Agnes Meadows, an 83-year-old resident of Kilburn in North West London, shocked family and friends by insisting that the £3.19 Skinny Grande Vanilla Latte she bought in a local Starbucks was absolutely delicious – and great value for money.
Mrs Meadows attended the local branch of the global coffee chain when Jim’s Cafe, her usual spot for elevenses, was shut for the morning because of a Food Standards Agency court hearing. “I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the prices”, said the widow whose only income is the state pension, “for what you were getting they seemed so reasonable!”
Agnes normally spends 45p for a pot of tea at Jim’s, which also comes with a Rich Tea biscuit, but according to the pensioner, “the tea bags he uses taste like pee’d on woodshavings,” and the biscuits were “past their best before my husband hit his own expiry date 12 years ago.”
Enjoying her £1.59 fresh almond biscotti, Agnes acknowledged that Jim’s offers customers table service but said that she prefers to order at the counter from the extensive and not-at-all-confusing list of Starbucks beverages, and then collect her drink herself. Agnes also enjoyed taking the opportunity to have a chat with the young overseas students who work in the store who she says bring “wonderful cultural diversity” to the area and also have a better grasp of English than Jim’s “mono-browed, mouth-breathing, halfwit son” who usually delivers her daily brew.
When asked by her university student grandson if the experience had reminded her of trips to Lyons Coffee Houses during the War, Agnes further surprised listeners by insisting she didn’t want to talk about her childhood during the blitz, which was “actually really horrible with the rationing and people continually being exploded” but did say Lyons’ frothy coffee “tasted like it had been strained through Churchill’s y-fronts”. Instead, she asked if she could get a lift to Waitrose to get a nice tiramisu for dessert, which “tastes much better than anything I could ever make at home”.