All posts filed under: blog

What do you do when your body doesn’t agree with coffee?

Coffee is a peculiar thing. Some love it, some hate it. Some start their day with it, others can’t make it through a day without it.  It can be cheap and incredibly unpleasant or it could be made in a way that resembles art.  For some it is all about the brewing method, for others it is all about the ratio between milk and espresso. No matter what your relationship with coffee is, how and when you drink it, what roast, whether it is organic or fair trade — we all have one thing in common when we sip away on that cup. It’s the intake of caffeine.  I am no coffee connoisseur, but I would say that I certainly know a good coffee from a bad one and I prefer to have good ones (to be precise, a flat white, medium roast, organic if possible, no sugar). When my options aren’t good, I opt out instead and when my options are good, I’ll walk an extra mile for it. I love coffee for the …

How to design a café

You’ve seen me comment countless times on my instagram posts that “coffee spaces are my favourite kind”. And they really are. I’ve often wondered what goes into designing a coffee space. So I asked an architect. Here’s what Ledda Russo Architects had to say about how they went about creating the space that is Salotto Cafe in Sassari, Italy: The project is the result of reading the existing context. The main action was to reinterpret, respecting the character, an important Liberty interior, located in the main square of the city of Sassari. The main element of the new project is the bar, located at the end of the room, defining a scenery where the bartender and his activity take on a central role. The supporting plane of the bar is made in matt Orosei marble. The “bar facade” is made up of a series of wooden panels realised with the new 3d printing technology, in which there are different shades and where three-dimensional geometries overlap. The back of the counter, there is a dark grey …

From a farm in Ethiopia to a Rocky Mountain bike trail

I’m sitting on a summit 6500′ above sea level where the Rocky Mountains of Canada meet the Columbia range. Surrounded by postcard views and staggering cliffs, I take in the crisp alpine air and turn my attention to the bag of carefully roasted beans I had stashed in my pack. Coffee is beautiful. I am reminded of this every time I open a new bag. These beans are more than vessels for caffeine, they have a story, and a purpose. The label on the bag can tell me where they came from, but how did they end up here? As I run my fingers over their smooth, chocolatey skin I like to think about all the hands involved in bringing these beans to my cup. I try to picture the faces of the people who planted the seeds and watched them grow into trees, then carefully harvested, sorting through rows upon rows of plants using calloused and cracked fingers to delicately select only the ripest cherries. For the farmers growing coffee, these beans are more …

Coffee syrup

If, like me, you’ve had a lingering suspicion that something’s missing from your life, it’s because something is. And it’s this: Angie Batis & Nicole van den Berg’s recipe for coffee syrup. Ingredients 1 cup coconut sugar 1 cup water a double shot of strong espresso or 80mls of strong black coffee 1 x teaspoon cinnamon a pinch of nutmeg 1/2 cup coconut milk 1/2 cup almond milk crushed ice Directions Add all the ingredients except for the two milks and crushed ice into a pot and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to a medium temperature and let the mixture boil slowly for about 10 minutes. In a jar or drinking glass add crushed ice and the coconut and almond milk, then about a double shot of this coffee syrup (you can make it more or less sweet if you’d like just by adding more or less syrup).   By Angie Batis & Nicole van den Berg Angie runs a beautiful blog called Lucky Pony while Nicole has one of the most beautiful …

How I spent 48 hours in Amsterdam: Little Collins

Brunch isn’t really a thing in Amsterdam. But it is in Melbourne. So Little Collins‘ Australian-born owners brought a slice Melbourne to Amsterdam’s De Pijp neighbourhood. I could write a book about how good my breakfast waffle was. And turn that book into a best seller by including images of my perfectly prepared flat white. Instead I’ll leave you with this – the most important piece of advice you’ll ever hear about this spot: Go early.

How I spent 48 hours in Amsterdam: Scandinavian Embassy

My only regret about my visit to Scandinavian Embassy is that I took an Uber. Hidden away in Sarphatipark in De Pijp, it took my driver ages to get there. But like all of life’s great adventures, it was worth the trip. The shop is run by the owner / operator duo of Rikard Andersson and Nicolas Castagno. Rikard is a chef. Nicolas is a champion coffee maker. My expectations were high. Every blog post I read recommended the freshly baked cinnamon rolls. So I ordered poached eggs with salmon on toast. I washed it down with a perfectly prepared flat white. And then I had a freshly baked cinnamon roll. I recommend it.

How to find high quality coffee beans

From their aroma to their natural taste – there is quite simply nothing I enjoy more than a delicious, high-quality coffee bean. From the second I smell one, I simply cannot wait to get the product of it in my favorite coffee mug. But, these high-quality coffee beans can often be like gold… It is a beautiful hidden treasure, but, that means you have to go searching for it. And, that is not always the easiest task. However, I will tell you that the joy of finding some of the best, high-quality coffee beans is well worth the search. So, why waste any more time? Here are a few tips on how to find high-quality coffee beans: What do I look for? Look at the place of origin Anybody can label their coffee with a seal claiming great quality and service, but only those who really care about the pure essence of their coffee beans will be bold enough to list the variety, farm, or country of their coffee bean’s origin. A good, high-quality coffee …

How I spent 48 hours in Amsterdam: Bocca

Many great businesses started in a garage. Amazon. Apple. Disney. Google. And Bocca. Menno & Tewis Simons first started roasting coffee in a garage in the Jordaan neighbourhood in 2001. And today they’ve come a long way. A kilometer to be exact. To their flagship store in Spiegelkwartier. It was a busy day in Amsterdam. The sun was out. And so were all the tourists. I needed a break. And was happy that I found myself near Bocca. The space is surprisingly big. For Amsterdam. For any European city. Well, for any city that’s been around since the 12th century. Finding a spot to sit, charge my iPhone and hop on the wifi was easy. Coffee was awesome. Service even more so. And, as you’ll see from my photographs, easily one of my favourite spaces in Amsterdam.

Wholewheat & Oat Dark Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Here’s a chocolate chip cookie recipe gone healthier, yet still deeply satisfying. This is not your everyday quintessential chocolate chip cookie. This one is better. Deep dark chocolaty + chewy + fudgy = comfort food! Makes 1 1/2 to 2 dozen cookies Ingredients 125g dark couverture chocolate {I used 72%} 50g unsalted butter 30g good quality cocoa powder 1 egg 100g brown vanilla sugar 1/2 tsp vanilla extract pinch salt 1/2 tsp baking soda 15ml yogurt {1tbsp} 80g oats 75g wholewheat flour 50g dark chocolate chips Method Line two cookie trays with parchment paper and preheat your oven at 180C. In a heatproof bowl or in microwave or using double boiler method melt chocolate and butter and whisk until smooth. Stir in cocoa powder. Combine egg, yogurt and brown sugar in a large bowl and whisk till fluffy. Beat by adding vanilla extract, salt and baking soda. Mix in melted chocolate. Into this, fold in the oats, whole wheat flour and chocolate chips. Let it sit for 5 minutes for oats to absorb moisture. If the …