Culturally-ingrained spelling and pronunciation mistakes are one thing, but incorporating them into the name of a product is quite another.

‘Carte Noire Expresso’ is exactly as it’s printed on the label. Nonetheless, I expected it to be half-decent. I have low standards, and am usually reasonably content to drink a coffee where the entire supply chain from grower to drinker leave the narrative underwhelmed. Also, I’m as much a sucker for French-sounding things as the next man.

Carte Noire Expresso, however, is a sneering parody of a coffee. You can taste more coffee in brown-wrappered Quality Street. If this product could be summarised in a short one-entity play, centred on the page for no reason, it’d be as follows:


So you thought you were having a coffee, did you? Interesting…




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