The oh my God Shot……..

We coffee lovers live for the God Shot. That pure perfection of coffee flavour that causes a gasp as it hits the tastebuds. God, we say, thank you, that's good. My Year of Coffee, a self-appointed task to photograph – and drink – coffee wherever I go, continues. It's a sacrifice, but it's in the name of art.

Yesterday I made what I can only describe as the ultimate sacrifice. I paid good money for the worst cup of coffee ever made. It was disgusting, it was the oh my God Shot. I won't name and shame the establishment as it's a cafe in NHS premises, serving managers and adminstrators, so is unlikely to harm the greater public or any patients. It's my own fault, I'd arrived embarassingly early and was directed to the cafe towait, following the gorgeous aroma of bacon butties. If I'd gone with my instincts and bought a butty, the natural, indeed only drink to go with it is a mug of tea. How I wish I'd done that, I wouldn't have been washing my mouth out with bleach 20 minutes later.

But no, I wanted coffee. I wanted art. Those machines topped with a clear plastic hopper, half-full of coffee beans and buttons with their simple pictures of small, medium or large cups to help inexperienced operators (I can't call them barristas) have never given me a great drink, wet, warm and brown at best, but usually drinkable. So I asked for my usual breakfast drink, heaven help me, a latte with an extra shot. The machine managed the mechanics, but did something with the chemistry, which I discovered as I took the first gulp. Dammit, there were no potted plants around, so I couldn't spit it out, besides, it's very unseemly behaviour from a grown-up, and I don't spit on weekdays.

I had to leave it undrunk, the machine operator had disappeared when I took it back to the counter – she must have heard me gagging. Next time, it'll be the bacon butties.

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