Category Archives: coffee

Istanbul in an Instant

For my birthday, Kemey and I spent a long weekend in Istanbul. Yes indeed, ya gotta do the Blue Mosque/Hagia Sophia/Basilica Cistern/Topkapi Palace/Grand Bazaar shuffle when you’re there, but there’s so much more to see and do in this massive and dynamic city. Here are just a few of the “other” highlights from our trip. Continue reading

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A Great Lunch in Italy with Coffee as Good as I Get Back Home (espressoCrazy)

Towards the end of 2013, I hit the road for a gourmand adventure across the north of Italy. One of the trip’s many highlights was the day I spent in Modena taking in the sights and sounds … and delectable … Continue reading

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Souli: Friendly Marylebone Takeaway with a Fine Dining Focus

Open now for a couple of months, Souli is a small and attractive takeaway in the heart of Marylebone. I had an exceptionally satisfying lunch there about a week back, finished up by one of of the best espressos I’ve had in London this year. According to affable owner, Hella Souli, the concept behind her eponymous eatery is to offer “high end restaurant quality” food in an efficient and friendly cafe setting – fine takeaway if you will. Continue reading

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Coffee Break with the “Whatleydude” (espressoCrazy)

EspressoCrazy’s Blogger in Residence Chris Osburn takes a break with James Whatley to talk blogging, the relative meaning of ‘happy’ and, of course, coffee. James Whatley – known to his 10,000+ Twitter followers as @Whatleydude – is a prolific polymath dabbling in the social, … Continue reading

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Dixie Detours: Laissez les Bon Temps Rouler!

Happy Mardi Gras! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my Dixie Detours miniseries featuring the highlights from my recent trip to Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana and Florida along with suggestions for planning your own sojourn to the Deep South. Continue reading

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Dixie Detours: Miami in a Minute

The final stop of our Dixie Detours visit to the US was Miami, where an overnight layover afforded Kemey and me the chance to check in on some friends who had recently moved there – big thanks to Tanya and Francesco for being such fantastic hosts and showing us around so much of your fine town – while soaking up some south Florida sunshine before heading back to Blighty. Continue reading

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Dixie Detours: Chattanooga, Choo Choo City

Chattanooga is my old teenage stomping ground. Since I’ve moved away, every year or two when I’ve managed to make it back for a visit (usually around Christmastime), the area always seemed to have gotten better than I remembered it being. Same holds true this time round. Continue reading

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Dixie Detours: NOLA!

New Orleans is a sultry dream. I can’t imagine anywhere else in America that’s even half as beguiling or idiosyncratic. Probably the most dynamic city in the US, it is without doubt the most spontaneous and freewheeling. When I think about other destinations across the planet that offer experiences comparable to what I’ve happened upon in NOLA, I find myself coming up with a list of my absolute favourites places. Put simply, NOLA rocks (it shucks, jives, slides, saunters, shimmies and rolls too). Continue reading

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Coffee Break with Urban Pixxels (espressoCrazy)

EspressoCrazy’s Blogger in Residence Chris Osburn takes a break with a fellow blogger and foodie Jacintha Verdegaal to talk coffee and other matters. Jacintha Verdegaal is a Dutch expat living in London. Her blog, Urban Pixxels, is an account of her … Continue reading

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5 Great Cafes Near London’s Oxford Circus (CheapOair)

Yes, it’s invariable that I will leave at least a couple of great cafes off this list in my pursuit to share a few ideal places to have a quality coffee while keeping within striking distance of all on offer … Continue reading

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Recipe: Quick and Easy Tiramisu (espressoCrazy)

Here’s a super easy recipe for tiramisu. All in all it took me maybe 20 minutes to whip up. There’s no actual cooking or baking involved as long as you don’t mind using store bought wafer (I opted for ‘trifle … Continue reading

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La Giaconda Café Bar Restaurant on Denmark Street

Following a major refurbishment, Denmark Street’s landmark rock ‘n roll restaurant, La Giaconda Café Bar Restaurant brings together a quality caff experience and a fine dining options in the heart of Soho. Continue reading

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Alma de Cuba – Cuban Coffee Delivered to Your Door

Once the undisputed king of caffé , the status and availability of Cuban coffee has steadily waned over the past half century – just as demand for coffee has continued to expand. Enter: Alma de Cuba, on a mission to “restore Cuban coffee – once the world’s favourite – back to its rightful position”. Revolutionary or just revolting? Here’s my take on this Caribbean cuppa joe. Continue reading

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Win a Seven Dials Shopping Spree Worth £100 + Dinner for Two at Flesh & Buns

Wanna shop like a chic Brit and chow down like a Japanese rock star in one of London’s most stylish and centrally situated locations? And all for FREE?!? Check it out – I’ve got a £100 Seven Dials gift card plus dinner for two at Flesh & Buns to share with one lucky reader. Keep reading for your chance to win. Continue reading

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illy Regent Street

I don’t know about you and your line of work but as for me and mine, I run around all over town all day long. Often I find I’ve got time to kill between meetings and events. Sometimes it’s just 20 minutes, other times it might be a couple of hours. And just because I have time to kill doesn’t mean I have time to dawdle. I need to get in somewhere fast and park it during such spare moments – where I can tackle my inbox, draft my next blog post, maybe grab a bite to eat and (most importantly) have a cup of coffee. With the recently opened illy Regent Street, being able to do all this stuff in a seriously stylish and comfortable setting just became a real option for me. Continue reading

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Turin: City of Foodie Firsts (CheapOair)

Turin is a city of firsts in many ways. The northern Italian city is home to the country’s first official capital. It’s the birthplace of the Fiat automobile and is essentially the go-to scene for contemporary art in Italy today. And … Continue reading

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Win New Chocolaty Treats from Mars, Galaxy, Maltesers and Milky Way

Fancy receiving a bundle of latest addition goodies from the Mars and Galaxy range? Keep reading for your chance to win a free assortment of thick shakes, squeezy spreads, hot chocolate and mocha lattes. Continue reading

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10 Reasons to Eat and Drink at London’s Seven Dials (CheapOair)

Seven Dials is a small but popular area of Central London near Covent Garden where seven streets converge at one junction. The area is conveniently located near a number of Tube stations including Covent Garden, Leicester Square and Holborn which … Continue reading

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Tasty Tales from the Italian Ham Highway: Arrivederci and Grazie Mille!

Over the past several days I’ve been sharing highlights from my recent Ham Highway adventure across northern Italy in a special 14-part miniseries. The series features entries about the following destinations – Forni di Sopra, Sauris, San Daniele, Udine, Collio Goriziano, Trento, Torino, Parma, Modena, Nonantola, and Bologna – along with tips and suggestions to help you plan your own delectable Italian itinerary. Continue reading

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Tasty Tales from the Italian Ham Highway: Modena: Fast Cars and Slow Food

For a town with a population of fewer than 200,000 people, the list of icons associated with Modena is impressive. Pavarotti, Ferrari, Maserati, Balsamico, tortellini … whatever floats your proverbial boat, odds are you’ve been inspired by someone or something Modenese at some point in your life. Continue reading

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Tasty Tales from the Italian Ham Highway: Torino Unshrouded

Initially pursuing an opportunity to visit Torino (perhaps better known to some of my readers by its anglicized name, Turin) was what eventually led to me coming up with my the full blown “Ham Highway” itinerary. The city was (and I assume still is) keen to have bloggers visit to write about the city. There was a chocolate festival scheduled for when I knew I would be able to go, and I was pretty sure I could get a commission to write about it. The more I looked into Torino, the more I of a hunch I had that it would be the sort of “content rich” place that I’d enjoy checking out. Continue reading

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Barista Skills (espressoCrazy) #illyschool

Recently, I helped organise and host an intimate coffee tasting and training session for a select group of London bloggers. Leading the event was Marco Arrigo – Head of Quality for illy Coffee in the UK – who provided our guests with a hands-on chance to hone their skills making perfect espresso-based drinks, along with a fun and informative ‘beans to cup’ lesson about the history and chemistry of coffee. Marco has trained hundreds of baristas throughout the UK. His course usually takes three days, but he crafted this this one to be a three-hour crash course session especially for bloggers. Continue reading

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Exploring the Possibilities with espressoCrazy’s Ultimate illy Mixed Case (Espresso Crazy)

Recently, I’ve been sipping my way through illy’s Ultimate Mixed Case of iperEspresso capsules. With a mix of five different iperEspresso capsules, giving the Mixed Case a try is great way to sample the illy capsule range and find out which ones are best for you. Continue reading

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Spotlight on illy SustainArt Prize Winner: Adan Vallencillo (Espresso Crazy)

Honduran artist and recipient of the 2013 illy SustainArt Prize, Adan Vallencillo, has arrived in Venice to commence his three-month residency with the Bevilacqua La Masa Foundation. Continue reading

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Festive Season Ideas for Coffee Gifts and Entertaining (Espresso Crazy)

The festive season will be here before we know it. And if you’re like me, coffee is going to play an even more important part of life than usual over the coming weeks. Whether downing a much needed boost of caffeine during an exhausting round of shopping, capping off a fantastically filling roast dinner with a shot of espresso or leisurely sipping a moreish mocha while admiring twinkling lights on a Christmas tree, coffee is going to help me cope with my hectic schedule, celebrate the important moments with my family and friends, and relax as the final days of the year wind down. Continue reading

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Win a Free Christmas Hamper Worth up to £200 from Hampergifts.co.uk

Tis the season or – at least – tis gonna be here soon! Are you ready for Christmas 2013? Here’s an opportunity to spread a little Christmas cheer and treat yourself to a bit of Yuletide yumminess or share a lovely gift with someone special. I’ve teamed up with Hampergifts.co.uk to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a Christmas hamper worth up to £200 in value. The competition runs this week only. Best of luck with the comp and with all your festive season shopping! Continue reading

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Breakfast at Aqua Shard

Yes of course, the view is the main draw at Aqua Shard, but don’t let that get in the way of enjoying the food and stylish setting. I recently had breakfast there and left feeling nearly as pleased with my full English as I was with this upscale restaurant’s full-on vistas. For a (high) rise ‘n shine that towers over the competition, the newly introduced breakfast menu at Aqua Shard is tops. Continue reading

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Check Out Spianata & Co for a Tasty Lunch with Roman Style

Last week I had a fantastic lunch at Spianata & Co. The Roman bakery and paninoteca has been in London for a number of years, but I’m just now getting wise to its tasty range of freshly made sandwiches, pizza rossa and more. Continue reading

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All Day Soho Dining at Damson & Co on Brewer Street

Two current trends in the London dining scene at the moment are creating all-day-dining menus and adding a gratuitous “& Co” to the end of your business’s name. Newly opened Damson & Co twirls a double braid of zeitgeist to offer the constant flow of Soho shufflers a handy little place for a full-on dinner or a dabbling dash with libation – be it booze, fresh juice or quick shot of espresso. Continue reading

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Tilia: Online Home Delivery Service of Artisan Food and Drink. Try it and Love it!

Tilia is a new online home delivery service connecting Londoners with local suppliers of artisan food and drink. At the moment, it’s a London only thing, but there are plans for rapid nationwide expansion. I recently gave Tilia a twirl. Completely impressed, I loved everything aspect of my experience. Indeed, I’m keen to try the service again (and again!) and can wholeheartedly recommend it as an incredibly convenient way to get top quality grub to your table. Continue reading

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Win a Free Illy IperEspresso Coffee Machine

Quality Italian espresso at the press of a button in your own home? Oh yeah! I’ve got a nifty IperEspresso Coffee Machine from Illy up for grabs. Continue reading

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Breakfast at Tapas Brindisa London Bridge? ¡Muy Bien!

Tapas Brindisa London Bridge has updated its breakfast menu and the hours it’s available. The results are muy bien and the portions are very definition of muchísimo. Continue reading

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Good Stuff

Here’s a quick little list of good stuff I’ve recently come across and thought was worth sharing with you. Enjoy! Continue reading

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Carpo: Great Greek Snacks at Piccadilly Circus

Carpo, an emporium and cafe offering a simple selection of “nuts, chocolate and coffee” (there’s dried fruit and a few other products as well) has recently opened near Piccadilly Circus. So what? So … fantastically flavoursome pistachios, delectable honey with a hint of thyme, exquisitely juicy candied mandarins, figs covered in chocolate that are worth dropping whatever you’re doing at this very moment to rush over for a taste of and a whole lot more – that’s what. Continue reading

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Breakfast at The Botanist, Sloane Square

As elegant as any casual dining establishment you’re apt to come across in upscale Chelsea and just a stone’s throw from Sloane Square Station, the Botanist is as smartly situated as London restaurants come. And with a newly introduced breakfast menu available all week, it’s now a smart place to start your day as well. Continue reading

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