Coffeetunes #15

This weekend marks two special occasions: first, it’s the last actual weekend during February and second, one of my best friends and I are going on holiday!!! There will be a couple of plane rides involved, hence the playlist.

A short trip every once in a while to catch some sun and enjoy some real friends quality time while exploring and getting a sense of a brand new culture, is just what a decent end of winter shall look like – right? I promise, we will do some coffee house exploring too. <3

Maybe you’re on a train, a bus, on a roadtrip, on a sofa, on a bench, the beach, in the garden, running, relaxing or whatever you’re doing, no matter where .. maybe you feel like listening to some tunes! Enjoy, fellow coffee mates & have a gorgeous weekend regardless.

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, Fürth Kaffee, J. Hornig, Nespresso, Oatly, Röstwerkschaft… 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!

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!”

A chatty one including a fresh coffeetunes playlist. #11

I hope you´ve all had a lovely Easter break my dear coffeelovers. Some of you may had chocolate, some may spent the weekend abroad, some of you maybe went for great long walks with your beloved ones or chilled a well-deserved bit on the sofa – whether you celebrated Easter or not, I am sure you´ve found a way to enjoy the bit of spring sun the past weekend.

And speaking of spring, actually I´d like to share a fresh playlist with you today!! A new round of coffeetunes is back – we´re reaching a new kinda decade here really (read: coffeetunes#11) yay I´d say? Give it a listen sometime and smile. Music sometimes helps us appreciating certain moments way more and doubtless, keeps us company. There you go! X

And may I add some words to this coffeetunes post as well this time…

A few songs appearing on this playlist actually inspired me the recent weeks. Ironically one of them is called ‘Coming Home’ which was not necessarily the one I was listening to the most, but however, the title kind of goes well with my recent thoughts.

The thing with writing is, it can feel so fulfilling sometimes. I like the fact of putting thoughts together and being a bit of a storyteller from time to time. Similar to musicians who´re doing their lyrics really. Writing brings me great joy and does help me to assimilate certain things I am currently thinking or rather going through or just experiencing better, in a good way.

Even though, I am nearly mainly dedicating my writing up here to coffee only, I thought it might be nice to write up some personal lines from time to time as well. Plus, it does make my coffeeblog more personal and I think that little extra bit may make your reading experience more varied too.

I´ve experienced quite a few moments recently where I found myself realising something not just once, a few times actually. Sometimes you need to go or live somewhere else in order to find out what and where you really want to be. It´s kind of making your experiences through following your instincts which have lead me to a certain point I was intending to find along this year abroad: a point of having this, I´d like to call it ‘inner calmness’ – you start realising and even appreciating why you chose certain paths and left some behind for a bit, you´ve tried them out and now you know you got them figured out for yourself. I am grateful and proud of that. – I am pretty sure the majority of you won´t have a clue of what I am talking about right now..I´ll let it up to your interpretation but all I want to end this paragraph right now, is with the following: HOME, I am very much looking forward to you! Truly.

Happy reading & listening aaaand incredible ongoing coffee sessions, Carmen.

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Coffeetunes #7 roadtrip

It is the holiday season!! Wuhuu what a blast – let us celebrate this beautiful and exciting time of the year with a bunch of great music, shall we? I have recently picked some great and also quite new tunes for you. If you fancy, give the new coffeetunes playlist a listen! Actually this one is a bit of a roadtrip edition, so have fun chasing into it while driving endless miles…wherever my playlist may take you, enjoy the journey.

And hereeee it comes…

Coffee Reading #1

Today/Tonight (that is entirely up to you) I am sharing a coffee related post which is slightly more different than the ones I am usually publishing here. It is not about a specific coffeespot which inspired and enchanted me recently, nor is it a sort of updated version of my coffeetunes playlist…rrrather, well it is a new format. Completely new, actually. I have not figured out whether treating this format as a regular one but we will see where it goes. The idea basically just came up recently and since I am always keen on trying out something new, I thought why not. Sure the focus stays the same, so no off topic stuff here, but as I said it is a write up in a slightly different way. Maybe it is the freely flexibility this blog gives me or rather just healthy creativity coming from myself – anyhow, it needs to get out there and does have a sense of excitement.

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So, I would like to dedicate this post to some coffee related reading I have recently stuck into. It is a mixture of a bunch of different topics covering the main topic aka coffee of course but the articles are different. No reviews or trend shoutouts at this point. Just reading about the industry. Let me call it pure coffee reading written by journalists, founders of coffee places or simply passionates. One chosen article is quite going into deep – yes, sometimes also more serious and thoughtful readings come along regarding the coffee topic – others are much more a delightful enjoyment. Naturally all may be truly inspiring and fun fact, one is even event related.
The new format Coffee Reading starts now (number one out of we will see). It is what it is. Just that.

BTW, the upcoming numbers are randomly picked which means there is no preference. It is just a personal list to make it easier for you to follow. 🙂
On another note, I would like to mention and point out that this post is not sponsored or at one tiniest level ad related. It may seem so because of a list of picked products, but clearly it is just a personal review and recommendation party. Like all the other published content you may find on my blog. If otherwise, it is clearly stated but as my aim is to share my enjoyment in terms of coffee with you, I am much more focusing on subjective and personal content rather than writing because somebody wants or pays me to. Just wanted to mention this in the first place before you are heading into this journalistic-ish coffee post of today/tonight (as I said, it is up to you ;)) – Have a good read, coffee folks!

#NumberONE

I would like to begin this new series with the one and only “The World Atlas of Coffee”. Written by the wonderful James Hoffmann. Let me call him the inside champion in the world of coffee. He has been publishing many many posts about the coffee world since 2004 on his blog and basically summed up all his knowledge beautifully in the aforementioned book. If you are curious what this is all about, you can download a free chapter via his website. Kind of a cool thing which makes it super easy to get a first insight and then decide whether it is something for you. Anyhow, I believe every page is worth reading and/or rather looking at it (sure it includes many gorgeous pictures as well – visuals do matter!!).

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(C) James Hoffmann

– I really enjoyed reading this book and every once in a while I intend to look up several coffee things. It is the perfect reading material which explains literally everything from C to E (you dear coffee junkies get this abbreviation, I believe ;)) and helps a lot when you just need to know something about this industry instantly. James Hoffmann is in the business for like twelve years already. That means something, right? – In all honesty, I would never give it back, the book is a little treasure. It covers everything you need to know. I appreciate the fact when people are willing to share their knowledge with others via different canals or just want to express themselves in an individual way, be it a song, a writing or even a sculpture (somewhat). Sharing means caring and that is wonderful.

#NumberTWO

Okay, the second reading I picked is a book again. My lovely mom got me this one and it amazed me the second I was holding it in my hands. The book has almost the same size and thickness as the one mentioned above. It covers so many hidden gems of the coffee industry and you cannot believe how many gorgeous baristats are spotted in there as well. Like half a hundred or so? No kidding. 😉
It is truly amazing how many awesome coffeespots are still waiting to get discovered! Above all this book managed to rise my curiosity about the Australian and New Zealand coffee places. Dreaming about this part of the world for ages!!

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(C) Carmen Lenzeder
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(C) Carmen Lenzeder

Besides the book, the website of “Refinery 29” in general covers truly cool and amazing coffee content indeed. I am sure everybody will be successful in finding an exciting and above all interesting coffee story. It is fun just browsing through various articles, I guarantee you will not regret killing some time on this website.

 

 

#NumberTHREE

Will we ever run out of coffee? Need to mention this write up too although it is not exactly a fun topic. What exactly does coffee have to do with climate change? You may find out while reading this article published by a journalist of the BBC recently. I honestly had some mixed feelings while reading this. It emphasises some points in terms of coffee and environment which we all probably have never really thought of. Or not enough… Let me know what you think after reading this one. Just four words from my side regarding this article for now -> poor planet poor coffee! Besides the more serious topic, it is a good read though, trust me.

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(C) Nassos Stylianou, BBC UK

#NumberFOUR

Last but not least, a shoutout for a fun and creative coming together! This coffee related event definitely has its perks. If I was in the UK at that time of the year I would not hesitate to go there and share my thoughts with the other coffee lovers!! Sure thing. Maybe someone of you is lucky enough to attend this coffee celebration event though. In that case, have fun! And drink some coffee for me too please..

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(C) Eventbrite UK

– Well that´s a wrap, I guess. I hope you have enjoyed or are still enjoying those several linked readings. Maybe they put you in a different caffeine mindset as well as they maybe help you to increase your coffee knowledge.
So far so good, I am happy to hear if you have liked this new format or fancy such posts in the upcoming future on this blog in general – I am thinking about turning this into a regular thing or so. So, let me know and do not dehydrate, it is summerly hot in most parts of the world, yay. 🙂

 

Veryyy summerlyyy – Coffeetunes #6

Well, I am well aware it is not like “official” yet but I do guess it is safe to say anyways: welcome summer! It still feels weird to even type this though…summer, you have reached us kind of early this year! What a blast and hopefully you are planning to stay and the temperatures remain so. Lovely lovely!

With an early summer(ish) season, new beloved music is just around the corner, coffee folks! This time I am skipping the next number in a row or rather am replacing it to a summerly alike edition concerning the name of my latest music playlist – hope all of you enjoy this one 🙂

Best music-coffee greetings a la summer, Carmen 🙂

My current beloved Vienna spot – Café Telegraph

..is called Café Telegraph. And let me tell you, it is a bliss! It is located near the uni campus in the ninth district of Vienna which could not fit any better, I suppose. It is a student place literally. The staff is so charming, the breakfast is absolutely amazing including very fair prices and the coffee selection is great. Truly perfect, to be honest. At Café Telegraph, they actually serve coffee from “Süssmund” which made me super happy as I am such a fan of that kind of coffee. (A while ago I typed some words about the Süssmund coffee place as well – in case you missed it, please click here. They actually changed location, better make sure to check their website for any location details though.)

FullSizeRender 21However, the coffee place Café Telegraph has definitely made it to my current breakfast spot in Vienna. And that means something because there are already so many top places, especially in the city centre, so it is not so easy to actually pick a number one. The café used to be a post office in former times. That is also the reason for or rather the inspiration behind the name “Café Telegraph”. Generally, the cute café is super lovely decorated. Actually I went there with my mum who is very much into interior, decor and stuff like that and she was very impressed by the spot herself as every little corner is just so charming decorated and really lovely to look at. She said that the style how the Café Telegraph is decorated and arranged reminds her a lot to the trendy country or rather cottage alike looking style. A quite good description, I guess. I tried to capture a few special corners for you – of course everything has its own sparkle when seeing it live. One further cool thing, the café has just begun constructing a nice terrace for outside. So, more space and sun.

FullSizeRender 13FullSizeRender 20FullSizeRender 8FullSizeRender 23FullSizeRender 18FullSizeRender 15FullSizeRender 22Concerning the menu, oh my goodness, that is nuts. Super good. There is plenty of breakfast stuff on it and we hardly could not decide whether choosing porridge, yoghurt with fruits or this or that and this or that.. In the end we both went with avocado toast (of course!), eggs and shared one granola and acai bowl. Everything was amazing!! The perfect brunch with perfect company. – We are definitely planning a next visit as soon as possible.

On another note: Vienna, you truly rock when it comes to breakfast spot hunting! And coffee never ever happened to be disappointing once. 🙂

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The London Coffee Festival

Today is the day which is fully dedicated to the London Coffee Festival. Imagine a point where it is truly normal to drink coffee all day long accompanied by good music, awesome pastry and just people like you with caffeine cravings in their head. Let me tell you, the London Coffee Festival (LCF) literally feels and is like coffee heaven at its best. Be ready for a ton of pictures – I tried my best to capture every tiny detail of that amazing coffee festival.

505The LCF was a four day long event hold in Shoreditch at the old Truman Brewery. Probably no other sort of location would fit better than the Truman Brewery, I suppose. The setting was and naturally is awesome. There was so much space for everything related to coffee. Even a couple of stages including great musicians and some extra room for workshops, cuppings, presentations and stuff – I spotted everything. As the festival was divided into many different areas, such as Hyde Park, Soho, Shoreditch etc., it was quite easy to get an overview and not to get lost. One thing that I really appreciate(d) about the LCF is, that there were so many international stands straight through the Truman Brewery. For instance, there was one little danish bakery which instantly got my attention. They offered everything in terms of pastry and stuff. Really delicious to look at and also very friendly people of Denmark who were hosting the spot at the LCF.

503510501507508506367Generally it is a little impossible to pick one thing which I liked the most about the LCF as the event offered so many great ones! I spent nearly four hours at the LCF on a Sunday. I chose the ticket for the brunch session which was the perfect time slot for me. In the case of coffee, I do can tell you my fav one. Well, I have got two favs actually. Thumbs up for the amazing filter coffee “Munyinya Hill” of the lovely Ozone Coffee Roasters. One of the baristas, it is a shame I cannot remember his name though, prepared one (well, a whole carafe and I drank two cups in the end) for me which was super delicious. So, when you are at the Ozone Coffee Roasters London coffee place, order the Munyinya filter coffee, it will keep you awake quite a few hours. First things first…and second first things second, right? The next fav one is an iced latte version. I think I had it straight afterwards 😉 While I was spotting some arty coffee creations at the Latte Art Live session downstairs, someone happened to offer me a gem called Iced Baileys Latte – at that point I completely lost my mind as it was unbelievably good!! I lo lov loved it!! Although I am not a fan of any alcohol in my coffee (rum might be the worst) and I normally do not drink baileys, from now on, I list and prefer it definitely before an Espresso Martini.

22322110113726Coffee has the power and the spirit to be or to be seen as art as well, to point out some facts. Well, one thought which surprisingly turned out to be an actual one or something, placed right in the middle of the coffee madness at the Truman Brewery. Besides trying coffee shots, you cold admire the stunning collection of photographs and drawings dedicated to coffee. The little gallery was called “The Coffee Art Collective”. Alltogether some really creative, interesting and impressive projects and you could rate for the artists to get them awarded. Nice thing!

If you fancy, scroll down for a little sum up paragraph right after the pictures below.

24354114Haha one more thing I need to mention before my very last words dedicated to the London Coffee Festival! It is the cups, obviously. They deserve an extra shout out here, I suppose. Besides the fairly recognisable LCF cups, there were so many other different versions which carried your coffee throughout your stay at the Truman Brewery. Think of any colour and you might have spotted it. I like to collect coffee cups and even if I could not bring them all back home (imagine airport security, help help), I am thinking of printing some pics and pretending to have them hidden somewhere in my flat. Or so. 😉

86412133319344Coffee folks, we are getting there! – To sum it up, the LCF is an event which happily brings together all the people who are loving and celebrating the coffee industry/world and are living a conscious coffee lifestyle. All at once. I dearly recommend you the event in London. Dates for next year are already fixed, be sure to check them out early enough. Oh yeah and you may wanna see the after-movie of the LCF.

The event itself is so fascinating because it offers so so much aka a whole coffee experience.  That means: workshops, talks with coffee champs of the industry, coffee tasting obviously, getting in touch with other coffee lovers, buying everything coffee related you can possibly imagine and last but not least good music, food and a nice atmosphere to stroll around.

– Enjoy the pictures and hopefully feel the same as I did, being in THE coffee heaven.  Oh and how many coffees did I actually drink?? That is simple! I literally have no idea. Probably a few. 🙂

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More pictures on my Instagram and Facebook. Have a good rest of the week! Best, Carmen.