Author Archive: Harmony Cafe

Different types of tea

tea

If you’re thinking of getting started with drinking tea, you may realise that there are plenty of choices available out there. With so many options, you may feel overwhelmed. So to help you get started, we have narrowed down the main types of tea.

Black Tea

Black teas are known to be the most common type of tea. It contains two type of antioxidants that are good for lowering your cholesterols. They are typically packaged either in a tea bag or tea blends. Most people would drink them with milk or sugar.

Oolong

Oolong teas are mainly popular in Asia, especially in China and Taiwan. These types of teas also come in different flavours from robust, light and sweet. You can often find them in Asian stores if you are living in the UK. This type of tea is usually taken on its own due to its delicate flavour.

Green Tea

Green teas are becoming a popular choice by many due to its health benefits. You would normally drink green tea on its own or some would prefer to mix them with honey for a sweeter flavouring. Depending on the brands, you’ll find that each green teas have their unique taste. It’s also been to known to help with losing weight.

Flavored Fruit Teas

If you’re into trying out new taste or you like the fruity flavour, then this type of tea would be ideal. You can choose from peach, orange, berries, spices and so much more.

White Teas

White teas are mostly consumed in China. They are not as popular as green tea, but it’s known to be the healthiest tea out of them all. This type of tea is the rawest as they are not processed compared to other teas. Even though the tea is pure, the taste still contains a subtle sweetness to it.

Different types of coffee machines

coffee beans

Coffee beans can be prepared in different types of machines from manual to automatic. Each machine has their style and can give different results in taste and colour. Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the entire globe; it’s no wonder why there are various types of coffee machines available. Let’s take a look at some coffee machines that are available on the market.

Pod

A pod coffee machine is an automatic machine that is now mainly used by many coffee chains including Starbucks. What’s special about this machine is that it has a top pod container where you can store the coffee beans, and it can create a coffee within minutes, each cup of coffee is said to be produced with the exact same taste!

Automatic Drip

The auto coffee drip machine is now the most used machine in the market due to improving efficiency, and it’s a straightforward and easy way of making a cup of coffee. The device is very simple to use, all you need to do is pour in a fresh water into the machine. After, pour in the coffee beans into a filter with the holder and attach it to the machine. Finally press start and within a few minutes, your brewed coffee is ready to be served. Pret A Manger and many other coffee chains use the same machine to provide fresh coffees for their customers.

French Press

A French press maker is a manual machine that takes a lot more work when preparing coffee. The machine consists of a pot made out of glass partnered with a mesh plunger that’s used as a filter. The first step is to measure the grounded beans into the pot and pour a boiling water on top. Next step is to use the plunger to push the beans forward while the liquid pours down to the coffee cup.

 

8 steps to creating a good cup of coffee

coffee

For many coffee addicts, you might think that you’ve been making a good cup of coffee, but the truth is, you can always better the taste of your coffee simply by going through the steps below.

Step One – Quality Beans

Your coffee beans must always be in high quality. Try not to buy your beans from a local supermarket and invest on buying from a local or independent coffee shops which are likely to have fresh quality beans.

Step Two – Storage

Now that you have bought a pack of high-quality beans make sure to remove them from the bag and transfer it to an airtight container to prevent the beans from going flat or stale. Keep them in the dark and cool place in your cupboard area.

Step Three – Grind

Your beans must be pressed and grind properly. Good ground beans should feel similar to powdered sugar. The beans should only be grinded when you’re about to use it. If the beans are grounded in advance and stored, then they are likely to go stale.

Step Four – Measure

Have the correct measurement! You should use approximately 22 grams of coffee beans to every 8oz of cold water.

Step Five – Precise Temperature

When brewing, make sure the temperature is between 195-205 degrees. The type of water you use can also make a difference. The best water to use is a fresh, clean tap water or a spring water.

Step Six – Cooling

Be sure to let your coffee cool to 170 degrees as this is the best temperature to drink your coffee without burning your tongue!

Step Seven – Try it Black

Now that you have followed the previous steps, your coffee won’t taste bitter, so it is safe to drink it black as you will discover that you’ve just created an excellent cup of coffee.

Step Eight – Rinse and Repeat

The next morning, repeat the steps, and you should always have a good cup of coffee to start the day!

More Of The World’s Weirdest Cafes

In the news this week, an infamous Nazi-themed cafe in Indonesia has shut down after gaining a reputation for its bizarre subject matter. The SolatenKaffee was first closed in 2013 after a backlash, before later being reopened, but now it has closed due to a lack of customer interest. Undeterred, the owner plans to open a larger premises in a more popular location. He hasn’t confirmed when or where, but we can expect this cafe to be filled with more World War II memorabilia and plenty of references to Hitler, as it has been until now.

This got us thinking about some of the other strange and sometimes sinister cafes we have seen and heard about over the years. Here is a quick run-down of some of the weirdest examples from the past and present.

Cafe de L’Enfer – This uniquely creepy cafe/nightclub has been closed since the 1950s, but it lasted much longer than many of its contemporaries (including a prison-themed venue) which peaked in popularity in late 19th century Paris. The Cafe de L’Enfer was entirely hell-themed, with a huge demonic face framing the entrance and disturbing decorations throughout.

Vampire Cafe – Experience Transylvania in the centre of Tokyo at the truly creepy Vampire Cafe, where the food and drinks are pricey but uniquely Dracula-themed. Everything from the menu to the décor is impressively spooky, making it well worth a visit.

Grand View Cafe – This cafe in Maine, USA, was shut down several years ago. People expected this to happen given that all its staff has to work topless. Unsurprisingly, many considered this inappropriate. However, the alleged reason for the 2011 closure was a simple dispute over local zoning regulations.

Molecule Water Cafe – Most people tend to enjoy hot drinks at cafes, whether that’s a standard tea, coffee or one of the countless variations on offer. Even milkshakes are common choices, but who goes to a cafe and just drinks… water? Apparently, the customers at the Molecule Cafe in New York City, which is renowned for its scientifically superior H2O.

Cat Cafes – So maybe these aren’t sinister at all, but a few years ago the concept would certainly have sounded insane. The trend seems to have originated in Japan, where people in the busiest cities rarely have space for pets in their compact homes. After letting cats roam free in cafes proved hugely popular in places like Tokyo, the concept has gradually spread around the world and there are new cat cafes popping up across the UK regularly.

Best Street Food In London

If you find yourself in the capital and you want to try some of the world-famous food on offer, you might realise that the very best restaurants are way out of your price range. That doesn’t mean you’re stuck with the same old fast food options, though. London is the ideal place to find unique and quirky cafes, hidden gem restaurants and, of course, street food!

If you’re not sure where to start given the massive range of options that are always available, take a look at some of our favourite suggestions…

Bao – Netil Market

This Taiwanese outlet is run by a small family who have gone on to open an extremely popular restaurant following the success of their market stall. It’s a short menu, but there’s simply not much you could do to pack these these steamed buns with more fresh and flavourful ingredients. Don’t forget to try the most upmarket soya-milk chicken nuggets you’ll find in the city.

Bleecker St – Old Spitalfield Market

This fantastic burger joint was set up by a former lawyer who was inspired by the street food of New York City, and now sells her own version of those messy-but-delicious burgers from her truck in central London. You’ll spend less than you would in a fashionable restaurant, and probably enjoy the food a lot more.

Mother Clucker – Ely’s Yard

If you’re a fan of fried chicken but the taste of the same old KFC recipe has lost its appeal, you’ll find a significant upgrade on the streets of London if you visit Mother Clucker. The inventive vegetable sides they serve are impressive enough, but the chicken simply can’t be beaten.

Victoria Good Food Market

Everything available at this unique street food hub will most likely have you coming back for more. Some of the best fish and chips in the city is available here on a regular basis, as well as incredible offerings from around the world including Chinese, Indian, Italian, Brazilian specialists.

Global Kitchen – Camden

Looking for the best Camden has to offer? Perhaps the most famous area of London for street food also has a few disappointing offerings thrown into the mix, but if you head for the Global Kitchen you’ll be guaranteed an extremely high standard of street cooking across a range of exotic options.

Viennese Café Culture

Viennese Café Culture

In the Austrian capital of Vienna, café culture is at its peak. The selection of coffee shops on offer is wonderful, and you won’t find anywhere in the world more relaxed and charming to stop for a drink, or an entire afternoon. It’s one of the best places we have found for café enthusiasts to visit and we highly recommend you try it!

There is a saying in Vienna that while visiting a café there, you consume time and space, but all that’s listed on the bill at the end is your drink. The idea is that cafés are places to spend time thinking and talking, not just getting refreshments. Following a long day, you’re made to feel welcome and relaxed, in a calm place where you can read quietly, contemplate the big questions and discuss it all with like-minded patrons.

In fact, while doing all this to your heart’s content, you really get a sense that some of the world’s biggest historical stories may have intertwined with the rich culture around Vienna and its cafés. It’s not hard to picture some of the great thinkers of Europe finding solace in the quaint streets and coffee shops here, inspiring them to create new ideas and make big changes in the world. (more…)

The World’s Most Expensive Drinks

Dalmore 62

It’s not unusual for most of us (especially in the UK, where we love to find a reason to moan) to grumble about having to pay over the odds for a drink every now and then, whether it’s a heavily branded coffee, a drink in a fancy bar or even just a bottle of water. But in this list, we’re not talking about a £2 bottle of Volvic in a train station. Try £2 million for a bottle of champagne! Here are the most expensive drinks you’re likely to find anywhere in the world.

Vieille Bon Secours Ale

If you expect beer to be among the cheapest alcoholic beverages wherever you go, think again. Belgian speciality Vieille Bon Secours Ale comes in at about £33 per pint, if you buy it from the brewery directly as a 12 litre bottle, which makes it the world’s most pricey. Its toffee-tinged taste, resulting from a decade of maturing, is said to be worth it!

Winston Cocktail

Now we get into the real big ticket drinks. The Winston is a high class cocktail that would probably make your average Cosmopolitan feel like a glass of dishwater. It’s a blend of several of the most expensive (and mostly French) drinks money can buy, resulting in a single serving that could set you back about £10,000. (more…)

Starting Your Own Cafe Business

Starting Your Own Cafe Business

Are you considering starting your own business and launching a successful cafe? It’s a thought that’s crossed many of our minds at some point, especially after a visit to a particularly awesome coffee shop (or maybe even a disappointing one that makes you think you could do better)! There’s no doubt that it’s a lucrative market that’s not going to disappear any time soon, but how can you hope to succeed with so many players already in the game? Here are the crucial steps you need to follow.

1) Plan your business

Early on you will need a comprehensive business plan, starting with market research to justify your endeavour and finishing with a detailed analysis of how you’re going to make a profit and why you’re confident. This will be essential to secure bank loans and other investments; however, it isn’t the first step. Even before all that, you need a basic pitch that fits onto one page and explains why your plan is unique.

2) Plan your location

Assuming your business plan is watertight, the next essential element is location, location, location. Not only does the physical building need to be suitable and affordable, but your cafe needs to be somewhere where you can easily attract passing trade, and ideally even become a local landmark. Do your research and be creative, because this is going to be vitally important to your success. (more…)

The World’s Most Unique Coffee Shops

Coffee shops can be found on nearly every street corner, not just in the UK but all over the world. We just can’t get enough! But do you prefer the big brands like Starbucks and Caffe Nero, or perhaps you’re more interested in the smaller, quirky places that are a little less known? We’ve compiled a list of some of the most fabulous independent coffee shops in the world, and after looking at some of these you might be a lot keener to try something different next time.

The Vintage Emporium, LondonThe Vintage Emporium, London

This cafe in the heart of London is a truly unique experience. Not only do they serve up great coffee, the Emporium doubles as an antique shop. You can take a seat and relax surrounded by old curiosities, with many items from the Victorian era on display and almost all of the pieces available to buy. This bizarre boutique is well worth a visit.

The Grounds, Alexandria, AustraliaThe Grounds, Alexandria, Australia

Built inside the shell of a historic warehouse, The Grounds is perhaps the ultimate hipster coffee shop, featuring some incredible industrial yet cosy décor. Its lush surroundings are enhanced by a beautiful herb garden, and the coffee itself is produced with beans from all over the world in a high-tech facility right next door – you can see all the action as it happens through a glass wall from the cafe. (more…)

Top Café, Bar & Restaurant Furniture Designs

One of the best surprises when you visit a new café or restaurant is often the furniture you get to relax on while you’re there. Sometimes a place will catch you by surprise if you were expecting one thing and end up getting a completely different style, or perhaps a mash-up of several looks, as is quite popular.

The chairs and tables you choose can really make a difference to the overall look and feel of a place, so we tend to notice when some thought has gone into this. Here are some of our favourite pieces we’ve found for cafés, bars and restaurants.

1) Patchwork Daw Arm Chairs

Patchwork Daw Arm Chair

These are one of our absolute favourite modern designs if you’re looking for more relaxed and quirky bar and restaurant chairs. The fun colour combination can lend itself to various different overall design schemes, and the combination of materials used including steel and beech make this an attractive and practical choice. (more…)