Thursday, October 07, 2004

Grande Caramel Macchiato Please

Coming home from university two years ago was a time of mixed emotions. I was sad to be leaving friends behind, leaving a town that, over three years, had become a second home. Then again I was returning home to old friends and family and familiar surroundings.

There were two things that I would really miss about the town centre at uni. One was the superb HMV store which regularly fed my appetite for new music and DVDs. The other was the coffee-houses. They were a new phenomenon to me when I began uni in 1999 but I grew so fond of them I even ended up buying my own coffee machine. Cheltenham had Starbucks, two Costas an Italian Coffee Co and a Soho Coffee co. Lots of variety and lots of different Mochas.
So for the last two years my irregular visits to Cheltenham or Birmingham have been a blessing – a chance to visit a real coffee house, something Hereford has lacked – until this year.

Imagine my delight when Costa opened it’s door a few months ago. Gorgeous coffee and a gorgeous house! Then, like buses two came along at once. This week the Holy Grail – Starbucks finally got it’s barista's a brewing in Hereford. After two years it was a sheer disappointment. Sure the coffee was gorgeous, that familiar taste I’d missed but the surroundings were awful. The cafĂ© is small and cramped. The tables no bigger than the plastic imitations you fed your teddies tea parties around when you were three. I missed the large airy surroundings of the Cheltenham branch with big comfy sofas and study tables for the next days assignment.

Looks like I’ll be drinking from a paper cup in the future.

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