Posts Tagged ‘tea’

Mindful Chef Clipper Tea promotion

February 11, 2021

An Instagram promotion by Mindful Chef, directed to Instagram from Facebook.

mindfulchefuk  GIVEAWAY! 🎉 As a proud @bcorpuk we’re here for you, our people & the planet 🌍 so we’re thrilled to be teaming up with the world’s largest fairtrade tea brand @clipperteas 🤩 whose products are made with pure, natural ingredients 🌱 & a clear conscience 🙌 For your chance to win a bundle of quality teas ☕ & healthy recipes 😋 simply 👇

1️⃣ Like our post 💚
2️⃣ Tag a tea-loving friend 👯‍♀️
3️⃣ Follow @mindfulchefuk & @clipperteas 🤳
4️⃣ Share this post to your story for a bonus entry ✨

Winner announced on Friday 12th February – good luck! 🤞 #mindfulchef

No company or  individual who lays claim to being ethical has a presence on Instagram, least of all directs to Instagram.

  • owned by facebook
  • theft and abuse of personal data
  • pictures not visible on twitter
  • complicit in teen and pre-teen self harm and suicides

Overuse of tiny icons give the impression social media account handled by a teenager.

What we are seeing is a scam to generate yet more data for Instagram facebook, Mindful Chef and Clipper Tea.

  • like
  • tag
  • follow
  • share

Never tag friends, play quiz games survey, like, share. You are generating a data trail for Instagram and Facebook

The FairTrade scam. Pay a tiny premiums above commodity price. There is no incentive for farmers to improve quality, thus maintains farmers in poverty.

Direct trade, higher premiums paid for quality incentive for growers to improve, win win for everyone, consumers receive a higher quality, growers receive higher prices.

Always buy coffee from indie coffee shop or reputable coffee roastery.

A few years ago an expose of an Indian tea planation The Cost of a Cuppa, a BBC Radio 4 documentary looked at tea plantations in Assam, the appalling working and living conditions on the tea plantations, the child slave labour, whether the tea was supplied to some of the most expensive tea suppliers on the market or commodity tea it made no difference, the various designations meaningless, not worth the paper they are written on.

Tea workers in Assam earn 115 rupees a day, just over £1 ($1.50), well below the minimum wage (177 rupees in Assam). This is legal, a legacy of the British, part of their wage is paid for with housing, clean water, sanitation, food. There has been a small increase in wages since the programme was recorded.

The housing not fit for human habitation, no safe drinking water, no toilets, cesspits overflowing, roofs leaking. Plantation owners in India are obliged by law to provide and maintain ‘adequate’ houses, and sanitary toilets for workers.

The women pick the tea leaves, hard work, but not hazardous. In the fields the workmen are spraying hazardous pesticides, no protective gear, wearing only t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops. The chemical used deltamethrin, harmful possibly fatal if absorbed through the skin or inhaled. The local hospital sees 5–6 patients a week suffering from pesticide poisoning.

The plantations visited, Rainforest Alliance Certified. A marketing tool to sell tea to make middle class buyers of tea feel good.

Clipper Tea is owned by Royal Wessanen (now Ecotone), a massive Dutch food conglomerate. Ecotone owned by Vulture Capitalists PAI Partners (62%) and Charles Jobson (38%).

Companies owned include

  • Clipper tea
  • Kallø
  • Whole Earth

Whole Earth, like Mindful Chef, a greenwash name to hide the reality. Check out their peanut butter. No sugar, no salt, yeah, but check the list of ingredients, padded out with palm oil. For peanut butter choose Meridian or Suma from wholefood stores, local cooperatives and zero waste stores.

Mindful Chef, despite its prostrations of ethical, is owned by Nestle.

I am hard pushed to find anything ethical

Buy coffee from indie coffee shops or reputable coffee roasteries, chocolate from bean-to bar chocolate makers, tea from small specialist tea merchant’s.

The only giveaway we are seeing here is Mindful Chef customers giving away their personal data, for what, a chance to win a  few teabags. A crude data harvesting exercise by Mindful Chef and Clipper Tea, which also helps generate more data for Instagram and Facebook. 

Ceylon House of Coffee

December 7, 2020

Once upon a time, a century ago, coffee spread from Ethiopia to Ceylon, Ceylon was a major exporter of coffee. Then disease struck, the coffee trees were wiped out and had to be destroyed to stop, in vein, to try and halt the disease from spreading. Coffee was replaced by tea.

There is now an effort to establish the island’s coffee heritage, old trees located, new trees grown.

Coffee needs a coffee shop.

Ceylon House of Coffee is owned by the owner of a Ceylon coffee planation. High altitude arabica.

It was with trepidation I visited, my expectations low.

Ceylon House of Coffee is to recreate a traditional coffee house. Never having visited one, I would not know, but on walking in, I was transported to what in my mind’s eye I would expect, with the exception of modern espresso machine and a grinder.

I was introduced to the manager and head barista Rohan Pitumpe and spent the rest of the day talking all things coffee until well after the coffee shop had closed.

The coffee is roasted in Sri Lanka then shipped to England. As a general rule, added value in the source country is always a good idea, but for coffee no. Roasted coffee beans do not travel well, there is a risk of contamination, risk of delay, and with UK leaving EU this can only get worse with chaos at the borders. Already companies are stockpiling in anticipation of chaos in the New Year.

The coffee beans must be shipped to UK as green beans, then roasted locally by a skilled coffee roaster. Supply the green beans from Ceylon to a local roastery in UK, then supply the roasted beans to the coffee shop in Guildford.

If coffee is roasted locally, it will suit local palates, local water, and will not encounter supply delay.

Around the walls, information on the farm and history of coffee in Ceylon.

Very elegant coffee cups, equally elegant tea cups. Again reminiscent of what would expect of a traditional tea or coffee house.

The only time I have seen cups like this was in Ben Rahim, an Arabic coffee shop in Berlin.

A long time opening,  Problems with the builders, then covid-19 lockdown.

Open space in the middle, wooden floor, it could be a cabaret dance floor, tables and chairs arranged around the periphery.  Difficult to see what could be done with this open space. If tables and chairs, would be an obstruction to the bar. It could be one large old table, a communal table.

Large floor to ceiling windows which makes open and airy in daylight hours.

A coffee shop needs outdoor seating for the summer. This Ceylon House of Coffee lacks though has applied for permission. It would though be difficult as on a slope and not pleasant with passing traffic.

With changing coronavirus situation, opening hours are in flux, currently open until six thirty in the evening. Too late in the winter cold and dark and folk wish to get home. In the summer could be later.

In the future they hope to offer coffee related events.

And the coffee?

For a change, I chose an espresso. Not harsh, but could be better.

Followed by a cappuccino.

I did not have to send the cappuccino back, I did not have to say no chocolate. I was not asked did I want chocolate? I was served a cappuccino with no chocolate dumped on top. Why do so many coffee shops get it wrong?

The cappuccino, a little weak.

But the beans are roasted in Ceylon, then shipped to UK, far from ideal.

I looked forward to a shipment of green beans, roasted locally.

Currently it is not possible to purchase the coffee beans, but hopefully this will change when coffee is roasted locally.

Ceylon House of Coffee has on sale, of course, Ceylon tea.

For reasons unknown, Ceylon House of Coffee has been targeted by trolls and very unpleasant  fake reviews. Please ignore. Pay a visit and be pleasantly surprised.

I came way from Ceylon House of Coffee pleasantly surprised. It was a pleasure to visit. Sadly not often I feel that way, therefore always a pleasant surprise to find a coffee shop where they care about coffee. Such coffee shops do exist, but it is finding them, too many people open coffee shops, and roasteries, caring nothing about coffee and knowing even less.

We now have two excellent coffee shops in Guildford, Krema in Tunsgate and Ceylon House of Coffee at the bottom of the High Street.

Coronavirus biosecurity excellent.  Open and airy, high ceiling, table and chairs well spaced apart, hand sanitiser as walk in.

 

Stokes on High Bridge re-opens takeaway only

June 17, 2020

Day eighty five of lockdown, first day Stokes on High Bridge open.

Being their first day after closed for several weeks I expected a very long queue. No queue.

Hand sanitiser outside the store for customers to use.

Serving coffee and toasties. Only one lady serving, brewing coffee, making toasties.

I thought have a coffee, maybe a cheese and ham toasty. Not possible, card only.

Stokes need to think again card only. Everywhere else preference for contactless card, but accepting cash. They are going to lose many of their elderly customers. Maybe that explains no queue.

A large empty sterile space in front of Stokes on High Bridge, more than sufficient space for Stokes to spread their tables in the street. This is being blocked by intransigence of local councils.

The local councils have had weeks during lockdown to have in place plans for indie coffee shops, tea shops and restaurants to park their tables in the street, to enable them to open whilst maintaining two metres social distancing. Win win for everyone. It could have happened in May. Revitalises the High Street, helps local businesses back on their feet, improves the city centre ambience.

Without tables in the street many local businesses will die. They are too small to meet social distancing rules. Takeaway coffee is not a viable option. OK for a kiosk, but not for a coffee shop or restaurant with higher overheads. They  are surviving currently with staff on furlough, rent deferred. But what then when these schemes end?

Stokes at the Lawn currently not open.

Coffee Aroma will open on the first of July, takeaway only. They asked to put tables in the street. An emphatic no from County Hall, not even the courtesy of an explanation.

Madame Waffle not open any time soon.

Bookstop Cafe open, had tables outside, ordered by City Council to remove.

 

Leadenham Teahouse

February 13, 2019

On the way to Grantham stopped off at Leadenham to visit award-winning Leadenham Teahouse.

What does award-winning actually mean? Not a lot as these days virtually anyone is up for an award and when given by Good Taste Lincolnshire or Good Taste Awards meaningless.

Last year Good Taste Lincolnshire awarded Coffee Bobbins the best tea and coffee shop in Lincolnshire which serving poor quality tea and coffee made the award a laughing stock, as not even the best in Lincoln.

This time around the turn of Leadenham Teahouse for this worthless accolade.

Leadenham is a village on the way Lincoln to Grantham, I say village, actually Leadenham Teahouse on the cross roads, though there is a village church and it does host to my surprise a polo club.

Leadenham Teahouse is a tea shop serving tea and snacks and cake and coffee, a Post Office, well actually a Post Office counter and a little shop selling tourist tat.

As tea shops goes quite pleasant though nothing special.

Custom was myself and a coupe of ladies. No one came in to use the service of the Post Office.

I had avocado on sourdough toast with a sprinkling of cottage cheese, and a little salad.

OK, but poor quality sourdough to what I have had elsewhere and poor offering compared with excellent avocado on sourdough toast at The Cheese Society in Lincoln, which also came with melted halloumi cheese.

In the centre a wood-burning stove emitting more pollution than a diesel lorry, but maybe ok in the middle of nowhere.

The tourist tat, but no tourists, and I could not see why there would be especially as the tea shop not open on a Sunday and closes half day on a Saturday.

Outside bench seats by traffic lights on a major road.

I had a cappuccino. It was not good, poor quality catering supply coffee and clueless on how to make coffee. Though in a all fairness a tea shop not a coffee shop and there was a wide choice of tea.

A few cakes from local bakery, but did not look at all appealing.

I was surprised no fresh bread on sale.

I was told try the farm shop down the road.

Failing tea and coffee shops in Lincoln

November 27, 2018

What could be a microcosm of anywhere, a tale of failing, closed and for sale tea and coffee shops in Lincoln.

Tickleberry Lane Bakery & Tea House opened over 18 months ago. It was doomed to failure as did everything possible that could be done wrong.

Poor quality tea and coffee. When prominently display serving teapigs, may as well run up a flag stating we know nothing about tea. The coffee over-roasted catering supply commodity coffee. On the other side of the street Coffee Aroma serving high quality tea and coffee.

The serving of lunch was upstairs via narrow steep stairs, but no menu on display outside the shop. No one is going to walk up steep narrow stairs with no idea what is on offer when they arrive.

Rather late in the day, a few months before they closed, they placed a couple of tables and chairs in the window. Too little, too late.

The writing was on the wall, firstly claimed closed as not busy, then claimed illness, finally a To Let sign. Other businesses that were ordering bread and cakes complained of unreliable delivery. The staff walked out complaining they had not been paid.

Two weeks or more after the To Let sign went up the useless local press reported it had closed, it had actually closed many months before, and regurgitated as news what had been written on facebook.

The Angel Coffee House is up for sale. A couple of years ago, it would have put some squats to shame. A major refit and yes has improved, but not the coffee.

The owner will give advice, if sold, but hopefully not on coffee. And has ideas on expansion. Which begs the question, why, if these are such good ideas, why were they not implemented?

Increasing takeaway, especially if using Deliveroo, is a retrograde step, not unless do not care about the environment, or exploitation of serfs working for an app.

We must reduce the grab it and go takeaway culture part of pointless consumerism, encourage relax with specialty coffee served in glass or ceramic.

Pimento Tea Rooms half way up Steep Hill has closed. Once excellent for tea and cakes, new owners took over and destroyed the business.

Steep Hill Tea Rooms, a tea shop at the top of Steep Hill one of many tea shops on Steep Hill has closed. When I passed by in September, the premises gutted, the name still on the window.

New tea shops have opened on The Strait and in Bailgate. All chasing the same tourist pound. When there is money to be made, for example AsylumX the recent steampunk festival, they still close early.

Coffee by the Arch is for sale. Catering supply coffee, service poor, tea supplied by tea pigs. Again one of many tea and coffee shops in Bailgate, Steep Hill and The Strait chasing the same tourist pound.

Coffee by the Arch was for sale, but the sale fell through early November when the buyer pulled out at the eleventh hour. Not clear if it is still on the market. At the time of writing it is still listed as cafe lease for sale. Owner has complained on their facebook page of inaccurate reporting by the media.

It is not helped by a tea shop of very similar name in Bailgate. Someone failed to do their homework.

For any new business the odds are stacked against success. 80% of new businesses fail within the first 18 months. And even if make it past 18 months it is not plain sailing, the chance of becoming a sustainable business is only 1 in 20.

Where once, maybe up to five years ago, could open a tea or coffee shop serving low quality tea in tea bags, catering supply coffee, not employ skilled baristas, not be prepared to invest in the required equipment, not any more. To do so is to be on a hiding to nothing.

For low quality tea and coffee, we have the corporate chains, why therefore open up in direct competition? This is like the fools and their money easily parted who take on the tenancy of a tied pub, the pubcos see you coming, another mug to relieve of their redundancy money or life savings.

Lincoln has three quality coffee shops, Coffee Aroma, Madame Waffle and Base Camp. Any one of these failing, failed or for sale businesses has the potential to be a quality coffee shop, serving specialty coffee in glass or ceramic. They will not be in competition, specialty coffee shops never are, they help to expand the market by introducing coffee drinkers to how coffee should be served, what it should look like, taste like.

There is never any point in entering a crowded market. Create the market, be the big fish in the pond because you have created the pond, then expand the pond.

In addition the focus has to be on quality, being the best. To try to compete on price, to lower quality, is to engage in a race to the bottom, as there will always be someone who can undercut you.

In Winchester, two years ago, Coffee Lab opened, spread by word of mouth, followed by Coffee Lab Academy, followed by The Square. In the meantime Flat White kiosk, followed by Flat White coffee shop. They are not in competition, they have grown the market for specialty coffee.

In Guildford, Krema serving specialty coffee, busy since it opened. Coffee shops serving poor quality coffee, pretentious coffee shops where the owner talks bollocks on focus groups, brands and marketing, are either empty or closed.

It is like a tied pub serving what masquerades as beer from a corporate chemical plant, competing in a shrinking market where pubs are closing every week. Open a coffee ship serving undrinkable catering supply coffee, in competition with the corporate coffee chains in a stagnant if not shrinking market.

The irony, far more likely to find quality craft beer, even decent wine, in a coffee shop than a pub, and far more convivial company. Little Tree, half a dozen craft beers from different Greek Islands. The Underdog, over twenty different craft beers. Warehouse, over 200 different wines.

And yet no one learns.

Ye Olde Mouse House, proclaimed to be a cheese cum coffee shop, a weird combination, has opened in the former Steep Hill Tea Rooms at the top of Steep Hill.

The name says it all. Maybe a better name, Ye Olde Tourist Trap.

They talk of cheese as a brand. Cheese is not a brand not unless talking of plastic wrapped Kraft plastic cheese.

And yes, their adulterated cheese is sold prepackaged in plastic, other cheese coated in wax.

In an Appendix to Reinventing the Wheel excellent advice by Bronwen Percival on buying 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.

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

And their use of social media to say the least perverse. A badly filmed video of their coffee shop located in a cellar. A picture of a dog tied up outside in the cold and wet(since deleted). Questions posted on their cheese and coffee, not only lack the courtesy to answer, the questions are deleted.

Footfall on Steep Hill has in recent years dramatically fallen. The only way to attract business, to offer quality, word of mouth.

For quality cheese in Lincoln, The Cheese Society, top of the High Street, bottom of The Strait. Or if in Bailgate next to the Post Office try Redhill Farm Shop which has a small selection of quality local cheeses. There is also local cheese on the monthly farmers market in Castle Square.

Algerian Coffee Stores

November 22, 2018

Not a huge amount is known about its history, but we do know that the original owner was Mr Hassan in 1887. He had it until 1928 when he sold it to a Belgian man. Then, in 1946, he sold it to my grandad and it’s been in the family ever since. — Marisa Crocetta

Passing through Covent Garden and into Soho on a cold misty day in London, I am on my way to find Algerian Coffee Stores in Old Compton Street. Though first I stopped off for a coffee at The Espresso Room and a little detour to Bar Italia around the corner.

Algerian Coffee Stores is an Aladdin’s Cave of coffee and tea paraphernalia, loose leaf tea and coffee beans, oriental sweets, like something out of Arabian Nights or have been transported on a magic carpet to one of the bazaars in Istanbul, except the staff are English not Arabs or Turks.

Coffee is also served, though for me the beans too darkly roasted.

Mr Hassan, one of the first Algerians to arrive in London, opened the shop in 1887. He sold it to a Belgian gentleman in 1926, who in turn sold it to the grandfather of Marisa Crocetta in 1948. Marisa and her family still run the store.

The shop still retains some original features, the wooden shelves along the walls, the original wooden counter and display case.

Even if do not like coffee, worth a visit to see how Soho used to be.

Featured in 111 Coffee Shops in London That You Must Not Miss.

Special thanks to my lovely Russian friend Tatyana who told me of this coffee emporium and said I must visit.

Cupsmith

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.

 

Liquid Jade

May 5, 2018

Liquid Jade, hidden down an alley, Zebedee’s Yard off Whitefriargate.

Pleasant ambience.

The focus on tea and food. Yes, did have coffee, but would not tell me where from.

Perverse. I lacked the time to enjoy the food, and declined to try the coffee. Transparency is everything.

Owner very helpful, suggested places to visit and kindly marked my map.

Harlequin Cafe and The Attic

April 20, 2018

On leaving Spring Espresso Lendal and wandering around, arrived back at York Minster, then found Harlequin Cafe and The Attic overlooking a small square, King’s Square.  I was actually heading towards a market or at least following a sign to a market.

First Floor Harlequin Cafe (closed) and on the second floor The Attic.

Through a door and up narrow stairs.

I have lumped the two together, but strictly speaking I should not as two different one a tea shop the other a coffee shop cum drinking den in the evening.  The only reason I have is because Harlequin Cafe was closed. All I could do was peer though the door and carry on upwards to The Attic, quite literally the attic.

Why was Harlequin Cafe closed, I asked on reaching The Attic. Why was it closed, I inquired? I learnt it closed at 3-30 in the afternoon Looking perplexed, I was told it was a tea room.

Not wishing for yet another cappuccino I chose, or was chosen for me, pour over Kalita Wave using a single origin from Has bean, I think a Burundi.

A signed copy of Coffeeography occupying pride of place on the shelf. I suggested why not invite Stephen Leighton for an afternoon of conversation, such an event of  conversation with Stephen Leighton had taken place one afternoon at Coffee Aroma.

A choice of KeepCup or ecoffee reusable cups. The black with Attic, far more attractive than ecoffee in Oxfam.

A short walk to a local market but now no time to have a wander round.

I asked the way to the station as now in a more modern less attractive part of the city and lost.

Cappuccino at International Bomber Command Centre

February 11, 2018

Last visits to the International Bomber Command Centre were a couple of weeks ago when not yet open to the public, press day and a preview for veterans, I was curious what it was like now open to the public, what better way to find out than to drop in for a cappuccino.

Sunday roast dinner at the Butcher and Beast at Heighington, then on to the International Bomber Command Centre for a cappuccino.

I was pleasantly surprised on arrival to find how many cars parked in the car park, almost full.

Shocked to find have to pay £3 to park. This was a planning condition imposed by the local council. The money will go to the centre, but only I assume after covering the cost of the parking machines.

How to access by public transport I do not know.

There needs to be access from South Common, otherwise quite a trek if on foot.

Speaking with the Director, previous weekend, the first weekend open to the public,  was even busier, I think she said 1100 visitors.

Excellent news, as they need visitor numbers to make the centre viable and provide cash flow.

On entering the open plan reception area, I noticed cabinets arranged corralling a central area, books on sale, souvenirs, including bags of coffee and tea.

The range of books quite limited. I assume not long open, hopefully a wider selection in the near future.

My cappuccino, too hot, weak and insipid. Classic mistake to serve piping hot.

The coffee served, Bomber Command blend, is a blend from Brazil, supplied by Stokes, exclusive to IBCC.

The Bomber Command beans are on sale, but already ground. For freshness, beans have to be whole, ground on demand. Also essential when supply beans, the roast date, best by or use by is meaningless.

Information on the bag about a Bomber Command pilot from Brazil, but nothing about the beans, where sourced from in Brazil, Q grade, not even if Arabica or heaven forbid Robusta.

Also on sale Bomber Command tea, again exclusive to IBCC supplied by Stokes. Disappointingly, in tea bags, not loose leaf tea.


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