The first time we came back to England when I was 9 years old I remember my Canadian father lamenting the fact that one couldn't get a decent cup of coffee here. We came back on 2 other occasions and he again commented on the very good cup of tea but appalling coffee. Of course there were exceptions. A good French or Italian resturant might serve a decent coffee. Even a decent hotel like the Savoy etc. I do remember coffee bars with their noisy Gaggia coffee machines where one could have a capuccino or frothy coffee.[If you lived in a small village or town these weren't available]. When I was twelve years old a friend and I were allowed to go for a coffee on Friday nights,home by eight of course. We used to have two coffees and one rumbaba and two forks please. This being a matter of huge amusement to my wonderful grandfather. On my birthday he treated us to two rumbabas - but it wasn't so much fun. Most resturants and cafes served up instant coffee and this apparently was awful - my father said that we couldn't even serve up a decent instant coffee!! I do remember the shop on the high street that served up deli type meats and 'foreign' food. They also had a drum of coffee roasting away in the window giving the high street a glorious smell. Now even the most ordinary cafe will have a coffee machine. However, the downside in a serve-yourself will have long queues due to the fact that your coffee is being made. But I love this coffee culture, you can pop in on your own with a book or a paper and spend ages over your Americano or latte. Friends meet up for long conversations and arguements, or you can grab a take-away latte if you prefer. I like tea but I -love- coffee.Dad would have loved it.