Monday, 20 November 2017

Adding Taste to the Taste.

For me, the appeal of having coffee in a coffee shop isn’t just about the coffee. It’s also very much about the atmosphere. A coffee shop should be located in an old building and have an air of mildly dissolute urbanity about it (I think of it as ‘the Italian tradition.’) It needs to have character because character is an essential part of the experience.

And that’s why it always surprises me when I walk into the Tesco store in Uttoxeter and see one corner of it cordoned off and used by a branch of Costa Coffee. I see people sitting there with their comestibles while shoppers walk past with their baskets and trolleys and the dull of the parish earnestly discuss the half-baked headlines in today’s half-baked tabloids.

Why do they do it? Supermarkets – and especially Tesco stores – are not exactly known for anything approximating to character, are they? They’re the supreme embodiment of bland functionality, and sometimes they even fall short of being acceptably functional.

So why? Why, when there’s a reasonably characterful coffee shop in Uttoxeter High Street, do they make do with the drab environs of a Tesco supermarket? Uttoxeter High Street is a mere half mile away – along the main road, up a short hill, through the little bus station, and you’re there. Is it just laziness or does it indicate a lack of something? I’d say it’s even money on that one.

No comments: