60 Years of Cultural Institute – PopUp Café

Text: Alexander Maxia – Photos: Marcus Sätherström

Last November ‘Italienskkulturinstitutet‘ or the ‘Italian Cultural institute in Stockholm’ celebrated their 60th birthday. On this occasion ‘Lost in a Cup‘ was there with our Pop-up Café to contribute by bringing quality Italian coffee to the party.

PopUp Café at the Italian Cultural Institute in Stockholm

The participants to the event included many Italian expats who have made Sweden their home but also many locals that for one reason or another fell in love with Italian culture and took any opportunity to practice their Italian.

Over a hundred guests attended the celebrations

We designed the stand so that the coffee machines were facing the public and not the baristas. Our idea was to teach people to make Italian espresso themselves – for each other! After all, our hashtag is #EspressøYourself so what better way to promote the company ethos than by encouraging people to get a hands-on experience in espresso making and interact with others around them?

Luckily Ismaele Rombi, La Tazza d’Oro’s coffee expert, was on hand to supervise the many amateur baristas who were keen on learning how to make good coffee like in an ‘Italian Bar’. Italian espresso nowadays can be enjoyed across the world as long as the ingredients are of good quality and you have the right tools to make it. For the occasion we collaborated with the Italian household brand ‘DeLonghi’ who lent us their grinder and espresso machines that together with our own ‘Adesso Espresso’ capsule machine delivered fantastic espressos to the many enthusiasts.

Ismaele Rombi (left) sharing his knowledge on good espresso making

A few hours and 200 coffees later, the party ended. It was a great evening and the team at the Institute really did a phenomenal job in organising such a popular event. Driving back to Uppsala we reflected on the many interesting conversations we engaged in, the many stories of people who love ‘il Bel Paese’, the feedback and encouragement many gave us. We felt a sense of satisfaction. On a cold and dark winter evening we brought the taste and atmosphere of a ‘bar della piazza‘ to a location so very far from Italy, yet so strongly connected to it.

The team: Edwin Oldfield, Ismaele Rombi and Alexander Maxia

Thanks to the team at the Italian Cultural Institute, Ismaele Rombi and DeLonghi Nordics for making this PopUp Café such a success. See you next time?

Men in Boxes – #internationalmensday

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.

A Gloomy Day

Contribution as part of the #BackStories campaign. This story is a first hand account of a person struggling with depression.


Image courtesy of Pxhere

I wake up. It’s 1 PM. Damn, did I really sleep for 12 hours? Whatever, it’s not that I have anything to do. It takes two hours before I finally get out of bed. Two hours of scrolling through Facebook and Instagram. Look at all these successful people with their happy life. I feel nothing.

3 PM, I drag myself to the shower. Standing motionless in the shower for a while. Am I standing here for 5 minutes? 10 minutes? I don’t know and I don’t care. Not that there is anything waiting for me today.

3:15 PM I try to make breakfast. After a couple of bites I put my breakfast away. I don’t have any appetite lately. Not that that would matter.

4:20 PM I roll a joint. Finally some enlightenment in my day. Sitting there on my couch and smoking, I think about my life. What a sad life, sitting here in the middle of the week, smoking weed in the middle of the day. Why not looking for a job? Or study. Maybe working on your hobbies. I have a coloring book waiting for me, a yoga mat behind my TV or I could try to learn some new DJ moves. But I have no energy for that. It’s not that these things are somehow satisfying me.

My phone buzzes. It’s a message from my friend. “Hey how you’re doing? Are you going to the club on saturday?“ I stare at my phone but I don’t answer. Why bothering people with my depression?

Time feels differently when smoking weed.

Suddenly it’s 11 PM. I’m getting a headache of smoking too much. Alright, rolling the last one before going to bed.

I stare out of the window while sitting on my bed.

What did I achieve today? Nothing. Maybe breaking a new high score of doing nothing. I close my eyes.

What a gloomy day.


If you have a story to tell that you would be uncomfortable or unable to voice publicly you can submit it anonymously by filling in the form on #BackStories main page.


Share this article with the hashtag #EspressøYourself and engage in the debate in the comment section below: do people today really understand what it is like to be depressed?


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