One of the most essential items for any Londoner to survive is a morning cup of coffee.
The city itself is in the middle of a coffee pandemic; there is a chain on every corner ranging from independent traders to the popular Costa.
Whatever your opinion of the quality of their coffee, Costa is one of the staple coffee chains scattered across the capital city.
With over 44 branches in London, I wanted to find out which was the worst Costa roastery of them all.
According to Google Reviews, one Costa venue had more negative reviews than any other and was rated only 2.8 stars.
Nestled in Canary Wharf, I was staggered to see scathing reviews for a Costa based in the heart of London’s financial centre.
So, naturally being obsessed with coffee, I wanted to see how bad this place really was.
I paid a visit to the café on a chilly Monday morning and found it nestled away in Canary Wharf Shopping Centre.
From the outset, this was probably one of the most appealing and attractive Costas I have ever seen.
It was first and foremost tidy, with an elegant logo and smart doors as you entered the front.
My local Costa did not look this stylish or sophisticated.
Even better, I was the only person in the café. Not a single person was there queuing for a coffee.
Feeling upbeat that I had the whole place to myself, I scanned the treats section for a morning snack.
I hadn’t even looked for two seconds before one of the staff members asked for my order.
Turning to him, I politely said that I was still taking my time to choose and considering there were no queues, I had all the time in the world.
Thirty seconds later he asked again for my order. Clearly, he wanted me to hurry up and leave.
His over-eager attitude forced me to pick something quickly, and I opted for a vegan gingerbread man as I was feeling festive.
I then asked for my usual coffee: an oat latte.
‘Medium?’ he asked, and I dutifully nodded and waited to pay.
15 seconds later the other staff member handed me my coffee and I began to make my way out the door.
However, I suddenly felt an urge of dread.
She didn’t say ‘oat latte’ when she handed me my cup of coffee. Was I just imagining things?
I went back into the cafe just to double check, as I didn’t want to put myself through an allergy incident.
Going up to the counter again, I asked the Costa staff if the drink was indeed an oat latte.
The female staff member shook her head and informed me that it was a regular medium sized latte.
Confused and not amused, I informed them that I had specifically asked for an oat latte.
“No, you didn’t,” arrogantly said the barista who took my order.
Not wanting to get into a heated argument, I calmly said that I had requested an oat latte and that I was allergic to dairy.
The other staff member shook her head as she prepared me another cup of coffee.
I couldn’t quite believe they had messed up my order, especially in a room where I was the only customer and there was simply no excuse that he could have misheard me.
Once my actual latte was ready, I waited for an apology before I left.
I was given a half-hearted ‘sorry’ and that was that.
The Google reviews actually delivered on its promises, this truly was one of the worst Costas in London.
Staff service was a solid 0/5 for me, due to the fact that everything was rushed and I could have had a severe allergic reaction because of their snobbery.
Thank god I went back to check.
Not that I was particularly bothered, but the oat latte was passable and had the standard taste.
A Costa Coffee spokesperson said: “We take the safety and wellbeing of our customers extremely seriously and apologise for the mistake that was made with this order.
“To help minimise the risk to customers who suffer from allergies, we have strict allergy training and procedures in place, including using additional equipment, such as separate jugs and cleaning cloths, when making a drink with a milk alternative.”
London has proven once again that there is always a rotten egg – and it’s sometimes where you least expect it.
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