Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Rise and shine

It's been a long time since I moaned to you about how difficult breakfast-time can be in the Coffee House, and I'm sure you've missed my rants immensely. Last week was a breeze - SATS exams meant that for three days out of five, Eldest went early to school for a special pre-test breakfast, leaving me free to serve Littlest her endless rounds of toast. (Those Hobbits wanting their second breakfast? Littlest makes them look like amateurs.)

Recently Kellogg's sent us some of their Mini Max cereal to try. A new cereal, it claims to be low in salt, high in fibre and wholegrain and have less sugar than many other popular kid’s cereals. I checked, and it has 18g of sugars per 100g - not bad when you consider that even Bran Flakes have 20g, and Coco Pops a whopping 35g. And it looks pretty, which made the Lattes think they were getting a big treat after weeks of Rice Krispies and a box of Weetabix knock-offs from Lidl. Mini Max got a big thumbs up from the Lattes, who were even happy to eat it at weekends (weekends are traditionally the time when we cave in and give them chocolate cereal in order to have a minute's peace).

Kellogg's didn't stint on the cereal - they sent us quite a few boxes. It seemed greedy to pile them all up, so we gave half away to the school's breakfast club (Littlest was very angry about this move) who reported that the children at the club thought they were delicious. This is where we would pause to admire the handmade Thank You card that the children at the breakfast club made for us - except that the card was given to Eldest, who is not the most reliable of messengers and who had lost it before the end of the school day.

(This is where the famous plea 'Don't shoot the messenger' begins to make sense to me.)

Since we're talking about breakfast and free stuff sent to me which I was supposed to review and then never got around to, it seems like a good idea to send a vote of thanks to Douwe Egberts, who made a big difference to Team Coffee when they sent an entire boxful of ground coffee just before Eldest's surgery last winter. (Last winter! I know! Not only is time flying by, but I'm failing to keep up!)

We worked our way through the whole range - House Blend, Time Together, Café Milano, Flavourful Decaff, Morning Americano, and Fired Up. (In truth, I gave away the decaff to another mother on the ward. She seemed very pleased with it, but I have never seen the point of decaffeinated coffee. If you don't want caffeine, to my mind, you should just drink wine.)

Our favourites were Morning Americano, with a strength of 5, which worked equally well black or in my ridiculously milky lattes - and Time Together, (strength 4) which I took with me for the first - and worst - week of the hospital stay. And I'll say this - if a coffee can be made fresh, then left in a plastic lidded tumbler for an hour whilst you conduct an indepth conversation with a physiotherapist/ consultant/ nurse/ hospital dinner lady before warming it up via a blast in a 1500w industrial microwave and it still tastes good, then that is a very, very good coffee indeed.


  1. "I have never seen the point of decaffeinated coffee. If you don't want caffeine, to my mind, you should just drink wine." A new rallying cry for the Middle Classes.

    1. I'm not one for rallying cries. You should know that. I'm more of a cynical suggestions kind of woman.

    2. Then a new cynical suggestion for the middle classes it shall be!

  2. I think I would be thrown out of school if I turned up having had wine for breakfast. I do caffeinate, but there comes a point around lunchtime where if I carry on I shall never, ever sleep. Tea doesn't always do it for me.

    I never fail to be horrified by the sugar in cereals - you're right, that is a definite improvement but it's still nearly a fifth of the weight. Says she, having scarfed down a banana and a flapjack for breakfast.

  3. I feel better now about having caved in and allowed the boys to buy Mini Max with their pocket money last weekend. I would feel better still if I had bothered to check the sugar content before doing so, but hey, nobody's perfect.

  4. Gosh, cereals - that's another aisle that I never go down at a supermarket.

    I'm with you on decaffeinated...

  5. Here too ... no cereal ... we're BAD.

  6. I have to say I sort of get why people drink decaf - the taste without the shakes when you give it up - but for me it misses the point entirely: it doesn't help me to stay awake and meet a deadline. Or cook a meal. Or read a story to someone.
    Sadly even high strength coffee doesn't help with the hoovering though.


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