Is it only coffee?


I think not these days.

I remember  way back when I was a teenager many years ago, that a coffee bar opened in the local town: Preston in Lancashire. It became the place to go to and all they served was coffee in little glass cups. It was almost exclusively a young place. The coffee was unexceptional, but it was the first coffee with froth on the top, so we thought it was cool.

I’m a coffee fan, not an addict, but I like a good cup of strong coffee and on journeys through France, it was an ideal way to rest and recover. The strong coffee had mileage attached, about 3 hours of alert driving for every cup. Well the French have gone to pot. Many of the motorway halts in France now serve up coffee from a metal machine. Now I’m no absolute purist but this is really an offence against the state, and says much about the state of France. They taught us how to cook properly all those years ago and how to serve decent coffee to the masses on the move. Now it’s just corporate grim.

Over here we decided that motorway coffee was yuk, and now corporates have got a grip on the trade in a totally different way to France. You have to queue for a cup at a Costa’s or similar, whilst the barista makes you the coffee of your choice. We’ve shown the French how it should be done and we learnt it from them in the first place.

Out in the town the coffee reaches even more heights of sophistication, with a ready choice of smart ( but not too smart: “Make it look like it was warehouse please”) places that serve coffee of almost every description. To cap this they even have ‘tasting notes’ in some places and guest coffee. The temptation is to say this is all b*ll*cks, but it’s really not. It’s got to be better than a French machine generated undrinkable sludge. So well done us, we came near the top in the Olympics and we’re good at coffee. Perhaps the two are related.

Coffee final.jpg

This is Tamper in Sheffield, where they serve excellent coffee, why not try a few and stay awake for a week. A few cups could get you to the South of France without having to stop.

Tamper Coffee



Yes, that’s tasting notes folks on a guest coffee! Try asking for that in France.


I’m having a short break from posting cartoons and will be posting photos and other hopefully interesting stuff for a short while. Sharpening the pencil for later. Summer is not drawing weather for me. Wet days and dark evenings make for more drawing time in my book.

Thanks for visiting.



  1. Was it brucciani’s by any chance? It’s still there. It was my mums favourite when I was little and up until the 1990’s was still decorated like a 1930’s tearoom 😊 They used to do a lovely ‘malted coffee’ which was like a latte with a spoonful of Horlicks in it😆

  2. I don’t think so, I’ve forgotten exactly what it was called but it was a magnet for us. I am talking about the early 60’s! It was also somewhere besides behind the bike sheds where we could have a smoke, so a heady mix of nicotine and caffeine.

  3. I wish you hadn’t reminded me of coffee in glass cups – I’m sure snooty Kendals in Manchester used to do that sort of thing. As you say the coffee itself was pretty dire. On the other hand a few weeks ago in fashionable Shoreditch I was asked to choose between estates…

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