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Debenhams bans "confusing" coffee titles


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#1 PSmith

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 06:03 AM

Coffee snobs be dammed :laugh:

Debenhams have simplified their coffee menu. If you want a latte - you now get a really, really milky coffee.

http://www.dailymail...lky-coffee.html

How refreshing. I know where I will be heading if I need a coffee next time I am in town.

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#2 Matthew Grant

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 07:59 AM

"Really Really milky coffee" - I agree a cafe Latte has a lot of milk but this gives the impression that it is weak, which in my mind a cafe latte shouldn't be.
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#3 Harters

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 09:02 AM

Good for Debenhams!

I have long wondered why the world has to order coffee in the language of north west America.

And while we're at it - can I make the suggestion that the alternative to a "large" coffee is a "small" coffee not "regular" which is a fecking meaningless word in the context. Unless, of course, a place wants to start selling large coffee as "irregulars".

Edited by Harters, 31 October 2012 - 09:02 AM.

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#4 PhilD

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 04:26 PM

Grew up in England, moved to Aus, then back to the UK after the "coffee revolution" and was completely mystified about ordering coffee - or should it be more accurately described as a "caffeinated milk drink" given the ratio.

However, "Frothy Coffee" takes me right back to the steamy coffee shops in Yorkshire of my mis-spent youth, nothing like the cappuccino of today but just the ticket after a winter's afternoon canoeing down the Ouse (why this wasn't a summer sport on the school timetable was a mystery) before I understood what a wetsuit was!

#5 liuzhou

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 10:26 PM

Well done Debenhams.

And, while we are at it, the spotty kid pouring the coffee isn't a "barista". He is a spotty kid on work experience pouring (usually bad) coffee into a cup.

Edited by liuzhou, 31 October 2012 - 10:28 PM.


#6 PSmith

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 02:25 AM

And, while we are at it, the spotty kid pouring the coffee isn't a "barista". He is a spotty kid on work experience pouring (usually bad) coffee into a cup.


Amen to that :laugh:

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#7 Mjx

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 02:48 AM

. . . .

I have long wondered why the world has to order coffee in the language of north west America.

. . . .


The language of the American Northwest is Italian?! News to me :raz: In Italy, if you request 'latte' in a coffe shop, they'd probably look at you like you had rocks in your head, but they just might decide to give you what you requested: a glass or cup of milk.

I suspect Debenhams of smugly inverted snobbery as a marketing gimmick, not any real concern for clarity. But then again, if the end result is clarity, who cares?

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#8 PSmith

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 04:05 AM

I suspect Debenhams of smugly inverted snobbery as a marketing gimmick, not any real concern for clarity. But then again, if the end result is clarity, who cares?

Spot on - I guess they are going to be targeting people like my aged Mother who likes her coffee, really, really milky, but probably finds the like of Starbucks and Costa a bit too intimidating.

Incidentally I never go to Starbucks or Costa - I find their coffee really disappointing - is it just me?

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#9 MacD

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 04:23 AM


. . . .

I have long wondered why the world has to order coffee in the language of north west America.

. . . .


The language of the American Northwest is Italian?! News to me :raz: In Italy, if you request 'latte' in a coffe shop, they'd probably look at you like you had rocks in your head, but they just might decide to give you what you requested: a glass or cup of milk.

I suspect Debenhams of smugly inverted snobbery as a marketing gimmick, not any real concern for clarity. But then again, if the end result is clarity, who cares?


Hear hear - it might be a marketing gimmick, but I'm glad they've done it. And the use of the word "latte" to describe coffee with milk has annoyed me for years. I know it's only an abbreviation, but I'd love to just give people a glass of milk :o)

#10 MacD

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 04:29 AM


I suspect Debenhams of smugly inverted snobbery as a marketing gimmick, not any real concern for clarity. But then again, if the end result is clarity, who cares?

Spot on - I guess they are going to be targeting people like my aged Mother who likes her coffee, really, really milky, but probably finds the like of Starbucks and Costa a bit too intimidating.

Incidentally I never go to Starbucks or Costa - I find their coffee really disappointing - is it just me?


No - I'm the same. Aside from the fact that I hate what Starbucks and their ilk represent, if I have been dragged into one by someone, I never know what to order - I generally like white coffee, but if I have a caffe latte or a cappuccino I end up feeling really sick for some time afterwards. I think it's the amount of milk and the fact that it's heated up, which makes it taste sweeter. I now just ask for coffee with cold milk - so you get to put in the amount you want.

#11 PSmith

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 05:44 AM

I actually like my coffee with "Coffemate" - plus it seems to fit better with my lactose intollerance issues.

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#12 Matthew Grant

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 06:02 AM

For me Espresso/Cappucino/Cafe Latte etc bestow a confidence that I am going to get an italian style coffee brewed under pressure (i.e. an espresso based drink) instead of a Nescafe with a lot of milk (this doesn't necessarily mean all coffees made this way are good.). Its nothing to do with coffee snobbery. What is easier to say, "an espresso" or "a shot of really strong black coffee", what if you got 2 teaspoons of nescafe in a shot glass would you be accepting of that because thats what the description could actually be. If you want a filter coffee, ask for a fliter coffee, if you want an instant coffee, ask for an instant coffee. I struggle to believe that anybody that really enjoys coffee doesn't understand what these terms mean after so many years of them being available in this country.

In the case of those who think it is snobbery I fully expect them not to use any foreign food terms when describing dishes eaten in the UK. No more Sushi on this board, that will be rice with raw fish thank you! No more after dinner espresso, no croissants, pot au feu, creme anglaise etc. etc. Where does the snobbery end!? :rolleyes:

Edited by Matthew Grant, 01 November 2012 - 06:02 AM.

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#13 PSmith

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 06:08 AM

creme anglaise


CUSTARD!!!! :laugh:

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#14 liuzhou

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 06:12 AM

I fully expect them not to use any foreign food terms when describing dishes eaten in the UK. No more Sushi on this board


At least sushi is the correct Japanese. And it isn't always 'rice with raw fish'. In fact, it usually isn't.

As has been pointed out, 'latte' is milk, not coffee.

Edited by liuzhou, 01 November 2012 - 06:19 AM.


#15 Matthew Grant

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 06:17 AM

Your missing the point, some may have shortened it to latte in our everyday use but the term caffe latte is a particular style of coffee, it isn't a made up coffee snob term.

Edited by Matthew Grant, 01 November 2012 - 06:19 AM.

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#16 PSmith

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 06:23 AM

Your missing the point, some may have shortened it to latte in our everyday use but the term caffe latte is a particular style of coffee, it isn't a made up coffee snob term.


So what is so wrong with using the English translation of "Milky Coffee". Why do we feel the need to use foreign language when it comes to "fine dining". I wonder if you would find "Bread and Butter Pudding" on a menu in France instead of "Pain du Beurre" dessert, should something exist.

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#17 Matthew Grant

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 06:59 AM

Ok, but we need to expand on that translation as it isn't descriptive enough. As I said, Milky coffee could be nescafe with a lot of milk. How about "15gms ground coffee, brewed under pressure to a 50ml measurement topped with milk heated to 70 degrees"? Gives me a much better idea of what I'm getting. Alternatively, lets call it a Caffe Latte.

This isn't anything to do with fine dining, it is simply to do with a commonly used term. Moving away from Caffe latte as the example, who doesn't know what a cappucino is?
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#18 liuzhou

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 07:03 AM

who doesn't know what a cappucino is?


Most of the world's population.

#19 Matthew Grant

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 07:14 AM

Are they all visiting Debenhams?
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#20 PSmith

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 07:18 AM

. How about "15gms ground coffee, brewed under pressure to a 50ml measurement topped with milk heated to 70 degrees"?


How many coffee shops do you think actually use that criteria to make a latte? Is it something you would insist upon? And more important - what percentage of the population do you think would actually know, or even care that they are not getting Nescafe. In the same way that "Jus" on a menu is probably rarely proper "au jus" - especially in your local gastropub.

Personally I detest the way foreign descriptions are becoming common place in our culture. We have some great food traditions in the UK that should be embraced, rather than allowing ourselves to be influenced by other countries.

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#21 liuzhou

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 07:28 AM

Personally I detest the way foreign descriptions are becoming common place in our culture.


You do realise that the vast majority of English is "foreign descriptions", don't you?

#22 PSmith

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 07:47 AM

Personally I detest the way foreign descriptions are becoming common place in our culture.


You do realise that the vast majority of English is "foreign descriptions", don't you?

Yes - if you go far enough back in history. We are bits of French, German, Scandinavian, etc. But we are today uniquely English and that is something we should be proud of and promote.

Let's have Lamb with Mint sauce, mashed potato and gravy on the menu instead of Lamb with pureed crème potatoes with Mint Jus,

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#23 Matthew Grant

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 07:53 AM

So your advocating taking somebody elses heritage (Italian coffee) and renaming it as if it was our own?
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#24 PSmith

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 08:00 AM

So your advocating taking somebody elses heritage (Italian coffee) and renaming it as if it was our own?


No that is not what I am saying - read the post above.

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#25 Matthew Grant

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 08:04 AM

This thread is discussing the renaming of Italian style coffees. I understand you being miffed about english dishes being translated to French but you can't have it both ways!
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#26 liuzhou

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 08:11 AM

Yawn.

#27 Harters

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 08:32 AM

By the by, I was in Madrid last week where it seems to have become impossible to get a proper "cafe con leche". Order it and what you get is a cup of frothy bitter liquid as per Starbucks cappuccino.
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#28 naguere

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 08:45 AM

Using my Bailetti and Tesco's Italian blend I am well pleased.

Unable to upload the Bailetti 3 cup image , but you get the idea.

Who would pay so much for so little ..

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#29 Matthew Grant

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 09:17 AM

By the by, I was in Madrid last week where it seems to have become impossible to get a proper "cafe con leche". Order it and what you get is a cup of frothy bitter liquid as per Starbucks cappuccino.


Me too, Spanish coffee has never been great, still too much UHT milk being used
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#30 MacD

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 11:06 AM


By the by, I was in Madrid last week where it seems to have become impossible to get a proper "cafe con leche". Order it and what you get is a cup of frothy bitter liquid as per Starbucks cappuccino.


Me too, Spanish coffee has never been great, still too much UHT milk being used


Strangely, while I hate UHT milk in normal circumstances, I really enjoy the coffee you can get in some Spanish and French cafes which are made with UHT - and are often served in a glass/glass cup. It feels sort of comforting.