still build new build with no solar panels on the roof.

We need local area power distribution networks, owned and controlled by the local community, into which feed renewables paid a fair price, consumers pay a fair price. Surplus generation fed to other local networks via a publicly owned National Grid. Any ‘profit’ either fed back into the system or used to fund local community projects. Electric cars provide a nighttime base load.

Avoid any corporate chain coffee shops, enjoy specialty coffee served in glass or ceramic in an indie coffee shop. In Lincoln that would be Coffee Aroma or Madame Waffle. Reusable coffee cups glass Keep Cup or bamboo ecoffeecup address symptoms.

The planning application for a drive-thru Costa must be opposed. No one who loves coffee would be seen dead in Costa. More traffic. At a time when we should be reducing our dependency on the car, an application for yet another drive-thru. Local Coop once again acting for corporate chains whilst at the same time destroying Sincil Street. Those who love coffee relax in Coffee Aroma or Madame Waffle with specialty coffee served in glass or ceramic.

Brighton has Hisbe. Lincoln needs a zero waste store.

An animal diet, apart from being nutritionally dense thus better for our health, is environmental sound, grass fed animals are part of the natural cycle, improving the soil acts as a carbon sink.

We need to re-wild.

We have to drastically reduce our emissions of carbon. The longer we delay, the deeper the cuts.

Children are going on strike on Fridays. They question why their future is being destroyed.

We need a Green New Deal.

Read This Changes Everything.

Hacks at failing local rags The Lincolnite and Lincolnshire Echo failed to cover the protest.