SATURDAY afternoon. After ordering a cheese and tomato panini and mocha, I handed the barista my loyalty card. ‘That’s your Nectar card!’ was his reply. After apologizing, I quickly searched for the correct card whilst ignoring the queue of customers rolling their eyes.
Pulling out the wrong card was not my fault. I was pre-occupied – Sky Sports on my iPhone had my undivided attention. Funnily enough, just before the loyality card mix-up, a lady in the queue mentioned that we spend far too much time on our mobiles.
I’ve been a regular in the local coffee shop for a number of years. The staff know me very well. They know what I want when I get to the counter. They give me a light-hearted telling-off when they’ve spotted me in the competitors’ coffee shop.
I have to admit that I’ve become a snob when it comes to coffee, coffee shops and cafés. Allow me to explain. I was brought up in era where instant coffee ruled – add boiling water, a splash of milk and job done. Today, there’s not a granule of instant coffee in our household. Instead we have coffee for use in the cafetiere.
Another example was during a recent trip to the east of the country. We were driving along mostly ‘A’ roads so the usual premium services (containing M&S simply food, Costa, Starbucks etc.) were less frequent. We stopped at a café on one of the ‘A’ roads. The café was super clean but the decor looked like we’d travelled back to the 70s! I ordered a cheese and tomato toasted sandwich and a coffee. The bread used for the toastie was bulk standard square (not the Panini style I had become accustomed to). The side salad was unshredded iceberg and sliced tomato. The milk for the coffee was not heated the frothed the way my local coffee shop did it. Also I couldn’t use my loyalty card in the café.
Whilst I enjoyed the pit stop, I’d missed the usual luxury of my local coffee shop.
So the conclusion is that I’ve turned into a modern day snob when it comes to coffee and coffee shops. My snobbery has happened gradually. I’m not proud of my snobbery and I’m beginning to feel guilty. I’m considering going back to doing coffee old school (back to granules). Does Mellow Birds, Maxwell House and Nescafe original still exist?