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Sunday, November 09, 2008
 

A cafe chain you probably won't be seeing in America


If you are looking for a coffee in Shanghai you can go to one of the many international cafe chains, like Starbucks, or you could go to the Taiwanese cafe chain ecoffee.

ecoffee store
ecoffee store

I thought it was a starbucks when I first saw the shop from afar. Starbucks thinks so as well, and has filed a complaint over the matter. Here are the logos of ecoffee and Starbucks.

ecoffee and Starbucks logo

Like any good knock off, the coffee at ecoffee is much cheaper than at the original. A Tall Cafe Latte at Starbucks costs 25 RMB (about 3.67 USD). The same sized Cafe Latte at ecoffee costs 15 RMB (about 2.20 USD).

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008
 

Coffee of the Day - Lamai Beach


Location: Koh Samui - Thailand Date: 21 Feb 2008

Coffee - Lamai Beach
Coffee - Lamai Beach, Koh Samui

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Saturday, November 17, 2007
 

Equine Espresso


Horse having coffee - Brussels Midi Station
Horse having coffee - Brussels Midi Station

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Sunday, November 04, 2007
 

Coffee in Maastricht


I have been served coffee at different places in Maastricht with a little side cup of liqueur and whipped cream. I'm not sure if this is soley a Maastricht tradition. They also give you a little chocolate, which makes for a nice touch.

Coffee - Maastricht
Coffee - Maastricht

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Saturday, November 03, 2007
 

3 Coffees, 3 Countries, 1 Day


The combined size of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg (Benelux) is relatively small, less than the size of Austria or Czech Republic for example. Size is relative though, and being Australian you are asking the wrong person if you think this region is big. Australia has cattle stations the size of Belgium and I lived on a sheep station the size of Lichtenstein (though it sadly lacked castles and private banking facilities).

So having 3 coffees isn't as difficult as it sounds. I started the day in Luxembourg, got the train to Namur and Dinant in Belgium, then finished the day in Maastricht in the Netherlands. If I really wanted to I could have made it 4 coffees in 4 countries as Aachen on the German border is not far away from Maastricht.

I have already done 4 coffees in 4 countries once before though. Lake Constance in Central Europe is bordered by Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, and Lichtenstein is not far away. Using the efficient rail network of that part of the world it is very easy to visit all of them in a day (with a bus trip to Lichtenstein as they have no passenger rail service).

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Saturday, June 16, 2007
 

Frappe - The Iced Coffee of Greece


The Frappé is the national iced coffee drink of Greece. Frappé's are made instant coffee, usually a no no for this coffee snob, but on a hot Greek day it seemed like a more sensible option than a traditional gritty Greek coffee.

A Frappé is made with instant coffee, sugar, and cold water. This mixture is shaken and then poured over ice in a tall glass. Milk of water is added, and cream on top if you're going to a fancy place.

The thing with Frappé's is they have about 4 times as much caffeine as a regular espesso, so I was bucking like Kaldi's goat for the rest of the afternoon.

Frappe - Rhodes Greece

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Monday, April 23, 2007
 

Who's the boss in Tokyo?


There is a vending machine of some sort on just about every corner in Tokyo.

Coffee Boss
Coffee Boss - Tokyo

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Friday, March 16, 2007
 

Maveli Cafe - Thiruvananthapuram



Friday, March 02, 2007
 

Coffee, or lack thereof


I have been drinking alot of chai here. The chai here is great, which is just as well as it has taken a long time to find a proper coffee. If you order a coffee at a restaurant it will most likely be instant coffee. Sometimes you get served a cup of hot milk with instant coffee satchels for you to add to your own taste.

I found one place which got my hopes up called "Coffee House". It even has a slogan, "approved by coffee board". Someone needs to sack the coffee board as it was more instant crap. They do make a good lunch though.

I have since found some places that make a proper coffee.

Coffee House
Coffee House

Coffee House Coffee
Coffee House Coffee

Coffee House Lunch
Coffee House Lunch

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Monday, October 16, 2006
 

Bag of Coffee - Kuala Lumpur


There is a mania across Asia for serving drinks in plastic bags. In the Kuala Lumpur Chinatown I found this guy who makes the best iced coffees, and this is how the coffee is served.

Bag Of Iced Coffee
Bag Of Iced Coffee

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006
 

Espressamente - A real Italian coffee chain


I had read this article in Business Week about Illycaffè and how they are opening a chain of cafes called Espressamente. I am all for the espresso, so I support this concept. I saw this Espressamente at Budapest Airport.

Espressamente Budapest Airport
Espressamente Budapest Airport

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Sunday, August 06, 2006
 

London coffee shops - What could have been.


I love London and I consider it my second home, so it pains me to tell you that it has a terrible cafe scene. Britain is well regarded for its cozy pubs with its polished brass and potted flowers. Probably the most endearing feature of British pubs though are their names and accompanying sign boards. This is a feature which goes back to 1393, when Richard II made it compulsory for every inn in England to display a sign. Examples of which can be found at The Inn Sign Society.

The British pub scene left no room for a cafe society like on the continent. Up until the 1990's getting a coffee in Britain usually meant instant coffee in a greasy spoon diner.

Lack of cafes in Britain meant that when coffee became fashionable in the early days of New Labour, there was no resistance to the onslaught of the American style coffee franchises. Just about every British High St now has a Starbucks, Cafe Nero, Costa or Coffee Republic. Big High Streets will have all of the franchises. Really big High Streets (like Oxford St London) will have a all of the francises two or three times over. Small independents are few and far between.

I was pondering all this while walking through Regents Park in London. In the park there is a cafe in what was probably a gatehouse. This hole in the wall sized coffee shop is called the Cow and Coffee Bean. It has a great sign out the front that Richard II would have approved of. This sign made me think of would could have been here if cafes developed along the same path as the pubs.

Cow And Coffee Bean Regents Park
Cow And Coffee Bean Regents Park

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Thursday, July 21, 2005
 

Box o' Joe Challenge


I owed a friend in the U.S - The Enigma of Bellevue as he is known - a coffee. Actually I owe him 100 coffee's, but that's another story. The deal is that the coffee's can be taken any time and can be any type or size.

We were in Boston and we went to Dunkin Donuts, the omnipresent chain store in the East Coast that has seemingly reinvented itself as a cafe chain in the years between my last visit to the States.

I noticed in D.D's a product called the Box o' Joe. It's a cardboard box with a plastic bladder inside with a nozzle at the bottom (it resembles wine casks that are sold in Australia). It contains 10 cups (110oz / 3.25 litres).

It is meant to be for multiple users, say for an office, but I said to the Enigma that it can count as one coffee, as long as it's consumed in one go.

Of course, he took up the challenge. I bought the box and we went to the Boston Common.

Box o' Joe


On the box it says best consumed within one hour. Sure enough my friend the remorseless coffee drinking machine drank it all in half that time - 11 cups in all with the addition of milk.

So there, in the most appropriate of American cities, the Box o' Joe challenge began.

(The writer and editor of this site does not endorse such activities nor will be held responsible for people hospitalised for caffeine related injuries.)

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