Posts tagged ‘Brewbar espresso’

April 10, 2013

Sage and Thrift Cookbook Swap.

On Sunday 21st April, Sage and Thrift  (a project that I dreamed up with my lovely friend Jo) will be holding its first Cookbook Swap!

Sharing is at the heart of all our plans for Sage and Thrift. We want to build a community of like-minded people to come together to share – whether that is food, skills, resources or time. Food is central to that thought, purely because nothing brings people together like filling our stomachs.

The idea for the Cookbook Swap stemmed from my enormous and ever-growing collection of cookbooks. Regular readers of this blog will know that I cannot resist them. The sheer beauty of them together with the promise of perfection lying within each one draws me in like no other kind of book. Even though I know that I don’t have the room for them, it’s only a matter of days since I bought my last one – Simon Hopkinson’s The Vegetarian Option, which is excellent – and I cannot be the only person with this kind of habit, yet without either the money to fund nor the space to house such a collection.

I’ve done Cookbook Challenges, and culled a few from my collection to the local charity shop, but most of them I can’t bear to part with forever. Having said that, I am always happy to lend them out, and know that I would love to try new books for a while in return. Hopefully, other folk will feel the same way.

Too many cookbooks ...

Too many cookbooks …

So, here it is the premise:

Come along to the Cookbook Swap – bring a book with you! One that you either love but have tired of, or one that you’ve never got on with. It doesn’t matter, as long as it’s a cookbook!

We’ll have a spreadsheet set up on the day, so we can take your details and the details of the book you’re leaving to swap. You need to be happy to lend the book out and know that it might come back a bit more spattered with cooking oil than it went out. If it’s too precious to you, leave it at home.

Then have a browse of the books available. Once you hopefully find one you like the look of, bring it back to us with our fancy spreadsheet and we’ll log that you’ve borrowed it. Take it home, cook up a storm, and bring it back to the next one. If you want to bring us some fabulous food you’ve cooked, so much the better …

One of the things we’re going to do is give out a little ‘passport’ with each cookbook. We’re hoping that people will write a little bit in them, just to say what they cooked and how things went. This will help us to build a record of how each book has been used and a bit of history of the swap.  Plus, we’re getting a stamp made with our logo on, so it’s rather a good excuse for us to get stamping crazy. The passport will stay with each book for as long as that book is part of the Cookbook Swap and then go home with the original owner as a memento of the project.

So, if you’re in Leeds on Sunday 21st April, between 2-3pm-ish and you’re interested, do come along. We’re very fortunate that the lovely folk at Brewbar Espresso (located just underneath Leeds Art Gallery) are letting us host the event there, so bring some pennies to buy yourself a cup of their fabulous coffee, and we hope to see you on the day!

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May 11, 2012

Coffee in Rome and in Leeds

I used to think that I didn’t like coffee. I’m a tea drinker, and although I love the smell of coffee, the taste has always disappointed, often bitter and with a lingering aftertaste that I hated.  It turns out that what I dislike is bad coffee. In Rome, I was presented with a giant bowl of latte as part of breakfast every day and I loved it. Spurred on by this, we hunted down several espresso bars during our trip to try them out.

One of my favourites was right next door to the Pantheon. Called Caffe Tazza D’Oro, this bar was full of burnished wood, brass fittings and regular local customers alongside us tourists. It’s a well known place and was bustling with customers on our visit, so had a great atmosphere. You paid at the till, then took your ticket to the bar where your coffee was made fresh to order. I loved it, especially watching how the coffee was made and it’s given me something of a taste for espresso as well as a curiosity about how great coffee is made.

Luckily, the city I live in is undergoing something of a coffee renaissance. Several independent coffee places have opened up in recent months and years and they’re serving great coffee. I had my first coffee back in Leeds after my Rome trip at Brewbar Espresso and it was made with obvious care, beautifully presented and lovely to drink, without any hint of the bitter aftertaste that has put me off coffee in the past. Each coffee place in Leeds has their own unique twist and I’m going to do a proper review of them all in another post, after I’ve been on a coffee crawl! In the meantime, you could read this great review from Mondomulia, who went on the first Leeds Coffee Crawl, here.

I’m always going to be a tea drinker, but now coffee has turned into another option, rather than something I would completely avoid. Having never, ever had coffee from a chain like Starbucks (something I’m actually a bit proud of, considering their dominance over the market) I am very happy that Leeds now has an independent option, where coffee is made and served by people who have a passion for what they are doing and want to spend time chatting with you about the coffee they are serving. It’s the start of an education for me, and I’m looking forward to learning more.

So, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to hunt down the prices for a coffee making master class and a machine for my kitchen…