Coffee from the baker’s machine. Well done Greggs.
There are a number of factors important in making great-tasting coffee consistently, such as consistent bean freshness, grind coarseness, tamping pressure, water temperature and pressure. If you cannot get these factors right every time, then the coffee may taste fine but each cup will taste different to the last.
The rise of the machines
Coffee enthusiasts will craft their brew with care, passion and attention to detail – or will expect a craft coffee shop to apply the same attention. But not every coffee outlet is a craft house. What’s to be done? Well, nothing. The machines are on the rise – and doing a pretty good job in my very humble opinion.
As a total coffee nut, I not only seek out good coffee but I seek out consistently good coffee. I have visited many of the “big chains” and had variable experiences. Variable is not good. Almost always, I find myself visiting an outlet where they have commercial bean-to-cup machines. Yep, I like McDonalds coffee and would much prefer to buy a coffee there than from a chain. The coffee ticks all the boxes for me – it is consistent and good.
The service station dilemma
So, what’s with Greggs? I visited Donnington services recently and just wanted a good coffee. Lots of coffee choice but oddly no McDonalds in sight. A dilemma, indeed. Greggs caught my eye but honestly I hadn’t really visited their shops in the past.
What a fabulous surprise!
Greggs too use commercial bean-to-cup machines which for me is a good sign. The coffee was really nice, full of flavour, delicious. They have their own blend and a little unusually they blend Arabica and Robusta beans. And it works with the Robusta beans lending a richness that I find very satisfying.
McDonalds use 100% Arabica, whereas Greggs blends Robusta. Robusta is more bitter but Greggs have blended a great blend that’s just right for me. The other noticeable difference is that Greggs coffee is served at a lower temperature (in McDonalds, I usually ask for an ice cube to drop in).
In summary. I’ll be buying more coffee at Greggs
Faced with the choice of these two shops next door to each other, I will struggle to decide because I like both. But, I will for sure be drinking more coffee from Greggs. Well done Greggs.