Soft and Sweet

Recently at Bristol Temple Meads I was changing trains, down in the subway is a (relatively) new Starbucks. I didn’t enjoy the coffee I had at the AMT stand so even though it isn’t my favourite coffee, I always think they over roast their beans, I went to Starbucks.

In the end I went with my usual standby, a tall Americano and in their usual marketing ways, I was asked if I wanted a cake or a pastry. I was feeling a little peckish, so looking over I decided to go with the chocolate caramel slice.

Once on the train I settled down to my coffee and cake. The coffee wasn’t that bad and I was quite pleased. I think it’s interesting how different coffee can be even across a chain as standardised as Starbucks. The worst place for Starbucks I find are the motorway services where I generally get poor service and not so good coffee. However this time I was pleased with what I got.

As for the chocolate caramel slice, I remembered that i much prefer them if they are chilled, this was a little too near room temperature. Having said that the shortbread was crumbly and flaky, I did feel it crumbled a little too much and needed a lot more bite. The caramel (as was to be expected) was soft and sweet, but not too sweet. The chocolate though was a little on the thin side, I think had it been chilled, so it was hard and brittle, it would work well with the soft caramel, as it was it too was a little soft. So the end result was soft shortbread, soft caramel and soft chocolate, not quite what I wanted or was expecting.

This is how you do it…

Why is it that so many coffee places can not get making a simple Americano right?

This Americano from Caffe Nero is a perfect example of how it should be done.

What an Americano should look like...

Great espresso coffee topped off with hot water. A great coffee.

At quite a few coffee places I go to, they just get it plain wrong. The key is that the crema (that’s the froth on the top) adds so much to the coffee drinking experience and flavour. Lose that and the coffee is nowhere as near as good as it could be.

I quite like my Americano strong, now I could do that by asking for an extra shot, however as a cheapskate I ask for less water. You would be surprised by how many baristas have no idea what I mean by “not too much water please”.

I really enjoyed my Americano from Caffe Nero and would go there again.

For lunch I will have a latte…

My usual coffee is an espresso, or an americano. In the past I may have had a mocha or a frappucino, but these days I generally go for the coffee and if it is an americano I may add some skimmed milk.

For lunch I will have a latte…

It would appear though that the iced coffees with all that cream are quite calorific. The BBC reports:

Some iced coffees being sold on the high street contain as many calories as a hot dinner, a cancer charity warns.

It is the combination of sugar, full-fat milk and cream which appear to push some of the cool coffees into the upper echelons of the calorie scale.

Starbucks’ Dark Berry Mocha Frappuchino for example contains 561 calories.


That’s one unhealthy coffee!

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