Tag Archives: coffee

Edible Adventures in Berlin: Slayer Espresso, Kick-Ass Ramen, and Das Chicken Temptation

I hopped over to Berlin last week to do some work and found some amazing food experiences.  One of my favorite things about traveling – besides getting to see all the awesome people I know scattered around the world – is discovering interesting aspects about the way people eat in various cultures – where they buy groceries, how they purchase food and where it comes from, what the restaurant culture is like, what things people snack on – and getting to eat some of it myself.

I enjoy seeing different food innovations, like this shop called Kochhaus which sprung up on my friend Thom’s old block in the year since I last visited. Although I couldn’t read any of the signage, it’s a shop that encourages and educates on cooking and ingredients and how to put together a meal.  Inspiring ingredient and recipe displays are dotted around the open and airy shop with step-by-step instructions and visuals with each recipe.  I’m curious how the shop is doing and whether it’s getting more people cooking. Genius, I say.

I don’t read German, but I can decipher enough to know that  Tomato Bread Salad with Arugula and Passionfruit Vinaigrette sounds absolutely delicious, and I certainly wouldn’t turn down a Rinderfilet with Provencal Ratatouille and Thyme Polenta.  I’m sure Rinderfilet is excellent, whatever it is.

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Man cannot live on bread alone. Cake and bread, however…

Hey guys, remember the summer? Remember that one time where we all went over to Daniel’s house to make food for his birthday?  Man, that was like…four months and one day ago. What’s that?  You aren’t sure that happened?  You don’t think you were invited, or maybe your invitation was lost in the mail a la the sarcastic qualification under the “parties” section of the Gossip Girl website on the intro to the hit teen drama “Gossip Girl”?

Well fear not, for I have pictures and intend to pair them with descriptions of the evening so, cruel social exclusion notwithstanding, you can tell all of your friends that you attended.  You can watch as their eyes, usually half covered by australopithecine lids, focused on nothing in particular as though staring at a television displaying a (marginally) lower primate wearing a party hat, and arrhythmically clashing cymbals together, begin to fill with tears of envy.

You’re welcome.

Moving backwards through the evening we begin with this espresso-chocolate flourless torte.

Chocolate Espresso Torte

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hackney is famous (for coffee AND royal visits). plus, latte animal art!


i have had some truly fantastic coffee in london so far. favorites have been tina, we salute you and taste of bitter love, which apparently both source beans from square mile coffee. this place roasts beans in our postal code, E2. WHAT UP, HACKNEY!!

speaking of hackney pride, who else loves hackney? PRINCE CHARLES AND CAMILLA DO. my friends seth, becky, and i tried to go next door to frizzante at hackney city farms for coffee and breakfast today, but we got upstaged by a visit from the royal family. sheesh. we saw a dude in a suit and some serious gold bling around his neck walk into the cafe (like massive official medal style, not flavor flav style) and asked what was going on. the policemen in their funny hats wouldn’t tell us who exactly was there, but said all the hubbub was for a royal visit from someone who is very ‘new age.’ seth happened to know that the prince of wales is doing cool stuff with farming and slow food, which i’m excited to learn more about. then another cop didn’t actually ‘confirm’ that it was prince charles, but…sort of did. if this were the US we probably would have gotten our asses beat down by secret service already.  anyway, turned away from coffee on a farm with the prince, we went to bitter love instead and had an awesome warm and caramelly mascarpone apricot tart and drowned our sorrows in a perfect flat white.

in case you’re wondering where i learned about square mile and locally roasted coffee beans, it’s because i met GWILYM! yes, gwilym of world barista champion fame, who turns out to be a very nice man and not a white-robed resident of middle earth. oh and as if he couldn’t be more awesome, he lives on a boat. we chatted coffee and london for a while at his cart at the truly wonderful sunday columbia road flower market. more about that later. for now, you can just see in the top photo where i had a very good espresso on the left and a very good bacon butty on the right. talk about a one stop shop.

it’s time to leave the bar where we’ve been poaching free wi-fi (and i ate an awesome pork belly, crunchy black pudding and poached egg ‘salad’) but i’ll leave you with this awesome animal latte art since we’ve been talking coffee. i may be a huge nerd, but i was riveted for the whole 3 minutes and 51 seconds.

loooooove mei

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i salute you, tina, we salute you


hi irene bean, and anyone else. life is full of moving/business/new country insanity, which is compounded by the lack of reliable interwebs. chris and i are willing to sell our souls (or each other on the street corner) for fast internet access, which basically means that we hop around londontown all day looking for restaurants with free wi-fi.

happily, we’ve discovered some gems around our dalston neighborhood, namely the delightfully quirky and oddly named coffee/pastry/sandwich shop tina, we salute you. last week i went five times, and would have been there a sixth day except they’re closed on mondays, so we were left standing outside in the rain, staring forlornly at the empty pastry case.

anyway, this daily attendance means that i’ve tried a good half of the menu there. they’ve got delicious coffee, locally roasted in the East End somewhere.  my usual drink is the excellent flat white (my new favorite discovery since getting to London), which is like a latte but with less frothy milk so you get more coffee flavor. it also usually has very pretty designs in the top.


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the taste of bitter love is creamy, sweet, and delicious

sometimes i make no sense, but sometimes i do.  my not-literally-but-for-all-intents-and-purposes siamese twin chris and i stumbled upon what might be the most adorable coffee shop on the planet a few days ago while house hunting in hackney in east london. it’s called ‘the taste of bitter love‘ and it’s a tiny little storefront with just a few tables inside and out on the sidewalk. their sign proclaims ‘really really good food and coffee’ so obviously we had to stop and test the veracity of this bold statement.


verdict: true. i swear to you i am not exaggerating when i say that this is one of the best iced coffees i have ever had. i realize i am quite prone to hyperbole, but seriously, it was fantastic. rich, creamy, frothy, sweet but not cloyingly so, it was an iced coffee to rule all other iced coffees. the only bad thing about this coffee was that it was so good that i wanted more. please sir, may i have some more?

to minimize my already unnecessarily high caffeine intake for the morning, i settled for a delicious veggie sandwich instead. grilled eggplant, squash, sundried tomatoes, zucchini, fresh spinach, goat cheese, and a thick slab of brie on a hefty chunk of focaccia.  you can eat these beauties fresh or have them grilled on a panini press while you wait, giving the bread a nice crunchy exterior.


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Gimme Coffee Gives Me Coffee

For my first real post on our blog, I’m going to pay homage to the amazing Gimme! Coffee company, originally from Ithaca, where I’m in school, and now in Brooklyn and Manhattan as well. When I arrived in Ithaca in the fall, my barista-extraordinaire boyfriend Daniel, a former employee of Gimme’s Farmer’s Market station, politely made it very clear to me that I wasn’t going to be drinking just any ol’ cup of coffee anymore, at least not on his watch. I’m terribly grateful that he’s brought me into the magical Gimme world. Here are some reasons why (and some photos from mei from our nyc gimme! stop).


mei’s macchiato of love

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