I recently had to do my jury service at the Old Bailey, one of the most emblematic buildings in the City of London. Me and other hundred jurors sat for hours, and every one was drinking coffee. The coffee had a strong fragrance of washing-up liquid and a particular taste of dirt. It was unpleasantly bitter.
It was so bad that I decided to find out why the Old Bailey was offering such particularly bad coffee. I sent letters to many people including the Under-Sheriff and Secondary of London at the City of London Corporation, which is the ultimate administrator of the Old Bailey. But unfortunately no one is willing to do anything about the coffee situation.
We found out the coffee is sold by a catering company that also specialises in maintenance of buildings. They supply their coffee from a German coffee company that also specialises in clothing manufacturing, telecommunications, holiday travel, insurance and finance.
According to their website they only buy South American Fair-trade coffee although the machines at the Old Bailey had the Rain Forest Alliance certification sticker. They advertise their coffees as "Italian coffee".
In such an important building where justice takes place, wouldn’t it make more justice with South American farmers to buy the coffee directly from them while allowing them to receive a higher price due to less intermediaries? Would’t it make more justice to offer jurors and judges good decent coffees that are naturally sweet instead of bitter coffees?
It is a big shame that every one who drinks coffee at the Old Bailey leaves that building with a bitter taste.