I’ve decided I’ve really gone off Starbucks coffee, I find that it is over roasted and I’ve not really enjoyed that coffee drinking experience. So there I was at Bristol Airport at 6am thinking I want a coffee, I could choose between Starbucks and Soho Coffee Co.
I don’t want rehash my previous visit to Soho, but as I didn’t feel like drinking Starbucks I went with Soho. The experience was as it should be, the service was polite, fast and efficient and as for the coffee, it was really nice and I enjoyed it. When you have a nice experience it does make you want to go back.
I was less than impressed with a Flat White I recently had at Starbucks, it was flat and insipid. I wonder though how much of that was because it was in a paper cup? I’m not a great fan of coffee in paper cups and where possible I will “drink in” so I can have a proper china cup.
I still find it a little incredulous how much we pay for coffee in paper cups these days, we think it’s somewhat normal!
Recently at Bristol Temple Meads I was changing trains, down in the subway is a (relatively) new Starbucks. I didn’t enjoy the coffee I had at the AMT stand so even though it isn’t my favourite coffee, I always think they over roast their beans, I went to Starbucks.
In the end I went with my usual standby, a tall Americano and in their usual marketing ways, I was asked if I wanted a cake or a pastry. I was feeling a little peckish, so looking over I decided to go with the chocolate caramel slice.
Once on the train I settled down to my coffee and cake. The coffee wasn’t that bad and I was quite pleased. I think it’s interesting how different coffee can be even across a chain as standardised as Starbucks. The worst place for Starbucks I find are the motorway services where I generally get poor service and not so good coffee. However this time I was pleased with what I got.
As for the chocolate caramel slice, I remembered that i much prefer them if they are chilled, this was a little too near room temperature. Having said that the shortbread was crumbly and flaky, I did feel it crumbled a little too much and needed a lot more bite. The caramel (as was to be expected) was soft and sweet, but not too sweet. The chocolate though was a little on the thin side, I think had it been chilled, so it was hard and brittle, it would work well with the soft caramel, as it was it too was a little soft. So the end result was soft shortbread, soft caramel and soft chocolate, not quite what I wanted or was expecting.
Now I don’t drink instant coffee if I can help it. If no real coffee is available I will drink tea. I have “accidently” drunk instant coffee now and again, well I have taken a sip and then put it down!
Though I did see these Starbucks VIA Ready Brew not only in my local Starbucks but also in my local supermarket.
I decided that I would give them a go. As well as instant coffee the sachets also include microground coffee, which I hoped would make it better than instant coffee.
Made a cup…
Okay, even though it is better that most instant coffees, it still tasted like instant coffee. It’s okay and would do at a pinch. I can see taking some when staying at hotels in order to have coffee in my room. In the meantime I will continue drinking real coffee!
So what is it with the Flat White?
It was never available in this country and now it’s all over the place. First I see Costa sell it and now Starbucks is also selling the Flat White.
So what is the Flat White? According to Wikipedia:
Originating from Australia and New Zealand, a Flat White is a coffee beverage prepared by pouring steamed milk from the bottom of steaming pitcher over a single shot or double shot of espresso. As with many other espresso-based drinks the Flat White is interpreted in a number of ways. In Australia it is commonly served as a single shot of espresso, whereas in New Zealand it is more commonly served using a double shot.
So it’s popular in Australia and New Zealand, and yes a fair of them have come over to the UK, likewise they are also popular counties to visit. But why the sudden popularity here in the UK of the Flat White?
I have had it a few times now in the UK, from Costas and Starbucks and though nice, it’s not quite the same as a Flat White from New Zealand.