My current mood.

 

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I’ve had my black americano and am now ready to do some work on our team’s global strategy.

Also, someone at work showed me this cool TED video:

Enjoy your Saturday. X

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CRASH course in Coffee… written by a hopefully non-pretenious drinker.

Yesterday, I had a friend send me the following message: “I need to start drinking coffee so bad! Ugh I just feel like an 8 year old tasting beer for the first time. What are some fancy coffee drinks that taste decently good?”

Here was my Coffee 101 answer:

The taste is definitely bitter and takes getting use to. That’s why you should start with the milkier and sweeter options. Generally, you have two types of milk coffees – latte and cappuccino. Latte has more milk and cappuccino more foam. And then you can add a syrup (vanilla, caramel, etc) and that will sweeten it. So maybe start with those in hopes of adjusting to the coffee taste. My personal favourite is a flat white (coming from an Australian origin) and that has less milk than a latte, with a stronger coffee taste. And in France, you have your café au lait (which as the name suggests is coffee with milk). So around the world, the strong taste of the coffee bean is mellowed out using sugar and milk. And then if you’re feeling brave, you can venture into black coffee. At your typical Starbucks, there are two kinds: Americano and Filter coffee. Americano is an espresso with hot water (instead of milk in a latte) and a filter coffee is hot water run through coffee beans. They each have a particular taste (plus the origins of the beans matters as well), so you can try both and see which one you fancy. And of course if you’re feeling a bit childish that day or just need the sugar rush, you can always go for a Caramel Frappachino!

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*Latte in a cute cafe (New York, USA) 

For you visual souls, infographic here. 

Cherry Yogurt ice-cream at 7AM creates instant happiness @DuckandWaffle

One of my favourite things to do in London is have breakfast at Duck & Waffle.

Duck And Waffle

It’s a treat filled with excellent caffeine, interesting menu offers, and a view of the whole city. As the sun hits the Gherkin’s glass exterior, the waiter brings my flatmate’s poached eggs on ox cheek. It’s moments like these that  make me instantaneously happy and grateful for the life I’ve built as an expatriate in the United Kingdom. Sandwiched between an Italian-Swiss film buff and British northerner, I think back to the day my parents left me at LAX with two suitcases. And now I have a full time job, apartment, and network of life-long friends around the world. Ultimately, you live the life you create and I choose to create little happiness every day (always start with breakfast, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise).

One of my favourite quotes:

“I always wonder why birds choose to stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth, then I ask myself the same question.”

– Harun Yahya

I had the English Cherry Waffles (cherry & yoghurt ice cream, white chocolate crumble). Here’s the full breakfast menu. 

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Address: The Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY

Open 24 Hours

Make a reservation on OpenTable or by calling 020 3640 7310. Weekend reservations fill up far in advance for their brunch menu. So if you can manage to get up early in the mornings, I would recommend going at 7AM! I love going before work as a little treat thats woven into my ordinary regime.

Happy Sunday.

My latest BRUNCH adventures in London.

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Forge & Co. 

http://www.forgeandco.co.uk

Address: 154-158 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6HU

What I ordered: Eggs florentine, americano, and immune boost smoothie 

Best Part: If you buy a glass of Prosecco at 10 and receive free re-fills throughout your Saturday Brunch. The atmosphere is the perfect mix of classy and chilled.

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At home

Lemon & blueberry buttermilk pancakes with french press coffee w/soy milk

Recipe: http://southernfood.about.com/od/pancakesandwaffles/r/bl80613j.htm

Best Part: You get to stay in your pjs, perfect your cooking skills, and relax with your flatmates in that lazy Sunday fashion. 

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Duck & Waffle 

http://duckandwaffle.com

Address: 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY

What I ordered: Duck egg en cocotte and filter coffee

Best Part: The view above London from the 40th floor, especially if you go in the early morning and see the sun rise. Weekend reservations are impossible to get, so I would recommend booking for an earlier time before work (6:30-7 AM reservation). 

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Nama Food

http://namafoods.com

Address: 110 Talbot Road, London W11 1JR

What I ordered: Lasagne Verdure and espresso with coconut milk

Best Part: If you’re feeling experimental and want to try something new, then vegan is the latest trend. Don’t confuse veganism as being the ‘healthiest’ or most ‘delicious’ option; however, it is definitely something to spice up a typical Saturday.

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Nordic Bakery

http://www.nordicbakery.com

Address: Multiple Locations in London

What I ordered: Filter coffee, egg & herring dark rye sandwhich and half a cinnamon bun

Best Part: The dark bread is great to purchase and take home as your weekly supply of delicious healthy bread. 

Latest Shoreditch Discovery – SLATE coffee shop

This afternoon I re-visited Slate – probably one of the smallest coffee shops in East London.

The address: 96 Curtain Road, London EC2 
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The menu includes everything for a green power smoothies to salmon/avocado muffins… easy to see why I love this place! I had a flat white (which they call a flattie), but with coconut soy milk since today is one of my vegan-inspired days.
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My rating of Slate (1-5 scale):
Prices – 3 (a bit pricy – 2.80 for a latte – but absolutely delicious and the food is well priced)
Customer Service – 5 (the baristas behind the counter are absolutely lovely)
Wifi – YES
Ability to Work: 1 (there are only 8-10 small seats inside)
Charm: 4 (the decorations and graffiti on the wall provides a lovely shoreditch atmosphere)
Overall: 4 
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And my favourite thing about Slate is it’s genius business strategy with card payments. YES, there is a 5 pound card minimum. BUT, you can buy a coffee for yourself in advance to make the card minimum. So last weekend, I paid for 2 coffees… and got to drink one of them today! I think it’s a brilliant coffee shop model and the names on the wall also add to it’s cozy atmosphere.
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Some Allpress coffee and chilled time to brainstorm on Sunday? YES PLEASE.

What’s your definition of Home?

What's your definition of Home?

Let’s face it…. coffee shops are like a third home for me. I use the word ‘ home’ pretty liberally in terms of locations and countries. But after three years, I really do feel like London is my home. And no place more than The Fleet Street Press – a coffee shop near the Strand Campus of King’s College London and the Maughan Library on Chancery Lane. That coffee shop has seen multiple essays develop; it has kept so many secrets; it has fed me brownies and chickpea spinach soup. I even knew this coffee shop when it was called Get Coffee (Let’s go to ‘get coffee’ … clever right?) and the same Italian barista that has worked there for the past 3 years. A bleak Tuesday, three years ago, I saw this small coffee shop offering a ‘Monkey Mocha’. I was intrigued by the name and discovered a chocolate/banana/orange creation in this perfect house of wifi and bathroom access. Since that day, I have never looked back. It will always be one of my FAVOURITE coffee shops in London.

Check out their website: http://www.thefleetstreetpress.com

They also have a twitter with their daily clever coffee-board sayings!

Independent Coffee Shops – visualised by the London Tube Map

Independent Coffee Shops - visualised by the London Tube Map

Well, besides the fact that the TFL is having disruptions due to the London Tube Strike… this is a lovely graphic that showcases all the best independent coffee shops. For those that feel a little bit more spicy than a Costa, Nero, or Starbucks. There’s something about the independents that is fabulous. The inconsistent tables, the local waiters, and the foam hearts on your coffee. I’ve been to at least 10 of these coffee shops, but my all around favourite is The Oval Lounge… Why you might ask? Because I lived around the corner from the cafe on Palfrey Place. That independent coffee shop has sentimental value: I would pass it on my way to school, my flatmates and I would have sunday brunch, and they had Eggs Florentine for a Tuesday afternoon work session on one of their wooden tables.

It’s create to explore the city and look for coffee shops, but ultimately, it’s the ones nearest to you that make the biggest impact. They have convenience, consistency, sentimental value, and a “this is mine” feeling. Those small coffee shops that only fit the locals may not be a part of multi-national corporations that are changing the global business landscape, but the small ones change my Sundays and Tuesdays. Make no mistake, the local business make a BIG difference in people’s day to day life. And I for one, thank them… especially for the foam hearts.