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Costa Coffee is one of the 'great chains' of england and beyond (As far as i know). Almost anywhere you go, town, villages, and even supermarkets, you'll never be too far away from a costa.
Costa Coffee started in America (I know. People say they are an italian brand but they are NOT), doing espresso bars around the country. They evolved since, and now you can find them in a LOT of places. They do a range of coffees, use pure ground coffee, top notch machines, and 'Professional Barristas' to serve you the perfect cup of coffee. From your morning cappuccino, to the afternoon espresso. At least, this is their promise. Whether they live up to it, is down to this review.
As known by my other reviews, i am a coffee nut. Despite my age i know good coffee from bad coffee, and bad coffee (Even if it has tonnes of caffiene in it) will make me feel sour. I don't just drink coffee for the caffiene, I drink it for the pleasure and entirely on taste even though some people think I am infact lying.
Lets get straight into the review.
To start with, lets look at the barristas.
In my local Costa, they are all dressed in black aprons too look sophisticated. One of my least liked people from my school works saturdays there, but despite he just serves me a good cup of coffee despite all else, showing they are commited. Professional Barristas is not something i'd call them. Sure, they know what they're doing after a half hour lesson, then saying they are professional, but half an hour doesn't make you a professional barrista. It takes practice and experience. Although i cannot mark them down for this because they certainly know what they are doing, and they know how to serve a good cup of coffee but claiming them professional is a bit of a overwhelming claim.
Now, for the coffee they use
In every costa i have been too, they empty the coffee
into a lovely burr grinder and use it as it's needed. It doesn't reach them already ground, which is great! Although... I peered into a costa one night and the beans were still in the grinder. Whether this was a mistake or not, this can ruin the coffee's aroma. And it can make it bitter. Bad. If they recommend on the packets of costa coffee to put it in an airtight container in the FREEZER, why don't they do this? For all i know they might have forgotten to empty the coffee beans out of the grinder. Not a great look at this at all. But they use good, untampered with 100% arabica beans. So, in this area it's good!
In every costa i have been in, it has smelt georgeous, the Costa style is very contempory, with dark wood and brown leather furnishings, it gives the 'higher class' feel. It's quite a confortable place to be in, the seats are comfortable, theres sometimes some relaxing music going on in the background, so overall it's a nice experience.
If your wondering why the cleanliness header is bigger, is because it means a lot to me. I will never feel confortable if a place isn't clean. Therefore, it's why i feel comfortable in Costa. They keep it very clean. To help reduce the need to clean the saucers are much larger than any other coffee chain, IE, Starbucks. I feel comfortable and happy with my coffee in Costa.
Now what you've all been waiting for...
The Coffee Itself
Well, well, well. It seems your in for a treat. Heres all of the coffees on the menu.
Cappuccino This drink is ment to be 1 third espresso, 1 third steamed milk, 1 third foam. This drink delivers. Perfect strength. A consistant and not too overpowering foam. And the heat, not too hot, just the way i love it. Costa knows their cappuccino.
Americano This drink is one third espresso 2 thirds hot not boiling water. Basically your long black coffee if your no fan of all that unnessesary foam and milk. This lacked a little. The espresso lacked, there wasn't enough of it. It was too much hot water. It was too weak i couldn't finish it. Although, don't get me wrong, starbucks americano is the worst of them. Costas americano is on the right track, they just need to boost the espresso a little.
Latte As far as i know, Latte is one third espresso, one third steamed milk and cream, and one third foam, so it's a creamier installment to the cappuccino. Costas latte is nice! It's an enjoyable drink, but i can't shake the feeling that it tastes just the same as a cappuccino. I hardly taste a difference. I'd probably be able to tell them apart if they were both in front of me, but your better off just getting a cappuccino.
Mocha Now this is my favourite coffee. One third espresso, one third steamed chocolate milk, and one third foam. But costa, did it NO justice. The chocolate it almost none existant, theres bits in the bottom of the cup (God knows where from) so i couldn't finish it, and it is more expensive than latte or cappuccino.
I reccommend, a coffee shop called 'Coffee Quey' on the Wight Link ferries in portsmouth if you want a good mocha. They do it justice.
Also, theres a more expensive version of the mocha called the mocha flake which features whipped cream and a flake on top. But this didn't make up for the disasterous mocha they make compared to their other coffees.
Espresso Now, this was their first ever drink Costa made, so this couldn't be bad. And trust me, it wasn't bad at all. It was lovely. Had a lovely 'head' (Crema layer), and it was strong not bitter, full bodied and overall a lovely drink. A true italian coffee there, i reccommend for all coffee lovers.
Filter Coffee A filter coffee is made from medium ground beans, filtered through a machine or filter paper. But i think we all know that. It's a nice coffee, but to be very honest i've had better filter coffee in pubs! Honestly, no joke no lie. I have had better filter coffee in pubs in the daytime when i go out for a meal.
Thats the main coffees covered. I don't waste my time with frescatos, and other speciality 'coffees' they seasonally make. So i cannot review them, i'm sorry.
Oh, and a babycino, people get confused about, is just a cup of frothed milk for kids to feel like they have a coffee. Lots of people get confused with that
Well, ALL coffee shops are rediculously overpriced. Costa is no exception. It's an expensive treat. But, starbucks are more expensive, but costa is more expensive than Caffe Nero so really, it's not cheap compared to others, but also compared to others it isn't too expensive. Although it's still a treat!!!
ALL costa coffee chains sell their merchendise, which ranges from cups of all sizes, coffee machines, percolaters, grinders, travel mugs, and much more. But, the stuff is rediculously overpriced. I got a travel costa mug for a present, i thought it couldn't have costed more than a fiver, and it was £9.99!. The espresso cups they sell are kind of cheap since they are hard to find, but they are never in stock. The latte glasses are £5.50 and ONLY at christmas, where on the Isle of Wight i can get 2 latte glasses for £4.50 in a shop called 'Hursts'. The merchandise in costa isn't worth parting your cash for. Only consider buying the espresso mugs.
Costa, is a nice coffee shop, with nice coffees, and things going on in each season. But, it lacks iced coffees, the merchandise is too overpriced to consider, and a lot of the treats like cake and muffins can be very dry. I'd just go for the cappuccino, latte, or filter coffee myself. But, it beats the other chains. It's cleaner, a nicer atmosphere, and nicer coffee all round than the chains. Hence, if theres no local coffee shops around, go for a costa everytime.