Tag Archives: coffee

If you haven’t visited St. Ali, the new coffee shop that’s opened on the junction of Clerkenwell Road and St John Street….you should! I popped in on the way to work earlier this week and have developed a little bit of a crush on it! Gorgeous, old,  battered communal tables, a green wall, a magic coffee roasting machine standing up on a pedestal for all to see, very friendly attentive service and above all…bloody good coffee!

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26/05/2011 · 9:00 am

Coffee and walnut biscotti…

I’m a repeat biscotti offender (evidence here). However, I seem to be unable, or should I say unwilling, to make the same flavour more than once. So this time I pandered to my coffee infatuation and based on this recipe, made delicious coffee and walnut biscotti…

They have chocolate chips running through them and the inclusion of cinnamon and cloves adds a really good spicy twist that compliments the coffee perfectly.

To make them you need…

260g plain flour

200g granulated sugar

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground cloves

60ml espresso or strong coffee, cooled

1 tbsp milk

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

85g chocolate chips

100g walnuts

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.

Whisk the cooled coffee, milk, egg and vanilla extract together in a bowl.

In another bowl or in an electric mixer, if you’re lucky enough to have one, mix together the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt and spices until combined.

Gradually add the liquids to the dry ingredients and beat until a dough forms. Add the chopped nuts and chocolate chips halfway through. Bring the dough together with your hands. You will need to coat your hands with flour as the next bit could get a bit messy…divide the dough in half and on a lightly floured surface roll each half into a log shape about 10 inches long, 2 inches wide and about 1inch high. Put them on a baking sheet, lined with greaseproof paper. Make sure there’s space in between them (about 3 inches) as they will spread a bit during baking.

Put in the oven and bake for about 35 minutes or until firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and leave them to cool for about 10 minutes…

Turn the oven down to 150 degrees.

Put the biscotti logs on a chopping board and using a sharp knife, cut them diagonally into 3/4 inch slices like so…

(there may be crumbs…perfect opportunity for a first taste test!)

Lie the individual slices on their side on the baking sheet and put back in the oven for 5 minutes. Turn them over and bake for a final 5 minutes…

Remove them from the oven and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, they’ll store really well in an airtight container.

I have a word of warning for the impatient amongst you…do not underestimate how hot a chocolate chip straight out of the oven can be! heed my words…leave these to cool before attempting a taste! but then…enjoy!

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I finally got myself down to Foxcroft and Ginger on Berwick Street. Having just eaten an amazing brunch I forced myself to resist the delicious looking sandwiches, which they have piled up on the counter. On our 2nd round of (really good) flat whites made with Monmouth cofee, we could resist no longer and shared a piece of banana bread. I would go as far as saying…maybe the best banana bread I’ve ever had. So deliciously light and moist, served warm and sprinkled with cinnamon and icing sugar. Next time I visit I’ll go with an empty stomach!

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20/03/2011 · 11:40 am

Sunday Club at Tapped and Packed

The Christmas party season started early for me this year with a mulled wine fuelled weekend. But somehow on Sunday morning, powered by intrigue, me and my hangover managed to struggle out of bed, brave the icy chill and venture down to Tapped and Packed for the first ever ‘Sunday Club’. It was all a bit of a mystery to me but the concept of a club devoted to coffee appreciation really appealed…so I took the gamble and found myself involved in my first ever cafe lock in. I was ridiculously nervous on the approach but the shopfront shone out like a welcoming beacon. I knocked on the door, muttered ‘Sunday Club’ and was admitted into the cosy confines of the cafe at 26 Rathbone Place…

I made myself comfortable in a seat with a good view of the coffee preparation area but was still pretty unsure of what I was meant to be doing. My motto in situations like these…if in doubt talk random rubbish to the poor person sitting next to you, who on this occasion was a young gentleman barista from Fernandez and Wells. He was the font of all knowledge on all things coffee and has made me think I definitely need to schedule a trip down to their espresso bar in St Anne’s Court to sample their wares!

We waited for a few more stragglers to arrive and then the tasting kicked off…We were sampling the new ‘Jabberwocky’ blend from Has Bean Coffee, so named by Steve the owner who felt the words of his favourite Poem by Lewis Carroll described it perfectly, in particular…’the jaws that bite, the claws that catch’. He explains it in more depth on his ‘In my Mug’ video blog.

First off we were given three cups containing the three elements that make up the Jabberwocky blend as described on the menu above. Each one was accompanied by a small tasty morsel designed to compliment the particular tastes within each of the coffees…a raspberry filled with popping candy, an apricot bathed in peach schnapps and champagne sorbet sprinkled with a special orange zest and sugar powder…

It was very clever and totally delicious although I did find the peach scnapps slighty too reminiscent of my misspent youth 🙂

It was all very relaxed and there was plenty of time to take in the eclectic surroundings and chat with my fellow Sunday Club members…

We were given a palate cleanser of chilled coffee cherry tea and sparkling water…

Before finally sampling the complete Jabberwocky espresso…

It was a powerful, zingy, zesty, fresh coffee, just as Steve had descibed. I was amazing how well all of the elements worked together and how having sampled them separately, I could identify the different layers within it.

We got chatting to one of the owners of Tapped and Packed, Vic Frankowski, a very talented photographer as well as barista, who told us all about his recent trip to Costa Rica with Union Hand Roasted, visiting coffee farms and regaled us with his plans for future projects…his knowledge is astounding!

I’m a coffee lover but Sunday Club took coffee loving to a whole new level. The Tapped and Packed barista’s really know their stuff and are ready and willing to share it. Every month is set to be different as the Sunday Club format evolves. The next one’s taking place in January…I’m looking forward to it already!

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Pitch 42…

Yesterday in my lunch break I went on a long awaited pilgrimage to Whitecross Street Market especially to visit Pitch 42. I’ve read amazing things about this unassuming little market stall…

with it’s simple, unfussy menu…

and its cool quirkiness…

They serve Square Mile Coffee

and produce beautiful coffee…

I had a flat white, which was amazingly smooth, silky and delicious and everything I’d hoped it would be. I’d suggested the cortado to my friend who wanted ‘just a little coffee’, which is exactly what he got….

When the barista saw me taking photo’s he insisted on making an even prettier one and wowed me with his skills…

I’m so glad I finally got to see and experience Pitch 42 for myself. It may not be all singing and all dancing like some cafe’s around town but it’s for that exact reason that I liked it so much. They don’t need to hide behind a highly polished, over branded, super trendy shop front, their coffee and skills speak for themselves. I would highly recommend a visit. 

Oh…and while you’re there why not take the chance to sample some of the amazing delicacies on offer from one (or more) of the plethora of food stalls that make up the weekly food market on Thursdays and Fridays. I was lured towards a stall called ‘Lil Italy’ by their mouthwatering display of panini’s and chose the parma ham and scamorza (a smoked Italian cow’s milk cheese, similar to mozzarella) mmm…

My trip to Whitecross Street Market was the perfect treat to end my working week. I have a feeling I may become a regular…I just wish I worked a bit nearer so that I could pop to Pitch 42 on my way to the office in the morning.

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I’m armed and dangerous…a bag of Caravan’s freshly ground espresso blend coffee and my new Aeropress…I’m going to be so wired this weekend!

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08/10/2010 · 12:29 pm

A trip to the Haberdashery

I feel like I’ve been neglecting my blog a bit recently but I’ve been terribly busy sunning myself on the Dalamation coast in Croatia, eating amazing seafood, drinking copious amounts of strong Croatian coffee and doing a fantastic job of pickling my liver! It’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it!

I’ve only been back in London for a few days but have already been having brunch withdrawal symptoms. My friend Mark recently moved down the road to Crouch End and has been trying to coax me over the hill to visit him ever since. He finally succeeded by telling me about a cafe called The Haberdashery. I checked out their website and menu I didn’t need any more convincing…

The Haberdashery advertises itself as an eatery and coffee house that sells old vinyls. It’s a really cute place with a great atmosphere. It retains a really light and airy feel even though the walls and shelves are filled with cool little trinkets, crockery and original artwork.

There’s also a lovely garden out the back…

where we started our Haberdashery experience…on a picnic bench in a sunny corner soaking up the rays…

We arrived just as the breakfast menu was finishing and the daytime menu was starting. It was such a gorgeous sounding menu that it wasn’t any great hardship…

We started off by ordering coffee to assist us in our decision making…an americano for me with the milk served in a little tea pot..

and a bowl of flat white for Mark…

I ordered a salad of parma ham, grapefruit, avocado, toasted pinenuts and parmesan shavings on a bed of baby spinach leaves, which was served with a rustic olive bread pot…

If I’m honest, the main reason for choosing a salad wasn’t for it’s health benefits but for the accompanying rustic bread pot, which I’d spotted on entering the cafe and fallen in love with!…

Mark had the halloumi sandwich served with rocket and olive jam on rosemary bread…

The food was nothing short of amazing – so fresh and tasty! and although we were both pretty full we decided that it’d be rude not to sample a cake for pudding. We moved to a table inside the cafe for a change of scenery and to soak up the atmosphere and were faced with an array of very tempting cakes…

muffins and pastries…

and a very difficult decision to make.

We ordered another round of decision making coffees and after suffering a severe bout of bowl envy after our first round I ordered an americano in a bowl…

I thought I should put into context just how enormous this bowl of coffee was…

It required two handed lifting and actually sent me into a complete caffeine spin out, which was heightened by the sugar rush that we got from the yummy blackberry crumble cake that we eventually chose…

Everything about The Haberdashery was spot on, the food was amazing, the coffee excellent, it was the right amount of quirky without trying too hard and the staff were very friendly and accomodating!

I highly highly recommend a trip to The Haberdashery…get on your bikes and brave Crouch Hill…a real treat awaits!

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