Sunday, August 07, 2016

the cost and the flavour

good day, dear reader

i suppose the absolute best, if not ideal, place to start this post off with is an apology for the title. in part, i suppose, it was intended to evoke images of William Faulkner, look you see, who himself was invoking Shakespeare in his use of the [principal a] and the [principal b] in the title of arguably his most famous work. this post neither pretends nor claims to hold such grandeur iof quality.

if in doubt, London, the saying goes. well, i am sure someone has said that. with little or nothing that i would care to compose here of the current, i've elected to go back and do one of them posts that i always intended to but never did. in this instance, we shall - if you stick with me - go back and look at how all of those splendid provisions i purchased from Fortnum & Mason worked out. well, no, not all.

the above, with the perfect clarity many of you shall associate with my blueberry camera phone thing, is one of three tins of Fortnum & Mason ground coffee which i purchased as a collective concern. of the three this is, quite specifically, the Guatemalan blend, with the other two being Colombian and Kenyan. if you can deduce why i would associate Guatemala directly with Fortnum & Mason, you are either a fan of something which i am, or have outstanding deductive skills.

just what costing do Fortnum & Mason place on this coffee? to be honest, i do not rightly recall. this might have been the item on my bill which was just slightly south of £18, making each tin some £6 each. which means each pot of coffee produced was some £6, for there was scant left after in the tin once the correct amount had been measured out.

but still, the platinum gold seal on the tin added to the value some, so let us not grumble.

what one must also bear in mind when purchasing luxury items from Fortnum & Mason is that you are very much getting precisely what you pay for. other than being allowed to buy into the famous brand, you are in effect purchasing items of the highest quality possible.

just look, for example, at these magnificent coffee grinds, prepped and ready for warmed Yorkshire water to make them into fine Guatemalan coffee.

i would very much like to think it is the case that the pure Guatemalan coffee beads are ground upon gold and titanium grinding equipment, which such splendid machinery being operated by gentlemen who have more degrees than i do, and earn within one day what i earn with a month, if not year. it's possible that the same machinery and the same staff who produce lesser coffee for sale in lower class retail ventures are the reality, but let us not dabble with my illusion or imagination.

a break from coffee, albeit momentarily? for certain, dear reader. let's have a look at the splendour and magnificence of the tin of chocolate dipped digestive biscuits. although, be warned, there is what i suspect is a cup of coffee present and visible in the next image.

why did i select the digestives dipped in milk chocolate from Fortnum & Mason? simples, really - that's the type of biscuit which Fortnum & Mason sell in a purple tin, and my (considerably) better half quite likes purple. ergo, if i wave things at her which are purple, less questions are asked about the bill of payment which i generate within Fortnum & Mason.

the cost of these biscuits, since the matter of money has been brought up? £7.95 for the tin; a tin which contained precisely 11 (eleven) digestive biscuits dipped in milk chocolate.  yes, indeed, that's approximately 72p in coins of new money per biscuit, compared to, say, £1 for a whole packet of McVities biscuits with a similar, although lesser, chocolate on them.

but look, these ones that the Fortnum & Mason logo on them, making them worth the price paid.

there is partial bravery on the part of Forttnum & Mason in calling these biscuits "digestives", but mostly i suppose it would be fair to say there is a lot of "we are Fortnum & Mason and we are going to disregard fashionable conventions which we do not care for". this is something i put forward on the basis of there being a call to stop manufacturers referring to certain biscuits as "digestives", for they do nothing whatsoever for the digestive system of one who dines upon them.

a similar approach is taken with respect to this thoroughly modern miniature trend of expecting shoppers to either purchase bags for their wares, or otherwise bring them with them in advance of requiring a means to transport provisions home. Fortnum & Mason have a prominent sign of display, advising patrons that they have no interest in this charge business, and shall give away as many bags as they jolly well like. this is, of course, pure branding. whilst Fortnum & Mason are legally unable to bar or otherwise deny entry to either the proletariat or (thankfully) tourist filth, they can ensure that such lower classes do not arrive expecting to take away their fine produce in Aldi bags, or similar.

a look at the skyline through the window of my elevated shed? if you wish.

shall we, dear reader, return to the splendour of Guatemalan coffee being made in our rather fancy, feature laden coffee machine?

here we are at an early phase of the coffee being prepared. this picture shows, with relative clarity, the first droplets of Guatemalan infused water trickling into the serving pot, with the shade of the coffee being distinct, distinguished and, i tell myself, far superior to the stuff i would normally use what costs less than half of this per pot.

moving away from the coffee again, so as to create the illusion of you waiting for it to be brewed, so to speak, let us look again at those milk chocolate dipped digestive biscuits.

despite the high cost for a decidedly Nigel Tufnel number of biscuits, i did of course permit my beloved family, which is to say the 75% of my family who you like a good deal more than you like me, to have one (1) each. well, allowed on the basis that they paid me the 72p in value which each was worth.

yes, charging my family per biscuit eaten is something of a new approach. it might be a controversial thing to do, but it is also a successful and richly rewarding action. i may impose it on all other matters going forward, see if i cannot hit some sort of retirement target.

the above picture does indeed show James appreciating all 72p he paid for one of the Fortnum & Mason biscuits. no, he did not take off his headphones to eat it. i did instruct him that if the proprietors of Fortnum & Mason were to catch him in an act of such gross disrespect they would insist he be flogged, but he simply gave a shrug and got on with his life.

how is the coffee progressing, you ask? well, if you will excuse the play on words, those of you with a progressive browser and device who can actually play video here may watch and hear as the coffee machine weaves its magic with the Guatemalan ground coffee.

i do hope that many of you are in fact able to watch the above, as it is a most splendid thing to see and hear. that's the sight and sound of superior coffee being made.

for those unable to watch the above video - and i am led to believe that it would mostly be those who were led to believe that some sort of Apple device was the best one to own and use for internet concerns who fail to be able to view - here's a picture of the near complete pot. 

and just how did the coffee turn out? in all honestly superb. for the most part one can only obtain Colombian, French, Italian or "unspecified" coffee from the more common retailers. i will, in the absence of frequent access to Fortnum & Mason, be actively seeking ways in which i may obtain further Guatemalan coffee, as it really was exceptional. or, you know, perhaps it was just that the touch of Fortnum & Mason made it be such high quality.

finally, then, a final look at the milk chocolate dipped digestives of Fortnum & Mason. here is William, proudly holding his 1 (one), somewhat unsure as to why money had to be removed from his pocket money tin in order that he may have it.

whilst William doesn't quite grasp all this money business - how one obtains it, why it's a good idea to have it and so forth - he does know enough to be aware of the fact that if something cost money then it should be appreciated, valued and looked after. that is why it took some coercing to get him to actually eat the biscuit for which he had handsomely paid 72p.

well, there we go. i believe that this is that for my most recent Fortnum & Mason exploits, except it is not. i have thus far not had any of my Sir Nigel's Marmalade, nor have i tasted my Royal Sovereign strawberry jam. also, i am uncertain that my (considerably) better half has yet to crack the seal on her honey. potentially expect more, then.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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