Good evening beautiful souls,

Firstly  I would like to apologise for not posting anything on Sunday evening, however I have a very valid reason – and this is why:

The Kaffeehaus Amadeus Re-launch

Kaffeehaus Amadeus is my dad’s amazing Austrian/German coffeehouse in Lanchester, County Durham. After Christmas we shut for 2 months for a big refurb and this past weekend it was finally time to reveal our lovely new look!






We had events on all weekend, from a Coffee Workshop, Viennese Afternoon Tea, Evening Glow with a Feuerzangenbowle (which is a rum punch that is set alight) and a musical affair on Sunday with our in-house quintet Quintessential Voices. The new interior went down well with all the guests and it was lovely to finally see many of our regulars enjoying our coffee and cakes again.



If you haven’t heard of our little gem of a cafe you really need to visit. Come experience something quaint, exquisite and different. I know this is a biased review but I am proud of what my dad has achieved. Being different and bringing a piece of our heritage to this little cafe in Lanchester is what is important to us. We prize ourselves on an atmosphere of Gemütlichkeit and believe we offer the best coffee in the North East, prising ourselves on our fresh single origin bean V60 brew! There are numerous beans to pick from and lovely loose leaf teas if you’re not quite a coffee fan. We offer light lunches ‘Jause’ style all on homemade bread of course as well as soups and salads. Everything is homemade on site from the famous Viennese Sachertorte to our scrumptious German Kasekuchen!




And if that isn’t enough to persuade you to come and try a lice of Vienna on your doorstep, we have the wonderful Anna our professional chocolatiere creating all her heavenly handmade truffles at the cafe!

So please come and say hi and take your taste buds on a journey!

Love Carina xo


Good evening beautiful souls,

Yesterday my dad and I were London bound to go on a coffee crawl. The aim of this trip was to do some research for dad’s coffeehouse which is currently closed for renovation.

The day didn’t start well as I left the house a little too late and then saw that as it was prime time, rush hour traffic was soo bad that I didn’t think I’d make it on time and would be faster walking. So off I set on my quickest power walk getting more and more panicky by the minute as time kept ticking on. I ran in bursts, my heart started pounding and the closer I got to the train station the more I felt like I was going to die aha. I can laugh now, but I felt terrible thinking I was going to ruin this fun day for dad and myself by not arriving on time. However I eventually did get to the station with about 6 minutes to spare; I was wheezing as I collected our tickets from the machine and when I sat down to try and catch my breath the sweat dripped down my face as the same time as relief washed over me – I had made it! I had made it! Phew!


So after that nightmare of a start to the day we settled down into our seats and I began our journey with a much needed nap. Once feeling more recovered I got out my kindle and began reading Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven until we got closer to London and we went over the plan for the day. At 11.45 we finally pulled into Kings Cross and set off to find the first cafe on our list.

Disclaimer: In the end everyone’s tastebuds are different and everyone has their own preferences – this is just my opinion of these coffee shops.


Coffee Shop no.1 – Attendant 

I liked the decor of this cafe, especially all the greenery, and the staff were friendly enough, however I was rather disappointed with the coffee. Dad’s flat white was ok I think, but the filter coffee I had ordered was the last dregs from a batch brew. When I inquired about it not being a fresh V60 (which is what I would expect it to be at £4 a tiny cup) the waitress just told me I could have a fresh cup if it wasn’t hot enough as she was about to brew a fresh batch, so obviously I wanted the freshest coffee not the last dregs and asked to please have a fresh cup, but she just told me to try it first. I was rather annoyed at this but couldn’t be bothered to complain so just drank the coffee which tasted ok but wasn’t hot and had coffee grind left in the bottom which a filter coffee shouldn’t have either, at least not the amount that was in my cup. Later on in the day I saw numerous other coffee shops have ‘batch brew’ on their menus but they were not disguising this by naming it filter coffee and they had a far more reasonable price margin for a cup, between £2.60-£3.




Coffee Shop no.2 – Ozone Coffee Roasters

This was my favourite coffee shop, it had a nice vibe with an open kitchen and brew bar in the centre of the cafe like an island and the scent of fresh coffee being roasted downstairs wafting across every so often. They had the biggest variety of coffees to try here from Filter and Aeropress to Siphon coffee. However when asking for more information on the coffee the waitress wasn’t overly friendly and didn’t seem to know much about the coffee they serve which was a disappointment, simply saying ‘Yeah it’s not too acidic I like this one’ isn’t very informative. In the end Dad and I chose the Aeropress coffee and the filter coffee. We preferred the flavour profile of the Areopress coffee which was a bean from Ethiopia and had flavour notes of strawberry and praline, it really did taste like strawberry chocolates! What we weren’t too keen on was the coffee being served in glass jugs with glasses to drink out of. Dad prefers a nice porcelain cup, it felt too much like we were on a coffee tasting course, which to be fair on this day I guess we kind of were.






Coffee Shop no.3 – Fix Coffee

We didn’t stay here long. My stomach needed a coffee rest so dad just had an espresso which he described as far to acidic to be used as an espresso bean. The place seemed nice at first but wasn’t the cleanest after further inspection and again not all the staff seemed to know their coffees, which when you are serving more than your average espresso based drinks, you should really know so that you can advise and answer customers queries. This was probably my least favourite place.


Coffee Shop no.4 – Catalyst

After a short tube ride and a bit of a detour we eventually found our next stopping point. I tried a long black/americano here which I tasted great. The flavour was good and smooth no bitterness and they also roasted they’re own coffee beans in this little corner coffee shop. The only vegan thing they had was some bread, but it did come with delicious homemade jam which I thoroughly enjoyed. This was probably my second favourite coffee shop after Ozone.



Coffee Shop no.5 – Curators Coffee

And last but not least coffee shop no.5 where I couldn’t drink anymore coffee. So dad ordered a filter coffee which was a fresh V60 but had a steep £5 price tag on it. We could see their brewing station here and it surprised us that they as so many others have a massive gap between the filter and the jug they are filtering into as this is quickest way for coffee to loose it’s temperature when using the drip filter method. Anyway, that coffee lacked lingering taste and dad thought they might have used too little coffee for the amount of water, unless that was the taste they were going for. but the ratio for us, I tried a little sip, was too weak, so sadly a disappointing last cup of coffee.



Leon’s @ Kings Cross

After walking half the way back to Kings Cross to avoid the ridiculously busy oxford circus tube station and getting on at Regents Park instead, we eventually collapsed in Leon for a bit of food whilst waiting for our train home. I had a yummy vegan kale and beetroot falafel salad whilst dad enjoyed some rice and meatball dish. As we ate our food it seemed like we had only arrived in London an hour ago let alone 6! Time had flown by so quickly we only got to about half of the coffee shops that were actually on our list! However it was a great and informative trip all the same. I realised that in general these supposedly more geeky coffee shops with various brewing methods on offer sadly didn’t actually seem to be that informed on coffee (at least the waitressing staff) and in general there just seemed to be a bit of coffee passion lacking which was a shame. We have some good ideas of what we want to add and alter I our own coffee menus for the reopening and are excited to share our passion for coffee with the public again very soon!



Platform 9 3/4

Anyway all in all I had a nice time coffee crawling through central London and checking out how other cafes do their thing. To top it all off Platform 9 3/4 wasn’t busy so I could finally get a photo hehe!



Any other coffee geeks and snobs out there?! Have you tried any of these coffee shops? I’d love to know!

Love Carina xo


Hey my beautiful readers,

So this evening I need to have a little rant aha! I am one of those people who struggles to take criticism. I it’s constructive to do with work and things then yes, it is easier to deal with, but when people are just dicks it really gets to me and I struggle to shake their comments or actions off. I have always struggled with this and I want to change and not let it bother me, but it is so much easier said than done especially when your body reacts physically, in the sense of suddenly feeling uncomfortable or annoyed or confused…

So the little simple thing that really got to me today was that one of the cafes I work for received a bad review, a shocking and rather unfair 1*! The guy complained saying they’d ordered three drinks but only received two and that after having been offered milk for the americano they never received it and that there was greasy scum floating on the coffee and that neither coffee was really nice and they’d be giving us a miss next time.

The story goes: It was super busy and two customers wanting to sit outside came into the cafe to place their order; now we usually do everything by table service, so when people from outside come in and expect to be served straight away without even having had a look at our menus it already throws you a little as you need to pause making drinks and quickly take their order. The man ordered an ordinary coffee (which already pissed me off haha because, I am sorry, but what is an ordinary coffee?! If you are into your coffee’s like I am you know there are so many varieties of coffee and every person likes theirs differently and so when they say ‘just an ordinary coffee’ they all mean something different too) anyway so with a smile I prompted, how do you usually like your coffee sir? And he was like well just an americano, and then the woman said she wanted one too, and then the man said and a cappuccino, so as there were only the two of them and I couldn’t see a third person outside (I here admit I mad a mistake) but I assumed he meant to change his americano order to the cappuccino. He then also looked at the cakes on display and ordered a cheesecake, they payed and then went outside. I made the two coffees and one of my co-workers brought the drinks and the cake out. She came back with the cake saying firstly, the guy had said he didn’t like the look of it and didn’t want it anymore (erm excuse me?! You just looked at the scrumptious display of homemade freshly baked cakes and picked the cheesecake yourself and then have the audacity to send it back saying it didn’t look nice without even having tried it?!) and secondly, that he’d said they had ordered three coffees. I then understood there was a third person outside and quickly made the other americano. The guy then also came back in and asked about the payment as he’d obviously not been charged correctly, I apologised and tried to explain my mistake in thinking there had only been the two of them and my co-worker was already on top of it apologetically bringing them the third coffee which I’d just made and also already having worked out the difference between the cake and the coffee to refund their change. The guy took the change and went back outside and then in the late evening left an unfair 1* review.

Now, all you out there who work within customer service know there will always be some customers you can just never please and who are determined to leave bad reviews. I just need to vent and say I am sorry but it just really is unfair, yes I made a mistake, it happens occasionally I’m afraid especially when it is extremely busy, however I was friendly and apologetic and rectified it withing minutes making the third coffee my priority and having it brought out to them very quickly. So for that yes, I guess you may complain, but as for there being greasy scum on the coffee?! No fucking way, this customer obviously doesn’t know anything about coffee and was referring to the oily crema which any good fresh americano should have on it! And there was also no mention of us being all friendly and refunding them for the cake they chose and bought yet then refused to try and wanted to return…


When you work for a nice family style run business with little staff you know everyone tries their hardest to make business stand out and provide excellent customer service. So when I get reviews like this I can’t help but take it personally and they really shake me for a while!!

You know which part of the whole complaining business I really don’t get though?! It’s the what feels like backstabbing! If people really have such a problem, why don’t they send drinks and food back straight away so ‘mistakes’ (or customer dislikes) can be rectified?! If they had come up and told us I could have made them another coffee and explained that the ‘greasy scum’ is the natural coffee crema but also been friendly and given them a refund as you know the customer has to always be right. But why do people feel the need to complain at the end when they have emptied their plates and finished their drinks?! I mean if you really didn’t like it why eat it?! Why drink it?! It can’t actually have been that bad then can it?! It’s like they are just trying to be a nuisance and cause trouble for the fun of it!

Another irritating customer we had once was an elderly chap who had ordered a croissant, with his coffee, and when he came to the till to pay at the end, my co-worker smiled and asked (as we always do) ‘Was everything ok for you?’ and the guy replied something about the croissant being stale (for your information our croissants are baked fresh in the oven every morning and when one gets ordered it doesn’t go in the microwave to be warmed into a soggy mess, no, we put the oven on again to heat it and keep it’s nice crispy flaky freshly baked texture!) So of course he was given a refund, and my co-worker stated that he should have told us straight away and we could have given him another one. He merely repeated something about the croissant being stale. Again my problem here is that of course the guy had eaten the full croissant,?!?!! Like what?! If you had really received a stale croissant would you honestly have eaten it all and then complained?! At least this guy only complained in person, which for something untrue is bad enough, but when people make public unjust accusations without having talked to us in person first, then it just really is painful and just so not right!

Sadly I feel like some people are just born to be unjust complainers, and they don’t really give a shit that they’re hurting people or their businesses with their unfair comments. And I know from this I also, as I mentioned in the beginning, need to learn to not take things to heart so easily, sometimes I just feel like I’ll never manage though. Does anyone else have this problem? How do you cope?!

Well that is my rant over aha, thanks for listening guys! I hope you’ve not had to experience such irritating customers wherever you work!

Love Carina xo