I’m sitting in the library during my precious break between the too-early nine am class and the oh-no-I-have-a-marked-presentation noon class. I should be working—shouldn’t we always be working—but I’m not. Instead, I’m taking a break, reading some blogs, writing a bit and drinking coffee.
I kind of want to tell you about it.
There’s very little noteworthy coffee in Bristol. I’m not sure if this happens in America—after all Seattle, a city of comparable size, has a thriving coffee culture—but new outposts of Costa and too-many Caffe Gustos plague Bristol.
Most eople seem content with the coffee scene. Not me.
In this coffee desert, I have taken to home brewing with my trusty moka and freshly ground coffee, either “imported” from La Colombe or bought freshly ground from Two Day Coffee Roasters.
This is the tale of the one day I bought a cappuccino from Two Day for the astonishing sum of £1.80.
Perhaps this lovely low price colors my view on the coffee, my goodness it’s brilliant, it’s so cheap! They aren’t trying to rip me off with charred beans at exorbitant prices!
It’s been a long time since I’ve had what I would describe as proper good coffee. The kind where you need to close your eyes and have a moment to appreciate the quality before taking another sip. On many accounts this cappuccino was good, great even, but there was some difficult-to-describe-quality that didn’t propel me into such paroxysms of coffee-adoration.
Let’s begin with what makes this coffee special: freshly roasted and freshly ground to order. Whole milk. Both of these may be moderately standard in the better New York coffee meccas, but are positively foreign in Bristol.
Since the coffee is freshly ground the flavors are beautifully pronounced, even against the cloak of frothy milk. There’s a nutty overtone that is distinctly not burnt and a slightly chocolately aftertaste. This is a coffee that stays in your mouth, though not unpleasantly so.
The milk, even frothed, was a bit disappointing. Perhaps I’ve read too much about this, but the word micro-froth while techinically applicable in this situation did not seem to really fit with the mouth-feel of the milk. It felt (because you cannot quite taste texture) like a meeting of Starbucks’s stiff schiuma and the quality that one expects to find at, say, Kaffeine. Within the coffee it was smooth, but the cappuccio on top was disappointingly stiff and airy.
Overall this was a good coffee and a notable cappuccino. Will I be rushing out to get another one? Probably not. I prefer to control the amount of milk and save the money through home brewing. If you are in Bristol, however, this is the place to go for coffee.
Avoid Costa at all costs. It tastes like dirty water.
What’s your favorite local place to get coffee? Is fresh, high-quality, coffee easily available around you?