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!