CAFE2U BLOG

Some Of The World’s Strangest Cafes

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Coffee drinkers can be an odd bunch of people sometimes (maybe there’s something in the coffee beans).

Indeed, the world is full of many wonderful and bizarre coffee shops, from those that charge patrons by the minute instead of per beverage to some that are rather dubiously themed around the Third Reich (it’s true!).

In light of this madness, we here at the Cafe2U blog have taken it upon ourselves to compile a brief list of some of the world’s strangest cafes.

Enjoy!

Cat Cafes


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Cat cafes started life in Taiwan and quickly became popular in Japan, where they are called ‘Neko’ cafes.

The basic premise is that you pay to use the facilities of the cafe per minute – which chiefly comprise an army of cats (which aren’t yours) wondering around.

If you think this is something that would only appeal to mad easterners – think again, as one of these cat cafes has just opened in London (Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium) and there’s plans to open one in Birmingham too!  

Wool Cafes

At the Laniato cafe in Vienna, patrons can enjoy a cup of coffee while, you guessed it, partaking in some good old fashioned knitting.

The cafe sells some high-quality wool in addition to some specialist knitting magazines for inspiration, and also provides regular knitting classes which are helmed by the cafe owner Ms Topsy Thun-Hohenstein and her daughter.

Treehouse Cafes

In Japan (where else), you can find a coffee shop twenty feet above the ground... in a tree.

The Nanja Monja Cafe is located in Yokohama’s Mitsuzawa suburb.

Actually, although it looks like a real tree, it is in fact a very authentic looking replica, with a built-in elevator and spiral suitcase, as well as fantastic ocean views and, reportedly, amazing coffee.

However, being confined to a tree, the coffee shop doesn’t provide much space... so be prepared for queues of over an hour to get in!

Cafe Jack

In the middle of Koreatown in Los Angeles there is a truly bizarre coffee shop named Cafe Jack.

Cafe Jack was built in homage to the selfsame character in the smash hit movie Titanic, and it literally looks like a vast ocean liner that’s run aground in the middle of bustling LA... just with coffee and bagels!

The walls are plastered with Titanic memorabilia and the coffee shop owner reportedly spent over a year sourcing furnishings similar to those in the movie.

Over to you

Have you visited any of these eccentric coffee shops?

Are there any more that we should add to the list?

Don’t forget to leave us a message!


Always Spilling Your Coffee? – Read This!

Monday, February 23, 2015

How many times have you taken your morning cup of coffee onto a busy train or bus carriage – only to have it knocked from your clutches by a clumsy fumble with your bag or the boisterous elbow of a fellow commuter?

You are certainly not alone, as this unwanted sloshing of boiling morning Joe is par for the course for many of us all around the world.

But fear not – there is a solution!

According to a group of scientists from the University of New York, drinking a frothy cup of Latte will curtail any nuisance spillages.

The science

This is because adding foam to liquid makes the brew less likely to spill over the side of the cup – as merely a few bubbly layers can dramatically dampen the sloshing motion of any liquid.


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The genesis of this discovery occurred when a certain Professor Emilie Dressaire, from New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering, ordered a cafe latte at her local high street coffee chain and was subsequently told by a barista that she would probably not need a plastic lid to stop it from spilling on her.

This got the professor contemplating the use of foam as a damping mechanism.

The experiment

During the experiment, the scientists observed two different types of movement: jolting the apparatus with a quick, side-to-side motion and rocking it steadily back and forth.

The scientists, using a high-speed camera, then recorded the resulting waves, finding that just five layers of foam were enough to decrease the height of the waves by a factor of ten.

Not just coffee!

This recent research has further – and perhaps more significant – repercussions than saving unwanted coffee spillages for commuters in need of a morning pick-me-up.

Indeed, this discovery – which was published in the journal Physics of Fluids – may help make the transportation of propellants in rocket engines and liquefied gas in trucks a much safer proposition in future.

Furthermore, the authors involved in this study hope that one day their research may lead to cheap and easy ways to transport large amounts of fluids with minimal to no sloshing.

Over to you

What do you think about these recent findings?

Are you constantly spilling your morning cup of coffee?

Would you consider drinking more Latte in the future?

Remember to get in touch with us here at Cafe2U with your comments and questions – we love hearing from our readers!


5 Different Coffee Brewing Methods

Friday, February 13, 2015

As millions of coffee lovers around the world will attest – as well as us here at Cafe2U Headquarters – there is a lot more to coffee than meets the eye.

Despite what some people may think, coffee is not merely a hot beverage containing caffeine, it is not solely a quick morning pick-me-up.

No, coffee is much more than that.

Like a fine watercolour or a piano concerto, brewing a delicious cup of coffee is an art form.

There are numerous factors to consider, such as nutrition, flavour and caffeine content.

Below are seven typical brewing methods that can be employed to make a cup of coffee.

Standard Drip


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This is perhaps the most popular and traditional brewing method for making coffee.

The ‘Standard Drip’ process simply involves pouring hot water onto ground beans in a coffee machine.

It’s painless, very quick and also one of the healthiest methods too, as the filter absorbs most of the coffee’s oils which can negatively affect your cholesterol over a long period of time.

Chemex

Introduced in the 1940s, Chemex is a slow-and-steady approach to brewing coffee, pouring hot water over coffee grounds.

However, the Chemex employs a filter that’s three times as thick as a standard drip machine, allowing for a smoother, purer and less oily coffee.

Although quite old, the Chemex has made a comeback in the last few years.

French Press

With the French Press, all you need to do is add some coffee grounds to the pitcher along with some hot water and steep for five minutes.

Then you just push down the strainer and voila, fresh, delicious coffee!

And remember, the longer you steep the grounds, the higher the caffeine content of your cuppa.

Cold Brew

This brewing process is similar to the French Press technique but unlike the latter it utilises cold water – ideal if you like iced coffee – and coffee grounds that are steeped up to 12 hours.

The Cold Brew produces a coffee which is very crisp and sweet and not at all acidic – that’s because hot water tends to interfere with the coffee oils and alter the taste.

Instant Mix

All you need do with this form of coffee is blend an ‘instant mix’ of ground coffee powder with hot water and you are away!

However, as connoisseurs will rightly point out, this brewing method isn’t technically coffee – it’s coffee extract that’s been dried out.

So do yourself a favour a make an authentic brew to take full advantage of those delicious coffee flavours.

Over to you

So, there we have it, a range of different brewing methods for making your cup of coffee.

Which one is your favourite?

Thinking of giving one of these a go?

Have we missed any methods off the list?

Remember to get in touch with us here at the Cafe2U Coffee Blog  with your questions and comments.