Monday 17 February 2014

Monmouth Coffee

Coffee is becoming increasingly popular. 

That sounds silly written down, and so it should: coffee is absurdly popular.  There are few things in life that large swathes of the population will readily admit to requiring to kick-start (or even get through) the day.  If you applied some of the oft repeated tropes about coffee to other drugs (and caffeine is just that, a drug) to things like alcohol or harder drugs, society would be quick to slap you with a 'problem' label.  For example, "I just can’t get out of bed without a big, strong mug of Maker's Mark" or "Getting through today's going to be a struggle – we're out of smack".  Yet we let it go on – and good thing too.

Yet it is becoming more popular – genuinely.  More and more coffee bars are springing up, independents this time, practicing an art with coffee akin to what craft pubs have been doing with beer these last few years.  More and more outlets are flogging coffee beans sourced direct from obscure producers in exotic – and, frankly, often rather dangerous-sounding – locations. 

Yet actually buying freshly roasted, top quality beans on the high street is still something of a struggle – especially since the partial collapse of Whittards.

Which is all a rather long winded way of going on to say that I just bloody love Monmouth Coffee. 

Based on the outskirts of Borough Market, Monmouth sources some of the very best coffee from around the world, roasts it and sells it to queues of caffeine junkie customers. 

The range is always spectacular.  From the Mayan Highlands of Guatemala, to the Aberdare Range of Kenya; from Brazil to Colombia; from Jamaica to Jakarta – they're not always on, but you can guarantee they'll be around sometime. 

Don’t be put off by the queue – more often than not, the mulch of people desperate to go in are waiting for the bar – which produces some mighty fine drinks, to be honest.  Scrum your way in to the bean counter and get chatting to one of the invariably helpful members of staff.  Pick what you want and tell them what it's for – whether you grind your own (good boys & girls)or use a cafetiere, a drip filter or an espresso machine, there's a special grind for each. 

They even do some special, unrefined canse sugar that is just absolutely the business - you wouldn't think it makes a difference, but trust me: it does.

But what's great is that you can taste every coffee – seriously, each and every one.  How often do you get that?  Just have a chat with your server, identify some prospects, and ask to try them.  They'll then grind you a wee scoop, put it through an even wee-er filter, and serve it up.

They even do this cool pouring thing between cups so that you can try it right away, without waiting for it to come down in temperature.

There's no denying that it's pricey.  Very pricey, for some of the beans, although there are always a few choices that come in much more pocket-friendly.  But think of it as a treat – in Chez Grubster, for instance, it's a Christmas or birthday celebration.  And you will notice the difference – of that I am completely certain.

Oh, and don’t forget – once you've got your beans, ask for a takeaway coffee – a great way of skipping the long queue!

- GrubsterBoy -

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