Monday, 9 January 2012

Week beginning January 9th - Restaurant coffee

There was conversation and in fact a poll last week, organised by Colin Harmon who is the owner of 3FE espresso in Dublin and who was the Irish barista champion and 4th in the world in both 2009 and 2010, about coffee in restaurants.

The topic was about how often the coffee in many restaurant establishments is of poor quality, especially when you compare it to the high quality of the food, wine or service and that a restaurant is (or can be) the 'ultimate podium for all things culinary'.

The blog post is here

I totally agree and I hope that not just restaurants, but all establishments that serve coffee, start to put as much effort into what they serve at the end of the meal as to what they serve at the start or in the middle.

I also agree that it is not always easy to complain, especially as you may feel a bit 'dickish'. Perhaps other coffee people feel the same way. But, if your pint was flat, or tasted wrong, or if your glass of wine was corked, or if the bread was stale, or if your meal was cold, would you complain/ask for better?

If you own a hospitality establishment, are you putting as much effort into your coffee as you do everything else? I do not believe that espresso is necessarily the answer for all, and Colin, when asked suggested any of the immersion methods available today, check this for example

I am not recommending this particular blog post, but if I was a B & B or a small restaurant or a hotel, it would be one place to start as would this one

We had a very good espresso based coffee yesterday with our brunch at the restaurant Kopapa, sister restaurant to Providores in Marylebone, in fact when we arrived in London on 2005, Providores was one of the first places we were told to get 'good coffee'. I also highly recommend Caravan in Exmouth market as a place that is putting a great effort into everything they do.

But I guess one thing that will help is not just operators identifying the need, researching the possibilities implementing the options and training the staff, but also us as the customers starting to ask, why can't this be better?

I humbly tell this story. One of our regulars once told me how she was in a restaurant and the table next to her sent their coffee back and told the waitress, 'this is not good enough, you need to go to Kaffeine to see how they make coffee'.

That is a huge compliment of which I was very grateful, but with the world of coffee and the accessibility to making great coffee at the best it's ever been, I hope it's a small step towards having great coffee for everyone.

Porridge - served w choices chopped dried fruit, muscovado sugar, golden syrup or honey 2.50
Traditional bircher muesli with rhubarb and raspberry compote 2.90
Granola muesli with pomegranate molasses and rhubarb and raspberry compote 2.90
Fruit salad (pineapple, mango, strawberries, grapes, passionfruit, peach) 3.30
(add 30 p for granola or yoghurt)
Ciabatta Roll with omelette, pancetta, rocket and tomato salsa 4.50
Ciabatta Roll with courgette omelette, rocket and tomato salsa 4.50
Croissant with Italian roast ham, talleggio cheese, spinach & plum tomatoes 4.50
Croissant with gruyere cheese and plum tomatoes 3.50
Seven seed bakery bloomer toast with homemade preserves 1.70
Cinnamon and raisin toast 2.00
Banana Bread 2.00

Pastries by Seven Seed bakery
French butter croissants 1.60
Pain au chocolat 2.20
Almond croissants 2.70

Baked Treats
Plum muffins 1.80
Tomato, sesame, lemon and parsley savoury muffins 1.80
Carrot cake friands 1.90
Super moist chocolate brownies 2.20
White chocolate blondies 2.20
Portuguese tarts 1.80
ANZAC cookies 1.60
Pimped up ANZACS (oat, dried fruit and nut) biscuits 1.60


Soup 3.50 or 4.00
Spiced sweet potato and ginger

French retro baguettes 4.50
Tuna with rouille, rocket and capers
Pancetta with parmesan butter, fig jelly and spinach

Foccacias with sea salt and rosemary crust 4.70
Italian roast ham with brie, cranberry jelly, red onion, spinach
Bufala mozzarella with basil, aioli, rocket

Salads 4.50/5.50
Duck with lychees, baby spinach, orange and rosewater dressing
Blood orange with radicchio, pomegranate, feta and poppy seeds
Honey roasted chantenay carrots

Tart 4.00 or 6.50 with salad
Fennel gratin

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