14 Apr 2011


As an awkward, emotionally repressed and all-round-dead-inside terminally single mid 20's woman I don't give much thought to marriage beyond 'who would be awesome dumb enough to get hitched to me for a green card?'

I guess back in the day not many women had the luxury of avoiding relationships at all costs and so they had to marry whatever dog-dick showed them interest and had the most money.

We all know women hate fun, too, so in ye olden days, even pre-prohibition, they tried to ban coffee. According to this article in the Guardian, the "Women's Petition Against Coffee of 1674 claimed all-male coffee houses were responsible for "a very sensible Decay of that Old English Vigour..." by promoting "the excessive use of that Newfangled, Abominable, Heathenish liquor called Coffee, which . . . has so Eunucht our Husbands and Crippled our more kind gallants they come from it with nothing moist but their snotty noses, nothing stiffe but their Joints..."

All this talk of eunuchs and moist noses has got me a bit flustered.

In addition to this, apparently Nietzsche didn't drink coffee. That bums me out, I am a big fan of his. However, considering he died of syphilis, his abstinence from the trve kvlt black magic bean obvs didn't do him much good. Voltaire apparently drank 60 cups a DAY. I call bullshit BUT I did once drink 12 shots of espresso in an evening while listening to the entire Burzum discography. I think I transcended this world for a little while and then my head exploded.

According to the dudes of the time, coffee "makes the erection more Vigorous, the Ejaculation more full, adds spiritualescency to the Sperme". Awesome. If I ever have a boyfriend again (LOL) I'm gonna make sure he's Herbie Fully Loaded on that shit.

Lastly; "The appropriate analogy is that coffee and philosophy go together like foreplay and sex...you can have one without the other, but the latter is better with the former and the former often leads to the latter."

Frankly I'd be happy to get any combination of either side of that analogy but beggars can't be choosers so I'll stick with Foucault and a flat white.

10 Apr 2011

It's the little things.

It's been a rough few days what with one thing and another. I feel very lucky to be able to spend time with some extraordinary people who give me perspective on my own life. Unfortunately, it's difficult to see past your own problems and emotions sometimes.

This morning I did my first proper piece of foam art. It's nothing special but I feel like it's another step in terms of my potential barista skills.

Small achievements are very important.

Just to remind you that I am still a scummy little punk I did lick the residual foam out of the mug and milk jug; (a) no dignity (b) I am not wasting good Bonsoy! shit's expensive.

P.S I gave up on coffee week. Wouldn't you if faced with endless Costa coffee?

Small Batch Coffee Co.

I read about this place in the Food & Drink guide (whatever, we get it at work) and my boss said I should go try it out. Obviously I always do what I'm told so off I went on another little adventure to Hove.

This place is TINY. There's a coffee bar, window seating and some seats out front. Out back is the roastery, which was there long before they added the storefront. Not much to look at really and it's in a very residential neighborhood right by Hove station. As I was perusing the beans the owner came out to help me choose a bag. First he asked if I was Australian based on my accent - this is like, the 4th or 5th time an Australian has asked if I am Australian. I seriously don't get it. I know my accent is a little weird but really?
I digress. He was very friendly and helpful and we chatted a little about business and beans. I bought a flat white and didn't have enough cash so he let me off which was pretty cool of him.

The coffee was ok. I'd go back to try a black coffee to see what that's like. They used the cheap shitty soy milk which probably was what ruined it for me. I feel like I am on a personal crusade to educate people about soy milk. Is that or is that not one of the most pathetic things you have ever read? Do I care? Zero fucks given.

Gotta uphold the reputation of snobby, awkward, demanding vegans worldwide.

I've been brewing with the beans at home and they're pretty good! Chocolaty with a berry undertone. I don't wanna write this place off based on one mediocre coffee because supporting local businesses is important, especially in a town that's getting more and more generic.

I sat in the sun and enjoyed an article about teenage alcoholism, smug in my xvx bubble of irritating superiority.

8 Apr 2011

UKCW day #3

Shitty day. Don't care. I have no energy to put up pretenses. Sometimes I have to fill my time with pointless, directionless errands just so I don't sit at home listening to Unknown Pleasures in the dark like a total fucking cliche.

Had to go into work to sign off on something so I got an iced caramel soy latte from one of the participating stores. Tasted like sugar water. If I hadn't seen her add the espresso I'd swear it had never seen coffee.

Tried another proper latte at home inbetween mailorder and practicing chords.

It was good. Microfoam spoiled by that bubble. Drank it too quickly. I'd blame it for my insomnia but that would be unfair. Tonight I must rely on codeine and will-power...easier said than done. I am so tired of this bullshit but never quite tired enough to sleep.

Over and out.

5 Apr 2011

UKCW day #2

So I have to write this down now because I have an awful memory and currently my head is full of guitar chords and confusing political philosophy.

I was in London to see Cold Cave (dreamy) and decided to try out some places I hadn't had a chance to before I moved. First up was Prufrock at Leather Lane. Now, I have been a huge fan of Prufrock @ Present, even with their unpredictable stocking of soy milk. Which leads me to the beginning of my experience at the new shop...

"Can I have a flat white with soy please"
"We don't do soy milk"
"Oh, ok, I'll take a long black then, thanks!"
(server turns to barista: "one americano")
"Take a seat, we'll bring it over"

So I await my coffee, checking out the large if somewhat clinical interior.

"Here's your flat white"
"Actually I ordered a long black..."
"Well do you want to try it anyway?"
"...I don't drink milk..."

Ok so it's an easy mistake to make but there were no other customers waiting for a drink and "flat white" does not sound like "long black" OR "americano". Anyway, it's a small gripe, and honestly it was the best long black I have ever had. Fucking phenomenal. Wish I had stayed for another.

Next up was the convoluted Department of Coffee and Social Affairs. In terms of atmosphere, it was cheese to the chalk of Prufrock. My barista was very friendly and we talked about Taylor St in Brighton as well as our favorite places to get coffee locally. I ordered my usual soy flat white. They definitely used Bonsoy (yay) and it was the perfect size. I continued my pretentious note-taking in the comfort of the small, cosy back room.

Much to my chagrin, one cannot live off grapes and coffee alone and by this point I was feeling a little shaky. As I had been walking around the city for a while now I had to briefly collapse at a Cafe Nero (I know, I know) so I could eat my rice cakes and catfood chickpea pate. I got a soy latte with sugar-free vanilla syrup, It set my teeth on edge a little but also did the job of energizing me enough that I could face hitting the Topshop mothership in order to try on 6 pairs of Levis which I was absolutely not going to pay £90 for.

Last but not least on my small adventure was Notes, Music and Coffee which had been recommended to me by several fellow snobs. This place is niiiiiiice. It's pretty much in Theater district opposite the National Portrait Gallery. The interior is very pretty and there's a bunch of seating, fancy chandeliers, long and impressive bar laden with shiny La Marzocco's. They brew with Square Mile, they use Bonsoy, my barista was adorably weird and super friendly. I can safely say the soy flat white was an 8/10. Very good. Not spectacular but how often do you drink a 10/10 coffee? Atmosphere plays a big part for me anyway and I would absolutely say try this place if you're in the West End (which is a fucking awful part of London if you didn't already know that).

Then I went to Cold Cave and swooned for a good hour, gazing up at W.Eisold dressed in decidedly Marc Bolan attire and unashamedly singing every word to all the songs.

4 Apr 2011

UKCW day #1

I'm a control freak. It is one of the only ways I can function on a vaguely acceptable level in day-to-day life. I thrive on routine and ritual. Every week before my German lesson I get a junk food coffee to try and encourage my brain to work.

This week, the Costa I usually go to is a participant in UKCW. Now, I would never, ever drink a standard coffee from a chain like this. The reasoning behind the shot of syrup is that it masks the taste of sub-standard espresso. The end result is a tasty sugary treat that goes against my pretty strict diet but luckily is burned off at the gym.

This week it was a caramel latte. I won't lie. This shit tastes good, but only because it's like a liquid candy bar.

Later on I was craving a decent cup. I have a bad habit of making coffee at home at around 9 or 10pm. I actually think it has zero effect on how well or badly I sleep because my sleep cycle is so completely fucked anyway that exercise, caffeine etc make no difference. I'M JUST WRONG INSIDE.

Anyway I made a Bonsoy latte. Everyone knows how much I love Bonsoy. I'd yell it from a rooftop given half a chance. It's 2.79 a liter here, shit ain't cheap, but it lasts me almost a week.

My rudimentary foam art came out looking like a brain. I was amused because I am a simpleton.

UK coffee week.

"UK Coffee Week™ takes place from April 4-10 2011 and unites the coffee and food service industry to celebrate the success and vibrancy of the industry with British consumers while giving back to an extremely worthy cause.

A nationwide program of charitable collections, in-store activities and public events will raise funds for Project Waterfall. This charitable initiative will deliver clean water to impoverished communities in coffee-producing African countries.

100% of consumer donations made during UK Coffee Week will go directly to support Project Waterfall."

Cool! So I can go drink coffee, donate a few coins that would otherwise probably go in the trash because I have an irrational fear of small change and get the warm feeling of making a difference aka white middle-class guilt.

Only thing is, here are the places in Brighton which are participating.
Two independent coffee shops. Two. This is a town renowned for its independent businesses. Shame on you, Brighton. 

You have enough of the aforementioned white middle-class guilt to sink the fucking Titanic and 7 Costas and a fucking MARKS AND SPENCERS CAFE is all you can muster. I don't even...



3 Apr 2011

no no no no no to everything.

I believe I have touched upon my issues with highstreet coffee shops appropriating antipodean styles of making coffee and, inevitably, doing a piss-poor job of imitating what is an extremely specialized, skillful profession.

I try not to spend a lot of time in the town center because, frankly, it takes every ounce of my self-control to not yell obscenities at ever fucking imbecile that I come across. On the occasions that I do venture out of my cave of solitude I have noticed more and more of what I can politely refer to as 'false advertising' and more honestly refer to as MASSIVE LIES.

Costa and Starbucks also claim to serve flat whites and now Coffee Republic. Come on guys. I understand that you are corporate businesses willing to monopolize on any 'niche' you come across in order to appeal to your vapid, ignorant demographic but I can't even laugh at this shit anymore. It's just sad.

This one is good. I see it everywhere. Considering it's based on shit coffee to begin with then the odds to not work in favor of the end product of this visual falsehood.

 There's an advert running on tv currently and at one point it shows a clip of Jamie Oliver blubbering, crocodile-tears running down his overweight babies face as he complains that people aren't massively into him rolling into their business and saying 'you're shit, I can do this better'.It makes me so happy. For one small moment a wave of enormous joy overwhelms me and then it's gone. But when I close my eyes I can still see his pain.

If I could bring myself to go get coffee at his restaurant then I would be surprised to say the least if I was served a drink that looks like that. Luckily, I'd rather carve my own eyeballs out with an ice-cream scoop and eat them than step over the threshold of that place.

What's next, McDonalds? Actually, worse. I saved the best for last...

I was gonna write something witty and acerbic but I am too busy vomiting all over myself.

guilty of being...light...in calories...

My body hates sugar. Last time I ate chocolate I woke up with a hangover. It also makes me extremely hyper in a way that caffeine never has.

However, I have a guilty pleasure. I am having palpitations just looking at it. Sugar-free, carb-free liquid heaven. Be mine. Get inside me. This shit is bananas, my brain cannot comprehend how it exists and how awful it probably is for me and goes against my wholefoods diet but I simply give ZERO FUCKS.

If anyone wants to make me happy then direct your attention right about here. kthnx.

I got some sample-sizes including vanilla, caramel, hazelnut, gingerbread (hnnng) and cinnamon so I've been drinking lattes with a shot of one of those in it. I basically feel like I am on speed after I've ingested this awful deliciousness.

h8ers gon h8. So few things in life give me pleasure anymore and generally speaking I am a mega-snob about food/drink/clothes/people I spend time with so I allow myself a few slips. Candy coffee is one of them.

I drank this while listening to Nicki Minaj and browsing the Topshop webstore to remind myself that I do have female reproductive organs, despite them currently having absolutely no use.


Over the past month or so I have been working loads and been uncharacteristically busy. I love my job, I am very lucky to work for an independent, creative business with amazing people that I count among my good friends. Having a job again has basically saved me from completely descending into insanity and misery. I also love money so it's like, win-win.

When I am not there then I have mostly been sitting in my basement with the lights out listening to Merchandise and writing/assembling a project of mine.

What this has not left a lot of time for is coffee adventures. In addition, I suffer from chronic insomnia which is extremely frustrating so I thought I'd give a zero-caffeine approach. That lasted 2 days and I didn't sleep any better so concluded it was total bullshit and got off the wagon quicker than a hooker drops her panties.

Anyway enough about sex workers and my boring life. I have been practicing making long blacks. I am getting pretty good at it! I am currently using the Bonanza beans I bought in Berlin but they are almost out/stale. They do make a good black coffee.

The one above is a little...black. Now, I enjoy a monochrome life. I own one navy Fred Perry polo and that's the extent of color in my wardrobe. But a long black should have a crema like a good espresso. For anyone who is unfamiliar with this type of coffee, the technique involves pulling a double/ristretto shot over boiled water rather than the reverse (americano). I prefer them because the taste is stronger and they look nicer.

(I eat dried fruit. Whatever. I drink kale smoothies and think rice cakes are delicious, y u mad tho?)