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An education in coffee

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The urban myth that web developers run on black coffee may be the stuff of legend, however, the fact that Farpoint Labs are practically keeping Nescafé in business may be somewhat reflective of the truth.

Nescafé might be a quick fix in our London offices, but even the fresh coffee pot owned by fellow office residents, that quietly brews in the corner of the kitchen, holds no real appeal to me. We have quite the ethnic mix in the Kolab office, our Project Director, Nick is so quintessentially British we are still amazed he has not walked in brandishing a brolly and bowler hat, while at the other end of the scale is Laura, our feisty Italian client relationship and projects manager. I am sure, though we all have different ideas of how to make it, coffee is a running theme across most web development agencies.

Being of German and Bosnian decent, with some Croatian, Serbian and Slovene thrown in for good measure, has made me quite the connoisseur of the ‘proper’ way to make coffee. You may think that coffee has its roots deep in Italian culture but there is a long history within my cultural background of creating my idea of the perfect cup of coffee.

Starbucks mochas are a poor imitation of a real mocca coffee, spelt mocca with no trace of chocolate to be found. Having lived in many of the countries I hold the nationality to, I have some great experiences of the cultural mix and the passion we feel for our way of serving coffee. It is such a specialty in the way it is served and drunk, that a Bosnian waiter became famous for slapping any customer who finished their coffee within half an hour. The process of making it, though all are variations on a theme, is a labour of love in comparison to the coffee shops in London. Water is brought to the boil, the roasted and ground beans are added and, following that, the mixture is allowed to boil and cool several times over. The real key in this method is allowing the aroma of the coffee to develop to its full potential, though some choose to add spices or sweetener such as Turkish delight to their coffee experience.

This appreciation of coffee is so ingrained in the culture of these nationalities that the refugees who found themselves in Berlin, following the conflict in Bosnia, resorted to roasting and grinding their own beans as they were unable to find a suitable substitute elsewhere. This created a fabulous aroma throughout the streets, which was infinitely more preferable to the normal smells of the city.

Back to my Nescafé for now

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