Is the Caramel Macchiato on the way out?


This Guardian Blog suggests that filter coffee may be making a comeback.

Not the stuff that’s been boiling away for hours and is virtually undrinkable, but “specialist coffee shops” serving “single-origin arabicas from, say, Ethiopia or Kenya, which require a gentler brewing process”, and (apparently) Weatherspoons!

I can’t help thinking that many of the drinks on Starbucks’ menu were invented because as they sound very complicated, Starbucks can charge the earth for them.  But then consider an English Breakfast Tea – one teabag and more or less, boiling water and cold milk, depending on the drink size requested. The container must cost many times the cost of the teabag (probably less than 1p a go to Starbucks)!

So if coffee shops can make huge profit margins on tea, I don’t suppose that what appears to be basic coffee will prove a problem.

Raymond Blanc: British cuisine catching up with French

France-GB montage

I think Raymond Blanc is merely stating what has been the case for a number of years now. Really good British food is amazing (and Blanc is part of it).

But you still can’t beat those ‘traditional’ lunches available at roadside restaurants in a French village or small town – they are excellent value. Maybe having a VAT rate of 7% helps?

Mexican Breakfast

Mexican Breakfast

Mexican Breakfast

Returning from holiday, I found some eggs in the fridge, about to go out of date (eating out of date eggs doesn’t phase me much (as long as they are well cooked (eg fine for making cakes, pancakes etc)), but fresher eggs have firmer whites – not ideal for poaching then, but you can’t always be choosy!).

On my first post holiday shop I’d been looking for ripe avocados (there weren’t any!) but I couldn’t resist the ‘reduced to clear’ baby avocados (unfortunately still like bullets because fruit and veg doesn’t necessarily conform to regulations). These had soon ripened under a bunch of bananas in the fruit bowl.

I also had the remains of a sliced wholemeal loaf.

At this point I recalled the Bill’s Vegetarian Breakfast

Mine was to be even more Mexican. I made some refried beans. There is no shortage of recipes for these on the web, but mine consisted of softened chopped onion and garlic (cooked with large pinch of chilli flakes and a little ground cumin), to which were added a can of red kidney beans, and a generous tablespoon of tomato purée. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 15 minutes and then mash. Note, you may not need all the water from the can of beans.

I also made simple guacamole by mashing avocado with lemon juice and cayenne pepper.

Next, I toasted four slices of bread and poached four eggs (for two people).

To assemble this delicious feast, you spread guacamole of two slices of toast and refried beans on the other, putting one of each on each plate; drain the poached eggs and place one on each slice of toast. Season with black pepper and chilli sauce to taste.

As you can see from the photo, I couldn’t resist digging in, so I can only provide an image of the half eaten meal!