Here at Lost in a Cup prices and philanthropist mission stay the same today as everyday of the year, so there will be no discounts on the products sold.
However we do strongly encourage people to celebrate today by having ‘black coffee’.
We believe that a good cup of black coffee tastes more authentic and is more rewarding than any percentage of discount a retailer can give.
Many put milk or sugar, or both in coffee but it’s good to have a pure, black coffee to really appreciate its taste.
The simplicity of the flavour, appreciated even more if lukewarm, is something rather special. Often our lives are complicated with too many extra things but every so often if we just stripped it down to the basics, the essentials then we would really appreciate what we have.
It is a naked coffee, you appreciate every detail, both good and bad.
However if you do this, you might discover that the coffee you are drinking is not really great tasting in its ‘naked form’.
If you order coffee from the shop I go to the storage, find the articles, put them in a box, print the label and send you the goods.
Can you also put ‘men’ in clearly defined boxes? – No.
Recent years have seen post-structuralists look into many of the norms in our societies and question them often shedding light on dogmas that could be changed to improve our conditions of living.
A lot of progress has been made to empower women by giving access to higher education, something not very common 50 years ago and encouraging a stronger position and role in society beyond the household.
What about men? How much has been done to encourage men to take on household duties, look after children, be more emotionally available, say how they feel, open up? – Not much at all.
Last week was ‘remembrance Sunday’ and people marked the sacrifice of many men who died during wars throughout history. Going to war, fighting and dying in battles they barely understood and sacrificing their lives for the glory of their country – or so they told them. The trauma of war scarred people for life but society forbid them from crying or being visibly affected by the horrors they witnessed in the trenches. A proper man is supposed to have a stiff upper lip.
Sweden is world leading in trying to work on this second, often overlooked, side of gender equality by implementing parental leave for both mothers and fathers.
Today is #internationalmensday and it is worth a thought on how confined the role of a man is within most societies. ‘Man up!’ – ‘Don’t be a pussy!‘ are common things to say or hear even today; is this effectively putting men into a box that limits who they can be and what they can do?
If you want to have coffee in a box check out the web shop.
If instead, you want to try to take men out of ‘the box’ contribute your views on the topic of ‘Men’ and the role they have or should have within our society. All stories and comments welcome on #BackStories
This article is in line with Lost in a Cup‘s ethos and value #EspressøYourself which distinguishes it from your average coffee seller online.
Pop-up shops, restaurants and venues have been popping up everywhere like mushrooms after the rain and appear to be the latest hipster trend.
So why not try out this concept with a Café?
That is exactly what we did today here at Lost in a Cup HQ in Studentstaden – Uppsala. The name of the neighbourhood in Swedish means literally ‘the city of students’ and it is the part of the city with the highest concentration of student rooms; Uppsala in general is also known as the most important university city in the country. You can’t get more student-centric than this!
The amazing part is that although so many students live in proximity of each other they rarely say hello to each other, let alone engage in conversations with neighbours.
So here came the idea: to attract people with good coffee and create a social space where strangers would actively be encouraged to engage with each other. Truly a social experiment. One of the attendees pointed out how this was ‘so not Swedish’ and chuckled and the fact it was something out of the ordinary attracted her to visit in the first place and would come back to future events.
Factors such as the size of the venue, limited to one 13 sq. meters plus a corridor and the authenticity of the Pop-Up Café being in an authentic student corridor made the setting ideal for spontaneous social interactions. Like a student house party but without alcohol and blaring music, just a chilled atmosphere and good conversations.
Only glitch in the project was the out-reach as the idea and development of the Café came around 24 hours before the actual event took place. Many Swedes plan their schedule with at least a week in advance so Italian spontaneity does not work as much as the organiser had hoped so the crowd was fairly small.
However, Sunday the 25th of November it will happen again! This time with more people and maintaining the good coffee and gingerbread biscuits which really went down a treat.
Today is ‘White Friday‘ on Lost in a Cup. Today we celebrate white, milky, some say ‘weak’ coffees such as the popular ‘Latte’ or to be correct ‘Latte macchiato‘ you can see depicted below.
Mixing milk with coffee in Italy is usually done in the mornings, for breakfast and there is the unwritten rule of ‘no cappuccinos after midday’. Often touristy destinations offer Cappuccinos on the menu of restaurants and pizzerias but be aware it is just for tourists! Most Italians would not have milk in their coffee after breakfast. The only exception is when they ask to stain their espresso with a splash of milk called a ‘macchiato’, which literally means ‘stained’. Macchiatos can be done with hot steamed milk, ‘a caldo‘ or with cold milk, ‘a freddo’.
Spoiler: next week will be “Black [Coffee] Friday”
When you think of an espresso based cocktail the first thing that will spring to mind to most people is the all time classic ‘Espresso Martini’.
A very easy to make cocktail which tastes fantastic if you use the right ingredients.
It was invented in the late 1980’s by barman Dick Bradsell when a top model requested a cocktail that would: ‘Wake me up and then f**k me up’.
The name comes from the main ingredient used for the drink together with the glass its served in even though it has no actual ‘Martini’ in it.
It soon became a popular drink across the world as its blend of enveloping taste and the simplicity in preparing it made it a perfect after dinner drink.
The bitter coffee flavor mixes with the coffee liquor to give birth to a drink to sip in all seasons. In the summer you can serve with ice scales, as a slush.
How to prepare it
The steps to prepare the Espresso Martini Coffee Cup La Tazza d’oro are few and simple.
We cool off a cocktail cup and pour 5 cl of vodka, 3 cl of espresso
coffee and 2 cl of coffee liqueur into a shaker.
Put the ice very dry and shake it very energetically for about a minute. Pour all the mixture, which will appear with a light foam consistent, in the cocktail cup previously flavoured with a touch of lime.
If you like, serve it on a slate dish with a tartar of fresh fruits and berries, lime and some coffee beans.
For an exquisite dessert version you can easily make a coffee affogato: put two cream ice cream balls in a bowl, add the Espresso Martini, plus another boiling coffee on the icecream and… the refereshing dessert is served!
A more alcoholic variant is to replace Vodka with any kind of grappa, for a fuller and stronger drink.
As for any cocktail, the key is good ingredients so choose a nice vodka and a really good blend of coffee, such as ‘La Tazza d’Oro Miscela Bar’ to ensure an optimal result.
Credits for this version of the recipe to ‘La Tazza d’Oro’.
Italian coffee has a long lasting and well-known tradition, famous worldwide.
It is maybe the biggest example of ‘less is more’ as a tiny espresso contains such a richness in flavour that one does not need a pot-full of it to appreciate its properties.
Espresso style coffee has been steadily on the rise in Sweden both in independent coffee shops and big high street names as a growing part of the population appreciates taste and quality over quantity.
Could there be a way of making this quality of coffee in your kitchen? Is the only solution for this coffee to reach your sofa or office desk to go and order a take-away cup? Does good coffee have to ‘cost the earth’, both environmentally and economically?
In Italy the answer is NO. How about Sweden?
A lot of coffee is on the Scandinavian market but not many options are thought out with simplicity in mind, while others have a considerable impact on the environment.
That’s why ‘Lost in a Cup’ wants to change things by bringing quality coffee from Italian coffee roaster “La Tazza d’Oro” to your home, work place or social centre.
To find out more about the different solutions and to order coffee online and get it delivered to you click here.
Many love a good G&T but have you ever tried an E&T?
From my experience working behind the bar in Sweden, two of the most popular drinks in clubs are Gin and Tonic or Vodka Redbull, the first chosen for the taste and the second mainly for the energising effect it gives.
What if there was a way of mixing those two concepts? What if there was a good tasting drink which could also be energising and also looking good at the same time?
The combination of Tonic Water and Espresso coffee might sound odd, it did to me too. However, after the first time I tried it, I was completely converted.
It is a beautiful drink to watch make and super simple
2 shots (50–60 ml) of good quality espresso
1.5 dl tonic water
1 lime wedge
Prepare a double espresso and leave to cool.
Fill up a glass (200 ml) with ice.
Squeeze the lime juice on top of the ice.
Pour in the tonic water and gently pour in the slightly cooled double espresso.
In my experience you can easily do without the lime, especially if the espresso is good quality. To get the most out of the taste I suggest Arabica 100% if possible or a blend with at least 70% Arabica beans.
If you are in a party mode and want to spike it with some Gin many have done that although I have not tried it so far but I believe it should work; booze and good espresso are a marriage made in heaven. Who needs energy drinks when you have espresso?!
Coffee breaks in Sweden are more than a pause, they are a ritual.
The word ‘Fika’ is unique to the Swedish language and means ‘coffee break’ or maybe it would be more correct to say ‘coffee ritual’.
This almost sacred tradition involves coffee, something to eat and a good conversation. It offers the perfect setting to meet a friend, a relative or even a date!
Many workplaces endorse the ‘Fika break culture’ with special dedicated areas which seem more spacious and comfortable than in other countries. It is a key part of the daily routine in which the number one goal is to enjoy the coffee, maybe have a snack and relax a few minutes with colleagues.
Sweden gives the ‘coffee ritual’ more importance than most other countries do and surprisingly this includes Italy! In my experience, Italians give most importance to taste and quality and not to the actual ritual which lasts under a minute, enough time to make an espresso, add sugar, stir and shoot it down. Down south the actual sitting around and chatting is something most Italians would rather do in the evening over an aperitif.
Re-post of an article written by me for ‘The Mancunion’, Manchester University’s Student Union’s newspaper. It dates back to my first month of exchange in Uppsala and was first published on the 13th of February 2013.
Reclaim the Night highlights how unsafe women in Manchester can feel walking home at night alone, a huge contrast to the experience of women I’ve met on my study abroad in Uppsala, Sweden. As a student ambassador, one of the most recurrent questions from anxious parents of applicants who want to study in Manchester is “how safe is the city?” or “do you feel safe here?”. The answer for me at least is “yes”, although Manchester isn’t the safest place in the world, you have to get used to it. But when I talked to a Swede studying in the city I got quite a different answer. Patrik studies at the University of Manchester, and goes as far as saying that Manchester is one of the places in which he feels most unsafe. Even when Patrick traveled alone around South America he felt safer, as he could spot the ‘bad people’ from a mile. In Manchester, it’s much harder to know when you can feel safe.
Do people feel the same way in beautiful, ‘gender equal’, respectful Sweden? Beyond the world renowned stereotypes, what is the reality in everyday life? Many English exchange students commented on the way they feel safer going back home late at night here than they do back in the UK. Becky, a British University of Manchester student studying in Sweden, says that in Stockholm she has gone home late at night several times and never felt threatened. In Manchester, she says that she would never dare. When I asked her why, she told me that: “The police here are really in control of the situation, as soon as drunk people start to make some noise they would be approached immediately and asked to quieten down”.
Meg, who studies in Norwich but is on her semester abroad in Sweden, talks about a difference in culture. She explains how, even in clubs, Swedish guys’ behaviour towards women is “more respectful”. In England “episodes of semi-harassment are accepted as perfectly normal, especially if drunk”. Generally gender neutrality is considerably stronger than in England as can be seen by several customs in everyday life.
For example, when paying the bill in a restaurant, in a café or buying a drink in a club it doesn’t matter what your gender is. Everyone pays for themselves. A man would not be expected to always pay for a woman, they would take it in turns. At first I could not see how Swedes could find this normal, but speaking to Hannah from the south of Sweden,I saw how she struggles to imagine it any other way. She disagreed with “the European way of doing things”, as beyond being unfair it also puts two people on a different level, and the small “indebting” could subconsciously put a certain “pressure” on the woman.
Beyond the cultural traditions, and the almost total equality in employment rates (76. 1% women and 82% men), there is a considerable social difference between England and Sweden for example in higher employment rates, less class disparity, more people who’re highly educated (education is free from nursery to PhD level) and a more controlled ‘drinking culture’ (state monopoly on all alcoholic beverages above 3.5%). These are not necessarily determining factors, but they undoubtedly play an important role in shaping Swedish society.
But it’s not perfect. Government funded studies show that statistically 85% of Swedish women “worry about being potential victims of violence walking home at night” and 56% admit having experienced some form of sexual harassment.These figures refer to the youngest part of the population (between 18 and 24) that, always according to the study, are statistically at higher risk than older members of the population. As Patrik points out, people have different ideas of safety, and although he believes Sweden is extremely safe he knows some Swedes would disagree with him. This, he says, is partly due to higher standards and expectations. Out of all the exchange students I spoke to from various parts of the world, not one of them believes they have been to a safer country than Sweden.
A month in the country is not enough to understand how things truly are, but even in the first few days I noticed the way people trust each other. The more I live here in Uppsala, the more I realise how all the ordinary precautions that we follow in England to ‘stay safe’ are not at all normal. The constraints we put on our personal freedom can only be seen clearly when you live without those constraints. In Sweden, it is really enjoyable living in a society without having to fear the strangers on the street; for everyone, but even more so for women.
Article originally published in ‘The Mancunion‘, The University of Manchester’s Student Union’s weekly newspaper, on the 13th of February 2013. Here is the link to the original post.
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