Monday, 28 June 2010

Original coffee moleskin

I found the moleskin which contained my initial coffee tasting from around London and even some abroad.

Slightly different approach and I did SCORE! The first entries are from Australia and move onto London. One day I may even write this up.

Burger Chain Coffee Smackdown

I had a sudden desire to find out who would win in the coffee stakes between the much maligned McDonald's and the flame grilled rival Burger king. The desire stemmed from an extremely hungover/ drunk moment in Slough McDonald's the morning after a wedding. Morning was truly morning after being gently woken by my family before 6. I had a coffee and thought how really not very very bad it was.

I soon found that this was not even a fight as burger king makes instant.  Although they don't claim it the packaging leads you to believe it is real but you can't hide that difference in taste no matter how luxurious a brand you use. From my fuzzy memory McDonald's was as good as, if not better than many of the dedicated coffee houses.

I got a chance to try McDonald's again in Sweden.

The price was good and my ordering in Swedish was not that bad (although the man replied in English). The first thing that struck was the crema, it looked very odd, fluffy and white; some how it was synthetic. The liquid also looked too thin and didn't have much of a strong aroma. But after these poor first impressions it tasted, well not bad at all. In fact this coffee had quite a unique taste that was hard to pin down. It was not overly bitter or watery, it could have been stronger and perhaps fresher but not an all together unpleasant experience

  • Regular Black Americano
  • Medium to low strength
  • Smooth taste but little aroma
  • A little bitter but not overly so
  • Weird frothy crema
  • Small cup
  • £1.00 (10K)

A unique tasting coffee  that could have been a little stronger and the beans a little fresher but surprisingly not awful. Max burger was also pretty good but that is for another day.


World Barista Championships

Mike Phillips from the USA won the World Barista Championships. This year it was in London and a crying shame for I missed it.

Man I want to try this guy's joe.

However the sunny side of this situation if that they provide this awesome map of coffee houses to try in London:

Cafe Espegards, Gotland, Sweden

We found this small cafe open on our second attempt. A recommended family business (1 man, 1 wife, 8 daughters, man someone wants a son badly) from the Gotland food tour guide and just up the road from our cottage, I was confident of something special. 

We went through the Americano explanation again but this did not worry me now, and at this point the matriarch took over from the waitress and was our barista. 

The coffee came in a smart Lofbergs Lila cup. It smelt good, strong with a rich aroma but joyfully no burning. It looked just right with an oily gleam that you could just see like a slick under the crema. Taste wise it hit the spot but there was one issue, it was too strong. A rare complaint for me but I was overpowered by this cup.

Regular Black Americano
  • Extremely high strength
  • Overly strong taste
  • Good aroma, 
  • Small amount of crema
  • Perfect small cup
  • £2.50 (25K)

Served up alongside some scarily good home made berry pie (just like a crumble and we also tried the apple) and a wonderful setting this was undoubtedly a good coffee only marred by a little too much off the good stuff.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Cafe Ringduvan, Visby, Gotland, Sweden

Before we embarked on a round of supermarket shopping we popped into a little cafe built outside the city walls. The staff were not sure about what an Americano was but after a little translation we got there. Cafe is a filter coffee, svart is black so I just need to know what long is and then I'm there. They then had the good grace to ask me how much water I wanted; this was a great sign.

This coffee was about as good as I make it at home (not bad but not the best), perhaps slightly better. A little over espressed and lacking that bean sweetness but nice and short, strong and swiftly served. It sat especially well when gobbled up with a chokoladebull and a Dessirebulle.

  • Strong
  • Smooth not overly bitter taste
  • Little crema
  • Small cup- Bonus points for choosing level of water.
  • £2.00 (20Kr) 

Another good coffee. Not the greatest but very good. Another strike for the pearl of the Baltic, two for two.


Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Cafe Amalia, Visby, Gotland, Sweden.

We happened upon this trendy looking cafe and 2nd hand clothes shop in the heart of the historical city. It was full of immaculatly looking Swedes, well groomed and well dressed. The food looks healthy and natural yet still full of goodies (confirmed that the chocolate cake is yummolicious). 

The Americano came very short bitter and not burnt. Could have been a little sweeter but no real complaints so not much to say. A great first coffee in sweden and the second cup tasted just as good. 

Regular Black Americano

  • High strength
  • Strong smooth taste
  • No bitter after taste
  • Small amount of crema
  • Small cup
  • £2.50 (25K)

An excellent Americano. If all the coffees taste this good, I'm in for a treat. So good I came back and used the free Wifi to post this blog.


Gotland Sweden

Going to the chapel and I'm going to get married in Gotland, Sweden. Whilst I am here I intend to try at least a few coffees.

In Sweden they have planes like this:

So you imagine the coffee is going to be good. These people live a high quality existence so I hope they demand as much from their joe shots. However I'm pretty certain I will be left with the same disappointments in many places

We board the plan for a coffee adventure (and a wedding).

Coffee Republic, Brighton, UK

Not blogged for a while but took the opportunity of having a final cub before departing to Sweden for two weeks. Coffee republic on the main Brighton Highstreet looked solid enough. 

The smell inside of an unwashed area should have been warning enough. The smallest mug was a Tall and it was a huge mug to contend with. A sweet aroma and plenty of crema seemed promising as iI started out. Due to the rancid inside I moved outside to the busy and baking paving stones of the western road. 

Like so many of these chain coffee's, the beans were burnt and all sweetness lost. This left a taste of tar and the slight tounge buzz of chewing tobacco. After a while I was left with lingering taster of mud. Strengh was undercernable, 

Tall Black Americano

  • Strength? Two shots. 
  • Burnt grit and earth
  • Ashtray aftertaste
  • Plenty of Crema
  • Massive cup
  • £1.80 (need to check this)

A horrible cup of joe. Don't ever try this. Seriously don't. I mean it.