It’s been coming on gradually. At work we have filter coffee, and I’ve got so used to it that the thought of an instant freeze-dried coffee is just, well, a bit distasteful. I know. It’s bad.
I’m not a full snob yet – I’m no coffee connoiseur and have happily bought coffee from Caffe Nero or Pret, when some people I know would wrinkle their noses at the idea.
But, since I’m trying to cut out excess, I’m not letting myself drink more than two cups of coffee a day. So it’s important that those are good cups of coffee. Really important.
Yesterday one of my colleagues made me a coffee and there was something not quite right about the milk and it was really, REALLY strong, in an overbrewed kind of way. I drank it, but it was with some regret that I wasn’t going to fully relish fifty per cent of the coffee I drank that day.
It’s the antipodeans of my acquaintance who have highlighted the inferiority of the coffee you can buy in London. In despair at the quality of coffee on sale, Australians and Kiwis have been setting up shops, starting in the east of the city, and spreading gradually out, to sell a decent brew. So much so, that The New York Times published a piece about it last weekend.
Apparently, London has a growing coffee culture. It surprised me that it didn’t have one already to be honest. Edinburgh had a great coffee culture and I thought when I moved to London, it being the capital and all, that there would be a pocket of it here. But no. In Edinburgh you can go for coffee until one in the morning. Here, coffee houses still close at seven.
Anyway, because all of a sudden, not just any cup of coffee will do, I’ve been swerving off the beaten track, avoiding Costa and looking for some of London’s coffee legends.
So far I’ve been to two – The Roastery, which is my nearest, and Flat White in Soho. One cup from both these places was an education to my palate – these were clearly better cups of coffee than your average skinny Starbucks latte. It’s going to make it difficult to ever go back.
It only took one sip, but with that one sip I think I’ve been ruined.