Monthly Archives: September 2010

Where good ideas come from?

My dear friend Anna sent me the following today:

Interesting stuff, although he is not the first to say it by a long way! Namely ME, three blog posts ago, and of course, Markman Ellis and whoever else I was quoting at the time. Still, the social space(cafe) + sufficient catalyst(coffee) = Good Ideas is a timeless concept. This may be one for Jason Simon and his Caffeinated Conversations.
Unfortunately, the modern interpretation is ‘good ideas’ generated through people meeting and chatting on social media. They may be sitting in coffee shops while they are doing it, but the original ethos of the Penny Universities  in “Oxford, England” (always sounds so odd! As opposed to Oxford, Ohio, I guess, but surely it should be Oxford, UK?) and indeed, Jason’s ‘tap me on the shoulder if you want to chat’ t-shirt, has been lost. Worse still, we then get $tarbuck$ bringing this to it’s (il)logical conclusion:
Starbucks’ Schultz: Social Media Is Key to Building Brand Trust |


Plans are most definitely afoot for my own cafe, and aside from excellent coffee, we’ll have a very unique talking point.
I really hope this is a good idea!

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Posted by on September 23, 2010 in Uncategorized


New Mission

I recently got a lovely email from a guy called Jason, who runs this blog:
Caffeinated Conversations | Start with Hello

This is a fabulous idea. Coffee naturally fuels conversation, but I would love to live in a world where that catalyst is not required. We should all make the effort to strike up conversation whenever we can!  Many of my closest friends – and indeed, my husband, are all people I’ve met through chance meetings where I could just have easily passed by and not spoken to them, and thus bypassing the opportunity.

Coffee shops are great for this sort of thing, but nowadays, most coffee shops are filled with people sitting hunched over their laptops, using the in-shop wifi to tweet or update their facebook status or instant message each other. (“I love my computer, my friends live in it!”) Whereas I do enjoy social networking like this, especially at the moment when chances to actually go out are hampered by Small Daughter -nothing really replaces face to face contact with other human beings.

Therefore, I am officially making it my Mission to somehow meet this guy face to face. He is in the States, but I’m not sure if it’s California or Seattle. Given past experiences, the universe has a very strange habit of throwing people together when you least expect it, so I think this WILL happen, someday, especially if I don’t really try and don’t force it.

In the mean time, I urge everyone to actually talk to whoever is sitting next to you next time you are in a cafe. Do it. It’s fascinating.

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Posted by on September 16, 2010 in Uncategorized


An Anthropological Experiment: the Breastmilk Latte

It had to be done. In fact, friends have been suggesting it since I first got pregnant. I am currently breastfeeding Miranda and my taste for coffee finally returned post-pregnancy, so why not combine the two? Given the amount of espresso I consume, I’m fairly sure my milk is flavoured anyway…

I am intrigued by how a breastmilk latte would be received in general. I am not planning on selling them, don’t worry! Miranda would object! But, what do people think about the concept? Is it disgusting? Something you’d want to try? kinky even?

Personally I don’t see it as disgusting or anything remotely kinky – breastmilk is a wonderstuff and I am continually fascinated with what my body is capable of doing. This experiment is just an extention of that fascination and curiosity. Miranda is very keen on the stuff and I’d like to know what it tastes like and how it behaves

Making my latte was a little hampered by the fact that Miranda has been very hungry this morning and it therefore took me twenty minutes to manually express about 30ml of milk. Therefore, I decided to go for a breastmilk macchiatto instead.

The espresso was Costa Rican Tres Rios but I can’t make any claims about the quality of it because I was using my home espresso machine, which I know isn’t the best. If I can express any more milk at the weekend I’ll take it down to the Ape van and try it on my professional machine with my awesome Honduran coffee.

The little milk I managed to express was very thick, and frothed very well. It smelled very slightly like canned condensed milk when I heated it, but got up to the same temperature as cow’s milk does without burning or separating. It didn’t quite go as shiny as cow’s milk, but that could be my frothing technique and/or the relatively crap milk wand on that machine!

So, the end result? Pretty damn good. I can see why Miri likes it. Very rich, oddly sweet but perhaps a bit too strong a smell to be completely palatable, though it only smells of Babies. I think a full sized latte would be overwhelmingly sickly to be honest. I am not sure what I was expecting it to taste like – I know breastmilk is so full of goodness and essential vitamins and proteins and enzymes vital to Miranda’s growth and development that I half expected it to taste like a protein shake or some of those ghastly health food smoothies you get in Holland and Barratt or something. It was a relief to find it doesn’t.

Sadly not on sale for public consumption as I have a very exclusive market for it at home, but still, and interesting experiment!


Posted by on September 7, 2010 in Uncategorized


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