As I drive for a living, I cannot take the risk of drink driving. I rarely drink alcohol these days, so I drink coffee instead & have done so since 2001. I started drinking in the chain coffee shops as a weekly treat. I bought my first espresso machine from the now defunct Woolworths for the princely sum of £35 in 2006, I bought pre ground coffee to begin with & made a latte at home every now & again, I did that for a fair few years. 

In 2012, I got reading a very large forum topic thread on OCUK forums (link on the right) so I decided to ‘upgrade my now old Woolworths machine, so I sold it on ebay & replaced it with a Gaggia Cubika plus. In May 2016, I bought a Refurbished Gaggia Classic. In December 2016, I replaced the Classic with the model below, a fifth generation Rancillio Silva.

I also bought a hand burr grinder; I now buy freshly roasted coffee beans from the internet on a regular basis. The Coffee machine is cleaned daily & de scaled regularly  to make sure I get a good Coffee, which I consider to be essential these days! I bought from Hasbean on a regular basis in 2012 & 2013. In 2014 & 2015 I began to buy from other roasters.  I’ve tried Coffee from South America (which I prefer) Africa & South East Asia.

A few tips I’ve learned to get a good cup of Coffee (especially a Latte!) is to buy freshly roasted Coffee beans, store them in a dark dry place & grind only what you need before brewing. Steam the milk to a maximum of 65 degrees Centigrade. Bottled water & filtered milk helps to improve the taste & I’ve found that Semi-Skimmed Milk foams better than Whole Milk too.

In October 2015, I bought a Knockbox to empty my Coffee grounds into. These make a good fertiliser and Cat/Slug repellent apparently! Rave Coffee is good value to buy from & their blended roast beans are very drinkable.

Below is a photo of ‘my haul’ from the London Coffee Festival 2017.

When I go out, I tend to avoid the chain Coffee shops too & try the independent ones as they tend to be better. On the rare occasions I go into London, I’ll head for the ones recommended on the London’s best Coffee Website ( 11 out of many tried so far!) Link on the right.

I’ve attended the London Coffee Festival three times in a row from 2015 onwards. I enjoy the event very much even though it gets Hot, Noisy & Crowded, things I don’t really like, but its worth it. I intend taking my sister there in 2018.

I’ve also begun to travel around the Country to visit various Coffee shops recommended by renowned Coffee shop blogger Brian Williams, owner of I met him in May 2016 & he is a knowledgeable chap of all things coffee & coffee shops. He also writes for a speciality coffee magazine called ‘Caffeine’  His site link is on the right.

 UPDATES: I’ve installed an upgrade to the Rancilio Silvia, a PID. in February 2017. More about it here.

An Electric Coffee Grinder was purchased in April 2017, Read about it here.