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Category Archives: Latte Art lovers

Become a Barista with BSA!

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In conjunction with City and Guilds, the Beverage Standards Association is providing a 20 hour course in Barista training!

Participants from all backgrounds are able to take part in a course of training to become a barista at any café, although some experience with espresso based drinks is beneficial, but not essential.

What exactly then does this course cover? Well, it has a focus on coffee, of course, in particular espresso, while incorporating fresh filter coffee, tea, chocolate, juices and smoothies. There are four main areas of learning that the course will be covering which are:

  • The background to the raw materials
  • How to produce a wide range of drinks
  • The operation and care of the machines & maintenance
  • Providing customer service

This can all be done within the minimum time of 20 hours in a classroom setting which includes a workplace practice, practical and written assessments, it usually takes three days.

A beverage trainer and City and Guilds advocate, Stuart Lee Archer, has called the project “An Essential. It will take you from novice to be able to run the front of house in any coffee shop” and “The foundation of product knowledge in areas of Coffee, Tea, Chocolate and Smooothies”. Meaning that this project has the backing of an official trainer, and should come with all the skills and knowledge needed to run the front of shop for the desired café.

The course is bound to attract a mixed audience of baristas looking to further their training, people looking to open their own coffee shop and others who simply want a foot in the door of the café industry, but lack the experience or know how prior to taking the course.­

The Beverage Standards Association first began this training course as part of their goal to improve industry standards and to give people the chance to get involved in a rather specialised industry that requires an expert knowledge and experience. This in turn gives Café Customers a much better experience with more skilled baristas who know what they are doing from the word go.

The course has already proven a success with fourteen of its candidates, who are now fully  trained and equipped for the café industry (Fully BSA and City and Guilds approved).

Interested, Click Here to find out where your nearest training centre is and get yourself on the road to being a barista!

Coloured Cups The New Trend?

When it comes to cafés, every owner wants their own spin on it; what makes one café any better at presenting the same drink done in the same way? The cup has a lot to do with it, we have found

We’ve always said that to serve the perfect coffee you need the perfect coffee cup, and of course that is down to each café to define; one thing we have noticed though, is that our colour glazed cups are in high demand!

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With a rise in stepping away from traditional coffee shops in the last few years, we find that lots of artisan coffee roasters and cafés are interested in making their own mark and doing something “a bit different” from the usual white Italian style cup and saucer that has come to be the standard, smaller Italian style cup and saucer…Typically people want more for their money now more than ever, and with places such as Costa Coffee and Starbucks offering larger coffees at a competitive price, the smaller businesses and coffee shops have to step up their game a little bit and meet the market demand.

One thing that I have always noticed in Starbucks is the cup I’m drinking from, it is something unique about that particular coffee brand that you can’t get anywhere else, you look at their mug and instantly identify it as theirs. Okay, they have their logo embossed on those as they are specially made, but the message is there, whether or not it’s a conscious thing, we do identify a brand by the cup we drink from on some level.

That being said, it is easy  to see how and why ranges such as the Steelite Carnival and Craft ranges are becoming so popular; because each coffee shop wants to differentiate from the others in the same area, perhaps even the same stretch of shops, it has become something of a fashion statement to serve your coffee in something a little different

For example, walking into a rustic café you could expect to possibly see Steelite Craft, designed to have all of the appeal of old fashioned, hand-made rustic crockery but with all the durability of hotel standard items, these are used primarily because they look great when suited to the correct kind of shop, and can really help set the mood, especially when you go for a mix of colours across all the different colour varieties.

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Walking into a more modern café, who’s branding has a very distinct colour scheme, or if it is just generally bright, you may find that they use something like the Luna Blue or Steelite Carnival ranges (Sapphire, Sunflower and Fern), or possibly Enrica Red. They may even mix and match these vibrant sets of items. These items are all right on trend and look fantastic!

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The artisan cafes tend to stick to tradition, or go for the more sophisticated black or grey colour glazed items, simply because darker colours give of a feeling of sophistication, class and style. Latte art in an Ena or Enrica Black item looks fantastic because of the coloured glazing on the outside and the white on the inside. Our newest coloured range is the Mocca Grey items, which follow a similar style, with a gunmetal grey finish.

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So if you’re looking to stand out from the crowd, get ahead on the trend and serve the perfect coffee, head over to our colour glazed cups section or give us a call and ask about our coloured items!

 

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Caffe Culture 2014 in Review

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Once again we hit the road this year and got ourselves to Caffe Culture; a two day event at the London Olympia showcasing innovative products, great coffee, artisan roasters & more. We were at stand A16 advertising our new show offer. For us, once again it was a success!

 “Judging by the number of people we spoke to on the stand, the show was a success. We were surprised how many new coffee shop owners we spoke to – 40% off all the people who left their details at the stand were at the show to find suppliers for their new coffee shop. Hopefully this is a sign that the market is buoyant.” – Simon Martin, Director

We spoke to both new and existing customers about their cafes and tableware, and the new cafes took a special interest in our bespoke crockery pack, complete with logos and enough items to run a 24 seat café.

Now in its 9th year, it still remains the sole event in the UK entirely dedicated to the café industry for showcasing important ideas and products for new & established cafes. The seminar sessions help suppliers and owners learn more about what’s on show as well as ideas for boosting output alongside profit.

 

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There were a lot of well-known coffee shops and distributors at the event such as Black Circle Coffee, La Cimbali UK and Lotus Bakeries along with coffee suppliers and many other businesses in the café industry

Our main objective this year was to focus on new business, trying to attract as many new cafes as we could; our show bundle, which was a bespoke crockery pack, boasted  cups, saucers, plates, bowls in lots of sizes, with enough tableware to serve a 24 seat café for the low price of £395 (ex.vat). The pack also included decorating your items with one or two coloured logos and delivery: the perfect set for a new café!

This year’s event managed to dedicate a decent amount of time to an emerging trend: lots of artisan cafes and eateries were on the show floor presenting their products. This year, however there is an emphasis on street food; with many artisan cafes choosing to serve their food from roadside with a dedicated seminar all about street food.

“The show seems to have changed slightly over the last few years which a greater percentage of exhibitors taking small stands to promote niche products. The number of large, mainstream suppliers in attendance has decreased. This has given the visitors more choice of new suppliers across a wider range of products, and reflects the increased variety of food and drink sold by coffee shops in the last few years” – Simon

The artisan coffee roasters were out in full force also, producing unique blends and latte art to match, baristas from all over descended on the Olympia to show off their talent for making the perfect coffee, and no doubt would have shown a great interest in all of the coffee machines on display; a must see for baristas attending!

There were also lots of seminars focusing on current drink trends in cafes; giving cafes old and new something to watch out for & to catch right on trend as well as tips of the industry such as how to build and maintain a top class reputation, and why some cafes fail and, more importantly how to make sure yours doesn’t!

Overall, the event was a success, we managed to speak to plenty of new cafes and managed also to speak to some of our oldest customers about upgrading their older items. We feel confident in saying this year has gone well, and that we’ve certainly attracted plenty of new customers as well as having the chance to catch up with our long standing clients. We’ll certainly be back next time!

“Caffe Culture have stated that the number of visitors over the two days was similar to 2013 and that had been borne out by the number of people we spoke to. “- Simon

Did you attend Caffe Culture? Did we speak to you? Don’t worry, if you didn’t get chance to come see us; there’s a lot to do and see in such a short time, and we’re just as  happy to take your call at our office & deal with any questions or enquiries you may have. New Café? As about our starter bundle, our dedicated sales team can help you get the right quantities for your café!

“We will be back in 2015. Caffe Culture is the perfect show for us because it gives us the chance to speak directly to coffee shop owners in large numbers – a great way to spend a couple of days!”­

Follow us on twitter for the latest news, updates and offers!

@coffeecupstweet

Coffee on the road; Cafes on the Yorkshire route of Tour de France!

Tour De france is in just under 70 days, and of course it will be coming through Yorkshire, even through our city of Sheffield! But what about the other places along the way? Where can you go for a coffee during the Tour De Franc

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One of the bigger places along the route is the old city of York, famous for many things including its magnificent Cathedral. While the contestants are cycling through, or if you’re in the area just visiting during the tour, you can grab a coffee directly on the route at Kafeneion in the (hopefully) nice weather

Kafeneion Café Bar is “a calming port of call from the bustling city centre” which boasts a superb cup of coffee and delicious cake and a range of fresh sandwiches or paninis. While on your way through you can unwind in the “luxurious” atmosphere created by the ambient music and couch seating

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The tour is definitely not short of historic places on its route, even stopping by Haworth, world famous for being the home of the Brontë sisters (& their museum) and the preserved heritage railway. While there you could stop by 10 the Coffee House or the Fleece Inn for a coffee, just off North Street.

10 the Coffee House has received plenty of great reviews for its afternoon tea and sandwiches that are freshly made and well presented. When looking at reviews the people suggest trying some of their rare varieties of coffee and their scones.

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Langsett Village, just outside of Sheffield boasts two great coffee outlets with a view. The Bank View Café overlooks the moorlands of Yorkshire; and is perfect for a drink in the summer; there are plenty of local activities and things to do and see.  Nearby you will also find the Waggon & Horses Inn, sitting on the edge of the Pennines, four miles from Penistone. Enjoy traditional home-made food and real ales by a wood fire while looking out onto the reservoir

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@BankViewCafe

Evidently the tour has been popular with the patrons of the Wagon, and they have a lot planned. Visiting that day? You can enjoy an independent film festival, a bike-themed makeover and even a brass band

So, whether you are cycling ahead of the race or taking a position road-side; there is no shortage of great coffee!

 

CoffeeCups at Caffe Culture 2014!

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It’s that time again and we here at coffeecups are preparing to hit the show floor at this year’s caffé culture exhibition on 14-15 May at the Olympia Exhibition Centre!

With top companies such as Lotus, Teapigs and many more attending, there’s plenty to see for those thinking about starting a café or those who already own one, looking to inject some life into their business, there will be plenty to do

Boasting an exclusive show offer and no minimum order, Coffeecups hopes to reach out to new and existing customers alike; you won’t want to miss us!

Taken from Caffé culture website

With around 5,000 trade visitors attending over two days to do business, the Caffè Culture Show is the UK’s café bar market’s main focal point of the year. Talented people who own and run independent coffee shops, cafes and restaurants across the UK as well as senior buyers with top-level purchasing authority from the high street chains, department stores, hotels and health clubs visit the show to see the latest products, gather new ideas, get expert advice on choosing the right products and make new contacts.


Exhibiting at the show is the most cost-effective way to reach your target audience and is the only café bar event in the UK dedicated to conducting business. “

There will be practical demos and free seminars to attend, including customer satisfaction, street food and reviews of trends for the year, which will be great for any new businesses.

 

With the new feature of street food at this year’s event, companies hope to attract cafes and restaurants to the streets selling their products due to the rising trend.

 

So if you’re heading down to London this year for caffe culture, why not pay us a visit at our stand? We’re located at stand A16, you won’t be able to miss us!

Beerspresso Machine To Begin a Coffee and Beer Trend?

It may be across the pond in Atlanta, but with the recent budget changes in the UK, the beerspresso machine of Taproom Café seems like a great idea! The Espresso machine has been gutted and repurposed into a 12-tap “Beerspresso” machine, it includes a glass rinser mounted into the drip tray plus three additional taps for chilled water, filtered water and sparkling water.

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The inventor, Jonathan Pascual is a seasoned barista who came up with the taproom café concept and launched a kickstarter for it, which blitzed the $15,000 goal in just a week!. More specifically, the plans for the café are to get each barista certified at the Counter Culture’s Atlanta Regional Training Centre, and all the beer will have a focus on local craft ales, also, they will be locally sourcing cake and sweets from local bakeries. The goal for all of this to be in motion is May.

It would appear that the coffee and beer trend has even caught on in America, with a few places opening in England hoping to do the same. The idea itself is simple, coffee and beer bring people together, but in different places, so why not combine the two?

The concept of coffee and beer/ale houses is not a new idea, however it has seen a recent turn in popularity, and it is still on the rise. It could be that we see more and more of these emerge as the trend catches on, potentially even big chains could get behind it, and why wouldn’t they if it’s a good idea?

This trend could see a rise in coffee and beer bars across the UK, especially with beer being slightly lower in price thanks to the new budget.

But will it work? Will the idea take off? Will coffee and beer cafés become something seen one every high street or just a passing trend?

 

London Coffee Festival Coming Soon!

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At the beginning of April, coffee retailers, suppliers and cafes will be gathering in London to partake in the London Coffee Festival as part of the UK Coffee Week! With many names such as Black Sheep, Costa, UE Coffee Roasters and even Starbucks in attendance

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The London Coffee Festival celebrates London’s bustling and vibrant coffee scene.   With over 20,000 visitors expected, The London Coffee Festival promises to be an unmissable event for discerning coffee lovers and those working in the coffee scene. “

In total there will be over 250 artisan coffee and gourmet stalls to visit, tastings and even demonstrations from some of the world’s finest baristas. Alongside this there will be workshops, coffee labs, “Coffee Based Cocktails”, Live DJs & Music, art exhibitions and some of London’s finest fashion designers; such as Milk & Sugar and food retailers from across the UK

“The Lab” will consist of programmes and live demonstrations such as coffee art and science, different brewing techniques and new tastes, with interactive workshops tackling ethical issues and tips for setting up your own coffee shop!

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“The Coffee Art Project” is an art competition with a coffee theme, with fundraising at heart it hopes to showcase the talent and skill of some well-known and up and coming artists; The aim is to capture the essence of coffee and the coffee shop experience. The artists are masterful in all kinds of craft ranging from Hand-Drawn design to videography. So far, over 80 artists are lined up for the event after its previous success.

The prize is £1500 with the chance to have the art appearing on Coffee By Tate for a year! The five shortlisted runners up will get £250 and the visitors are able to vote for their favourite piece.

“The World Coffee Tour” Presented by Union Coffee Roasters is a showcase of the finest coffees from around the world, showing their distinct flavours and the factors that cause this, Union will be giving live roasting demonstrations of different coffees throughout the weekend.

“The True Artisan Café” is a presentation from Europe’s best coffee shops and roasters, allowing people to sample the best bespoke coffees and cocktails, listen to some live DJ sets as well as learning how to make a professional coffee, best thing is it is all for charity! Raising more than £4000 for Project Waterfall!

 

“The Milk Bar” By Cravendale, also called the M.I.L.K BATTLE is taking place on Thursday and Friday, it will see baristas with a knack for latte art lock horns in a showdown until the Sunday final where one barista will be crowned victorious and will claim the prize of a trip to a coffee country of origin.

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“Poetry Café” is an even where visitors can share their favourite pieces of poetry and also budding poets are encouraged to submit their favourite words.

The event will also host the UK Barista Championships, where baristas will compete and demonstrate their skills and knowledge along with presentation and all round ability!

“The Science of Espresso” is presented by a team from L’Accademia di Cimbali, demonstrating that coffee can be just as geeky as science! The crew will be focusing on grinding, temperature, pressure and milk as the key elements of great coffee, their success at last year’s even has driven them to make this year’s show all about 100 years of excellence and the future of coffee.

There are two industry days being held on the 3rd and 4th April, with the public event being held on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday including an Espresso Martini Launch Party.

So are you heading down to London this April for the event? What are you looking forward to seeing? You can tweet us your pictures from the event @coffeecupstweet

You can find more info about the event here 

Or from their Twitter @LdnCoffeeFest 

 

Oscars Nominees In Latte Art!

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Leonardo Di’Cappuccino, anyone?


One very talented barista has recreated some of the lucky winners and nominees of the Oscars in the foam of a latte!

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Mike Breach, in a promotion with illy USA of York decided to pay tribute to the 2014 Oscar nominations by recreating some of the stars and films!

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With the increasing popularity of latte art, perhaps it will see a more permanent fixture as a staple part of the coffee shop experience, who knows, latte artists could be turning up at your local café should they become popular enough

Are there any talented baristas who try their hand at latte art at your local café? Tweet us a picture @Coffeecupstweet, let’s see some talented baristas at work!

 

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You can see more at his Tumblr account

A Must-Have for Coffee Lovers on Valentines Day!

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How many times have you heard “do you want to grab a coffee sometime?” or words of that nature in the movies at the start of a budding romance?

Going out on a coffee date has been a popular cliché in Hollywood for longer than any of us can remember, but isn’t just in the movies that this happens, no, you will, more often than not find couples in coffee shops chatting over a vanilla latte about their day or week, especially when the weather outside isn’t so pleasant.

February is creeping ever closer and when it comes, love is in the air; February 14th marks St Valentine’s day for those lucky couples who want to splash out and treat that special someone, it is also a day for new romances to begin

Here at Coffeecups and over at www.design-my-own.co.uk, we stock latte glass sets which always sell great at this time of year, as some people would rather get a coffee at home and have a romantic day in, and we can help with that with our decorated latte glasses!

Get your significant other’s name on the glass, maybe even a special message, some hearts maybe? Over at Design-My-Own we have plenty of pictures to choose from

So go ahead and make the special day that much more special with a latte for two set, the ideal romantic gift from coffeecups!

 

Drive-in Coffee Place for Cyclists

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There are a lot of drive-through places, but not many cater to cyclists. Sure, you can still go through the drive through on your bike, but it’s not the best experience in the world to be treated to the exhaust of other vehicles waiting in line – and some places expressly disallow cyclists at their drive-through’s.

With the goal of providing cyclists with a better coffee experience when they’re on the go, urban authorities in Zurich teamed up with a team of designers to set up the Velokafi.

The Velokafi is essentially a bike-through coffee drive-in that is dedicated to serving cyclists. The highlight is perhaps the wooden tables with slits for the bike wheel that lets people have their coffee without getting off of their bike. To compensate cyclists for getting the word out about the coffee shop, baristas hand out free cups of coffee to cyclists who check in to Velokafi on sites like Facebook and Twitter.

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The Velokafi is part of Zurich’s strategy to improve their transportation infrastructure by 2025. Looks like things are going pretty well so far.

Enticing, hey?

Perhaps this idea will catch on elsewhere and David Cameron will introduce this system in London?

We look with interest to see what else Zurich will come up with to reduce car use in the city.