double espresso macchiato

Today, dear reader, I’d like to talk about coffee.

A conspiracy of events this morning[1] left me in a bit of a rush, and without my usual home-brewed coffee to hand. As I walked up the hill to work, I realised that I really could do with a nice hot cup of coffee. I’d already passed Laynes, Bottega was too far out of the way and I’d just gone past the big Starbucks.

Oh look, there’s a Greggs. I can combine coffee with maybe a sneaky little bacon sarnie. Oh, go on then.

Now, I ought to make it clear that I’m quite fond of coffee, and go out of my way to at least try to spend most of my coffee-related purchases at one of Leeds’ excellent independent coffee shops. Usually the aforementioned Bottega or Laynes, with the odd foray out to Brewbar Espresso under the Art Gallery. They all make a quite splendid cup of coffee. Tell them I sent you, that’ll confuse ’em.

The coffee from Greggs was quite awful. No, very awful. It had a nasty, chemical taste to it. According to their website

Every coffee bean we use is 100% Fairtrade. Each cup of coffee is made with our blend of high-grown Arabica beans and rich-tasting Robusta beans, which are slow-roasted to create a delicious full flavour.

Hmm. Ick. Won’t be doing that again. The bacon sarnie, however, was quite tasty.

Now, having said that I’m fond of good coffee, I have to say that I do spend a reasonable amount of time in Starbucks[2]. Oh, hush at the back. Their coffee isn’t as bad as you’re making out. No, really. It’s perfectly fine, and has the added bonus of being reliably and consistently fine no matter which branch (and there are oh so many branches) of the ‘bucks you choose to frequent.

Some mornings you just *need* a very large cup of hot coffee-flavoured milk. And whilst Bottega/Laynes et al produce a superb coffee, they come in smaller cups. For very good reasons, of course, but when you need a vast quantity of caffeine to get you started, Starbucks it is.

Also at lunchtimes I feel less guillty about paying a couple of quid for a large mug of coffee and reading my book for an hour than I would at one of the smaller indie places. On account of them being smaller, I’d be taking up more of their valuable seating space. And, as I said earlier, I reckon I spend 80% of my coffee money in the independents anyway.

I’ll be talking about coffee more as part of another project I’m working on. In the meantime, where’s your favourite coffee shop?

[1] largely my fault, but I blame the snow/trains/children. *cough*
[2] yes, I know about the tax thing. However, I’m firmly of the opinion that it should be the government doing something about it rather than leaving it to the conscience of large corporations. Heck, if I could get away with paying less tax, I would. Wouldn’t you? Of course you would. Now shush. Back to the story.

#DaBloPoMo day #5

Author: dave

Book reviewer, occasional writer, photographer, coffee-lover, cyclist, spoon carver and stationery geek.

3 thoughts on “coffee”

  1. Great post.
    Have to admit to being a bit of a Starbucks ‘holic’. I can load a card with money, and because of having said card I get my soy and extra shots for free. There also aren’t that many options in Bradford. The Centenary Square Starbucks is nice, the outdoor seating (in nice weather) is good with a pretty view of the fountains and I get free wi-fi. Like you said, I know there’s the tax issue, but when I’m working if I could get out of paying as much tax I would too.

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