Author: FNND

A beginners guide to ‘cupping’ coffee

Coffee cupping is very much a labour of love with many rewards. Even after seven years of cupping, I am still like a kid in a candy shop when approaching the cupping table. The ritual of inhaling aromas and slurping on flavours like a little boy with no manners brings a smile to my face and an excitement of the mysteries that are about to unfold. Cupping coffee can transport you to a farm half way round the world or lead you to exciting new origins or offerings you never knew about. What and why Cupping coffee is a system of classification based on a handful of learned skills – skills that once learnt can reveal many answers to roasting and brewing questions not to mention can be a lot of fun too. Whatever your level – you need to develop a good vocabulary in order to understand and communicate the sense or feelings you get from a coffee. Don’t be afraid to invent your own words and phrases – it is important to write …

In The Words of Sparks …

In The Words of Sparks … Selected Lyrics Sparks – the long-running duo of brothers Ron and Russell Mael – are among the most respected songwriters of their generation, their songs ranking alongside those of Ray Davies (The Kinks having been a formative influence), George Gershwin, Cole Porter and Stephen Sondheim. Formed in Los Angeles in 1971, Sparks have issued over 20 albums and scored chart hits with songs such as ‘This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the Both of Us’, ‘Cool Places’ and ‘Never Turn Your Back on Mother Nature’. While their musical style has changed dramatically over the course of 40 years – embracing the British Invasion sound of the 60s, glam rock, disco (they teamed up with Giorgio Moroder for 1979’s ‘No. 1 in Heaven’) and even techno – their work has consistently stretched the boundaries of pop music and the song form. Sparks continue to break new ground: they are currently working on a project with filmmaker Guy Maddin and are soon to embark on a world tour. Now, for the …

Moon River and Buffalo 66 – what is it about Vincent Gallo?

One of our all time favourite films is Buffalo 66, one of our favourite songs is Moon River. So when last trawling the web, researching said Buffalo 66, it was an absolute pleasure to find this gem: For those of you who haven’t seen Buffalo 66, here’s a summary: having just served five years in prison for a crime he did not commit, Billy Brown (Vincent Gallo) kidnaps a young tap dancer named Layla (Christina Ricci) and forces her to pretend to be his wife. Layla allows herself to be kidnapped and it is clear she is romantically attracted to Billy from the start, but Billy all the while is compelled to deal with his own demons, his loneliness and his depression. The subplot of Billy seeking revenge on the man indirectly responsible for his imprisonment, Scott Wood, is a reference to a former Buffalo Bills kicker, Scott Norwood, who missed the game-winning field goal in Super Bowl XXV against the New York Giants in 1991. The balance struck between a haunting  vulnerability and dry …

Shamsuddin – Iranian food in Satwa

Originally by I’m Not a Fiend Aahh, meat. Sometimes I love the stuff. Sometimes I go weeks feeling completely ambivalent about it. Sometimes I read depressing articles and the thought of meat consumption makes me feel sick. Sometimes I eat Iranian food and remember just how beautiful meat really is. How could I ever have thought otherwise?? Those Persians know how to treat meat right. You haven’t experienced tender meat till you’ve had a good Iranian kebab. So I was excited to spot Shamsuddin on Satwa Road recently. It’s pretty bare bones, but that’s just the way I like it. Basic furniture. Tissue boxes. TV on the news channel. Two guys running the whole place. The guy working the grill must have been someone’s son, a baby-faced meat apprentice. Shamsuddin don’t even have a menu. Just decide if you want mutton or chicken, minced or pieces. Simple as that. The rest will come to you. In the face of such choices, we ordered a plate of everything. A housemade laban, heavy on the fresh mint, kept …