We don’t smoke, we drink very little, we have been known to throw away some inhibitions and pig-out on the odd culinary extravagance now and then. I suppose in many respects we are very easily pleased when it comes to our social vices. However, don’t let that lure you hostelries out there into a false sense of security: when it comes to one particular vice we are as discerning and fussy as Gordon Ramsay in a kebab shop.
Many experts reckon that coffee is as addictive as some so-called classified drugs. I wouldn’t know if that is as true as they make out because I’ve never tried weaning myself off the stuff. Perhaps I should one day!
We own and run an extremely high-mileage Gaggia “Classic” espresso machine at home that has seen more action than General Petraeus and is still going strong churning out the black nectar every morning. We had a minor panic earlier in the year when Gaggia closed their UK side of the distribution operation. However we’re pleased to see that they’re back up and running, albeit in a different guise, so the occasional blowout can still be repaired without delay. Its little brother, the Krups electric burr grinder hasn’t given so much as a blink of trouble since the day it was born.
Coffee shops are more common nowadays than flares were in the seventies. There’s almost always a wealth of choice in any town or venue. You would think, then, that the competition would ensure consistently high standards. Hmmmm. Here are our verdicts on the usual suspects:
On the Thumbs Up side….
Marks and Spencer,
Costa Coffee …and a couple of very good local ones in Cardiff:
Fino Lounge, and
Coffee Mania (Cardiff Bay).
But unfortunately, a Thumbs Down for:
Starbucks, (too milky, not strong enough, not hot enough, and served from dirty mugs – yeeuuch),
Coffee Primo, (quite possibly the worst cup of coffee we’ve ever bought!)
John Lewis (not very strong and no choice of milks)
“Oooh what fusspots!” I hear you all groan from over the rims of your Nescafé Mugs. What sad lives we must lead. Any donations of packets of good beans from charitable causes will be gratefully received!