The Coffee Shop

POSTED ON Jul 17th 2013 BY LESLIE LOFTIS UNDER Adult Beverages

Yasha and his brother both travel. They entertain and annoy each other by texting pictures of favorite beers from favorite pubs or lands. Apparently I get to join the fun now. I recently got this pic when Yasha landed in London without me.

Yasha and his brother both travel. They entertain and annoy each other by texting pictures of favorite beers from favorite pubs or lands. Apparently I get to join the fun now. I recently got this pic when Yasha landed in London without me.

When we first started hopping back and forth across the Atlantic a few times a year, I came up with a fraud hold arrangement with American Express. If one of my first three charges  upon returning to the US was Target, then it was me. I should make a similar arrangement for out coffee shop.

On the whole, American coffee is terrible. I won’t even entertain defenses for Starbucks coffee. They burn the beans and the brew. It’s like drinking an ashtray, only doable with lots of milk or flavoring. Or as my husband used to explain while we were in Geneva, the average gas station in Switzerland has better brew than fancy American restaurants.

Best coffee I’ve ever had comes from a small chain of cafes in Chelsea and Pimlico, La Bottega. Invariably, I head to Fabio for a coffee pick me up after a flight.

I didn’t think I could like them more than I already do. They used to give my kids extra biscuits. They help my son with his olive and prosciutto addictions. But I popped in the other day for my morning latte and saw one of the Chelsea pensioners sitting outside and having a coffee. The Royal Hospital is around the corner. Many older veterans live there. They wear a uniform when they are out and about so they are easy to identify.

When I paid for my coffee, I tried to pay for his as well, just Yasha’s and my habit whenever we find ourselves drinking or dining near a veteran. The guy at the counter looked out and said, ”You mean Bruce? No, no. We give him coffee. We don’t let him pay.”

Without a doubt, my favorite coffee shop in all the world.


  1. ari said:

    Great coffee-shop story.

    This is absolutely off-topic, and defers to your sci-fi expertise. Have you watched all the original star treks? We’ve just watched the first four, the originals. I gotta say, it deserved to get cancelled, for showing zippers and wrinkled fabric, and wrists hanging out of what are supposed to be full-length sleeves, alone.

    Okay, they keep landing on barren, desolate rock planets with strange, alien creatures. They hang out long enough to figure out how these things work. They leave. Is it me, or is this a re-enactment of the Beagle on Galapagos? Over and over and over? I mean, they get pretty religious about Darwin. Am I watching a religious ritual, repeated over and over? They get emotional about the pond of goop that is going to evolve, somehow, into humans, in one of their movies. A very slow-moving, dull, as toast, ritual re-enactment masquerading as a sci-fi movie.

    For the most part, the British navy wasn’t too up on merely observing rocks and non-human natives. They did that. But they also took samples. They planted useful plants all over the place- lemon trees, and who knows what else- cinnamon, coffee, nutmeg, mahogany. Chickens, pigs and cattle were left to roam on most outposts. They were re-enacting Eden- this is your garden- garden. It’s not a sterile, depressed, helpless observing. It’s an active, positive modification.

    I’m asking, b/c in one of the episodes, the giant brain people say “well, stay up here and garden!” like they are condemning the people- rather than letting them stay and dream until they die. Now, granted, that’s marooning space naval types, but it’s not usually considered a curse to garden, is it? When it’s ” terraforming” it’s all exciting- and done by machines, not people. And, it brings a resurrection of Spock, too. That’s in the movies.

    What do you think? Have you seen it? Or does the whole women’s in miniskirts and mens in polyester playsuits just too much to bear?

  2. Leslie Loftis said:

    Tempting fate with wonky wifi to reply when I really need to get a post up, but Star Trek. Ugh. I’ve tried, but I just can’t do it. Not for the miniskirts but the enlightened society, perfectibility of Man assumptions underpinning the whole mythology. I can get into all sorts of mystical plot devices, energy fields, magic, Hellmouths, vsmps, superpowers of every kind, but I can’t do Man is good if given the right environment. I went to the last movie and spent most of the time rolling my eyes and trying to muffle snorts. It’s almost two AM here, so I can’t remember the specifics of the annoyances, but they were many.

    VV, it’s good coffee.

  3. Vesta Vayne said:

    Well that show of respect would make them my favorite coffee shop too.

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