I heard an ad on the radio (quaint, no) today from a local muffin/cookie franchise saying that if I bought one of their coffees and it wasn’t the best coffee I’d ever had the next one would be free. Right. It is inconceiveable that said local muffin franchise could make a coffee that I would even consider paying for, let alone the best one that I have ever had. This DID however raise the question in my mind, what is the best coffee I’ve ever had? After giving this some thought I’ve provided a short list:
- Tazza d’Oro, Rome, Italy: I’ve had a few double espressos there and have never been disappointed. Great crema, very strong. Great flavour, and not bitter.
- Sant’Eustachio, Rome, Italy: Very nice double espresso, but they serve it sweetened by default! Great flavour, very strong and not bitter. Prepared behind a secret screen!
- Not sure of the name, but in the ritzy arcade that runs off the square where the Duomo is situated in Milan has a shop that serves pretty nice coffee.
- Grind, Brisbane, Australia - Grind, a small hole-in-the wall cafe in the Elizabeth Arcade in Brisbane used to serve a great double espresso that was extremely strong with a very nice flavour. I believe they changed their name and are now “under new management“ which is a shame.
My thoughts on getting a good coffe (and by that I mean double espresso or higher) from an unknown coffee shop is:
- if you ask for a double espresso and there is even the merest flinch or hint of aprehension as to how this beverage might be prepared consider cancelling your order and leaving.
- if in any way they equate “double espresso“ with “long black“ then DO cancel your order and leave.
- if they ask how to prepare a double espresso DO cancel your order and leave.
- If you’re not hearing the periodic sound of the grinder while you’re waiting to place your order then think twice.
Now back to that muffin chain and their “best ever or its free offer” - Assuming I purchase a double for $3.00, its no good and I ask for the next one to be free. The way I see it I’m still paying $1.50 for coffee that is probably worse than what I can make at home for about $0.50 or less per cup.