Monday, 3 December 2012

Boycott Starbucks today...there's plenty of independents out there!

Who needs Starbucks? The answer is nobody. Why? They don't pay any tax. Think about it. All those people who work at Starbucks pay tax (at least I hope they do) but the big boss man, who must be based over in Seattle somewhere, birthplace of the coffee chain, pays nothing on the earnings of his UK-based stores.

And think about this: you have to pay tax so why can't Starbucks?

In short this is outrageous, especially when you consider that there are many independent coffee retailers out there on UK high streets who offer a superior product and ambience but do have to pay tax.

Starbucks represents 'the man' and if you want to stick it to the man, there's only one thing you can do: boycott Starbucks. By all means enjoy a cup of coffee in a Caffé Nero, a Coffee Republic or a Costa Coffee, but steer clear of Starbucks. The best thing to do, of course, is to support the UK's independent coffee houses, of which there are many.

It's really simple: you're walking down the high street, you need a coffee. You see a Starbucks. But don't go in. Remember, they don't pay tax! Look around you. Is there a Costa or a Nero or an independent coffee shop in sight? If yes, then make your way there instead. You'll feel a lot, lot better.

TeashopandCaff won't be visiting Starbucks anymore and was never that impressed with the coffee chain. 

Let me know your thoughts and I'll happily publish them on my blog.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Teavana adds 105 stores....

According to World Tea News, Atlanta-based Teavana, now a 284-store specialty tea retailer, added 105 stores in the past 12 months and is ramping up its marketing efforts with the hire of John Aylward, former brand director at GAP Europe.

Source: World Tea News.

Teashop celebrates birthday with free pastries

FREE pastries will be given away at a tea room to help mark its first birthday.
Visitors to the Douglas Macmillan Hospice-run Carmountside Tea Rooms will be given pastries with every tea or coffee purchased on September 22 and 23.
The shop, which is open from 9.30am until 4.15pm, was taken on by the cancer charity in conjunction with Stoke-on-Trent City Council last September.
Guy Clarke, business development manager at the Blurton-based hospice, said: "We would like to thank the supporters that have allowed the tea rooms to go from strength to strength over the past 12 months.
"The volunteers have also been exceptional, and we're always on the lookout for more people to help. Catering experience isn't required as training is given."
Anyone wishing to volunteer should contact Louise McCartney on 01782 344332 or email
Source: The Sentinel.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Flowers Farm Café in Godstone, Surrey

This is a caff I've reported about before, but have never experienced. Today, my pal Andy and I ventured down there on the bikes and found an excellent café offering unlimited amounts of tea (once you've purchased a cup they give you refills for nothing) and a decent almond croissant. There was plenty more to choose from; all the usual caff fayre, such as scrambled egg on toast, burgers and so on plus a range of decent cakes and all within the farm shop environment.
Inside the Flowers Farm Café near Godstone, Surrey. Note the woodburning
stove in the corner. Imagine that on a cold, winter afternoon!

I liked the woodburning stove in the corner, the views outside the window and the general ambience. There were plenty of magazines to read (even farming trade titles!) and, well, TeaShopandCaff recommends this place without reservation. Think about it: a farm shop, so you can go there and get lots of decent farm produce – a million times better than a supermarket – and then enjoy a decent cuppa and a bun or whatever afterwards.

Flowers Farm Shop is on the A25 near Godstone.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Starbucks expansion through partnership in India

Starbucks bound for India in deal with Tata Global Beverages

RTT News writes: "Starbucks, America's iconic coffee brand, has teamed up with India's Tata Global Beverages to open 50 Starbucks cafés across India in 2012, starting in Delhi and Mumbai.
The company also plans outlets at select properties within the Taj group of hotels, which is under the Tata Group. The stores will be cobranded "Starbucks Coffee: A Tata Alliance."

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Fried food not always bad for the heart, says Yahoo!

Sunflower oil
Yahoo Lifestyle writes: "Eating food which has been fried in olive or sunflower oil is not linked to heart disease or an earlier death, a new study has found.

"Although the findings debunk the myth that all fried food is bad for the heart, the researchers stressed that the study took place in Spain, where sunflower and olive oil are routinely used for frying, and the results would likely be different for other countries which use lard and other types of cooking oils.

"Frying is one of the most common methods of cooking in Western countries. Fried food is high in calories because the food absorbs the fat of the oils."

Read all about it by clicking here.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Hats off to Costa Coffee...for its lemon sponge cake

Costa Coffee - even better when they're inside a decent bookshop like Waterstone's

Just spent an enjoyable 30 minutes or so sitting in a Costa Coffee in the basement of a Waterstone's on Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow and I must say, hats off to the guys at Costa for an excellent slice of lemon sponge cake - I loved every bit of it. Okay, perhaps it was a little bit on the large side, but there's something good about bookshops and coffee shops under one roof.

Books Etc used to have an integral coffee shop, but they're long gone. The Sauchiehall Street Waterstone's was huge and on many levels. I almost bought a book until I realised I was broke. Still, the tea and cake were very pleasant.

Books I considered buying were: Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridien; On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan; A Good School by Richard Yates. Being skint, I bought nothing and decided to console myself with a cup of tea and a piece of cake, which set me back £4.10!

I sat there reading Dave Gorman's latest book, which I'd brought with me. All good stuff, though.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Quick service restaurants account for half of all meals eaten out... says NPD

London: 15th January 2012 – It’s official: consumers in the UK have developed a growing appetite for fast (quick service) food. The latest data from independent foodservice research agency NPD Group shows that over half of all meals eaten out of the home are now bought from fast food restaurants. 
When it comes to visiting restaurants, NPD’s data reveals a trend of changing habits among British consumers. There has been a four percentage point increase in the use of quick service restaurants since 2008, with consumers making 5.5 billion visits to these outlets in 2011, compared to 5.4 billion in 2008. Lunch has also been an important factor in the growth of the quick service food business, accounting for almost three quarters (72%) of the sector’s growth and a 7% increase in the number of visits since 2008.

While quick service has been growing, the restaurants experiencing the greatest drop are those in the workplace and education - whose share of the market has shrunk by 2.6 percentage points - from 19.5% in 2008 to 16.9% in the year ending September 2011. NPD believes the decline in this sector is attributable to quick service restaurant chains offering menu options, promotions and discounts that attract workers and students away from their office/campus and into their restaurants.

Guy Fielding, NPD’s Director of Foodservice for Europe believes consumers in the capital are also a key influence in the growth of the quick service sector. “Consumers in London” he says “spent 7% more in restaurants this year and it is the quick service restaurants, serving burgers, ethnic dishes and chicken that have led that growth. It’s also about the quick service restaurants giving Londoners a good deal. Meal deals and promotions account for 27% of spend at commercial restaurants in London, but they accounted for 100% of the growth. Consumers in London may eat out more than in other areas of the country, but only when the deal is right.”

NPD’s research also shows that consumers in London are more likely (55%) to visit quick service restaurants, when compared to 49.5% for consumers in the rest of the country.