I’m fairly new to the coffee world. It was only last year when I was in London for work that my boss asked me what I wanted to drink from a coffee shop that I realised that I just couldn’t keep ordering a diet coke forever. Because let’s be honest, a coffee is a lot more sophisticated. So from that day, myself and lattes became well acquainted. So when Greggs got in touch to ask if I wanted to take part in their coffee taste test challenge to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight, I jumped at the chance! The concept was simple: taste coffee from four separate stores and rate them using a scale of 1-5 with 1 being good and 5 being amazing. I decided to choose the same drink at all four places so it was a fait test. Here’s how I got on:
Pret A Manger
When: Saturday 4th, London
How much: £2.25
Oh where to start? Admittedly, I don’t tend to think of Pret when it comes to coffee – more a place for a bite to eat, sandwiches and soup – that type of thing. My experience certainly hasn’t changed that! We had a busy day planned in London so we weren’t able to stop in so got our drinks to take away meaning I can’t really comment on the appearance fairly. Pret say that their coffee is 100% organic and a blend of Arabica beans. I hate to say it but we were both incredibly disappointed! For me, it was like drinking dishwater. Incredibly watery yet bitter, it left such an awful taste in the mouth. I didn’t even make it half way through the drink before it was thrown into the bin.
When: Sunday 5th, London
What: Caffe Latte
How much: £2.35
Now this is what I’m talking about! We sat down in Starbucks for our next coffee as apparently, shops in London don’t open till 12!? Who knew! Like a lot of people, I was already aware of how just ethical Starbucks are as a company. They invest in farming communities to ensure a sustainable supply of coffee. Service in Starbucks was very quick and even just by looking at the latte, I had higher hopes than Pret. I don’t know why but I loved that it was served in a mug too – I feel like drinks taste so much from them compared to a glass. The first mouthful was utterly divine – creamy and frothy with the optimum amount of expresso, just a tasty coffee that felt like a real treat and that is exactly what the experience should feel like.
When: Thursday 9th, Peterborough
What: Cafe Latte
How much: £2.25
We frequent Costa the most of all coffee shops though I’m not sure if that’s just because it’s closest! To be honest, I always tend to find Costa incredibly slow at serving although that could be down to the fact that our one is fairly small. There was no coffee artwork as I would have expected from them (and for the price too!) but I couldn’t fault the coffee itself – it was delicious. The right amount of froth with the espresso not being too strong or overwhelming which always spoils a latte for me. It wasn’t as nice as Starbucks offering but still a good cup of coffee.
When: Tuesday 7th, Peterborough
What: Cafe Latte
How much: £1.80
Similarly to Pret, let’s not pretend we don’t all know Greggs for its epic pasties and steak bakes! Unless it was really convenient, quite honestly I wouldn’t have pinned Greggs down as a place to get my coffee generally which is why I was so interested to sample them! I was impressed with the wide range they had to offer as for some reason I’d expected it to be limited. I was served really speedily which pleased me since I had nipped in at lunch and nobody wants to be wasting their lunch hour standing in a queue. Obviously there was none of the whole fancy coffee artwork in a glass as you would you get in a coffee shop but let’s be honest, that doesn’t last long once you take a swig! As for the taste, it was sweet and velvety, almost quite biscuity. Surprisingly, I’d actually think this would be joint place with Costa and what makes it even better is how much less money it is too.
This post has been put together in celebration of Fairtrade Fortnight which works to stop the exploitation of millions of hardworking farmers who aren’t getting what they rightfully deserve. You can remove yourself from this problem by buying only Fairtrade products which promises fair payment to those hardworking and deserving men and women who are often working in poverty. You’ll be able to identify Fairtrade products by the familiar logo. In terms of coffee, Starbucks and Greggs are both Fairtrade. You can find out more about the Fairtrade products you can buy here.
I would also urge you to watch the below video:
I’d love to know in the comments what your coffee of choice is and where you like to get it and why! See you next week!
*This post in collaboration with Greggs. All opinions are 100% my own