the baby and the bathwater

June 20, 2008, 5:08 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Enough is enough

I have finally swapped. Having been a dedicated starbucks drinker for the last 5 years, I have decided that I have had enough. My coffee of choice now comes from caffe nero.

I know I have previously gone on record saying that starbucks is a spiritual gift for worship leaders. But it is now with deep regret that I have to say that the anointing has lifted from all that is green and white and fallen on all that is blue gold and black.

There are a number of reasons.

The coffee tastes much better. Starbucks seems to have lost it’s way in the coffee taste stakes and now regularly produces a very feeble brew, whereas nero is consistently deep, mellow and satisfying.

Then there is the coffee strength. You really have to order an extra shot at starbucks as the coffee is pretty weak. With nero, good strength coffee comes as standard.

Then there is the feel of the shop. Starbucks, despite a recent refit, is beginning to take on the feel of a fast food restaurant, is often messy and is a little dirty. I’m sure it won’t be long before you’ll be asked if you ‘want fries with that’ every time you order a cappuccino.

But nero has a nice, sophisticated, gentle atmosphere – especially first thing in the morning when the sun breaks through and warms you as you sit on your leather chair, reading the times (provided for you), watching the posh world go past down the posh street.

Then there is the price. nero is cheaper. enough said.

Then there is the way they use the caffe with the double ff to reinforce their identity as italian.

I’ve finally
got to the stage where they now know me, and what I drink. And we have a general chat every now and then about the demise of starbucks, which is pleasing.

Yes, the future is bright. The future is blue, gold and black. And to prove it, here is me wandering down a posh street with a large latte. Nice.


11 Comments so far
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Have been feeling the same. Exeter seemingly lacks any kind of decent coffee establishment. The two Starbucks are both utterly characterless, the Costa is a bit odd…. though that said there is a Nero I’ve been neglecting.

Comment by dave bish

if i could sum up neil bennetts in one photo it would be that one.

Comment by David Gate

LOL…I have to admit that there is something about the Nero environment that makes it a delicious experience. I wonder whether that the fact it is situated in House of Fraser brings a sense of ‘class’ to the whole experience.

Oh, great photo by the way…was Annie Leibovitz or Mario Testino in the house?


Comment by Andy

Dave. Yes it does say a lot about me. Calm, relaxed, good looking, thoughtful. all of that.

Comment by Neil Bennetts


ok so maybe i should have acknowledged the photographer.

but annie and mario should now step aside in the presence of greater glory.


Comment by Neil Bennetts


As Annie said to me last week “with Neil Bennetts to inspire you, the world is your oyster”…


Comment by Andy

you’re thinking about a breakfast sandwich

Comment by David Gate

you are right.

ok so the diets not going quite as well as i was hoping.

Comment by Neil Bennetts

It’s all the beer/cider mate…

I’m on week 8 of no alcohol and tonight was the first time that I was sorely tempted to go out and get a cold bottle of white. I was sitting on the sofa talking with sandra and praying…windows open…music on…beautiful.

Oh, well…helps the waist line.

Comment by Andy

Caffé Nero! Thanks for reminding me Neil! I’d almost forgotten the great times spent in Caffé Nero in Hammersmith when I used to work there in the late 90’s. It wasn’t the great coffee that got me in there initially – it was plenty of newspapers to read and they didn’t hurry you out! Even used to get Music Week in so you could spend even longer out of the office doing … er … market research!

Anyway, agreed! Caffé Nero coffee trounces the rest. Deep, mellow and satisfying – yes, absolutely! But … major dilemma coming up Neil! Caffé Nero in Cheltenham does not open until 11am on Sundays! Does this mean you and the band will be obliged to sit in on the Pastor’s message at the 9:15am service? Wait til 12noon thereabouts for coffee? Or … will Starbucks On Sunday look … well, quite inviting really? Or will Soho Coffee in Cambray beckon?!! In think we should know!

Comment by BobHW

Bob you are right, sundays provide a problem.

whilst the sun is out, then soho gets the nod definitely. when the rain returns then it may just have to be starbucks.

but then again, even starbucks is infinitely better than not having coffee at all!

Comment by Neil Bennetts

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