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  1. Having sold the L1 to @Grahamg and being unable to take delivery of a new L-R until the end of March (my preference, not a supply issue) I have spent the last week and a half without a machine! I had anticipated being machineless and the plan was to dust off the Bealetti or the french press in order to maintain caffeine levels. What I didn’t anticipate was that I would run out of beans on the same day that Graham ran off with my much loved L1. So, what to do to get us through the next two weeks other than stare longingly at a pic of our normal cuppa? Answer…… source some beans for the french press. Reluctant to descend to the depths of the supermarket shelves I decided to try a roasted coffee bean stall at a local market. Let’s just say that despite being far more expensive, I found these beans to be nowhere near as good as those that we are all used sourcing from the likes of Rave, Foundry, Coffee Compass and HasBean, etc. So with, albeit drinkable but somewhat disappointing, coffee from the market beans and the french press being no real substitute for an L1 flat white we pondered the alternative. Try local coffee shops? Now I’ve never particularly gone out of my way to try and find a decent coffee shop in and around Coventry but general experience has lead me to be a follower of the ‘GROT’ coffee rule. The GROT coffee rule requires that unless you have sound knowledge that guarantees cafe X serves decent coffee, you Get Real and Order Tea! Even if the joint has a good ‘vibe’,…… dimmed lighting, exposed conduits, tables made from reclaimed scaffolding planks and the barista has an apron, full beard, tattoos and top-knot hair do………. order a pot of tea ! Even if a place is rammed then it’s likely down to there being free wi-fi rather than great coffee, so … GROT… order a pot of tea ! Have me and Mrs Snakehips ever transgressed and broken the GROT rule ? Foolishly we have but each time we have, we have reaffirmed our vow never to do so again! We have two coffee shops within 10 minutes walk or so of home. One, despite proclaiming to be a coffee shop, selling real coffee, looks every bit a bog standard sausage-sarnie cafe so we decided that we would try the other one. The other one opened about twelve months and despite having walked past it, almost daily, to and from town the GROT rule has meant that I had never ventured in. It has the ‘vibe’, dimmed lighting, exposed conduits etc, etc and despite a slow beginning it now seems to have become popular and busy, which is great. So, last Sunday we did it. We stuck two fingers up to the GROT rule, ventured in and ordered two small flat whites. Union ‘Revelation’. Never tried it before and have to say it was a disappointing cup in a variety of ways and I was unable to drink the last third. However, despite grimacing at every mouthful, Mrs Snakehips drank all of hers, purely in an effort to fend off her caffeine withdrawal induced headache. So did that put us back on the straight and narrow? No, sadly not. Two days later I said “Come on let’s go try that other coffee shop". Mrs S somewhat surprised and against her better judgement, said “Go on then, I could use a coffee”. Against the trend, this cafe was brightly illuminated. There was not a metre of exposed conduit nor reclaimed scaffold board to be seen and as for the ‘vibe’, well there wasn’t one. But there were three ladies in black teeshirts and grubby aprons sitting in the window seats having a break. There was obviously no bearded barista but in fairness the lady who left her sandwich to get up and serve us did have a hint of a moustache. “Yes luv, what can I get you” “Er, we’re looking for a nice cup of coffee” says I “Then you’ve come to the right place, our coffee is very nice” The menu board included Espresso, Latte, Cappuccino, Americano so I enquired “Do you serve flat whites?” “Course we do luv” “Then we’ll have two small flat whites please” “Right you are m’duck, sit yourselves down and I’ll bring ‘em over to you.” We sat down and always curious to see how ‘professionals’ go about their coffee making, I couldn’t help watching as the flat whites were prepared. I can’t remember what the kit was but it looked a capable enough two group commercial. Cold milk was poured into each of the two cups. Perhaps this is a measuring process I thought? Wrong! Hot water was then dispensed and added to the cold milk. Coffee was then was ground, distributed and tamped. Well, sort of. Cups were positioned and the shot was shot was pulled….. and pulled and….. I sort of missed the next bit in the process because I had my head in my hands. I don’t remember the sound of milk steaming but she did wave a stainless steel jug over the top of the cups with a quick flourish. The saucer was then garnished with a spoon and a small macaroon biscuit. As we know, presentation is everything so a lot of time and precision went into getting this just right. “There y’go” she said as she placed them on the table. “Enjoy” Well I can only describe these ‘flat whites” as indescribable! They were most certainly flat, as a pancake, with not a hint of anything remotely resembling textured milk. It was essentially a cup of watery beige coloured liquid. I am truly amazed as to how something so anaemic in appearance could taste so strongly of burnt car tyres. Needless to say, we upped and left as thirsty as we had entered! UPDATE on the first coffeeshop: Noticed that there was a different barista in there yesterday so popped in on my own. What a difference he made! Had a thoroughly enjoyable flat white! He’s on shift again today so will treat Mrs S. GROT my arse!! Start trekking across the universe, finding a decent coffee shop, will surely make you curse. Start Trecking across the universe, If you don’t get some caffeine soon you’re go’na need a nurse. (Pom-poppa-pommmmm……..) There’s lattes on the menu here, menu here, menu here. There’s lattes on the menu here, menu here, Jim It’s coffee Jim but not as we know it, not as we know it, not as we know it. It’s coffee Jim but not as we know it, not as we know it, Jim. Start trekking across the universe, finding a decent coffee shop, will surely make you curse. Start Trecking across the universe, If you don’t get some caffeine soon you’re go’na need a nurse. It’s worse than that it’s sh!t Jim, It’s sh!t Jim, it’s sh!t Jim, It’s worse than that it’s sh!t Jim, It’s sh!t Jim, sh!t ! Get real and order tea, order tea, order tea. Get real and order tea, order tea, Jim. Start trekking across the universe, finding a decent coffee shop will surely make you curse, Start Trecking across the universe, If you don’t get some caffeine soon you’re go’na need a nurse. With apologies and in case anyone needs reminding of the
  2. hy everyone I am here to read amazing stuff and get help for open my coffee shop on the go with good product
  3. Which coffeeshops in Manchester are people who are visiting for CupNorth hoping to visit over the weekend of 01/02 November 2014?
  4. Going there this Easter, can anyone recommend some good places to try? I searched the forums and found this link: https://sprudge.com/cruisin-cape-town-coffee-46439.html I'll start with that, but the article is 5 years old, any other recommendations? thanks, Casper
  5. With cycling on the increase, coffeeshops and cafes are increasingly becoming destinations for groups of cyclists pre or post ride (and sometimes during also) I have a few coffeeshops that I am putting on a map but would like to add to this Please share your favourite café that you visit with or on your bike
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