For the new ‘welcome centre’, a UK charity offered to buy us our coffee machine. We had had long discussions about possible coffee machines and had come to the conclusion that one of the one touch automatic bean-to-cup models was what we needed. So armed with this information I did some research with a local-is supplier, based about an hour away towards the sea at La Teste de Buch.
We went out there, hoping to see something in action, but though they have a very impressive showroom devoted to every gadget you can imagine for the production of coffee, and though they have a cafe with fine cakes, biscuits and cereal bars, and delectable coffees on offer, all we could really do was order the machine. It will be ready by Thursday, we were told.
It arrived on Thursday and I booked a car to go and get it - the only available time was the following Tuesday.
Then the forest around L aTeste caught fire. The shop was advised to close on that Tuesday. We waited. The fire was slowly mastered. This Tuesday the shop reopened, so I booked a car yesterday to go and get it.
It came with several kilograms of coffee beans, a few kilos of sugar in sachets, 200 paper cups, a little booklet - it was quite a pile of stuff to carry, so I took my courage in both hands and decided to drive to the church with my load.
The problem is that the summer is roadworks time in Bordeaux, and the GPS apps don’t always know what’s going on, so driving through the city can be challenging. Despite the best route being closed I found my way to the church and parked slightly illegally outside the welcome centre, just enough time to unload the coffee machine and all its vast array.
Then to get the car back to where I got it from. That WAS a challenge as the road it’s parked on is one-way, and can only be reached from a square that is being dug up. Some lateral thinking, some local knowledge, google maps and a lot of going backwards round corners (watch out for the bikes!) and I parked, feeling quite proud of myself.
The machine is fine. It’s no substitute for a skilled barista, but it makes quite a nice cappuccino, an acceptable americano and a reasonable espresso. Today I’ll try the other options, including latte macchiato and ’coffee’.