Sat in a Starbucks today, for the second and last time today, had a coffee that I now can't remember the name of but will certainly remember the taste. Asked the friend I was with if it always tasted like that, they suggested I try a different one but declined as I had chosen the basic white espresso and figured if they could fuck that up what hope was there for the fancy ones.
Now I like a coffee and have supped the stuff from Portugal to Turkey, enjoying the pavement cafes of many country's and all the different atmospheres and flavours which makes it hard for me to understand the appeal or even the existence of these overrated overpriced places. They have no ambiance or atmosphere, and a staff that seem to have been pressed out of the American plastic have a nice day mould.
In my teens we had what were called coffee bars they were where we gathered in the evenings and weekends usually with a jukebox. The coffee was espresso with a big frothy top so that everyone wore a milky moustache. Booze was for older ones and drugs (dope) hadn't got here from America yet. Each bar attracted its own type and style of youth. Some where the Teds, teddyboys and their girls hung out another would be for mods and the Ace cafe and Chelsea bridge for the greasers and rockers and if you could find them the secretive dives where the burgeoning hippies hung out.
I often wondered why they died out as at that time nothing new had come along to replace them, someone said it was a combination of local residence and higher rents ( so nothing new there then).
I was a biker (rocker) and remember that we had somewhere different to go almost every night of the week. Johnson's out on the A20. The copper kettle at Bigging Hill, the Ace on the north circular, the little tea stands at Chelsea bridge and Blackheath and others I can't remember the names off. And all for the price of a coffee.