Sunday, 12 September 2010

Espresso Mundo - Destination Europe

Espresso coffee is embedded in European Culture, its part of the daily lives of millions.
Every morning in many European cities, you see packed coffee bars were people from all walks of life and profession mingle and discuss life events, work issues and gossip over a cappuccino or espresso.

Men in suits, woman in designer brand clothe and high heels, builders, doctors, writers etc all enjoying their favorite brew.
During my travels to many of Europe coffee loving countries, I was very fortunate to experience this culture.
Over machiatto, Cortado, or cafe noir, I would watch and enjoy, the theatre.

The Barista on duty showing all the skill, passion and concentration that would remind me of a concert pianist or a tenor during their performance, his instrument of passion, the espresso machine consisting of  metal and pipes, heat exchangers and boiler to name a few parts, a blend of traditional design and modern technology,  as delicate as a grand piano, but also temparmental that requires the Barista to handle with great skill and control, in order to bring out the best - crema- aroma and flavours from the coffee just  freshly ground and dosed into the portafilter basket.

I would like to share my coffee seeking, travelling experiences, together with the local gastronomy and history of the locations I have visited.

I believe this is the adventure, sometimes the places you visit take your heart and these have to be mentioned more in detail as they are icons, treasures to be shared by all who love coffee and food.

I have chosen Europe to start with, what better place? diverse - every country has its own style, methods and legends regarding coffee and food,  as I have been based in the UK, working in the coffee industry and after all Europe is just across the Channel.


Palermo, Mondello, Monreale and Cefalu

When the Airplane lands in Palermo people say there's a very special feeling about the place, it could be its relationship to the movie The Godfather, or the warm Mediterranean air, maybe the friendliness in its residents.
To me, its in the family, my grandmother was Sicilian, and I wanted to follow the roots, see were she was born and how the residents of the Island live.

Friday, 23 October 2009


A look at the blossoming coffee culture developing in the UK.


Part 1

England is regarded as a nation of tea drinkers as we all very well know.
Well before the days of the opium wars (1830’s) and the occupation of India (1750’s), the British had already perfected the art of tea drinking.
These days it's still a custom in the U.K to have afternoon tea, complete with silver ware, cucumber sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and rose petal jelly at one of the many posh hotels or tea houses in London.

Kings and queens have even appointed tea merchants to supply their royal needs with this most flavorsome and fragrant commodity in return for their royal seal of approval.

But times have changed, and so has the way the British enjoy their beverages, no longer is tea the king on the street.

Over the last few years there has been big changes in the UK regarding the way people have their hot beverages, and with these changes there are two new competitors in the island making their presence felt , and these two are loaded with the right fuel a busy city like London needs to get trough the day.
Their names are...