Six Eight Kafe opens its new branch

Six Eight Kafe opens its new branch

I bring brilliant news as Six Eight Kafe finally opens its much anticipated second branch at Millennium Point!

It all kicks off with a launch party this evening. As I now do regular work over in Eastside, this is most definitely going to become a new regular Eastside destination for me from here on in.

six eight kafe

I cannot wait to see what treats are on the menu beyond just the coffee shop itselfs. Congratulations to all the team at Six Eight Kafe on the launch and a big thanks to Dev for allowing me to publish these brilliant preview pictures of the fantastic looking new coffee shop.




The Smoothie Way To Get You To Cycle in Birmingham


Two coffee shops are getting involved in the new Birmingham Cycle Revolution launched this month.

First, Birmingham Cycle Revolution have teamed up with local café, Boston Tea Party, to create a ‘cycle smoothie’ which has health benefits for cyclists and we will be giving away free samples next Friday in Victoria Square.

cycleThe event is part of a wider initiative to tempt people to dust off their bikes and get pedalling.

For example, next Friday 27th, is part of a regular fixture on the last Friday of each month to encourage commuters on their bikes.

Given the growing association between cycling and coffee shops, it’s great to see BTP behind this initiative.

The recipe for the smoothie is as follows:


apple juice (250ml)

blueberries (110g)

1cm cube of ginger (10g)

half a banana (60g)

Dale Allison, manager of Boston Tea Party who created the smoothie said that he used “banana for energy and ginger because it reduces muscle soreness for cyclists”.

Secondly, Local businesses can also get involved with Birmingham Cycle Revolution at an event on Wednesday June 25th at Urban Coffee Company on Church Street from 12pm to 2pm. The Smarter Choices team will be hosting a free business lunch to inform local employers about Top Cycle Locations scheme and grant process.


Thanks to Beth Meads at WPR for the nod for this piece.

So,  let’s get behind “#BikeDayFriday and folks are being encouraged to send in their ‘Cycle Selfies’ using the hashtag.
More details on Birmingham Cycle Revolution programme, visit: www.birmingham.gov.uk/bcr



Guest blog: Lee Thomas (Urban Roast Coffee) on working in a roastery


We are delighted to welcome Lee Thomas from local business Urban Roast Coffee who has written a insightful blog piece about what it is work in a roastery!


So have you ever thought about where your coffee comes from, that beautiful cup of black magic with a comforting aroma.

Well for a start when it arrives at our roastery it is a small green bean that smells of grass.

Our hessian sacks come from faraway places and distant shores which give us a great starting point.

Coffee is a bit like wine, different regions and altitudes produce different flavours and characteristics, the art of the roaster is to bring these together and produce a beautiful coffee that showcases the best of that bean.

Some coffee is known for its light floral notes others for its deep dark chocolate taste so depending on the individuals personal preference there is an abundance of coffee out there waiting to be discovered.

After we receive our green bean our job is to get the best out of it, and to do that we have to go through a process called profiling.

When we profile a coffee we will put multiple batches through the roaster at different settings – Hot and fast, low and slow, we manipulate the roasting process in order to get a wide variety of taste results from that coffee.

When we are roasting coffee we log a number of settings off the roaster. These settings all affect the taste of the coffee. These settings are things like Starting Temperature, the air temperature and environment temperature in the drum of the roaster and most important we log the temperature of the beans. All of these readings are taken every 30 seconds so we end up with an in depth graph of that roast.


Once we are happy with the roast we then move onto the cupping stage, which is a bit like wine tasting but with a lot less spitting. We usually taste (or cup) up to 6 different versions of the same coffee so we are happy we have covered as many different settings for that coffee as possible.

We move slowly through our roasted samples where we taste and score the coffee. We do this in order to find the best results and at what settings we obtained those results at.

We often end up with several samples that we like, so at this point we will look at the roasting profile settings and merge those together to end up with the perfect roasting profile for that coffee.

We will do this process for every coffee we supply as each coffee has its own unique flavour and it gives us a blueprint to roast to so we always producing the best coffee we can.

So now you have a basic knowledge of what we the coffee roasters do. We may be the people behind the scenes, but when you are sitting enjoying your great tasting coffee you can be safe in the knowledge that a whole lot of care and passion was put into that little green bean to make it taste the way it does.

More about Urban Roast Coffee Company

The Urban Roast Coffee Company is an Independent artisan coffee roastery based in the midlands.  Roasting in small quantities allows them to offer truly fresh roasted coffee direct to our customers doorstep. They roast on a daily basis so their coffee is always the freshest it can be when you receive it.

More info – web. www.urbanroastcoffee.co.uk and twitter @urban_roast.




Guest blog: #UKCoffeeweek at Urban Coffee Company


On this week’s guest blog, Coffee Brum is delighted to welcome Urban Coffee Company‘s Peter Gough to the blog as he talks about what they have been up to as part of #UKCoffeeweek this week.


We are the lucky ones…. every day at Urban Coffee Company is a celebration of that wonderful, pick-me-up nectar we like to call coffee! However, since UK Coffee week began it has been so fab that once a year we are given the chance to take part in something really exciting and join a nationwide celebration.


Not only does UK Coffee Week give roasters, coffee shops and baristas a chance to really shout about what they do, it also gives the UK Coffee industry a chance to give something back to the communities which grow the coffee that we so depend on to get through the day!


Now, we are half way though the week and across all three emporiums, tip jars have been replaced with donation boxes. We are holding a  ‘guess the weight of the coffee’ competition all week with the prize being a fabulous coffee cupping and tasting set.  We’ve already got the first lot of filled in ‘silent quiz sheets’ in – pick up a question sheet from any of our emporiums – for just a quid – and you will be in with a chance to win a months’ worth of free coffee from us!

And of course, all monies raised go straight to Project Waterfall.


And, if that’s not enough, we’re having a Fancy Dress Friday on the 11th April – so get ready for our Urbanistas to be shaking their buckets at you!

Even our Meet-Ups and Events will be helping us to do our part with UK Coffee Week – after all, they are all part of our very own coffee-loving community, such as a UK Coffee Week themed Jelly on the 11th at #JQ and Kaffee und Kuchen at #CS on the 13th.

We are really enjoying this UK Coffee Week, so please make sure you give generously whenever you’re in a participating vendor – Project Waterfall is something really worth getting involved in!


Thanks very much to Peter for his guest blog this week. In addition to Urban Coffee Company, Java Lounge in Moseley are another indie in town who are actively supporting #ukcoffeeweek, so be sure to get involved and donate if you can. `




Guest post: UK Coffee Week is coming – April 7th-13th 2014 #ukcoffeeweek

UK Coffee Week
Coffee Birmingham is delighted to be throwing its support behind UK Coffee Week this year. We are grateful to welcome Isla McLean to our blog to give a brief taster of what the week is all about and what sort of things to look forward to.
uk coffee week
If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you’re a coffee lover. Get excited because UK Coffee Week is back! This year it is taking place 7-13th April for some fun and to raise vital funds to improve access to safe water for people in coffee-growing  countries.
There are some amazing things happening across the country… from a coffee selling ‘Vespa’ in Oxford; prisoners learning Barista Skills in Henley Prison to artisan roasters hosting cupping events.  In addition, Starbucks will donate 25p for every coffee sold in a reusable cup – so be sure to take  your favourite mug to Starbucks during UK Coffee Week!
Click here to find out what’s happening across the country and how you can get involved.
In our office, coffee is what fuels our day! Why not help us give back to coffee-growing countries by getting your office and work mates involved. Just visit our website http://coffeeatwork.org.uk/ to find out more information and get drinking.
The money raised during this year’s UK Coffee Week and through Coffee@Work will help complete Project Waterfall, delivering safe water, sanitation and hygiene to the remote community in the Mbulu District of Tanzania. So far, along with our charity partners WaterAid UK, we have delivered safe water to over 8,000 people, but there’s still more to do. We hope that by coming together we can raise the £100,000 needed to complete this vital work.
In Birmingham –  Java Lounge (155 Alcester Road) and Urban Coffee Company (30 Church Street) are already supporting UK Coffee Week – thank you!
We’d love as many coffee shops as possible involved in UK Coffee Week, so please tell your favourite  ones about UK Coffee Week and pay them a visit between 7-13 April to help support Project Waterfall.
For more information, and for coffee shops to join UK Coffee Week for free, please visit www.ukcoffeeweek.com
Thanks to Isla and more info on what is happening locally in Birmingham at our indies will be published in the lead up to UK Coffee Week. I share Isla’s invitation. Let your coffee shops know about the week and get them on board for this great cause.



Big shout out to all Brum baristas in UKBC superheats this week

Just a quick message to wish all of our Brum-based baristas competing at the ukbc superheats at Millennium Point this week (9-12 February) the very best of luck.

It’s so great to have the Championships in Birmingham this year. If you can’t get over to Millennium Point this week, you can watch all the action here: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/ukbc-2014.

Quick congrats to Imogen Ludman from 6/8 Kafe who did such a magnificent job in her presentation this lunchtime!


Imogen from 6/8 Kafe in Action (Photo: @sanremouk)


The judges carefully scrutinising the action at #ukbc14 (Photo: @sanremouk)

From SCAE website: The UK Barista Championship heats will run throughout the four days with baristas from across the country competing in the regional heats together. Regional winners will be announced at the end of the heats and will be awarded to the top scoring barista from their pre-declared region; one each from the 5 regions of – London & South East and East of England, South West and Wales, The Midlands, The North of England & Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Regional winners are not guaranteed a spot in the finals however as these will be based on the top 20 scoring baristas from the entire UK going through to the finals; the finals will be held at The London Coffee Festival (3rd – 6th April  2014)





Birmingham Networks Big Christmas Party – Tonight at Glee Club (10/12/13 7pm)

birmingham networks, coffee brum, droplet

We are delighted to join the guys at Droplet Pay who had the bright idea of inviting all the city’s networks to one big Christmas party!

  • When? Tuesday, 10th December 7pm
  • Where? Glee Club
  • Who’s going? Check out all these networks!
  • Cost? FREE! Plus Special £5 curry deal …
  • Twitter: @hello_glue
  • Sign up here
Amongst those going …. 
Coffee Brum (Tim Wilson),
Birmingham Social Media Cafe (Karen Strunks),
Birmingham Young Institute of Directors (James Villarreal),
West Midlands Producers Forum (Pip Piper),
Film Forum West Midlands / Shooting People West Midlands,
Silicon Canal (Simon Jenner and the tech community in Birmingham),
TEDxBrum (Ian Harrison and Immy Kaur),
Entrepreneurs for the Future (Michelle Rayner),
WM Open Data Forum (Andrew Mackenzie and Chris Price),
BPS BhamFuture and BPS Bham Leaders (Alex Bishop/Suzie Branch/Nicola Fleet-Milne),
LINK (Richard Griffiths/Paul Varley/Jamie Partington),
Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) West Midlands
Colmore Curry Club (Rebecca Simkiss and Richard Guy)
Creative Alliance (Noel Dunne)
Mappa Mercia (OpenStreetMap community in the West Midlands) (Brian Prangle)

… and more!


The networks will support a small tab behind the bar (when it has gone its gone) and subsidising Balti in a Bowl should you want to eat. Now £5, down from £7.50, to help – it is Droplet’s way of saying thank you to Birmingham and everyone that have supported them.

We look forward to welcoming as many of you as possible to celebrate the year, and meet some new people that live, work and belong to other networks in Birmingham that you might not be aware of.

Thanks to David Roberts for the opportunity.




Pictures from Urban Coffee Company’s preview launch in Harborne

Urban has a new and lovely emporium which opened today in the newly redeveloped School Yard in Harborne. The decor and atmosphere feels warm and homely and I’m really digging the open bar vibe as well.

Here’s some pics from the soft-launch party last night. I urge you all to get over and check this place out. A fab job has been done by all concerned!

Let us know what you think of Urban’s new emporium in Harborne – tweet to @coffeebrum!! 





It’s UK Coffee Week – visit your indie coffee shop and raise money for charity

UK Coffee Week 2013 kicked off today and continues until the 28th April, and will incorporate a whole bunch of stuff happening at many of Birmingham indies.

UK Coffee Week – it is a celebration of all things coffee. Over seven days, coffee industry experts get together and showcase different aspects of coffee.

Run by the Allegra Foundation, the fundraising event ‘provides a unique opportunity for branded coffee chains, independent coffee shops and industry suppliers to collaborate and celebrate the success of the industry, while raising money for Project Waterfall.’ 

Check out the in-store product offerings and activities and giving boxes at a number of Birmingham’s indies throughout the week, and remember to tweet out about your involvement – @ukcoffeeweek #ukcoffeeweek #PowerOfCoffee.




Judging for the Great Birmingham Bake Off (Six Eight Kafe)

six eight kafe

I am delighted to have been invited by Hannah and the team at Six Eight Kafe as part of their Great Birmingham Bake Off. Described as a “week long cakeathon”, the  Bake Off (#GBCBO) will raise money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital. The competition has garnered much interest from bakers and tasters and continues throughout this week, every day until Saturday (26th January). Each day will have a different theme from Tea Time Treats, to cookies to Inspire By Birmingham.

Ultimately the public will judge and donate £££s for the privilege!

Follow #GBCBO on twitter for all the latest info during the week.