Tag Archives: coffee

Anyone for a Starbucks instant? Not me

Zoe Williams reviews Starbucks’s latest offering, instant coffee, in today’s Grauniad.

The verdict? ‘Not even as nice as Nescafe.’ Which is saying something.

Also, to describe (as Zoe does) Starbucks’s’s’s regular coffee as ‘hot and wet’ is, in my opinion, generous.

I doubt on the strength of that review that I’ll be bothering. Where there’s no real stuff available (and let’s face it, making decent real coffee is expensive and/or messy), for me it has to be Douwe Egberts. (That website incidentally is spooky, featuring a virtual bloke ‘serving’ you from behind a coffee shop counter.) Here’s my recipe for the perfect cup of instant:

1. Put large heaped teaspoon of Douwe Egberts Pure Gold into a mug. Add brown sugar to taste.
2. Boil a kettle and leave it to stand for a few seconds.
3. Pour a little of the hot water into the mug, just enough to cover the coffee and sugar.
4. Swish it round until coffee and sugar are more or less dissolved.
5. Pour in cold milk until the mug is about 2/3 full.
6. Put mug in microwave for 1 min on full power.
7. Top up with more hot water and stir.

That way you get a nice creamy top and good temperature and consistency, and although it’ll never taste quite like the real thing, it does still taste better than a Starbucks 🙂

Posted via email from thoughtcat’s posterous

Jim Smith – An Apology

In the previous post, Thoughtcat erroneously identified one Stephen Appleby as the gentleman responsible for the spindly excellence that is Puccino’s’s’s packaging artwork. However, as the man himself (the actual artist, not Stephen Appleby) commented on said post (below), the actual artist (have I already said that?) is in fact one Jim “James” Smith. Jim’s extensive collection of receipts, sugar packets (unlike me, he’s got the lot!) and cupular sloganage can be viewed on his very terrific website www.waldopancake.com. Also linked from said site is the simply brilliant “Rock Blondsky’s Bad Ideas – Slow moving consumer goods” such as Sitcom Flakes, Tramp Hoops and You Are a Loser chocolate bars. Thoughtcat wishes to take this opportunity to jump up and down with delight in the knowledge that the artist in question has not just read Thoughtcat but got in touch, whilst apologising sombrely to Mr Smith for any contusion caused.

Sugar, coffee and other things that are bad for your health but good for the soul

I’ve long been a fan of Puccino’s, the little coffee franchises you sometimes find in train stations. Not only is their coffee good (if pricey – but no worse than anywhere else, I don’t think) but they have this unique humour thing going on thanks to (I believe) surreal cartoonist Stephen Appleby; certainly the jokes and images look a lot like his. Thus far I’ve only seen the spindly drawings and coffee-related quips on the Puccino’s signage and cups (e.g. a notice above the kiosk saying “INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Queue here. 2. Buy coffee. 3. Walk away with nervous smile” or a cup saying “Dispose of in bin, but sadly”) but the other day whilst indulging myself with the all-too infrequent treat of a cappuccino I found the trademark Puccino silliness all over the sugar packets to boot. The first one I picked up said on it, “Serving suggestion: Put in coffee and shut up.” There were plenty more to be had along these lines so I grabbed one of each – see pic of my nascent “collection”. Sadly the “shut up” one (which made me laugh the most) has since disappeared – I think someone at work might have blasphemously used it for actual sugaring purposes – but if I see another one I’ll be sure to get another “copy”.
Incidentally I say the cappuccino is an infrequent pleasure, not because I’m saintly and abstemious but because (a) coffee-shop coffee does, as I say, cost a small fortune, (b) although I love coffee I’m not a coffee nazi and make do 5 days out of 7 with instant (Douwe Egberts is the best, I find, although more often Nescafe is the best I can do), and (c) the caffeine content of real coffee-shop coffee has the tendency to put my eyes on stalks for about the next 9 hours. As Garfield once doggerel’d, “Coffee I love you, you make me glow / My nerves don’t like you, but what do they know?”