KAFFEEHAUS AMADEUS RE-LAUNCH

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!

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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.

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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!

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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

LONDON BOUND

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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

Love Carina xo

AUTUMN SPICE COFFEE

Good morning beautiful souls,

Autumn is my favourite time of year for many reasons; the cascades of tumbling burnt umber, sienna and crimson leaves swirling around the pavements, the chilly winds nipping at your face but you don’t mind as your wrapped up warm in your favourite cosy knits, the time to snuggle up in front of real fires (if you’re lucky enough to have a beautiful ingelnook fireplace) and read a book…. the list goes on. I have so much love for autumn and so many post ideas that in the countdown to Halloween I thought I would join in with Blogtober and give you an autumn/halloween themed post every day for a week.

To start my Blogtober – I feel like autumn is the perfect time for creating a hygge atmosphere and in the spirit of this I want to share with you my recipe for making a delicious spiced autumn coffee, the healthy version to all these pumpkin spiced lattes which are full of syrups.

What you will need

French press – Coffee beans of your choice – Burr coffee grinder – Cinnamon – Nutmeg – Star Anise – Cloves

Firstly grind your coffee beans (I recommend to always grind your own for a better fresh coffee) – put 3-4 tsp of coffee grind (depending on how strong you like your coffee) into your french press – add 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp of nutmeg, 1/2 a star anise crushed small and 3 cloves – pour on water and stir for 2-3 minutes – press down the cafetier, pour into your favourite mug and enjoy!

Now I am a black coffee drinker; a firm believer that if you find a good coffee bean and roast you like then you won’t need milk to balance any bitterness because there won’t be any bitterness. I am lucky enough to be able to get my favourite beans from my dads coffeehouse, however if you can’t find coffee you like black or you are just one of those people who enjoys really milky coffees, do feel free to heat some milk and add!

Hope you hall have a wonderful day!

Love Carina xo