Mrs Grendel and I are having out 7th anniversery in a few days.
We are dopping of our boys with the in-laws ("drop them off at 6pm and make sure you are here by 7.30am" - so much for a sleep-in!).
However. . .
We are going off to a nice hotel, having dinner in a nice restaraunt and generally trying to reconnect from our busy lives.
The hotel is a 5-star place, very stylish, great reputation etc. but like every 5-Star hotel I have ever set foot in, I expect their coffee will be abysmally bad.
I am prepared to be surprised - but don't actually expect to be.
The general rule at 5-Star hotels is that a large coffee company will have been contracted to supply the beans and machines, sometimes the beans may have been roasted in Australia, but just as often imported from italy - the mystique of 'imported' still seems to hold sway with many people.
The reality of course is that with imported beans you are further from the source and the opportunity to address issues of quality with the producer. Beans are also going to be stale.
Why, in a country with a good local roasters in almost every state and territory, do we have hotels who use only the finest ingredients in their kitchen and have those prepared by talented and renowned chefs, but serve mass-roasted, stale coffee by half trained staff who really shouldn't be acknowledged by the term 'barista'.
Our top hotels like to showcase the best of Australian cuisine - now we need them to showcase the best of Australian coffee.
So, in this period of electoral nightmares - lets commence a campaign of real merit - getting good locally roasted coffee into the best hotels.
At least that way next year's 11.5 hours without the kids might also come with a good espresso.