The Scene: Rouge Cafe, Empire St, Cambridge
The Trade: Essenza coffee (fair trade, organic). Source: Nicaragua, Ethiopia, Uganda, Colombia
Price per double flat white: $4.20
Barista: Jeremy Meier (apprentice)
On the Ground: Maybe it was cruel to test Rouge Cafe at 3.15pm on Saturday. Too bad, Caffiend thought. If a cafe's open then the normal standards should prevail.
Caffiend arrived for a pick-me-up with two companions. They ordered first. Behind the till was a limp, tired-looking woman and the vibe rubbed off.
Then there was a mix-up. A polite waiter delivered the decaf and the "regular" flat white, which the companions assumed to be theirs, having ordered first.
Moments later came the "trim" flat white - Caffiend's regular version had already been stirred and sampled across the table.
If Caffiend wasn't so accommodating he could have made a scene. His coffee was middle-of-the-road. The decaf was "good". Would Caffiend give Rouge another chance? Probably.
Stimulus: Caffeine is the world's most widely consumed psychoactive drug. The lethal dose for humans is dependent on individual sensitivity, but is estimated to be about 150 to 200 milligrams per kilogram of body mass or roughly 80 to 100 cups of coffee for an average adult.
The verdict: 5 out of 10