Old Paradise Street Limited Roast No.3

The first thing I should tell you in this review is while that I’m not a representative of Costa Coffee, I have worked for Whitbread companies in the past and have even won accolades for my coffees. This will in no way influence this review.

The second thing you should know is that I’m not one of these coffee snobs that you see out there. Everybody has different tastes and what is good to one person might be absolutely awful to others. I get that and I’ve never seen the point in being childish over differing tastes. Having said that, if you’re one of the people who regularly convince yourself that you enjoy the burned mush that Starbucks serves then you’re a stupid doo doo head and I don’t like you no more.

I like my coffee. In fact I honestly don’t think I could do without it. If you know me you’ll know I don’t have an addictive personality and also how easily I’ve given up other addictive substances in the past, so when I say that I honestly don’t think I could go without my coffee you’ll realise how big a deal this is. So, when Costa sent out a missive to all their members that they had a newย range of coffees I was interested in trying them. The Old Paradise Street range of limited blends are being served at most Costa coffee shops around the country and are named after the roastery on Old Paradise Street in London, where Costa have been blending their coffee for years.

Limited Roast Number 3 is, despite the numbering, the first in the Old Paradise Street range and is what I made my way to Costa one almost rainy morning to try out. The first thing I noticed was how confident Costa are either in the flavour of the blend or in the British public being afraid to ask for a replacement, as they are offering a free replacement of the regular coffee to anyone who doesn’t enjoy the new blend. The second thing I noticed is that the staff at this particular Costa are almost Starbucksian in how they respond to people going off menu.

On asking for “A small Old Paradise Street No.3, bl…” I was cut off and told that it wasn’t a drink.

“Not a drink?” I asked, incredulously. All the things I’d been sent indicated that you could only buy the coffee as a drink, and that the blend wasn’t available bagged.

“It’s a shot that you put in a drink.” he said and I restrained myself from climbing over the counter and beating him with one of the delicious and so unhealthy carrot cakes that Costa serves. Had he let me finish my original order he would have seen that “bl…” was going to be “black, no sugar.” There would even have been a “please” in there because I’m polite like that.

“So it is a drink then?” I asked, being very careful to get my meaning across to whoever was below the counter working this coffee puppet. “Just like the regular blends? You make longer coffees from the shots of espresso?”

He nodded and you couldn’t even see his strings move.

When I finally got my coffee I retired to a seat outside simply to put a wall between me and boy who doesn’t think coffee is coffee until it’s inside coffee, then I took the first sniff of the blend.

When most coffee shops have a new blend and make this sort of big deal about it, I’ve noticed that they tend to be quite strong coffees. Limited Roast Number 3 was surprisingly mild with a sweetness to it, but there was a subtle depth to the aroma. Further research told me that the beans used are a primarily Columbian Arabica blend, roasted in a traditional drum roaster.

The taste was decidedly mid-range, not as bitter as many coffees are but not too overly sweet either. At the risk of sounding like Goldilocks after robbing several humanoid animals, it was just right. There were ever so slight hints of dark chocolate in the the blend and the aftertaste had a kick of acidic bitterness, but neither were enough to upset the balance of what was a very nicely brewed cup of coffee.

If you’re in the UK and you happen across a Costa while they’re still holding this blend, then I hope you stop in to try it for yourself. They’ll give you another cup of their regular blend on the house if you don’t like it, so you really have nothing to lose. And if you work for Costa in any capacity, please do something to get this blend added to the menu for good.

I’ll be trying out the other Old Paradise Street blends whenever they show up and leaving my impressions on those as well, but I honestly doubt any of them can be quite as good as the cup of coffee I had that morning while fuming at the barista over his simple mistake.


27 thoughts on “Old Paradise Street Limited Roast No.3

  1. Hey, look at that. A food post without pictures of the food. It’s almost like it’s possible to eat or drink something without taking a photo of it and sharing with the world.

  2. Personally, I like my coffee so strong you can eat it with a spoon. But not so strong that you can eat it with a fork.

    Since no coffee shop serves their coffee that way, I have to make my own! ๐Ÿ˜›

    Nice review btw, if I were anywhere near a Costa in the UK, I’d be seriously tempted to give โ„–3 a try!

      • Well, I bought a cheap electric espresso machine but it made my coffee too cold and I couldn’t quite get it the way I like it.
        So I then bought a stove top percolator. The type marketed as a stove top espresso maker.
        It’s meant to hold 6 cups, but it doesn’t quite fill my one cup. I fill the basket to it’s limit for that one cup and the stuff I pour out of it is completely opaque.

        I took it to work one night and my colleagues accused me of drinking crude oil! ๐Ÿ˜›
        I go through those tiny 250g packets of beans in two days. I can’t fathom why they make them so small.

  3. “He nodded and you couldnโ€™t even see his strings move.” <– I laughed! ๐Ÿ˜€
    We don't have costa here.
    In fact, even Starbucks just recently managed to press into the coffee market here. Norwegians really do love their coffee, and I suppose it isn't very easy competing with the more "serious" coffee houses around here…

    • Is a serious coffee house there the same as it is here? Lots of people with beards and scarves, taking their laptops to them so they can be seen writing, and yet their screens in the reflective surface behind them show their screenplays look suspiciously like Buzzfeed?

      Or is it the sort of serious coffee shop that has TWO WHOLE BLENDS, and who compete to make their customers say the most embarrassing term for their size of coffee, pretending not to understand until you admit that “Yes, I do mean I’m A Fatty Fat Fat Who Likes To Flick Your Nipples… no sugar.”

      This country needs some real coffee shops. Still, for a brand, Costa is a good place to go. Not too pretentious, not overly motorway cafe.

  4. I agree with Aadil: if I was there, I’d try it on your recommendation alone. But I’m not.

    Funny thing about coffee to me is, no matter how good it is, if there’s only that to drink – only that particular coffee – after about 40 or 50 cups, it starts tasting like dirt. I used to work in a convenience store which sold vittoria coffee in the pre-capsule-only days, and staff could have it whenever they wanted. Given that I did many nightshifts there, I wanted a lot. But it started tasting like dirt. I ended up back on a tin of Nescafe after that. Now I try to get those ‘fair trade’ ones … or Al Cafe from Aldi. It’ll do me. Dee has Moccona. It’ll do for now.

    Also … just so you know there’s someone in the world who hasn’t: I’ve never been in a Starbucks. I don’t think I coujld handle being asked 700 questions without Hulking out when all I want is a bloody coffee.

    “Hi. Could I have a large coffee, please?”

    “Egyptian Latte Volthoom Temple Grande Elixer Mutantis Thriller Soy Beneficial, or Flat Golddust Eon Mycroft Hoopla Discovery Extra?”


  5. Nice one!
    In Serbia, people are serious about their coffee – if they want it the way they like it, they make it at home. As usual, we would drink something called Turkish coffee, which we inherited from Turks during their 500 years of presence in Serbia. I mean, you can have a nice cup of espresso in a cafe but if you are serious than you make your own coffee ๐Ÿ˜€
    Over here in Vancouver, at home I make my own Turkish coffee and San like it from a first day she tasted it. Sturbucks is not bad (and they don’t ask as many stupid questions as David said) and there is Bean Around the World and they have excellent coffee!
    Costa is present in Serbia but I can’t say I was that impressed with coffee I had there. Maybe they’ve changed by now, I didn’t go there this summer.

    Btw, I didn’t have announcement for this post and have seen it just by chance…

    • Interesting. I’ll have to look into the notifications. Could be you’ve got me set to weekly or something.

      I used to get my own blend from one of the local shops and I experimented for weeks until I hit on just the right blend for me. Once Kim and I moved to hell town though, I only had instant and I’ve gotten used to it. When we move to our (hopefully) final house in a few years time, I’ll probably get back into coffee like I used to. We just don’t have the kitchen or storage space here though.

    • Ha, I’m definitely up there between you Vikings and Iceland in terms of coffee consumption. I’m probably up there with Finland for coffee made, but I have a bad habit of thinking I’ve drunk something and leaving it to go cold while lamenting the fact I’ve already drunk it, so the amount I get to drink is lower.

      Hmmm, I’m attuned to colder weather too. I wonder if there’s a connection.

      • It’s weird actually. Sometimes I don’t get email alerts until I visit the site, almost like there’s a little man in the server suddenly being reminded I exist and rushing to remind me to come here. Other times they come straight away.

        I’m trying to spend more time working on my books so I’ve actually been letting my watch emails build up a bit and then ploughing through them at once. Too many bad habits built up on Opera and watching the watch list, ready to swing into action (like a very bad, fried chicken obsessed superhero), was one of them.

  6. Not being in the UK, and not being aware of ‘coffee shops’ per se, except for Starbucks – which I refuse to patronize; I do go to 7-11 quite a bit for their ‘Columbian Bold”. Drives my cardiologist mad, my endocrinologist, too as I like it with half and half (light cream) and 4 teaspoons of sugar. This all goes in a 24 oz. mug, which, luckily, fits in between the seats of my ’89 Volvo 240 DL.
    I’d have paid money to see you beat some one with a carrot cake!

    • Great scott! That’s approximately all the cream and sugar. I’m a black and none kind of guy (which I recently heard described as ghetto in what can only be a 90s joke).

      Most of our coffee shops model themselves after Starbucks unfortunately, although they actually pour hot water through coffee grounds and not burned souls from the underworld.

      • I can’t leave the milk and sugar out. If you ever see me drinking black coffee, I’m either to broke/lazy to buy milk or I’m trying hard to be a pretentious git! ๐Ÿ˜›

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