Why can’t the English make a decent cup of coffee?

coffeeI like my coffee in the morning, I’m not a caffeine junkie but a decent cup of coffee is on my ‘to do’ list every day.

I bought a cheap 49€ espresso machine and I get my coffee from the supermarket. Nothing fancy, just own brand, pre-ground Arabica costing 1.98€ for 500g (1lb-ish).

Now, allow me to let you in on a little secret: making good coffee is not hard! I just load up the machine, get a shot of espresso, steam-up the milk and voila! Although I say it myself, I make pretty-damned-good coffee!   

Why then, when I’m in the UK, can I not find a single so-called ‘coffee shop’ that can give me the same thing? Believe me, I’ve tried most of the chains – Starbucks, Costa, Nero, Republic, etc. – and also a lot of independent cafes and ‘specialist’ shops.

Why can’t they make coffee like the Continentals? And why is coffee so expensive in the UK? And why does this expensive brown liquid always taste like someone’s washed their socks in it?

As you may know, I live in southern Spain, so I can go to any bar or cafe at any time of the day or night and get a proper, strong, flavourful cup of coffee. Not only that but it will only cost me about 1.30€. That’s about a pound of your English money, or a coupla bucks US.

Granted, it won’t be the size of a builder’s mug but who wants a fookin’ great bucketful anyway? What it will be is small, concentrated, aromatic and coffee flavoured. If you’re not satisfied by just the one you can always have another, it’ll still be half the price of your average mug of piss that you get in the UK.

Come on guys, what’s the problem? If I can do it, and every cafe, bar and restaurant in Spain (or Italy, or France) can do it, surely it can’t be beyond the realms of possibility that you could do it too?

2 thoughts on “Why can’t the English make a decent cup of coffee?

  1. I live in the UK (came from Belgium) I have to agree with everything you said… coffee in the UK is way overpriced for the piss you get to drink.

    • Thanks Ben, I just got back to Spain from a trip to the UK and it’s still the same story – muddy, tasteless sludge!

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