Why I’m rounding off UK Coffee Week with a double espresso or two – Gaby Soutar

Why I’m rounding off UK Coffee Week with a double espresso or two – Gaby Soutar

It’s UK Coffee Week, running from October 18-24, and it’s time to celebrate being caffeinated.

I’m a two cups a day person – one in the morning, and another to fend off the 3pm slump. Any more than that, and I get the jitters, though I have the antidote.

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I once interviewed a barista and he recommended eating a banana. It works.

Anyway, I have no doubt that caffeine is my crutch, but it’s essential.

Without it, I am as doggedly cantankerous as Halloween’s Michael Myers.

While there are those who take their pets on holiday with them, we never forget our coffee machine.

Recently, we went camping without him, and it was a three-day torture. We almost went home early, because we missed him so much.

A latte coffee. Picture: Andrew Roe

However, although home percolation is fine, I do prefer a cafe flat white, made by proper baristas with beans that are roasted on-site.

There are so many excellent places to choose from in Scotland, from Dear Green in Glasgow to Unorthodox Roasters in Kinross.

Among my favourites in the capital are Artisan Roast, Machina, Modern Standard and excellent newcomer Santu, which all source their beans directly from the farmers.

At the bottom of the Canongate, they have an Italian-style coffee bar. You can down your espresso, power up to Castlehill, and still have enough energy to climb the ramparts, if they’d only let you.

Gaby Soutar

As with most Edinburgh cafes, a flat white here is around three quid.

However, Santu’s owner, Washington Vieira, who is renovating their roastery, says the wholesale price of green coffee has recently doubled.

“Brazil had a historically bad harvest this year, and being the biggest coffee producing country this will impact the whole market,” says Mr Vieira.

He also explains the price of the coffee ingredient is a minuscule fraction of the cost of your drink.

Thus, if anything is going to drive prices up, it’ll be inflation rates, staff shortages and logistics, rather than the price of beans.

If those additional costs are passed onto consumers, we might go over the £3-a-cup point, and that might be too expensive for some.

However, I think they have underestimated me. Name your price.

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