I like coffee. The fact that national chains can’t provide me with the ‘taste’ I like really infuriates me.

I learned a long time ago that I was not a coffee drinker. Coffee is not the beverage I think of when I hear ‘hot drink’. I realised many years ago that I am a tea drinker. I also realised a long time ago that this is because I just don’t like instant coffee (‘instant coffee’ is an oxymoron). I do however enjoy drinking coffee – proper coffee made with fresh ground beans and very hot, not boiling, water. I love the taste of coffee, I adore the smell of coffee. I am (despite being a tea drinker) a coffee addict.

Why then, can I not get a nice cup of coffee in this country? I am regularly tempted by the smells emanating from Starbucks, Ratazza, Nero and Costa but just as regularly disappointed by the purchase. What is it about “a small Americano please, but with only half the water” they don’t understand? When asked if I want milk (actually Starbucks is better for this because they allow me to choose the amount), they invariably fill the cup – which defeats the object. I want flavour not watery milk. I often don’t complain because doing so would slow down the queue (the ‘baristas’ are robots really and have few if any crowd pleasing skills) and they would soon pick me out as ‘the arsehole’.

All I want is a hot strong coffee. I want flavour not volume. I have found one garden centre just outside Huddersfield that serves a wonderful coffee but it’s my secret. If you want to know where it is drop me a line. Until then I’m keeping this gem to myself. Now I’m going out into the snow and may well take my walking partner to this very garden centre instead of walking. MMmmm Coffee!

9 Responses to “Coffee”

  1. Good Coffee « EduVel Says:

    […] talked about coffee before [], when I actually said: I .. realised a long time ago that .. I just don’t like instant coffee […]

  2. Gail Says:

    Coffee culture is better in the US obviously but it is often hit or miss here too (as you know David). It’s what prompted me to start roasting my own beans although I’ve had to stop doing that because of condo living. It was good while it lasted though and I’ll go back to it again. Anyway, if I get coffee out these days I ask for an extra shot but I don’t touch hotel coffee – it’s like they wave the coffee at the hot water from across the room and that’s as close as the 2 get.

  3. Col Says:

    you get my vote!
    High-street-chain coffee is awful – but let’s face it – the UK has catering & customer service problems – hence Fawlty Towers.
    I too, am lucky to have a couple of local independent coffee shops that serve great coffee, with a dash of social interaction – which is why they do well.
    The last few reluctant visits I’ve paid to Starbucks were more like Starmucks – another UK problem – we can’t seem to deal with our trash.

  4. ellen Says:

    Sometimes hot water is the only way forward. I measure conferences and hotels by the care they take to produce good coffee. It doesn’t have to be great but you can tell when someone cares enough to spend a little bit of time to get it right.

  5. Kate Says:

    ….and if you think they make coffee badly, you obviously haven’t tried the drinks they call tea!!


  6. James Clay Says:

    Actually remembering visits to Italy. what you are after is a long espresso rather than the Americano that they serve here.

  7. James Clay Says:

    I’m with you Mr Sugden, with you all the way.

    I can if possible avoid chains and try to go to places that look like they might serve a decent coffee and then continue to go there.

    Quite a few places serve Illy and that’s generally my brand of choice. Easier to find in Italy, but still possible to find in Blighty.

  8. dsugden Says:

    Ah, so true Roberto.

    However, I suspect that our national chains buy the cheaper coffees and then add too much water. They seem to think that we like drinking watery mud.

    The only way to get a good coffee here, is to make our own or travel to France or Italy (but then you knew that 🙂

    Thanks for reading …


  9. Roberto Says:

    Hi David
    my i suggest Italian blend like Illy Lavazza but there are a lot !

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