I will state now my dislike of Starbucks coffee - too gimmicky, too much froth. Also, I am sad to say that Pret have started to make the coffee half froth, half drink - although I have found Caffe Nero to be a little improved of late.
You see, I was spoilt as a student. As is often the case with student accommodation we were located in the most affluent and cosmopolitan area of Sheffield known as Eccessal Road. Lined with independent clothes shops, pubs, bars and restaurants the students of the area happily spend their overdrafts in the boozers, however I used to like Nonna's.
Nonna's is an Italian deli, restaurant and coffee shop although 10 years ago is was a slightly more modest affair. Having been whipped off to Umbria in Italy within six months of meeting Jack, I quickly developed a taste for all things Italian and we found Nonna's to be full of authentic charm and on our doorstep. Perfect for a late night coffee perched at their marble bar.
Nonna's and my frequent trips to Italy introduced me to the world of proper cappuccinos. A small drink, three quarters coffee, one quarter of thick, rich foam - not airy and puffed up a la Starbucks. A nifty trick of dusting with cocoa before pouring the foam ensures a perfect delivery.
Since living in London, I have been on the search for a Nonna coffee, and after six years of living here I thought I might share a few of my finds...
- Foyles - Coffee at Rays Jazz - listen to the jazz whilst sipping rocket fuel espresso
- Monmouth Coffee - London institution for those in the know. Great Sally Clarke truffles in winter for that extra buzz
- Green & Blue - a dark and bustley place any time of the day - accompanied with fabulous independent wines by the glass
- Bar Italia - the Soho original
- Flat White - New Zealand owned coffee shop with friendly staff and the flat white (proper cappuccino to you and me)