Little Barista – best coffee bar & cafe in Burnley

P1030767It’s about 3 weeks since we called in the new coffee bar and cafe in the centre of Burnley today – Little Barista.

The post I wrote has been in the top of the favourites list ever since so it prompted me to pay another visit.p1030912

P1030846It sells organic coffee from Indonesia – Orang Utang coffee – as well as sandwiches and cakes and provides fresh fruit flavoured water which is a nice touch.

There are a dozen or so tables with a long settee against the back wall below a huge piece of wall art showing the origins of the coffee.P1030768

My first visit was just for a coffee. I had a cappuccino and my partner had a cafe latte. It was very good and came with a little sweet biscuit.

p1030913Only one size of cup at £2.70. I would have preferred a bigger cup to last while I read my paper but that’s just me. When I mentioned this to a member of staff on a return visit she explained that they thought having larger cups just made the coffee too milky.p1030924-1

I noticed that people who ordered espresso coffee had it served on a wooden tray with a glass of water continental style. Something I first noticed in Vienna and later in Stockholm and Munster.

P1030769The cafe was obviously popular and the staff, six of them on a Sunday out front, were very welcoming. When we left all the outside seats had been taken, so a good sign.

P1030844Today I opted for a cappuccino again but with the soup and roll, follow by a piece of Victoria sponge.

The soup and bread were both tasty (as was the sponge cake which I had with a second cup of coffee)

Once again the service was great, the staff were very attentive and looked like they were enjoying their work. A very nice experience and I will definitely be going there again when I’m in town.


In fact I have, and taken my friends there to enjoy the coffee, cake and home-made ice cream, and they all agree how good it is. So I’ve retitled this post to reflect that I think it’s the “best little coffee bar in town” (with apologies to Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds).

As I said before, it’s only a few yards from Costa Coffee, Rhode Island Coffee, and the award-winning Bellissimo so has plenty of competition. But good luck!

Live longer – drink more coffee!

s1032160_2Coffee has its detractors I know but without my daily input of caffeine  I’d be lost. I know I’m only topping up my caffeine levels to what feels normal but that’s OK. And I have no truck with the coffee bar habitués who order skinny de-caffs – what’s the point? And even worse those who order skinny decaffs with a cream and cherry syrup topping or have a chocolate/caramel/sticky toffee bun on the side. Who are they kidding? Having skinny decaff doesn’t really give you a licence to indulge on other high calorie goodies.

But I digress. The latest research says that drinking three or more cups of coffee a day makes it less likely you will die an early death.

American researchers have found that coffee contains bioactive chemicals that may protect drinkers against diseases such as diabetes and dementia.

Three cups a day lowers your risk of premature death by 15%. And people who drink coffee are less likely to commit suicide.

Scientists now believe that moderate coffee drinkers are much less likely to die prematurely than people who don’t drink coffee based on a US study of almost 170,000 people for more than 20 years.

Whilst people who drink coffee are more likely to smoke, once you take that out of the equation coffee drinkers appeared to have a lower risk of death by cardiovascular disease, neurological disease such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or suicide.

Even if you only drink one or two cups a day that gives you an 8% lower risk of premature death while of you drink more than five cups a day that increase to 12% less risk.

And it doesn’t matter if it’s decaffeinated. It’s the chemicals and compounds such as chlorogenic acid, lignans, and quinides, that appear to lower the levels of inflammation in the body and soften some of the factors leading to Type 2 diabetes.

The chlorogenic acid and the lignans have antioxidant effects and probably responsible for the relationship between coffee-drinking and mortality according to the study’s lead author Dr Ding Ming.

There’s also a study that suggests drinking two or three cups of coffee after you’ve been dieting helps you stay slim. Must be worth a try!

My last post on coffee

Other post on coffee & mental disorders

New Year’s been and gone and you’re still fighting the flab?

coffee_table_talk_PA_500_wht_6082Tried a diet? Useless according to NHS watchdog NICE. (And we know from masses of research that diets only work for 10% of people who go on them).

So what’s to blame (apart from lack of exercise)?

Well the coffee culture has a lot to answer for apparently.  People drink more elaborate coffees (you with the syrup and the whipped cream for example) and have cakes on the side. Lots and lots of calories.

TV also takes some of the blame. Watching for 2 hours a day should be the limit before you become a couch potato.

Professor Susan Jeb from Oxford, who led the advice, wants us to have a less sedentary lifestyle e.g. not taking the lift instead of the stairs even to go up one floor in the supermarket; standing up when we answer the phone; having a TV-free day.

And don’t believe fruit juice is necessarily healthy for you; parents eating meals with their kids and making sure they get enough sleep are other ways to enjoy a healthy life-style.

Health bosses have announced plans for GPs to seek out the obese and put them on diet, cookery, and exercise plans to prevent them getting diabetes which costs the NHS £10 billion a year.


More Scaremongering so called “research”…………………….

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More than four cups of coffee a day puts you at risk of early death, claim experts

U.S. researchers found more than 28 cups of coffee a week increases by half the chances of premature death in younger people. If you’re already holding your first coffee of the morning, you might want to put it down.

Because drinking four cups a day could raise your risk of dying young, researchers warn – but only if you’re under 55.

They found that consuming 28 cups of coffee a week increases the chances of premature death in younger people by half.  The findings come from a large- scale American lifestyle study of 43,727 individuals aged 20 to 87.

The US researchers suspect  (what they mean is they do not know) excessive coffee consumption may adversely affect the body’s metabolism, outweighing some of the known health benefits.

Individuals with a ‘genetic coffee…

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A touch of Vienna in Munster

P1000991Ignore the ice cream, cream and fresh fruit – delicious though they were.

Notice the coffee cup accompanied by a glass of water.

The first time I was in Vienna I had some time to kill so I went into one of the local coffee shops for a cup of coffee and a cake. They don’t rush you in those places. They let you stay there as long as you want and I was people-watching, seeing people reading books, kaffeeklatsching. I also noticed that they all had a glass of clear liquid  served with their coffee.

After a while I struck up conversation with another customer (who had taken my seat when I went to get another pastry) and asked her if everyone was drinking schnapps or something similar with their coffee.

She laughed and explained that it was traditional to serve water with coffee to stop you dehydrating.  It was odd that they hadn’t  given me a glass of water but the staff had obviously seen through my schoolboy German and realised I was a foreigner. To make up for this sleight she bought me a glass of local firewater. So all ended well.

The next time I had a glass of water served with my coffee was in the old town in Stockholm. I mentioned to the cafe owner that it reminded me of Vienna and surprise, surprise, that’s where his family had come from before emigrating to Sweden.

So was it the habit in Munster too I asked the restaurant manager? No it wasn’t but the restaurant team had decided it would be a nice thing to do and mark them out as being different from other restaurants. Nice customer service!

I’ve posted before on a (pram-free) coffee shop in Germany so click here for that and other posts on coffee

How drinking too much coffee can induce a mental disorder, according to latest psychiatrist bible

Please note blogger’s comments at end!

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

Psychiatrists are warning of the dangerous physiological impact of caffeine intoxication. An overdose of caffeine is among the mental disorders included in the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) released on May 22.

Symptoms of the disorder include restlessness, nervousness, excitement, red face, gastrointestinal upset, muscle twitching, rambling speech, sleeplessness, rapid and irregular heartbeat, according to Live Science.

Help The findings about the mental impacts of a caffeine overdose come from the list of mental disorders compiled by the American Psychiatric Association.

The DSM is the go-to guide for a myriad of professionals seeking to understand mental disorders including physicians, psychologists, social workers, nurses, occupational and rehabilitation therapists, and counselors, according to the APA website.

Caffeine intoxication had previously been listed as a disorder but in the latest edition of the DSM, it also includes the disorder associated with caffeine withdrawal.

Symptoms of caffeine withdrawal…

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Tea still top tipple in UK

Document1Despite the growth of coffee shops in the UK (and something Costa Coffee is now exporting to France) Brits still drink 11 million gallons of tea a day. The 400-year old habit is well established with many people acknowledging they are addicted to it.

Most people use the same process and the same cup or mug; milk and two sugars for many people. But 7% of us are so fussy about the strength and temperature we won’t let anyone else make it for us

A quarter of us drink at least 5 cups a day but only 20% use a teapot and even fewer a cup and saucer. And loose tea and a strainer? Not these days.

The Chairman of the Tea Council, William Gorman, says we still drink tea because we know it’s good for us (so is coffee by the way). He syas it calms our muscles, hydrates us, and has less caffeine than coffee.

The market for black the has not grown but green, white, and herbal tea sales are increasing by 7% each year and make up 10% of the market.

The problem is buying tea in a cafe. Its ether stewed or not boiled long enough. Personally I object to paying so much for a teabag and some hot water. At least with coffee you know it’s pretty much quality controlled. Which is why the vast majority of tea-drinking is done at home.

I drink both tea and coffee. For years I drank tea with milk (and sugar a long time ago). Then when I started going to Lithuania in 2005 I discovered that they only serve tea with milk, and hot milk at that, for children.

Their preferred method is tea with a slice of lemon and a teaspoonful of honey. At first I stuck to black tea but one night a couple of years ago the bar staff made a mistake and gave me green tea instead.

I’d only ever had green tea in a Chinese restaurant before but I liked it with the lemon and honey and have stuck with that ever since including back at home.

P1000865In fact although I might have a couple of milky coffees a day I tend to only have one cup of tea with milk and start and finish the day with green tea, lemon and honey.

The posts you liked most in 2012

100%Thanks to the back office helpers at WordPress I now know which of my posts were actually read by you last year , my first full year with this blog.

I wrote 40 new posts making a total of 110 so far. I intended to write one a week but got distracted by tweeting!

Each one has at least one picture which I hope you find interesting as 99% of them are my own work from my travels around Europe.

My readers come from 48 different countries, mostly from the UK closely followed by the USA and Lithuania.

My 5th most popular post was: “We keep taking the pills” from August 2012. This was about our over-reliance on medication to treat anxiety and depression.

My 4th most popular post was: “Coffee, Joe, Java, Kava” from December 2011. This was about coffee’s increasing popularity.

My 3rd most popular post was: “Chocoholics? Could be true!” from September 2012. We all love chocolate and now you might have an excuse.

My 2nd most popular post was: “Talk to your children and have a social life” from May 2012. The importance of communicating with children to give them a better future.

My most popular post by a narrow margin was: “Cleanliness” from August 2012. Research shows that children brought up in cleaner homes do better in life generally. Start the little monkeys early I say and buy them a cleaning toy!

 So thank you everyone for reading, liking, or following me. Each time I publish a post it goes on twitter @uLearn2BU or you can subscribe on this site.

Have a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013!

Pram-free coffee cafe

Call me a coffee nazi but you have to admire Ralf Rüller the owner of the Barn Roastery in Berlin.

He has a purist approach to coffee drinking to say the least.

He bans extra milk, spoons (he frowns on sugar), laptops, dogs, mobile phone ringtones and loud phone calls (well with a name that sounds like Ralf the Ruler in English what do you expect?)

But the rule that’s had his approach labelled a “totalitarian coffee regime” is his ban on prams! He built a bollard in the doorway with a “prams not allowed” sign on it to prevent prams being brought into his cafe (it can be lifted for wheelchairs).

Ralf is a coffee connoisseur who believes the brewing process should be respected and that people who go to drink it should also be respected. He claims it’s not about discrimination but specialisation when competing with the big coffee chains.

People are divided: there are those who say children don’t drink coffee anyway and the Green party which says it is “a socially incorrect affront to families”. Some mums appreciate the pushchair ban and there are plenty of other coffee shops which welcome kids in prams.

I’m on his side. Although I have a family member whose child pretty much learned to walk tottering around outside Costa Coffee I hate having to climb over those “off-road” style buggies in smaller cafes.

I’ve previously posted elsewhere about having to forgo my favourite bistro, where my colleague and I would relax on the leather settees enjoying a glass of wine and a cup of coffee whilst catching up on business, after they introduced children’s menus.

Once that happened we had to compete with young mums on their phones competing with their babies’ demands for attention, not to mention food on the floor and sticky fingers on the furniture. Not a productive environment. So all respect to Ralf!

Coffee’s ups and downs

People drink coffee for lots of reasons but often because they think it gives them a lift.

Sadly the evidence is that like other addictions having a coffee just restores your energy and cognitive ability to where it would be if you hadn’t started down that rocky path of having a daily dose of caffeine.

There is however some good news. Drinking too much coffee can give you the shakes but for sufferers from Parkinson’s disease it has the opposite effect.

Scientists knew that drinking coffee had a prophylactic effect and reduced the risk of Parkinson’s but had never tested what happened with people who already had the disease.

Researchers at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, gave Parkinsons’ sufferers either a 6-week course of caffeine pills, equivalent to three cups of coffee a day, or a placebo.

Only people in the caffeine group showed a significant improvement in tests for motor problems such as tremors and general mobility.

Motor problems are caused by lack of dopamine in the brain and caffeine blocks the receptors that inhibit its production.

More and more people are drinking coffee so it’s good to know that there are some positive health effects and caffeine is found in a whole range of food and drink.

Source: New Scientist 4/8/2012