About me

coffeeme So, erm, hello!

Thanks for having a look at my blog. I’m Annabel Townsend, and I started writing all this stuff as a kind of research journal for university during my PhD. I love writing and coffee, which kinda helps in my line of work!

The PhD is about the concepts of wastage and quality in the speciality coffee industry. I started October 2007, and it’s been a very steep learning curve to say the least! My posts are on here vary from frustrated rants about life as a grad student, to mini essays waffling about whatever I happen to have been reading at uni. I am by no means an expert on any of these topics, and as such, I welcome any comments and feedback, and I’d love to hear from any coffee-industry types who could help me out here!

My PhD was at the University of Sheffield, UK. When not buried under small mountains of academic journals, I am usually found in a coffee shop somewhere. I am generally in a state of nearly-manic caffeine-related dehydration and whereas I may sound coffee-obsessed, I do have other interests, honest! I write all the time, fiction and non-fiction, I do Kendo, I also cook incessantly and love learning about different exotic cuisine from around the world. I love to travel and go backpacking whenever I get the opportunity. I’m also a bit of a goth, I have a keen interest in vampirism (the subject of my MA research, in fact) and collect corsets and giant boots.

I’ve worked as a barista for a few years and also as a chef in a cafe. My ambition is to open my own cafe, hopefully in Vancouver, called ‘Dr Coffee’s’ of course!

If you want to get in touch, please just leave me comments on here! I will probably get back to you unnervingly quickly. Meanwhile, grab yourself an espresso and enjoy!

Visit Barista Exchange

My profile on Mendeley


11 responses to “About me

  1. wanderingjustin

    March 18, 2009 at 2:25 am

    Hi, Annabel. I just ran across your blog today. I really enjoy it! I hope Costa Rica starts treating you a bit better … and that you serve some good gallo pinto when you open Dr. Coffee in Vancouver!

  2. Pat Beales

    August 9, 2009 at 11:31 am

    R U on the move?

    • drcoffee

      August 9, 2009 at 10:02 pm

      yes, we were! Great to meet you today.

  3. Jay Mairena

    September 18, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    Question; what exactly are Nicaraguans, supposed to look like? You stated that the gentleman and the child pictured in the Presto coffee label don’t look Nicaraguan. It is so funny someone educated and with a PHD would make such a comment. Is it cause they are lighter skin? I am dark skinned and was born in the Atlantic coast of Nicaragua. My wife on the other hand was born in Managua and her family is very fair skin, we call them white here in the great US. That gentleman in the picture resembles her grandfather, lol! Well, I gotta get back to work and sip my delicious Presto in the gold bag. I laugh when I see all those Starbucks addicts waiting in line for their overprice cup.

  4. Vitalife Matcha Green Tea

    December 16, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    Hi Annabel,

    We spoke briefly on Twitter the other day – just reading up a bit more on what it is you and your business does.

    You’re very inspirational, taking on the challenge of studying a PhD, running a business, AND being a mother.

    Keep going with it all and I’m sure you will realise your dream of opening your coffee shop in Vancouver.

    Great blog, and I wish you all the best with your business.


    • drcoffee

      December 17, 2010 at 12:12 pm

      Thanks for reading and your kind words! This blog does need updating quite a bit! The move to Vancouver would still be wonderful but with baby Miranda and now the new cafe here in Darlington, I don’t think it is going to happen any time soon!
      Sorry if I was a bit disparaging about the Matcha too. I do LOVE green tea, it’s about the only thing I drink when I can’t get coffee. I am just quite cynical about all the health claims – there is a blog post on here somewhere about Nescafe Green Blend, where they are blatently cashing in on the “green=healthy, anti-oxidents sound fashionable” idea and flogging people raw coffee which has absolutely no health benefits whatsoever! My philosophy is, if it tastes good, drink it. If it happens to be good for you too, then even better!
      Where abouts is your company based?

  5. Lisa

    January 24, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    Hello, I was just researching Caffe Nero because I have an interview tomorrow to be a barista. And I came across your blog, which I find super interesting. I don’t know how you do it, but you turned all those info from your research into a story and I ended up reading most of your posts tagged under Caffe Nero.

    All the best for your Doctor Coffee’s Cafe =D

  6. so

    April 15, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    About Gallo Pinto, I am completely agree with you, it would be not NIcas desayuno con café, también faltan huevos fritos, and quesillo de Nagarote o queso de Juigalpa.

    Oh, my Nicaragua, how I love you. Being European, I lived and worked in Nicaragua, I traveled so much because of my job. I know each corner of Nicaragua and I know its beautiful, open-heart, very kind and always-happy people who invite you for agua helada or some “vaso de jugo helado” or just hot cup of coffee, and rosqullas from Somoto. I wish back to Nicaragua and work, enjoying this Nicaraguan life style without stress. When I will retire, I am 100% sure it would be Nicaragua to warm my old bones but I am not old yet, I am young.

    • drcoffee

      April 16, 2011 at 3:26 pm

      Yo tambien, I miss mi gallo pinto (even though I was so sick of it when I was there eating it every day! I miss it when I get home!). I could so easily live in Nicaragua, I am aiming to bring my daughter out there as soon as I can.

  7. Dr. Evan Arkas

    September 26, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Hi Annabel,
    Can I have your comments about what is written in the attached website?

    Best Regards

    • drcoffee

      September 27, 2012 at 2:41 am

      Ooh! Interesting… I think this requires a full post of its own. I was just about to post a link to another coffee-health-benefit research paper I’ve found, so I’ll swop.
      Watch this space…


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