Tuesday 8 November 2011


I think it's about time I wrote about one of my most beloved beverages: coffee. Contrary to popular belief, coffee is quite beneficial to your health. Among other things, coffee can increase your alertness, is rich in antioxidants, which prevents high blood pressure and pre-mature aging and, according to a study done by Harvard Medical School, regular coffee drinkers are 50% less likely to suffer from certain types of cancer!! (Oh and by the way, I'm not a qualified medical professional so don't take any of the above statements as gospel, I just read them online! So I take no responsibility for any coffee-related health issues!)

The history of coffee goes at least as far back as the 13th century. It is believed that the Ethiopian ancestors of today's Oromo people were the first to discover the energising effect of the coffee plant. From Ethiopia, coffee was said to have spread to Egypt and Yemen. By the 16th century, it had reached the rest of the Middle East, Persia, Turkey and North Africa. Coffee then spread to Italy and to the rest of Europe, to Indonesia and to the Americas.

Well, enough about history! Where do you source the grounds for your morning 'cup o' Joe'? I stumbled upon a wonderful little establishment as I was walking around Cork city, one day. It's called 'Little Buddha', it's located at:
 21 Mc Curtain Street,
Cork City,

They have a huge selection of coffee beans ( as well as premium blended tea leaves, among many other items.) ranging from Columbia and Nepal to Peru and Ethiopia. On top of this selection, they have flavoured coffees, including 'Baileys' flavour, 'Belgian Praline', 'Hawaiian Nut' and 'Hazelnut'. The woman who runs this establishment is also very helpful. 100g of ground or whole bean coffee will cost you, on average, €4.00 but it is definitely worth it! 
I recently bought 100g of 'Vesuvius', a full-bodied, aromatic, strong coffee and 50g of 'Panama', grown in Panama itself, this fruity, slightly tangy coffee is a great choice fr those not too keen on the stronger blends. Starbucks House Blend is a blend I really like as well. Very flavoursome. It's available in any good Tesco.

Now onto the drinks themselves. My favourites are the classic black or 'Americano' coffee and a good, strong espresso. 
I make my Americano in a French press, which works pretty well, I think. I enjoy my espresso after a meal. On top of tasting great, it also aids your digestion. I invested in a stainless steel , Bialetti, two-cup, espresso maker last summer. One of the best investments I ever made! It works like a dream and produces excellent espresso. I use Simon LĂ©velt, Roma, but I've almost run out now. Segafredo is a brand I enjoy too. Anyone ver heard of 'Badger & Dodo'? They're an Irish coffee roasting company, whose espresso blend smells amazing from the bag (I haven't actually bought any yet!).
I have tried making lattes lately. A double espresso mixed with heated frothed milk, which I froth in the French press, is a nice change from your ordinary espresso.

That's about all I have to say on that matter for the moment! If you know any good coffee brands or small, unique roasting companies like 'Badger & Dodo', I'd love to hear about them. Also if you know any variations of lattes, espresso recipes or other coffee-based drinks, leave a comment below and I'll be sure to try it out!
Until next time,
Happy coffee drinking!