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5 reasons to go veggie with us for 7 days...

Today is the World Vegetarian Day and to celebrate it we dare you to take a 7 day vegetarian challenge with us! We all know we should eat less meat for the benefit of our own health as much as the planet's (even Jamie Oliver's been doing it "part time"), however it often is tricky to kick the habit or think outside the "meat and two veg" box when planning dinner. Challenging yourself to go fully vegetarian (or even vegan!) for just a week will help you shift your perspective and you might even end up finding one or two new recipes you won't be able to do without after! 

HOW TO PREPARE

We find that the best thing to do is to plan ahead. Set some time aside this afternoon and choose what you'll make or have for dinner everyday in the next 7 days- don't just eat pasta with pesto every night! Choose the recipes for your meals and think of which restaurant you'll go to this week if you're planning to go out - maybe even check their menu online or phone ahead to make sure there'll be something for you there. Take a good look at what's in your fridge - don't forget that you can freeze the meat that's already there, no need to eat it all at once! One thing left to do is plan your shopping to make cooking this week easier- although we highly recommend you work with what you've already got as much as possible (spices, condiments, those cans of beans you've had at the back of your cupboard for ages). That said, try and challenge yourself with at least one meal this week, try new flavours or learn a new recipe for a dish you've never tried before.

 

We're here to help you! Check out our 5 Reasons to Go Veggie with Us for 7 Days:

 

#1: HORN OF PLENTY

Did you know that over 70% of our breakfast, lunch & dinner options are vegetarian or vegan? With so many dishes to choose from you'll soon realise this is hardly a *challenge*! Our menu at Espresso Library reflects what we stand for: we believe a balanced diet is great for one's wellbeing as well as keeping healthy energy levels - so important  for when you're out on the bike! A predominantly vegetarian or vegan approach- otherwise known as flexitarianism is a great place to start to get more excited about eating more fruit and veg. 

#2: DINNER? LET US DO THE COOKING...

Ever since we launched our dinner service this summer our veggie dishes have been leading the way! One of our best-sellers, the Tummy Loving Burger has been winning it's way to people's hearts ever since (through their stomachs that is...). Make sure to visit us for dinner this week to try it. Our evening service is available from Wednesday to Saturday from 5pm.

#3: PLANT MILK IN YOUR COFFEE

Right from the day we opened in the early 2015 we have been serving a variety of plant based alternatives to organic dairy milk as an integral part of our offering. Currently our plant powered options include, Bonsoy SoyaRude Health Almond and Oatly Barista Oat drinks - and we love them all! The week we want encourage you to switch to plant milk in addition to your 7 day veggie challenge and to help you on your way we're offering the Oatly Oat Milk for your espresso-based drinks at no extra charge! 

#4 GIVE A VEGAN CAKE A GO...

At Espresso Library we serve a few vegan cakes which are available most days, such as a delicious Tiffin or a Lemon and Blueberry Cake by Kath's Kitchen. Why not try a piece with your afternoon coffee at some point this week? Alternatively we challenge you to bake a vegan cake at home! Simply google a veganised recipe of your favourite cake or try a Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake we shared on our blog once before.  

#5 UP THE TEMPEH TO UP YOUR TEMPO!

There are many fascinating endurance athletes out there who advocate a plant-rich diet, from an ultra-marathoner Scott Jurek to the ultra-athlete Rich Roll. On our menus you'll find plenty of well-balanced nutrient-dense dishes perfect for everybody, athletes included. Next time you're in for that avo on toast opt for a sweet & smoky pan fried tempeh as your topping. This wonderful product made from fermented soy beans is more digestible that tofu and its complex and satiating flavour will positively surprise you! 

WIN A VEGGIE BRUNCH FOR TWO!

Head to our Instagram to challenge a friend to join you in going veggie for a week!

 

 

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Three Coffee Stops in Norwich

If you're anything like us, then when you take a trip somewhere you make sure your tank is full, you got some water and snacks for the journey, you charged your phone, and -*most importantly*- you googled the best coffee places in a 10 mile radius of your destination. Now, sometimes that might be a little tricky if you're camping out in the middle of nowhere but let's be honest - there's nothing a mini gas stove, a bottle of mineral water, a bag of specialty coffee, a mini pouring kettle (plus a few other accessories) and an aeropress can't handle. However, if you're traveling somewhere less remote, you certainly used a search engine or Instagram hashtag search to navigate your way through the best coffee places. Having done exactly that prior to our wonderful trip to Norwich yesterday, we decided to share a few highlights with you!

Before we get into the coffee scene, let's talk about Norwich. It's been a few years since we last visited this beautiful city and we were amazed by the richness of the green spaces, upkeep of the historical buildings, care for the cultural heritage as well as the amount of small independent retailers and cafes. So next time you want to escape Cambridge for the day (we've all been there!) take a trip to Norwich instead of jumping on that Ldn Kings X train. Whether you choose to travel by public transport or a car, you'll be in there within 1h30m, ready to enjoy a still lovely and friendly yet quite a lot bigger city than Cambridge. 

Norwich has a very unique urban design which makes it a perfect city for a day get-away for anyone who's into art and architecture. So whether you like exploring Medieval or Victorian buildings, museums and galleries or simply love strolling down charming narrow streets finding hidden gems such as small shops and cafes, this is the place for you.


THE NORWICH COFFEE CRAWL

KOFRA SPECIALTY COFFEE BREWERS

"It takes a lot of people and a lot of care to get it right."

We began our day by popping into Kofra- an absolute gem in the world of specialty coffee shops. It's got it all - friendly and knowledgeable staff, wonderful selection of coffees (including an incredible variety of retail coffee beans!), delicious snacks, cold pressed juices and soft drinks - and on the weekends it turns into a cool bar. With a lovely design, combining reclaimed wood furniture, a few simple Scandi pieces and minimalist colour scheme with some funky accessories and plants, Kofra's uniquely fun aesthetic is very welcoming. We enjoyed a long black with their guest coffee and an oat milk cappuccino along a couple of MOJU juices

We loved every little detail about Kofra. The atmosphere, the interior, the coffee (of course!), so we cannot stress this enough - next time you're in Norwich make sure you pay them a visit!


ANCESTORS COFFEE

100% Vegan-Specialty Coffee.

Opened only three months ago, Ancestors Coffee already has a big following - and dare we say it's fully deserved! Everything about this place is pretty special, from it's clean and minimal interior laden with cacti, succulents and big plants through to their fully vegan coffee and food menus. Ancestors offer a lovely choice of coffee beans by specialty roasters from the UK and beyond - when we visited they were serving a Brazilian single origin by Five Elephans from Berlin, which we can confirm was delicious; we both enjoyed it as a long black; it tasted beautifully sweet and nutty. Having scrolled through their stunning Instagram feed we knew this was the place we wanted to have our brunch in - they serve a variety of hearty and nutritious dishes such as brunch plates, buddha bowls and sandwiches, as well as milkshakes, smoothies & smoothie bowls and cakes. We opted for their newly launched dish: scrambled tofu on a courgette, dill and 'feta' frittata with spinach, shredded red cabbage and pumpkin seeds. It was the bomb! 

We couldn't resist trying some of their baked goods either and so we shared a rich and gooey courgette brownie as well as toasted banana bread - they were to die for.

Ancestors Coffee was simply brilliant. In fact, both of us can hardly wait to visit again and try other brunch options... Normally we would choose different dishes but neither of us was prepared to give up having the tofu scramble;)


STRANGERS COFFEE COMPANY

A true passion for specialty coffee.

Familiar with the Strangers Coffee, we were beyond excited to finally visit the shop! As mentioned, it's been years since either of us had been to Norwich, and so until now we only had the opportunity to taste their delicious coffee at home or at Espresso Library as a guest espresso & filter, an arrangement which I am pretty sure we will have repeat very soon. The cafe has a very pleasant and welcoming vibe - the interior is very sleek and minimal and features a lot of plants. In the coffeeshop there are a lot of coffees to choose from, all of which come from the Strangers Coffee Company Roastery (naturally).  There is a choice between a house coffee and guest espresso, and even more choice of coffees at their brew bar! When we visited we both felt pretty over-caffeinated already (oh, the issues us coffee lovers have eh!), and chose to buy a bag of Ethiopian single origin to take home with us as well as a couple of take-away drinks to accompany us on our way to an open day at Hillside Animal Sanctuary.


THE PASSION

Norwich proved to be a wonderful place for a (short) specialty coffee crawl and we were very happy to discover all these incredible places with shared passion for high quality coffee, nutritious food and great customer experience. Equipped with lovely memories and satisfyingly satiated, we set out to spend the rest of our sunny summery Sunday at the UK's biggest Animal Sanctuary we've been meaning to check out for a while - another place we can wholeheartedly recommend you visit too! 

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Introduction to speciality coffee

At Espresso Library we do speciality coffee.

What is speciality coffee?

Speciality coffee is characterised by care and attention, beginning with the growing process, through the artistry of the coffee roasters and finally into Espresso Library's loving embrace. The second thing that makes our industry so compelling is its transparency. This allows us to know exactly where our coffee is coming from at every stage, from farm to cup.

The history of coffee is a rich one and one that has been written about extensively, meaning we always have literature to dip into. But, we don’t want to talk too much about the industry specifics or the technical details of extracting the perfect espresso, as so many good blogs already do, but talk more about why we do speciality coffee at all. 

Here at Espresso Library our final decision lies in what elements really makes a great coffee.

In London, speciality coffee is already evolving, progressing and pioneering, while in Cambridge it is continuing to find its feet. The cafe scene is really beginning to blossom in this historical city.

The wider industry filled with energetic people, leaders such as Matt Perger (https://baristahustle.com/), James Hoffman (http://www.jimseven.com/) are creating content that is expanding our knowledge base and inspiring us to bring out the best in the coffee. Doing so, for us, is incredibly exciting and with (partially caffeine fuelled) enthusiasm we try every day to get the best out of our coffee.

So we lavish care and attention on coffee, and for what?

Coffee can be incredibly functional.

We all know that caffeine boost first thing in the morning or the mid afternoon shot that fuels those hours of productivity. However, it can be much more than that.

We believe making a delightful cup of coffee is a ceremony, a ritual and we love being present with it. We grind the coffee beans fresh, ground to a specific recipe tailored to the specific bean and made in a specific length of time. This care and consideration is key when it comes to making a great cup of coffee.

Know that coffee rather than a static material, is one that is always changing, evolving and getting the best out of it requires experimentation. Our approach is it to learn, to taste, to examine, to use those tools at our disposal to create and share a really great cup of coffee.

All in all speciality coffee is about sharing. It is about sharing what we know, sharing what we love and of course sharing an exceptional coffee experience.

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Over the following months, Espresso Library will be showcasing a range of exciting coffees. Guest @ EL will include some of the most talented roasters in the UK.

We invite you to come into 210 East Road, Cambridge and have a unique coffee experience.