Moka Pot


The humble Moka Pot, also known as a stovetop, is the ugly sister of the coffee world. With so many stylish vessels and brews around these days, the Moka Pot seems to have lost its cool. I'm here to fly the flag for the forgotten 'not quite espresso' maker. Let's start with a bit of backstory. 

If you've looked at buying a Moka Pot, you will have come across the Bialetti brand. Bialetti pioneered the Moka Pot back in the 30s and continue to lead the market today. It was invented, not surprisingly, by an Italian inventor, Luigi Del Ponti. The design, for the main part, has remained the same. Though perhaps a few more stylish options are available now.

The mechanics are very simple. There's a bottom chamber that holds the water, a central chamber for the ground coffee and a top chamber to collect the brewed coffee. The Moka Pot is placed on a stove/hob and heated. The boiling water then leaves the bottom chamber and begins to mix with the ground coffee in the central chamber. This is where it brews. As the temperature continues to rise, more water enters the central chamber and eventually spews into the collection chamber via an internal spout. Several minutes later you'll have a Moka Pot full of the delicious amber nectar you so crave. 

When it comes to ratios, I'm probably more relaxed with the Moka Pot than other brew methods. I simply fill the water chamber to the fill line and load up the coffee chamber until its level. Rightly or wrongly, it's no more scientific than that for me. You may want to apply more science, but I'm happy with this relaxed approach. 

I grind the beans to same consistency as I grind for Espresso. Mainly because when I first got a Moka Pot years ago, I was expecting it to make Espresso. In reality, this isn't the case but the grind works well all the same. 

Some will tell you that this is an espresso maker, and I guess technically speaking they're correct. I tend to think of the drink as a kind of halfway house. Somewhere between an espresso and filter coffee. The consistency of the drink is different to both. I wouldn't drink this black as I drink a filter, nor would I drink it as an espresso shot. I prefer to heat milk and mix it 50/50 with the coffee.

If I had to give one reason for having a Moka Pot in the house, it would have to be ease. There's nothing better than waking up on a Sunday morning, casually filling one up with water and ground coffee and leaving it to make itself. It's super easy and tastes great. A unique taste in my opinion, but a good taste non the less. 


Fred and Ginger

If there was one piece of advice I could offer to those of you seeking great coffee, it would be 'do your research'. Those fantastic cups of coffee aren't going to find you, you're going to have to seek them out. Research, is how I discovered Fred and Ginger.

A lot of my time during the week is spent travelling between meetings and I found I was reliant on the convenience of coffee chains at service stations. Not great. More recently, my tastebuds flat out rejected this convenience coffee. Like me, you probably don't function too well without your caffeine. It was a problem.

The solution, as it happens, was fairly simple. I'd plan my route in advance and list the towns closest to the motorway junctions along my route. I'd then do a quick web search for 'specialty coffee' and the name of the town. Et voila! This method has taken me to tons of great coffee places, including Fred and Ginger. Give it a go.

Fred and Ginger is tucked away in the small village of Kings Langley so you'd be forgiven for not being aware of this place. Conveniently though, they're just a few minutes from the M25 at Junction 20. No hassle at all in the name of amazing coffee. Easy to park on the high street too.

Fred and Ginger is definitely part of the modern, third wave coffee movement, though somehow manages to feel very, very English. It's a nice open space with high ceilings and cool lighting. The wood floor makes it feel very homely and somewhat classy. The jars of jam of the tables and the rather antique looking teaspoons all add the the English feel.

There are lots of reasons that I regularly visit Fred and Ginger. Firstly, how cool is the name? Then there's the amazingly tasty yet healthy smoothies and juices. The vast array of delicious snacks made in house, including several veggie options. The wealth of friendly, skilled and knowledgable staff. But mostly, as you'd guess, it's just really good coffee. 

They tend to source the beans from independent roasters and change the variety of beans regularly. You'll often find them serving expertly roasted beans by Campbell & Syme of East Finchley. A solid choice. I tend to go for a flat white to take out, as I'm typically stopping off there on my way to a meeting, but if I have time, I do sit in and enjoy one of the single origin filters they offer. All their drinks are equally delicious so be sure to get down and sample as many as you can.

I recommended this place to a friend recently. A friend that's a tea drinker. Somehow, they managed to convert him and now he's down there once a fortnight for a pourover, the coffee is THAT good. 


I had the pleasure of saying in Copenhagen for a week earlier this year and as you'd expect, I sampled the coffee on offer in the city. I loved it!

Prior to the trip, I was talking about it with a local coffee shop owner. He asked if I was going to check out Coffee Collective. The answer was yes, as this was the only indie I knew of in the city. The rest I would just hope to stumble upon.

So, it's day one in Copenhagen and I take a walk across the city to Torvehallerne. For the well travelled amongst you, Toverhallerne is similar to Mercado San Miguel in Madrid. In short, a modern food market housed in glass walls. Coffee Collective sits proudly in one of the corners allowing for window seating. The substantial bar is home to a custom, branded espresso machine and all manner of brewing apparatus. The ambient market noise adds something a little different, but essentially it does have the feel of a coffee shop, not a market stall, which is an achievement given the setting.

The staff were all friendly. As you'd expect, the baristas sported beards and edgy hipster-esque clothing. I did worry that one of the baristas was going to ejaculate as he told me about a fantastic Kenyan coffee he had. Luckily he didn't and you can't really knock the enthusiasm can you. I went for a pour-over Kenyan and of course a flat white. The Kenyan didn't disappoint either. As promised it was clean, fruity and tea-like. Expertly brewed on a Kalita Wave with unbelievable attention detail. Yum.

Coffee Collective has ample seating so you can sit and watch the world go by, though plenty of customers preferred to stand and chat. It has a great atmosphere and you couldn't find a fault with the coffee if you tried. Make this place a priority visit and don't forget to check out the rest of Torvehallerne while you're there. There's tons of delicious food on offer.

I spent the next few days strolling around the city with a scarf wrapped around my face (minus 9, Baltic sea air, etc) looking for caffeinated treats. I sampled some of the chains out of convenience. Espresso House (Scandinavian Starbucks) is a perfectly adequate chain. There's plenty of them around and they serve a purpose. Another chain I made several trips to was Joe and the Juice. In Copenhagen I seemed to like the place more that I did when I was in Oslo (see here). Conveniently, there's a Joe and the Juice in Tivoli Gardens, which is a must see when visiting the city. So no need to miss out on caffeine while you're there.

I was worried I had peaked too early after visiting Coffee Collective on day one of my trip. Little did I know that the best was yet to come. It was early one morning and I decided to visit Espresso Huset. This was to be the first of daily visits for the remainder of my trip.

Espresso Huset is an independent coffee shop located on Radhusstraede. It's a fairly large place, with windows at the front and an eclectic mix of seating throughout. Like any coffee shop worth visiting, there's a wealth of drink options. Plenty of brew methods, various milky coffee options and some tasty snacks too. I stuck mainly to Flat Whites and Cortados for my morning pick me ups. As great as the coffee was, it wasn't actually the coffee that made me fall in love with the place. It was the mood.

As you're no doubt aware, the sunlight can be limited in this part of the world. Especially in winter. The sun rises late, sets early and even at peak daylight it can be dull. Couple that with the limited natural light here and there could have been a lighting issue. The solution they have is simple. Candlelight. I can't put in to words just how cosy it was in there. As I write this I'm letting my imagination take me back. It's 9:30 am and I'm sat in an armchair, wrapped up with a Cortado warming my hands by candlelight. Perfect.

The Danes have a word, hygge, which is difficult to translate exactly. It was explained to me as 'cosiness'. Think log fires, candles, blankets, mulled wine and so on. Well for me, heading out to Copenhagen to get me some hygge, it was certainly encapsulated at Espresso Huset. Add this place to the top of your list if you love great coffee in the most relaxing setting. Hygge for days.


At the end of summer,  I stayed in Rome for a few days. Being a pro 'city break-er' I tend to find 3 days is perfect for a city break. Last year I visited 11 cities across Europe. In each of these places, 3 days would have sufficed, but in Rome it was nowhere near enough. I fell in love with the city and didn't want to leave.

Ok, having read that first paragraph back it seems a little, 'boasty'. Disclaimer : I grew up without a pot to piss in so I'm allowed to brag about how much I travel. 

So, Rome. I flew in to Rome Fiumicino airport which is about 20 minutes outside of the city. There's also Ciampino which is a little closer and is served mainly by budget airlines. Note that both airports have a maximum taxi rate in place, though this doesn't stop opportunist taxi drivers from trying to fleece tourists. My tip would be to verbally agree before you get in. Anyway, I got a taxi to the apartment, unpacked (excitedly dumped my suitcase on my bed) and headed out on foot into the city.

Staying a few minutes walk from the colosseum, common sense dictated that this would be the first destination. The first stop was in fact a shop to buy cold drinks and ice creams as the temperature was about 38 degrees. Ice cream in hand, I strolled down to the colosseum. Wow! I'd seen the place in photo's and on TV but was still absolutely in awe of the place. It was spectacular. Even though I was baking in the inescapable sunshine, I happily hung around there for a good hour or so, just taking it in. I then stopped for a pizza (the first of many for me) and headed of for a walk towards Piazza Venizia.

The walk takes you alongside the Roman Forum. Again, this is mind blowing. I took some time to admire the sheer scale of the place and imagined how amazing this would have been as a focal point of ancient Rome. Eventually I arrived and Piazza Venizia, a must see, then onwards to Trevi Fountians. Disappointingly, Trevi was being cleaned so I didn't get to enjoy it in all of it's working splendour. Still, a beautiful piece of architecture.

It's worth mentioning at this point, just how close all of these sites are to eachother. One of the great things about Rome is the ability to explore purely on foot. Just as convenient are the many public fountains that deliver freshly filtered water to your dehydrated mouth. Fun and practical. Ok, so let's talk coffee. I know that's why you're here. 

Italy is synonymous with coffee. They don't produce it, but boy do they know how to make an espresso machine, as I'm sure many of you will agree. So naturally I had high expectations. These may have been misplaced.

I didn't find a single coffee shop that could compete with anything I'd expect to find in London. The third wave movement has passed by traditionalists of Rome. That said, most restaurants will serve a perfectly acceptable espresso, so you won't find anything 'bad'. 

I had high hopes for a place that had been recommended to me by quite a few people. Sant Eustachio Il Caffe. Apparently, this place would give me something resembling third wave and was considered to be one of the best in the city. Well, I'm sorry, but it just wasn't good. For starters, it's by the Pantheon. So tourists are literally spelling out of the doors. Chaos. The roasts were so dark I thought they'd actually burned them. Other than the fact they sold beans by the bag (a la third wave) I don't see what sets their coffee apart from any other place in Rome. 

And I'm afraid I don't have anything more to add on the coffee front. (Actually, I didn't see a Starbucks anywhere which was fantastic). 

I'll leave you with the highlight of my trip. The Spanish Steps. Just wow! Piazza di Spagna is pretty famous and justified in its fame. For the movie buffs amongst you, you may have watched Audrey Hepburn buy some gelato at the foot of the steps in Roman Holiday. The downside of the fame is that the steps get pretty crowded. If you time your visit right though, you can enjoy sitting at the steps and soaking up the ambience. It really is beautiful. 


The Barn

The third wave coffee scene in Berlin is strong and getting stronger. There are plenty of specialist coffee shops and a roasters around the German capital. Prior to a recent visit, I made a hit list of must-try's. Topping that list, unsurprisingly, was The Barn.

The Barn has two sites in Berlin. The roastery and the shop. I visited the shop which is situated just off Auguststraße. The location of The Barn reminded me of Kaffeine in Fitzrovia, London. Sitting in the middle of a quiet-ish street but within walking distance of one of the city's livelier areas, Hackescher Markt. The place itself is small, but not cramped with seating both inside and out. Being a sunny August morning, I went for an outdoor table. 

Inside I ordered my flat white and had a chat with the barista. He informed me that they were brewing 'Aromas Del Sur', a washed Columbian blend originating in Huila. Very smooth, sweet and fruity, in fact I enjoyed it so much that I brought some back to England with me. Now, I did have a weird moment with the barista. Simply, I asked if he could put a drop of sugar in my drink. Ok, ok, I can see you frowning there. I love a black single origin pour-over. I enjoy a neat espresso. My flat whites and cortados are without sugar too, but every now and then I like a tiny bit of sugar in my drink. I think it can bring out some nice flavours in a blend and gives a nice mouthfeel. Anyway, I asked the barista and he just looked at me. I thought perhaps the language barrier was an issue. So again I asked, very politely, if I could get a 'tiny bit of sugar'. The response....'NO'.

I actually laughed at the bluntness. I found some sugar, took my drink outside and enjoyed some people watching. There were 3 others with me that day, and between us we managed to get a good feel of all that was on offer. We enjoyed some pastries, some bottled drinks, some coffee and sandwiches. For such a small place you really are spoiled for choice at The Barn. I had to stop myself from eating a pastel de nata, the famous Portugeuse custard tart/pie. I love them, but not the best idea for breakfast.

One of the best things about The Barn is the sheer amount of bean choices. Being a top roastery, they have tons of top notch single origins and unique custom blends. If you don't get an opportunity to visit them in Berlin, then the website (here) is a great alternative. They deliver across Europe too. If, like me, the paradox of choice hits you hard, then you may opt for well priced sample box. 6 small bags of various varieties. Ja bitte!

Upon finishing my flat white, there was only one thing to do. Go inside for another. I decided to try an espresso too, which was electric. Just the jolt I needed ahead of another day trekking around the city. I got my flat white to go this time, along with a selection of fresh, expertly roasted beans. I left the barn very satisfied. It's disappointing when a place held in such high regard doesn't live up to the hype. The Barn absolutely did, and I can't wait to visit again.

C.U.P - Coffee under pressure


It's been a while since a decent coffee place opened in Reading. Understandable though, as Reading is already spoiled with local coffee institutions Workhouse Coffee and Tamp Culture. There's also the lesser known Lincoln Coffee in town too. You begin to wonder if there's even room for a new coffee place in Reading? I wasn't sure, but now I've been to C.U.P  the answer is absolutely yes.

C.U.P opened in August and won me over immediately. For starters they're serving Roasting Party coffee. If you've read my reviews of Beany Grean and Black White Red, you'll know I'm a big fan of their espresso blends. They're doing something right over there in Winchester and the blends they create are perfect for milk based coffees. 

As important as it is to select the right beans, that certainly doesn't guarantee a good drink. You need to know what you're doing too. The team running C.U.P certainly do. Thanasis is a seasoned barista and the first time I spoke to him I could tell he was passionate about coffee. Happy to talk about dark v light roasts or how he was partial to a V60. Every single coffee he's made me (and there's been a lot already) has had flawless latte art too.

The other half of Team C.U.P is partner Maria. Maria hasn't served me a coffee yet, so I can't judge. I can vouch for her baking skills though. I've already grown partial to the Greek inspired cheese pies. Feta cheese with a hint of mint. They're delicious. The open faced ciabattas look impressive too, though I'm yet to try them. Being a veggie myself, it's refreshing to see tasty vegetarian options on the menu. I often find veggie food is a bit of an afterthought, but not here. 

Aside from the first class, third wave and amazing food, C.U.P serve a solid selection of teas and hot chocolates. Tea-wise, you have ample choice, again it's not an afterthought. The hot chocolates are something else though. Really. My daughter went for a rose and vanilla hot chocolate and loved it. I had a sip (as I'm partial to a bit of rose Turkish Delight) and it was lovely. Real vanilla was used too, not syrups (tax evading high street chains take note). That's the attention to detail that makes me think these guys will be around for some time.

You'll find them on St Mary's Butts in the town centre. There's seating indoors for around 20 and another 10 or so outside. It's a pretty quiet spot for the town centre and interestingly looks on to a church too, which makes for a very relaxing setting to enjoy your delicious drink. 





Berlin is a unique and somewhat strange place. Steeped in history yet very modern at the same time, it's a real mash-up of a city. When it comes to sightseeing, it's up there with the best cities in the world. In only 3 days I managed to see the Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate, the TV tower, the Jewish Memorial, Checkpoint Charlie and the Berlin Wall. All that alongside an unhealthy amount of food and coffee made for an enjoyable stay in the German capital.

The sightseeing highlight for me was the Berlin Wall memorial. I'd recommend getting a taxi to Brunnenstraße (at the crossroad where it meets Bernauer Straße) and taking a walk right along the site of the former city divide. Along the walk, there's plenty of educational literature and imagery. The exact location the wall was situated is marked out, along with the foundations of some houses that were part of the boundary. If you continue to walk all the way down, you'll come to part of the wall itself. Having seen the wall on TV as a young child, I found the experience quite surreal. You'll also come across a viewing platform, where you can look at a significant stretch of the wall that still has a watch tower and both sides of the wall, just as they were during the Cold War. It's an absolutely must see.

As you'd expect, I had to check out Berlin's coffee scene. Five Elephants is a producer that doubles as a coffee shop and is well worth a visit. The best place in the city, in my opinion, is The Barn. They have two sites and I visited the "cafe" rather than the roasting site (which is also a cafe of sorts). I'll save my thoughts on The Barn for a dedicated review, it was that good.

If you do visit The Barn, it's only a short walk to Hackescher Markt. This is a lovely area not too far from the river. It's choc full of restaurants (though I struggled for veggie food there), bars, shops and the occasional street entertainer. Be sure to take the 2/3 minute walk to the river from here. This is where I took a boat trip along the River Spree, which is a fantastic way to see the city. A snip at just over €10 too. 

Ok, back to coffee. There are several chains in the city. I had a cortado at Maxway Coffee and they put some white goo in it. The annoying thing was that I opted for a cortado as it seemed like a safe choice. How wrong could they get a cortado? Very. I later discovered the white stuff was a Nestle product called Milch Mädchen, which was odd! It's my own fault really, I mean, I should have known to ask "are you gonna put some crazy white shit in my drink". Lesson learned. Balzac Coffee (the name of which my daughter found amusing) was possibly my favourite of the chains. They served a decent flat white and were also selling beans there, should you need supplies. The pastries and cakes were fresh and (I'm told) tasty. Not surprisingly, you'll find several Starbucks around Berlin too.

If you're visiting the city on holiday or are lucky enough to have a job that's sending you to Berlin, then like me you'll find the Jewish Memorial a very humbling experience. It's a beautiful piece of modern architecture, but also a reminder of the suffering that happened not too long ago. The city has certainly moved on from that time, but hasn't forgotten. In fact it's quite the opposite, with lots of acknowledgement and tributes to the darker times that helped shape this unique city.


Travel Essentials for coffee lovers

Whether you're backpacking, spending a fortnight on the Costa Del Whatever or enjoying a weekend break, getting your coffee fix is a priority. Here's some awesome stuff all you coffee lovers should be packing.



Hardly a surprise that this is on the list. There are people that swear by the Aeropress. Some even prefer it to an espresso machine. Such is it's popularity, there's an annual global competition for brewing with it. The World Aeropress Championship. It's small, light, easy to clean and unbelievably versatile. From large cups of filter type coffee, to short espresso like coffee, the Aeropress will make something to suit your particular needs. So get this bought, and get it in your suitcase. Available here




Possibly my favourite on the list, the Keepcup. Simply put, it's a cup in the style of a disposable cup, that you keep. I've tried lots of travel cups and this by far the best. Not only is it a well made, amazing looking product, but it's eco friendly. In fact, the product was created to help reduce the environmental impact of coffee industry waste. Available in tons of colours and sizes and if you don't find one you like, you can design your own. Become part of the re-use revolution. Available here


Moka Pot


Sometimes called a stovetop, the humble Moka Pot made it's first appearence over 80 years ago. It makes rich, espresso like coffee with no fuss. Simply fill with water, add some ground coffee to the chamber and place on an hob or stove (or a even a campfire). The coffee is delicious, if not a little unique in its taste. In fact, it's so good you'll probably continue to use when at home. It's perfect for a lazy Sunday morning. Available here


Hario Mini Mill Slim Grinder


Lets face it, if you're reading this, you're the type of person that wants their coffee to be as fresh a possible. The MSS-1B grinder by Hario, a world leader when it comes to essential  coffee kit, will use very little space in your luggage and grind your beans to perfection. This grinder is more than capable of grinding to suit your particular coffee maker, whatever it may be. In fact it's good enough to be your main home grinder too, and the price is fantastic for the quality you'd expect from Hario. Available here


Bookman bicycle cup holder


This one is a little different but just as useful. For those with a lower carbon footprint that enjoy cycling, try the Bookman Bicycle Cup Holder. Easy to fit and extremely tough, this stainless steel receptacle is a must have for coffee loving cyclists. Clips off just as easy as it goes on so ideal for city bike hire while you're away or for your commute when you're home. It's available in a variety of colours too, so you're sure to find something that works for you. Available here


Oxford Street Coffee


Oxford Street is the mother of all tourist hotspots and it's clear to see why. It's a consumer's wet dream. Shops, shops and more shops. Nestled between the shops you'll also find a ridiculous amount of chain coffee shops. But don't worry, I know you're better than those places. Even in the heart of tourist trap London, there's some great coffee to be had. So let me help you find something that meets your high standards.

On the opposite side of the street to Oxford Circus tube station you'll see Great Portland Street. This is a great starting point for coffee lovers. About a minute walk up there you'll come to Margaret Street, home of Curators Coffee gallery. Solid coffee, good food and a relaxing space.  Read more about them here. Now, as good as that place is, I'd encourage you to keep walking. If you make your way to Great Titchfield Street (one street along) you'll find one of the best coffee spots in London. Kaffeine. It's a must visit for any coffee lover.

Kaffeine itself is fairly small, but there's ample seating and I've never had a problem getting a seat. You have to try the famous coffee flight. This is a perfect espresso, a cascara palate cleanser and a flat white. A true taste sensation. I'd also recommend one of the coffee courses/classes they offer, though you need to book in advance. I did a latte art class in September and had a lot of fun with the team there. I also drank my own body weight in coffee! 

If you continue down Great Titchfield Street then you'll find The Attendant, a very kooky place. It's a coffee shop situated in a converted underground public toilet, so be careful you don't walk right past it. There's nothing quite like sitting at a urinal while you drink a latte and enjoy a tasty snack, and they are very tasty.

Ok, back to Oxford street. At the crossroads where it meets Regent Street, head north. A couple of minutes walk away there's an amazing Starbucks. Just kidding! What do you take me for? Walk by the Starbucks on the corner of Mortimer Street and go to Workshop Coffee. One of several in the city and a London institution. If you aren't aware, Workshop are also a roaster that supply beans to some of the best coffee shops in the UK. As well as roasting, they're experts at making drinks with their freshly roasted produce. You won't be disappointed if you stop by.

Lastly, at the east end of Oxford Street, take a turn down Wardour Street and pop into TAP coffee. This was a recent discovery for me, but one I'm glad I made. You'll find a long slender room with a semi glass ceiling adding nice light to the place. Friendly staff will serve whatever you fancy. Drip, filter, espresso and so on. All roasted on site too. If you like TAP, there are a couple of other shops in the city. 

So there's my two pennies on coffee around Oxford Street. Hopefully you'll venture slightly off the street to get your fix of proper coffee. By all means sample the many Starbucks along there too, just know that I have no respect for you, and you have no respect for your tastebuds. 




This week I took a trip to Oxford. I'd passed through before, but never stopped long enough to shop, eat or drink and I was hoping to change that. I'd hoped for too much.

Oxford is famed for it's architecture and history and for this reason, as I discovered on my trip, is quite the tourist draw. In the city centre you'll find Oxford University and other top tier educational institutions, all elite establishments that double as breeding grounds for the enemy of working class Britain. Arseholes such as David Cameron and Margaret Thatcher are amongst the famed alumni. If you look closely enough, you'll spot future elite British morons (they're the preppy types wearing blazers and ties on a weekend) drinking real in the many taverns scattered around the place. Exciting eh?

I arrived in Oxford around 12 noon, full of hope, with a shortlist of coffee shops to hit. The sun was shining, the streets were lively and full of happy snapping tourists and shoppers. The plan was simple. Park, shop, drink coffee, shop some more, eat. 

After about 15 mins of driving around, I found a spot to park. Unfortunately it was a dated parking system that only accepted coins. No sms, telephone, online or card payment options, just pieces of metal. Back in the car to find cash! Simple right? Wrong. I drove around for an hour and a half trying to find a spot. All of the signposts for parking pointed to tiny streets with no spaces. I even drove back to the original spaceS with cash and they were taken. The challenge with Oxford i guess, is the age and layout. It's full of listed buildings so no new car parks are built in the centre. Just a few here and there. The layout of the roads is exactly how you'd expect. Nonsensical. Pokey. All over the place. This was part of the reason I drove for so long. Eventually however, I did park in a spot that generously gave me 1 hour. At this point, if Oxford had a face I'd have punched it. So, me and my sunny disposition sauntered into the city. 

With such a small window of coffee opportunity, I had to choose just one coffee venue from my shortlist. I chose The Missing Bean. I knew little about it upon entering, but immediately knew I'd made a good choice. The coffee merch for sale was the initial indicator. Hario drippers, keepcups, beans and so on. I ordered a flat white and a chocolate and peanut brownie. I was so drained from the driving that I destroyed the brownie (which was amazing) before my flat white was brought to the table.

The flat white was a Honduras/Guatemala/Brazil house blend. Too much going on for my un-trained tongue To call out specific flavours, but it was strong, sweet and fruity. I really enjoyed it. I tried an iced latte too. Not usually my thing, but as it was hot I gave it a go. It wasn't bitter as some can be. Fairly sweet again and creamy enough while still feeling fresh and thirst quenching. 

So two pretty enjoyable drinks, hunger slightly dealt with a bit of relaxation. The Missing Bean had rescued the afternoon. I was tempted to buy some beans to take with me but the footfall had increased and I didn't have long left on the frickin' meter. So back to the car I went thinking I'd never return to Oxford. After a few days though, the pain of navigating the city subsided and I found myself thinking I'd return for another coffee day. That was until this morning. I got a £30 fine for entering a bus lane! Fantastic. Screw you Oxford, screw you!