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Eat Local, Musings, Writing

Devon Coffee – The worst coffee shop in Exeter


It was a good frangipane, but that's it.

It was a good frangipane, but that’s it.

A number of people have said that Devon Coffee does the best coffee in Exeter, but that the service is terrible.

After my last article about coffee and food, I thought that I would go along and see what the fuss is about.

I actually managed to walk right past the place the first time. It’s nestled in between two other shops, and I walked around the A-board that they have out on the pavement, completely failing to actually read it. Which is a bit odd for me.

The restaurant itself is very small, no more than two or three paces wide, and the interior tries hard to be … well, retro and hip I suppose you could call it.

They have a good choice of coffees, which I was expecting, so I went for a Colombian filter coffee and the frangipane pictured, and then wandered to the back of the restaurant to site in a small alcove that was both snug and out of sight. Perfect for a meeting of spies, or drug dealers, any nefarious types to be honest.

I then sat. And sat. And sat. Now, I might have been spoilt by the ability of other coffee-based establishments, but good God did the coffee take a long time to come. It felt as if they’d actually got onto a plane to Colombia, bought a plantation, planted coffee beans, waited for the harvest and then flown back. I’d actually started on the frangipane because I was bored of waiting, and I never usually eat any form of cake without a hot beverage.

When the coffee came it was hot, and dark, just the way I like it. I took a sip, swallowed and licked my lips. I have hard a lot of bad coffee in my day, but two stand out. The first was in a Five Star hotel in Exeter. The grinds from what looked like three servings of coffee had been left in the bottom of the cafetiere I was served.

The second was this coffee, fuck me was it bad, it was so bitter I shuddered. So bitter that the sugar in my cake couldn’t clear it. I licked my lips again and I was h it for the second time with the bitterness. It coated my entire mouth.

I took another sip, thinking that maybe I’d got a particularly concentrated hit of coffee from the lip of the mug. Nope, it was still utterly shit.

Devon Coffee had lived up to the reputation of poor service (being made to wait that long is poor in my mind), and completely failed to live up to the reputation of having the best coffee in Exeter.

If I ever have to go out for a coffee with my worst enemy, I’ll take them there.

I currently believe that if you want good service, good food and amazing coffee, you need to go here.

About mattsylvester

Father of two beautiful daughters and married to the beautiful Karen, Matthew has been reading and writing fantasy and science fiction since he first read the Hobbit at the age of 7. Matthew was Features Editor, Technical Consultant and regular columnist for magazines such as ‘Fighters’, ‘Combat’, ‘TKD & Korean Martial Arts’ and ‘Traditional Karate’. These are the four leading martial arts magazines in the United Kingdom. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed 'Practical Taekwondo: Back to the Roots', which has been sold around the world. With regard to his martial arts background he has been studying martial arts since 1991. In 1995 he hosted Professor Rick Clark of the ADK and since then has been studying pressure points and their uses in the martial arts and on the street (initially as a Special Constable and as a Door Supervisor). All of this practical hands-on experience means that he is uniquely placed to write fight scenes that are not only plausible but some of which are based on personal or anecdotal experience. Matthew has had a number of short stories published by Fringe Works, KnightWatch Press, Anderfam Press and Emby Press.

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