Rushed Off My Feet

Life is too short to do many things. Eat bad chocolate, for example. Deal with stupid people (and it must be time to revive the No More Wankers Facebook group, surely?). There are, undoubtedly, many, many others but top of any self-respecting list must surely be "Drink in Starbucks"?

How did they get that stranglehold? Having read about their success - which I blithely attributed to making good drinks - I was excited several years ago to see their shop open on Regent Street. I went in, ordered a coffee, took an eagerly anticipated sip... and left the rest on the side. Even to my at-that-time-poorly-educated coffee palate I could tell it was burned. And yet somehow, thanks to their policy of adding cherry flavours and cream and chocolate sprinkles and assorted other ways of gilding the, er, turd, they've dominated the world's coffee scene.

Never mind. Those of us who want taste and flavour and skill with our caffeine-rushes will just go "underground" to the ever-increasing number of decent coffee outposts in London. Monmouth has long been a favourite, I'll never forget my accidental discovery of Flat White the day it opened, and I'm indebted to Sam for forcing me down to Richmond to sample the joys of Taylor St Barristas.

I'm now similarly indebted to the always entertaining Eamon of the parish of Qype and other marvellous net-based entertainments for two introductions. A brilliant lunch at the brilliant Tsuru can be found south of this'un, but today, as I sit here needing a caffeine rush, my mind is returning to the joys of dose.

From a deceptively tiny shopfront, James, the NZ barista, turns out some of the best coffee it's been my privilege to drink. Unapologetically strong - thank you Square Mile roast (amongst others) - this is the sort of ballsy coffee dreams are made of. Or would be if you could sleep after having one. Proper, hardcore caffeine for proper, hardcore caffeine-addicts. Superb.


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