Well hey, what a year! What was quite a turbulent time (which has yet to slow down!), has turned into one of my best and most memorable years to date. Instead of me getting all emotional and gushy in the introduction, let’s get straight into this post and look back on my year of coffee in posts.
New Years Resolutions Do you remember my New Years Resolution that was to write (and publish) a new blog post every single day? Well as much as my mind has tried to wipe away the horrific memories, I still remember that too. To be honest, I did surprise myself with how long I stuck with it, however I soon stopped - not because of me being lazy and giving up, it was more the fact I wasn’t happy with the quality of content that I was producing because of it. Saying that, I had my highest level of interaction and engagement with you guys during that time, so I definitely do not regret it as I got to know some brilliant people!
Mental Health Mental health has definitely been on the global radar for the past couple of years, so I bit the bullet and began to open up over the anxiety I feel. I broached the irritating and difficult topic that was the relation between anxiety and caffeine ('A Cup of Coffee with an Extra Shot of Anxiety'), weighing up the difficulties of being a coffee lover but suffering with anxiety. I was blown away with how supportive and empathetic you lot were, which lead me to discuss the coffee industry and its involvement with the practice of good mental health ('Good Day, and Good Mental Health: Practising Mental Wellbeing with Coffee'); which was honestly one of my favourite blog posts of the entire year.
South West Coffee One of my blog attributes, to me at least, is that I’ve always stuck to my guns regarding the whole South West London coffee scene (or rather lack of). Even to this day, the South West gets a lot of slack for their coffee, which I wholeheartedly argue against 365 days of the year. This year I emphasised my coffee features on the South West London scene, including Richmond’s Coffeeology, Esher’s Giro and my regular joint: Kingston’s Beanberry. Not only should you go back and have a gander over the posts (and how photogenic those places are), you should totally make the effort of popping over to see us South of the river. We’re awesome, I promise!
Filter Coffee I have a huge problem with Imposter syndrome when I write about coffee - I shouldn’t do because I do know my stuff, but I always think that I’m going to be called out by other industry professionals. The proof of this is in fact the lack of blog posts I used to write regarding the technicalities and technique of coffee making, but this changed in 2018. Stepping out of my comfort zone, I focused on the inclusion of technical-based blog posts, with an emphasis placed upon filter coffee in their varieties. I touched upon the holy trinity, otherwise known as the V60 pourover, the aeropress and the good old (yet controversial) batch brew. I also dabbled in affiliate links (what, a girl's gotta eat!) by including a handy list of brew bar items you can buy on a budget. I cannot thank you lovely lads and lasses for sending such lovely feedback from these pieces, as they instilled a newfound confidence in my writing which I needed.
History Last year marked the final few months in university, so 2018 was the year to spread my wings and see where my education would take me. For any of you who do not know, I have a couple of things I delve in and out of, including freelance marketing and consulting within the coffee industry. I wrote a couple of pieces on this (here and here), and it was great to be able to write from a different perspective within the industry. I created a small but successful (and fun!) history tour in the city of London, which spurred me on to write more posts about the history of the old English coffeehouses (here and here). You guys seemed to love that, so I’ll definitely be doing more of those in the future! I’m also super excited as I’ve been working on an ebook to share with you all in the new year!
Large Scale Coffee This year was definitely the year I became more involved in the larger case coffee industry, with the latter end of the year seeing me get involved with some big companies and helping with their coffee. I also found the development of coffee within the wider sphere (looking past the speciality scene) in areas such as Waitrose and their free coffee system, as well as Pret and their free coffee system awhile back, generated a debate and helped me look further than the little bubble I was used to writing in. You guys seemed to enjoy it, and I definitely enjoyed writing it, so expect to see more of this in the next year. Wheat was my favourite (and equally as emotionally frustrating) piece was regarding the latest advertising venture of McDonald’s and the introduction of the flat white into their coffeee menu. This was also my most popular blog post of the year, and I’m glad since it was quite a biggun for me to write.
And with that, I’ll finish in a similar way as to how I started. 2018 was a great year for the blog, where a lot of ideas and projects have been born and are going to be a big part of 2019. I’d just like to end this blog post with a huge thank you to each and every one of you. You make me feel like a bajillion pounds when you give me feedback on pieces of worked hard on. Feel free to drop me a line and chat, I love hearing from you all! Wishing you a wonderful end of 2018 and I’ll see you all in the new year. In the meantime, put the kettle on and get yourself a brew on. Bonus points if a little bit of festive tipple is added…! See you in 2019, lovelies x