Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Black & Blue, London, UK

Another in the pantheon of great restaurants in Borough Market, Black and Blue does good meat and is a nice place to eat, it certainly utilises the arch space it inhabits well. A lobby like bar flanked with high tables for those waiting sees a narrow corridor area to the left and a large American style diner area to the right. Cows adorn the restaurant including this fellow who meets you as you step out the lift that takes you to the toilet.  

The food is focused on meat, steak to be precise and the t-bones we ordered were of the highest order. A glass of cab-sav on the side made it all slip down a treat. Onto the coffee; time being short an espresso was  ordered.

The espresso came in a largish mug and was itself quite big. The aroma was fantastic and the first taste was a great big hit to the pallet.  Touching all the right notes, smooth and flavoursome it was not quite an espresso, more an americano due to the strength and the size. It didn't seem overespressed in flavour as it was sweet and not overly bitter but the amount of water reduced the strength. Still even at this size there was enough raw coffee there to keep the taste and a nice oily sheen.

  • Double Espresso
  • Strong (but could be stronger)
  • Great aroma and a full flavour
  • Good Crema
  • Large
  • £3 

A very nice tasting drink and the only criticism is one of definition, a little large and therefore a little weak for the drink ordered.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Top 5 in Brighton 2010

A new year, a fresh desire to find the best coffee in the world. The mission is not over yet and there are many coffee houses in Brighton alone to sample.

The top 5 (in Brighton) in no particular order:

9 Bar
Taylor Street Baristas

Feel free to send suggestions of where to try next.The sad but honest fact is that most places will get a middling to poor review, only the very best coffee will get a thumbs up.

Remember this is all about the coffee not about the ambience or staff or food, just the black stuff.

desVins, London, UK

Before stepping on a morning train to Derby I searched St. Pancreas for the best shot of Joe I could find. desVins looked the best bet, whether it was the train arch location (I can't get enough of these, see Black and Blue next) or the pretty girl wrapped in layers outside that drew me in I cannot be sure.

The outside stall sold coffee's and wines by the glass or mini bottle. A little early for wine so the Black Americano it was. I was promised that "it is very good coffee" and although being frozen and blasted by fire alarms and a live band the barista did her job admirably. 

I didn't sample till on the train and found the good and the bad. Smooth as silk no doubt but too large and watered down (or not enough coffee).  The coffee had a milky after taste which I couldn't place as the natural cream of the bean or something else so have placed it down as a slight sour note

Sorry for the very bad photo taken just before running for the train. This does not do the lovely arched premises justice. To be fair grabbing the coffee from the outside stall may not either.

  • Black Americano
  • Weak
  • Smooth with a creamy/sour after taste
  • No Crema
  • Large
  • £2.50 
Publish Post
Not too bad but with a few off notes and lacking the strength one needs.