Papervore Coffee Table

This is a coffee table that could save my life and a lot of those papers from piling up. Moreover… it would make dealing with those awful leaflets and circulars so much more fun to deal with.

The Papervore Coffee Table by Pigeontail Design (via Unclutterer)

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YMCA

A long stroll through the city’s main shopping streets holds one of the cities most relaxing coffee shops.  I’m not entirely sure if this is a fact or a magic trick. Moving through the busy streets with stalls and religious types preaching their songs any moment of silence would seem even more delicious.

We walk in and the atrium is empty. Brown leather sofas surround bistro tables and chairs.  Local radio plays a mixture of music.  We order our coffees and sit down.  Easing back into the plush sofa and try to put the world to right.

There is no wi-fi and yet that somehow feels appropriate as the atmosphere allows for conversation.  Two small groups trickle in: one discusses philosophy, the other is slightly out of ear-shot.

We leave, not having had the best coffee, but certainly the most relaxing and comfortable time so far.

Overall 52/110
Here’s the breakdown (if you’re interested)

Location:6, Cappuccino:2, Americano:5, Fairtrade:0, Price:9, wi-fi:0, Service:4, atmosphere/ambience:8, music:7, décor:8, eateries:3, misc. (events etc): community work etc
Total score: 52
Possible:110

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The Quadrant

Hi folks and fellow coffee lovers,

Welcome to our second coffee shop review of Wolverhampton’s delightful (and some not so delightful) caffeine fuelled bars, bistros and hang outs. This time, it was the turn of The Quadrant. Anyone who is familiar with Wolverhampton’s great number of ‘trendy’ bars, you’ll know that they change hands quite frequently. Quadrant is no exception to this rule and has seen more owners than the University’s had Vice Chancellors. As one might expect, the quality of the coffee experience in quadrant has varied greatly over the years. For example, it is with great pleasure that I present to you a stunning café latte served to Mr. Ellis B (at Quadrant) a number of years ago:

A thing of wonderment, right? Could this be the perfect latte?

Well, unfortunately our experience wasn’t quite the same. It’s fair to say I was a little sceptical about having coffee in Quadrant as its clientele can be a tad rough around the edges and the venue itself tends to reflects that. As we stepped through the door we were greeted by a rather grimy and run down attempt at a minimalist and trendy bar. However, we were served by a lovely and happy lady behind the bar as we ordered our signature cappuccino and Americano. We took a seat by the window and looked out upon a busy intersection of the city centre; opposite was an abandoned and derelict Rothwells, an old university office and further up the road were numerous shops and banks. We surveyed the interior surroundings and noticed a few attempts at ‘modern art’ which hung lonely on the walls. As the sun shone brightly through the window we were served our drinks. I was quick to do the taste test on my cappuccino to be hit by a sweet and satisfactory shot of caffeine. However, my partner in crime was not so impressed by the make up and appearance of my cappuccino. There was only a few millimetres of froth masking what looked like a regular white coffee; not the standard cappuccino we’re accustomed too (see diagram below) As for Ellis’s americano, it was nothing more than average. The distinct lack of customers in Quadrant that Thursday afternoon said a lot about our experience. Although, I’d like to add, it’s not just about the coffee. I’m a great believer in it’s the people your with, not the place you’re in and our experience paid homage to that. Two friends made the best of a bad coffee and talked about current affairs, our personal lives and random trivia. Although the coffee left a lot to be desired, the company certainly didn’t. Perhaps our Quadrant experience would have been vastly improved had we visited in the evening when the there might have been more atmosphere. Nevertheless, we left with a smile and another box ticked on the great coffee crawl of wolves.

Until next time, over and out.

Will

Total: 48 out of a possible 100

Quadrant breakdown:
Location 6; Cappuccino 4; Americano 5; Fairtrade 5 (Rain Forrest alliance); Price 7; Wi-fi N/A; Service 7; Atmosphere 4; Music N/A; Décor 4; Eateries 6; Total: 48 out of a possible 100

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Morning Coffee isn’t your pick-me-up

Asleep

image from The Outskirts blog

According to research by Bristol University your Morning Joe may be holding off the effects of caffeine withdrawal rather than perking up the start of your day

Peter Rogers writes, “Our study shows that we don’t gain an advantage from consuming caffeine – although we feel alerted by it, this is caffeine just bringing us back to normal. On the other hand, while caffeine can increase anxiety, tolerance means that for most caffeine consumers this effect is negligible.”

Click here for more information.

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Quotables…

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LockWorks

After much discussion Will and I begin our ‘coffee-crawl’ journey in one of my favourite coffee shops- Lockworks. I know there was some bias in our choice, we wanted to make our first review a good one. (This blog, I hope, isn’t just about reviewing cafes, bars and bistros. This is also about two friends enjoying ‘something’ together… and I am certain there will be many digressions where our friendship will be deepened and tested.)

Lockworks is based within the Chubb Buildings just off Broad Street, in Wolves; part of the Lighthouse Media Centre– a central focus for many of the varying art-communitites in the city.

We hoped to make our first review an enjoyable one… we were disappointed. We walked in to the café area to be immediately hit with a wall of eggy air. I was taken back to my Beano-reading days with childish pranks and the smashing of stink bombs. The staff apologised trying to make light of the problem- I didn’t have the heart to tell them of the review. I think Will gagged a little.

We ordered our drinks and sat in the cobbled atrium.

One great plus of the LockWorks connections is there is always great art on show whether it be photography exhibitions, paintings, sculptures, fashion accessories etc… It always looks good (unless you catch it in a rare ‘between-shows’ moment) and there is always something to stimulate interesting conversation.

Our drinks arrive as I’m opening up my mac-book to check for wi-fi (wi-fi is free and easily accessible). It’s probably best to keep this brief… Will likened his americano to being not much better than the instant coffee in his kitchen. My cappuccino tasted good, but lost marks for bordering on a latte. A shame.

We chatted for a while- watching the technicians as they set up for the start of the next days Deaffeast film festival before leaving through a cloud of pungency.

I had hoped to start on a high-note, and though the LockWorks lost points on the coffee test the creative atmosphere pushes up its overall score. It didn’t hit the heights of a jovial java, but I’m sure next time I visit it will.

Overall 69/100
Here’s the breakdown (if you’re interested)

Location:7, Cappuccino:4, Americano:3, Fairtrade:10, Price:9, wi-fi:10, Service:6, atmosphere/ambience:7, music:n/a, décor:8, eateries:5, misc. (events etc): art events/cinema etc
Total score: 69
Possible:100

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Good evening

Welcome to “Coffee in Wolves”. We will be frequenting and reviewing coffee shops within the Wolverhampton city limits and beyond over the course of the next few months.  Feel free to contact us if you would like us to review your coffee shop.

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