Late Night Coffee Treat – Coffeetunes #16

Good evening coffee mates! Here´s a little musical treat for you right before you go to bed I guess! Obviously depends when you are reading this, could be morning already where you are right now…in any case, it is a treat, be it a late or an early coffee one. 🙂 Hope you had a good long bank holiday weekend and surely a good start into the new week! You might have noticed the lack of coffee guides up here lately, I promise you, there´s a good reason for it. I will reveal more details about it soon, bare with me. Stay tuned and enjoy the latest coffeetunes edition you lovely bunch! x

ps: Let me know what your favourite track is!

Vienna Coffee Festival 2019

Now it´s been a good ten days since the Vienna Coffee Festival warmly welcomed hundreds and hundreds of people (about 12,000 visitors in total during the 3-day long event) in the iconic venue Ottakringer Brauerei in Vienna. This January, it was my third time at the, as people labeled it “world´s coolest coffee event”. I couldn´t ask for a better company than the girls I went with – truly awesome coffeemates and we surely had a blast, and several espressos too.

So, in January 2019, the Austrian capital Vienna dedicated itself even more to its coffee culture. For the fifth time in a row, from the 11th until the 13th of January to be precise, the yearly coffee festival took place and today I´d like to fill you in on what my coffee girls and I were up to at this heaven of a coffee island in Vienna. This event stands for quality, sustainability and coffee trends and I´d like to show you why.

Each and every year, the organizers including many, many attentive volunteers at the Vienna Coffee Festival (VCF) ensure you´re having a blast at this yearly coffee event. Right at the entrance, you get a tote bag which comes in handy later on when you are about to collect a bunch of magazines, information material, some chocolate treats or cookies here and there and so on. Then, a wee bit later, the next thing you´ll probably notice at the festival right after walking up the staircase to the actual festival coffee stands, is the stage in the community/market area. This year, I sadly did not manage to watch any performances, however, I´ve seen some clips online and the Irish singer and songwriter Dave McKendry, for example, truly excited the visitors with his indie melodies. I´ve actually seen him perform a couple of times on the streets of Vienna already, so I am sure he nailed it at the VCF as well.

Amongst the exhibitors this year besides many others, were the following: Alt Wien Kaffee, Baileys, Gota Coffee, Dallmayr Kaffee, FĂźrth Kaffee, J. Hornig, Nespresso, Oatly, RĂśstwerkschaft… You would find coffee roasters, manufacturers, coffeeshops, distributors and famous coffee brands from different cities and regions from Austria like Vienna, Salzburg, Upper Austria, Burgenland, Carinthia, and Styria – to name a few. Every stand was super unique. I think, probably the most interesting part besides the endless coffee tasting (oh wow, we had a few cups indeed), is the part that you get to hear a story behind each and every product. It´s a bit of both really, coffee tasting and storytelling. Such an opportunity to ask all your burning coffee-related questions plus getting to know some insights and learning about coffee, its background, roasting, grinding and much more, is nothing short of precious knowledge. Moreover, it´s nice to have an actual face to the coffee brand and get to know the team and the creators behind a good you´re enjoying on such a regular basis. Cheers to that!

MY HIGHLIGHTS

One very special experience offered Dallmayr this year. Let me quickly show you some pictures in order to familiarise yourself with the setting and then I am going to explain what this was all about…

Coffee & Food Pairing

The chef who introduced us girls to some different matches – as in coffee, tea, and sweets – really made us curious about this whole coffee and food pairing process.

The lovely chef wearing all-white took us on a whole culinary journey accompanied by many stories. Imagine this: out of one single coffee bean, you get numerous kinds of aroma. As every coffee bean slightly differs, the outcome of variations is pretty endless. Such types of aroma go great with various foods, you just need to know which and how to best combine them. At the VCF for example, Dallmayr prepared four different variations for the visitors. We had two small cups of tea – fruits and herbs and two cups of espresso – a Brasilian yellow bourbon one and an Italian creamy, almost chocolaty one. The treats the chef and his team prepared us, not only looked amazing and special, they actually tasted like that as well. The teas came with the following: a dice out of yogurt and raspberry cream and a crunchy, sticky “Knusperheu” that had a bit of lemon, basil and mint taste in it. The espressos came with a glazed strawberry and the famous Italian almond confectionery Amaretti.
You can tell, we were all high on sugar and caffeine afterwards – cannot complain. 😉

This trend of food pairing actually has its roots in France. You are probably familiar with the famous combination of wine and cheese. That is actually the base of food pairing which inspired other cultures to do so too. Now, it´s pretty common to serve beverages with sweets – depending on where you go and on your choice and preferences of course, but at least it is not a rare thing. Amongst other well-known food pairing examples are the following: the Swedish ritual FIKA, the British tea time or the Italian Dolce Vita.

Overall, there are about 300 key aromas which help to find the perfect match. Whether it´s tea with savory foods or coffee with sweets, it´s about harmony in the end. Just remember this: the more aromas of the same kind, the better to combine.

The Fantastic Coffee Machine

A further stand that enchanted me, was the one from ELBE which distributes Oro Caffè. They had the most amazing coffee machine ever! Can you imagine this model actually weighs around 90kg? I did spend a few moments just staring at it, to be honest… It was almost like a piece of art to look at, very shiny and powerful.
Another product of this coffee distributor headquartered in Carinthia made me curios as well. I did not take a picture, but the team there introduced me to their latest edition of a milk frother. With this product, you´ll be able to even froth cold milk which is great when you´re craving for an iced cappuccino in the summer.

Another thing, I really appreciate about the coffee festival, is the intercultural energy. You meet all kinds of different people sharing the same passion which is great for exchanging opinions and expertise, not to mention getting familiar with new trends and cultural specialties. This year, even a coffee stand from South America was amongst the exhibitors which served delicious coffee rum on ice in a reusable cup. Cups up for that!

Another highlight, I´d like to add to my list here, is one about storytelling. Nespresso Austria took the visitors on a virtual coffee journey through the magic of virtual reality glasses. The visitors could simply escape into a virtual world of coffee – like from production to consumption. While having this virtual glasses on, you instantly felt as you would join the farmers and distributors on the whole coffee value creation chain. You would see how they collect the coffee cherries, what they do with the beans and how this whole process from coffee cherry to the capsule actually happens. In addition to this little virtual coffee journey, Nespresso presented its newest limited editions. To make it less secretly what the latest capsule flavors actually consist of, they prepared a little “tasting exhibition” – on the second picture below you see how it looked like. For example, the purple capsule is a very fruity one and the aroma comes very close to this whole bunch of wild berries and raspberries in the jar next to it.

Besides the coffee tasting and chatting with fellow coffee lovers and coffee entrepreneurs, there are plenty of other things to do too! There are workshops and masterclasses that fill you in different areas of the world of coffee. You can learn so much directly from the experts and this setting allows yourself to improvise and experiment a bit too. I am always a big fan of the live sessions, such as the cupping challenge and the latte art competition. One of the pioneers when it comes to latte art are definitely the MUMAC mates. Every time I see them creating new latte art motives, I ask myself…could I do that too? I am so keen on learning at least the basics someday soon. Luckily I even managed to score a voucher, so one more reason to finally try it out, right? Thank you MUMAC Academy, we will see each other soon!

All in all, if you´re planning to visit Vienna around the winter season, it does make sense to add this coffee event to your exploring list. As January usually surprises us weather-wise, it might be good to know where to have a warm, safe, coffee option to go and have fun. Thank you, until next time!

Coffeehouse Music – coffeetunes #14

Happy Tuesday everyone! Today is one of those days I am longing for both sun and motivation. Music has always been such a big deal for me. I like its company, like nonstop.  Also, I do find myself much more productive when I have got some tunes on in the back – like right now. To me, music is not only an element that brings people together and makes certain moments even more special, powerful and acknowledgeable, I see it as an everlasting yet inspiring source as well. Since we´re all fresh in 2019, a new coffeetunes playlist should be too, right? Here´s a bunch of my favorite tracks I am currently listening to.

Enjoy & have a good week! X

Where to have coffee up north – England Edition

Yes, you read that right. I am going to encourage you to take the train from London up to Yorkshire. Totally worth it when you seek to get a bit of a city break. The province where places like York (the old-fashioned one 😉 ), Leeds, Sheffield, Harrogate, Manchester, Liverpool and many many other places are. I have had the chance this year to visit some of them and let me tell you, there are some gems I need to show you up here too. To be honest, it´s been quite a while I have been to the northern part of England, but I recently stumbled upon the pictures and thought, hey – there is indeed a few things I would like to share with you. Maybe you happen to be in one or two of those places in the near future and then you can rely on having this little guide when it comes to coffee cravings. I am going to keep this post a short one though, fairly picture based, but there is no shortage in recommendations, I promise! X

Let me start with York. When I first heard of this city, I did not really associate anything particular with it. Some relations like very English alike city with stunning architecture came to my mind, but that was it really. Now I can say, that York has made it to the list of my top favorite cities within the UK. I have traveled the UK a bit within the previous year and despite the moody wheather, I found some places I really would like to visit again at some point. York is probably one of them. It´s soo cute yet classy. And, surprisingly there are quite a few coffeeshops as well. My highlight was mainly strolling through the narrow streets and avenues, seeing the historical castle and how could I not mention them: the pubs.

So yeah, in terms of coffee I can recommend you the following…

  • Brew & Brownie – 5 Museum St, York YO1 7DT (make sure to order a latte there!)
  • CafĂŠ Concerto – 21 High Petergate, York YO1 7EN (the store front itself is magical)

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The neeext place is Harrogate. It is located right in the heart of Yorkshire and used to be a spa town way back. The city itself is very beautiful. You´ve got pretty much everything there. From concept stores to nice restaurants and galleries to trendy coffeeshops and lively bars including live music as well as a huge park and a little classy theatre. It´s again, a very English place. A much more calmer place and you might see many families and people walking their dogs. Also, Harrogate is super posh, but in a good way – people are well dressed and overall the city seems to be very organised and simply a hub to all the people living close by on the countryside who seek to experience a bit of classy, cultural but still relaxed places and lifestyle.
When you happen to be in Harrogate, you should check those places out… FYI, I luckily had a local with me, so that´s why there´s an extra few fairly nice hidden gems on the list!

  • Lilly´s CafĂŠ 24 Commercial St, Harrogate HG1 1TY (come on in, darling!!)
  • Bean & Bud – 14 Commercial Street, Harrogate HG1 1TY (their filter coffee is out of this world..btw.)
  • North Bar 2D Oxford Buildings, Cheltenham Parade, Harrogate, HG1 1DA (go and have a pint there 😉 )
  • Zinc John St, Harrogate HG1 1JZ (the place for vino and cafĂŠ! actually they do monthly wine tastings too.)
  • Harrogate Theatre (did not have coffee there, but the place itself is stunning)
  • Bettys CafĂŠ Tea Room (same as above, actually there´s more of them in the UK, but Harrogate was the place where it started originally back nearly a century ago)

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IMG_7101IMG_7106IMG_7075IMG_7077IMG_7108IMG_7109And, last but not least, I´d like to share some impressions of Manchester with you. I always had those hiiigh expectations about this northern city – a la “Manchester, the music city!” I do believe in some ways this is true. I am pretty sure this is a great place for partying too. Anyway, I have to say that I was a little bit disappointed when I actually visited this city a good long while ago. I don´t know why, but it didn´t really excited me in particular…I was strolling around the Northern quarter, the media city, the city centre near the public library and the gallery which were both super beautiful, however other than that, I felt like Manchester is a big industrial place. In any case I will ever come up there again, I really would like to go with a so-called expert. I am pretty sure there is more than just chain stores and office buidlings, so maybe I should give it a further go sometime. Here´s what I would recommend to visit anyway…

IMG_0889IMG_0890IMG_0893IMG_0897IMG_0904IMG_0907IMG_0908IMG_0896IMG_0901IMG_0903IMG_0892Finito! x

In the beginning I said this post is going to be a short one, didn´t I? At least what the number of words concerns… Hope you´ve enjoyed this kind of post, I felt like approaching it differently this time…a bit of a mixture between travel and coffee content mainly in the form of visuals. For now I say:  Happy exploring, coffee mates! 🙂

Since you´re here…If you´re interested, I´d love to put together a sort of similar post about the South side of England…I got places like Brighton, Bristol, Bath and the Cornish Coast in mind…just saying. I´d love to hear your feedback! Coffee Kisses! 

Did I stop drinking coffee? – Personal

*A letter:

My dear readers,

The thing with writing is, it just so happens. The thing with writing passionately is, sometimes it just doesn´t work. I may have rejected my coffee page up here a (big) little bit within the previous months and I would like to share with you why.

People started asking me when there will be fresh content coming or whether there will be articles coming. I have to admit, I do feel a bit guilty given the fact that I used to share good coffee stuff quite regularly. And let me tell you, I have always enjoyed it soo so much.

IMG_0951To be honest, every few weeks I was sitting in front of my screen and intended to write an article for you – be it a review about a new spot, a fresh playlist or even an interview about a coffee entrepreneur. Some of you may wonder, has there been a shortage of good coffee places lately? Or, could it be that there are too many out there to get them in order and write lovely recommendations? Or maybe even questioned if I stopped drinking coffee at all?

My dear coffee mates,  it´s none of the three.

I moved to another country. I loved it there. I created a life there. Things went well. But also, things went not so well sometimes. I started missing my old place as in my home country. I came to visit. Still, I had my projects and certain priorities in the country abroad. At the same time, I was longing for so many things back home. I missed them. I missed my people. Then, things paid off and came to the end spurt phase abroad. I had fun. I started traveling again. I came back. Something was still missing. I moved back to my home country. I loved it there. Things went well. But also some not so well. I was sad. I was happy. I started traveling again. And the result of all of this? Precious time to figure out what works for me and what not. Precious time with people back home and abroad. Precious time for myself. And what else? The feeling of chance. I have changed as a person. So did my people. So did both places. Of course, everything changes. The world is in motion. All the time. Safety feelings come and go. Fun times come and go. Worrying times come and go. Thoughts come and go. And before you know it, you find yourself living between two worlds, between two places, within decisions, within thoughts, within worries, within joy and love and tears.

What I have learned: you simply cannot live the same life in two different places (or make them three or five). You think you can, but you just can´t. There will always be some things missing, be it, people, be it a regular place you go to, be it basic things. Every place is unique. Once you start exploring, you start adapting to a certain level. That needs time. Take the time. It is constantly evolving really. Things do you good and perhaps do you good for a lifetime. Things do you good at this very stage in life but not in the long run. Fear sometimes stops you. And that is the hardest part of all. You do something, you start realizing to be capable of doing it, it´s great, it´s tough, it´s great, it´s tough – you did it, and then? The then is uncertain. Which is terrible but so exciting at the same time. And there lies the beauty in it, I guess.

So, what about the coffee question then?
I can assure you to 100% – I certainly did not stop drinking coffee. I am having my regular two cups a day. In the morning and in the afternoon, sometimes it´s three actually. I still have this great passion for exploring new and beloved coffee gems. Actually, there is plenty I put on hold just because I had no inspirational writing minutes on my hands. Furthermore, I even have a great interview coming for you soon. This coffee page is a true gem for me. It allows me to express my passion with a bit of a personal touch ever now and then. I would not give that up. It is to a certain level a part of me. And I hope you can understand why I neglected it a bit in the past time. It just did not feel right to write. And I want to keep it that way, writing out of passion and I can feel it, the time is coming again, slowly but surely. I am excited about that and I am going to end this personal letter with a smile now. And do me a favor, please allow yourself to smile too.

Carmen X

Fun Fact: I quite enjoyed writing sooo many short sentences – probably half of them are starting with AND – just random but structured thoughts collecting really, maybe I should do that more often. AND for now, enjoy your afternoon coffee:)

 

Paris Chic in Soho – CafĂŠ Boheme

I feel like introducing you to a very french alike place located right in the heart of Soho in London today. The coffeeplace belongs to the famous Soho House Group from which you may already heard a glimpse of and is called Cafe Boheme. My friend and I visited this place on a weekday – which turned out to be the best idea ever as we made it right on time for the happy hour slot. That was filled with live jazz and an excellent meal deal for Soho (read: 12 pounds in total for any main course and drink on the menu selection).

If I was to describe Cafe Boheme in just a single word (let´s make them two), I would go for Woody Allen. I literally felt like being in one of his arty movies. I put together some wee frequences up here – theese may give you an idea what I mean by referring to Woody Allen while writing this coffeeplace recommendation for you.

Okay, when you start browsing through the pictures below, you see how classy and chic everything is arranged at Cafe Boheme. The colours remind of the late 90s and same goes for the fashionable waiters and waitresses who are very chicy dressed as if they would be acting in one of the aforementioned movies as well. The thing I probably enjoyed the most – besides my lovely company – was the constant live music in the background. Cafe Boheme has this great atmosphere for ‘people watching’ – the food is typical brasserie fare including esgargots (which I did not eat and surely never going to try :)). All in all, you need to go there for the atmosphere! The coffeeplace offers an appealing Parisian boho vibe and the rosĂŠ we both enjoyed around 4pm was nothing short than amazing too.

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I have got Notes for you!

Life is what can happen between coffee & wine. I personally think, this quote sums it up, at least when we are fully focusing on the sunny and fun side of it. Life is a row of moments we all are creating and sharing. And life is also what happens while we´re busy making other plans. Having a cup or a glass in between might do us good.
That´s what a friend of mine and me did before the lovely summer´s approaching. Honestly, I am so happy summer´s finally here. It just feels like recharging batteries truly. Continue reading “I have got Notes for you!”

When Italians and Austrians talk about Coffee! – 21 Sid Coffee London – Interview #1

Have you ever wondered what´s going on in a barista´s mind who is busy making coffee behind the counter for dozens of people in their morning rush? What must it be like to prepare the seventieth cup of flat white after hours and hours of standing? Same goes for the non-liquid section, running a bakery for instance. Have you ever given it a thought how must it be like when there is to prepare a range of pastries that need to go out for delivery the next morning? – Must be loads going on. And, there is a woman who does it all! An Italian named Laura who´s been living in London for nearly 10 years now. I got to interview her the other day in her brandnew coffeeshop in London Fields. Today, I am delighted to share our coffee talk with you!

Laura is originally from Sicily. Back in April she´s opened her very own coffeeshop called 21 Sid Coffee, nowhere other than in exciting and multicultural London! It´s open 7 days a week and she serves the most delicious brunch, lunch, afternoon treats and doubtlessly incredible coffee. I had a blast there, spent a good four to five hours or so, I am sure you´ll have one too!

Continue reading “When Italians and Austrians talk about Coffee! – 21 Sid Coffee London – Interview #1”