Friday, 30 March 2012

What is the most expensive coffee in Britain?

The news headlines have been astonished by the price of a particular type of coffee which is on the market at the moment. Notwithstanding the economic gloom, there are still people in the country who are willing to pay a pretty penny for a cup of coffee.

What sort of coffee is attracting high payments? And how much are people paying?

The answer to this latter question is rather astonishing – Kopi Luwak coffee is on the market for a cool £70 per cup. Rather impressive no?

And the answer to the former question – what is so special about this coffee – is also rather astonishing. The coffee is created thanks to the help of a furry, weasel-like animal called the luwaks. These creatures have a particular talent for hunting down and consuming the best red, ripe coffee cherries. And why does this matter? What difference do the eating habits of this animal make to the coffee lovers of the world? 
The answer is rather strange – the coffee beans are not digestible by the luwak and pass right through the digestive system. Farmers take these beans from the droppings of the creatures, clean them and use them to create an usual blend of coffee.

And it is this substance that coffee lovers are willing to pay a king's ransom for!

Where can you find these beans in Britain? Have a good hunt around, but DSTRKT in London is a newly opened venue and has these beans for sale.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Duke of Edinburgh scheme participant raises money for Gambia

The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme does so much to help the development of youngsters who take part in it and also passes on ancillary benefits to the community.

For instance, although many associate the Award Scheme with the 'expedition' – the trek by foot, on horse or any other form of transport, which is something of an outward bound adventure – it has a community aspect too.

One pupil at High School Kirriemuir has certainly done her part to help the Gambian community with her efforts.

What has she done? As reported in the online press, Christie McNicol has raised a stunning £750 towards the Kunta Kinteh Nursery in the African country of Gambia.

It is not just Christie acting alone who has raised funds for the Gambian nursery – Jackie Learmonth has recently visited the country and was appalled by the state of the school which was described as being in an 'horrendous state.'

Ms Learmonth has set up the Kunta Kinteh Nursery for children aged 4-7 and caters for 90 children in the three classrooms there.Ms Christie raised funds by doing a sky dive at the Errol airfield and contributed £750 towards the school.

She also works at the Woodville Inn as a waitress, which is owned by Ms Learmonth.

Ms Learmonth has also raised funds for her school in the traditional way – by holding a coffee morning to collect funds for her extremely worthwhile project.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Good news – new jobs ahead?

If you work in the restaurant industry in Great Britain, there has been an encouraging word of new jobs in the news recently. What's the story? It's reported that The Restaurant Group may be seeking to create around 600 jobs in the catering industry in 2012. These posts would be generated by the opening of a planned 25 to 30 new eateries over the new year.

The company has had success recently, even during the global economic downturn and associated problems. In 2010, it is said that 500 new jobs were created as a result of the opening of 25 new restaurants. The Restaurant Group includes popular eateries such as Garfunkels and Chiquito, together with a series of pub outlets too, as part of its portfolio presence in the industry.

Profits are also up. Compared with the turnover in 2010, the company has apparently announced that its turnover has been boosted by 7.25%. Also, the profits last year were apparently better than they were in the year before. It looks as if good things are happening for the canny company, despite the tough economic conditions.

The Restaurant Group has a wide portfolio that crosses the country. For those seeking employment, this is good news. Also take into consideration that in all probability there would be a cross section of jobs made available. The company has certainly been canny so far and is hoping to maintain the delivery of profits in the coming year too.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Actor sacrifices coffee for SCIAF

Remember the Scottish actor Robert Carlyle? Amongst other films, he has appeared in Trainspotting with Ewan McGregor and the Full Monty. But it seems that there is more to this actor than his professional abilities.

Carlyle is taking part in the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund's programme, Lenten Wee Box, Big Change challenge.

As you probably know, Lent is a time of year when many people give up something which lasts for 40 days. The Lenten Wee Box, Big Change scheme aims to raise funds by asking people to give up one of their treats and to donate money to their cause. What is the daily treat that the famous actor has agreed to forgo? The answer is one of the treats that we all enjoy: coffee.

The funds which are raised are intended to combat poverty and injustice in developing continents such as Africa and Latin America. The money will go towards items which make a practical difference to these people and give them a chance to help themselves – gifts such as seeds, tools and training are offered.

This is the second year of this campaign and it will be officially launched by Susan Boyle. In 2011, the Wee Box, Big Change raised over £900,000 – a big change indeed. The start date for the Wee Box, Big Change is 22 February. Carlyle will also promote the event and is to feature in the advertising. Other famous names who have added their weight to the campaign are the Proclaimers and the Scottish international football captain, Darren Fletcher.

Friday, 16 March 2012

American coffee symposium ahoy!

The world is getting better and better at celebrating coffee in all its different forms. There are local and national coffee festivals, Barista World Championships and those at national level too, latte art competitions, coffee tastings, not to mention the many, many coffee mornings the world over.

However, America also has a particular way of celebrating the beverage and this is a long held tradition. What is it? For the twenty-fourth year, the Specialty Coffee Association of America will hold its Annual Exposition and Symposium. This year's event is to take place in Portland Oregon.

It is something of a magnet for those in the coffee industry. If you were lucky enough to be in the area in April this year, you could expect to see many different professionals from the world of coffee, ranging from countries all over the globe. One of the focuses of the event is to showcase the new strategies, trends, techniques and coffee-related products on the market. In the symposium element of the gathering, there will be discussions and debates about the general and important issues affecting the coffee industry and, in particular, it is said that the matters of quality and sustainability will be on the agenda.

The equivalent event in 2010 was a great success and over 8,000 people arrived to check out the current climate and issues in the coffee industry and the exhibition area included over 700 exhibition booths which showcased all sorts of products on the market.

Monday, 12 March 2012

McDonalds to expand in Wales and the UK

The employment figures in Wales have been a little disheartening of late. Many of us have been affected by the economic problems across the globe, with the attendant debts and cuts in spending, which includes issues of unemployment. Wales has been affected, as has much of the country. Reported figures have said that unemployment in the region have reached 8.5%.

However, according to reports in the news, there is also some good news on the horizon in terms of the catering sector. The fast food chain, McDonald's, has made a recent announcement that it intends to create some 125 new job opportunities in the area in 2012. Encouragingly, it has also been said that around 30% of these new posts will be aimed at first-time workers – one of the big problems for the young generation is to get experience to work themselves up the career ladder. The opportunities offered by McDonald's start them on their way.

There is also good news for the rest of the United Kingdom – the reports are that some 2,500 posts will also be created this year and over 50% of these will also be intended for youngsters, said to be under 25 years of age.

The Deputy Prime Minister has been quoted as applauding the new proposals, drawing attention to the company's reputation for development of its workforce, training and apprenticeship schemes.

It is said that the company has made 13,500 new jobs available over the past 36 months.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Brigg makes huge contribution to Macmillan Cancer Support

Macmillan Cancer Support does a wonderful job in helping those who need care when suffering from cancer and also offers practical support to those involved with cancer patients. However, the community of Brigg should be proud of itself too, in terms of the help that it has given the charity as a result of its tireless campaigning and fund-raising in 2011.

The Brigg group worked very hard last year to raise funds for the cancer charity. One of the last events was a good old-fashioned coffee morning at the Sutton Arms in Scawby using catering equipment. They have also made collections at well-known supermarkets and by means of other activities.

What were the total funds raised in Brigg in 2011? According to reports, the community raised an impressive £13,000 towards the good cause.

In fact, Macmillan has also had fantastic success with its 'World Biggest Coffee Morning' campaign over the past year. All over the country, coffee mornings, using catering equipment, were held to raise funds for the charity. The money is still rolling in, but as at 4 January, the figure advertised on the charity website indicated that they had collected just over £9.5 million from the coffee morning project last year.

What will the charity do with the money it raises? It aims to improve the lives of cancer-sufferers together with their families and carers. Did you realise that a third of Brits will statistically contract cancer during their lives? It is a disease that touches on most people's lives, whether directly or indirectly.