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Firstly apologies for being behind with this latest edition of The Chatterbox.  It is with good reason, we have opened our roastery to the public….and it has been the school holidays and we’ve been selling our coffee and ice cream at festivals!

Initially behind darkened windows it was merely ‘juicy gossip’ in the village as to what or who was moving into the vacant premises on Staveleys Main Street, next to the Spar Shop. It took 4 weeks of hard graft to transform the old Starlys Spice shop into Mr Duffins Coffee Den.

Why the move? Well, we wanted to ‘Shout Out’ about our coffee, spill the beans and share the love of coffee! Also the Giesen coffee roaster is a fine piece of equipment and deserves to be on show. The thought of moving  it was a little stressful but once underway it went very smoothly – thanks to some helping hands. Just the other day  a Dutch customer  who was resting whilst walking The Dales Way couldn’t resist commenting on the quality of the machine and also correcting my pronunciation of ‘Giesen’!

This was an ideal  opportunity for us  to offer the coffee for sale whilst we are on hand roasting and packing. And of course it provides an outlet for my cooking and crafting projects.

The premises are warm and inviting, once inside it’s easy to relax and while away the day – watching the roaster in action or the village life passing by. The décor is a combination of industrial and up-cycled with a professional finish! As we have had so many compliments about the finished look it is only fair to give credit to those responsible – Andy Smith – Special Spaces, Gary Naylor – Staveley – Electrician, Lee Anderson – Joiner, Simeon Noble –  Staveley Gas Services, Linda Anderson – Interiors, Chris Nelson –  CN Metals, Mike  – Ormrod Signs and David & Jason the Mill Yard Handy Men.


Given that the village already has plenty of eaterys we are sticking by our ethos of being a Coffee Roastery with a piece of cake! For the time being I’m sharing the baking amongst the locals  – Sarah  – Thelma the Tiny Tea Room, Cumbrian Artisan and myself.

Ahh yes the aprons – never has an apron been so much admired! These are the handywork of Martin @  Slow Loris Textiles. Made from hemp they wear beautifully and the finishing touch of the embroidered logo was thanks to Gillian Hartley –

And so to the coffee, Mr Duffin now has the opportunity to roast all the single origins and  share  his enthusiasm with the customers. These have been very well received as people are loving the opportunity to try a new variety. Currently, while we get established and adjust to our new working space we are offering coffee made on the espresso machine. However there are plans to offer other brewing methods and probably some fun evenings of tasting and slurping!


I found this recipe in Elizabeth Davids ‘Italian Food’ and thought it sounded pretty yummy and worth a try. It’s certainly very quick and easy to prepare.  At the time I didn’t have a sieve to hand and thought it wouldn’t matter, however I was left with a few white lumps which were not pretty but did not effect the flavour!!

Ricotta al Caffe – Cream Cheese with Coffee serves 4 people

8 – 10 oz Ricotta ( or cream cheese )                                                                                                             

Ricotta Coffee Pots - from Elizabeth David Italian Cookery
  Ricotta Coffee Pots – from Elizabeth David Italian Cooks

4 – 60z castor sugar

2 – 4 dspn freshly roasted coffee, very  finely ground       

2 oz rum

Sieve the cheese, Add sugar, coffee and rum. Stir until smooth and thick. Put into small pots and put in fridge to set. Make 2 hours before serving to allow coffee flavours to develop. Keep in fridge. Serve with fresh cream and thin wafer biscuits.

Or in our case eat straight from the pot!



Based on the amount of new growth the Coffee plants continue to thrive well in the bathroom. I have removed the plastic cover during the summer months. There appears to be a few brown tips on some of the leaves, is this an indication of ‘not thriving’? I shall just have to wait and see if the whole leave turns brown and dies.



Keeping with the 101 uses of a coffee sack theme, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to wall paper the toilet! It needed a make over and here it is!

Having never wall papered before it was a messy experience and my only tip is that I needed plenty of paste and a large brush. I couldn’t resist getting the sewing machine out and creating a couple of pictures to decorate the doors.


It takes 5 years for a coffee tree to reach full maturity, although it may flower from 3 years and can live up to 100 years old.










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London Coffee Festival 2016

I set off to the London Coffee Festival with slightly reluctant feet – unsure of what to expect and how I was going to cope drinking all those coffees!
Guess what? I skipped home high on the buzz and vibe from the coffee world …. actually I fell asleep on the train!!

It was a fantastic opportunity to see a wealth of coffee related products and meet enthusiastic people who love what they do. I need not have fretted, all of my extracurricular interests were covered – plants, craft, cooking and a little bit of trivia – thanks to

Mr Duffin and I did have a “Work agenda” – certain items had to be sourced for our customers; Tea – we liked fellow Northerners and Hot Chocolate and But in between we were free to sample all the wares on show.

I actually began the day with a Japanese Green Tea from, it was rich green in colour with full flavour, quite different from previous China Green Tea experiences.

My stomach was now prepared for the onslaught of caffeine – we managed to share 16 espressos between us during the day. Some from our favourite, familiar and experienced roasters where it’s good to chat and exchange views. Mr Duffin likes to check that he is ‘Roasting Right’ and knows what he’s aiming for.

Whilst chatting with Henrik at my eyes were drawn to the Coffee plants that adorned the stand. I was hoping that Henrik would be a fellow green fingered enthusiast who could give me a few tips on successful coffee plant rearing ……but alas he confessed that this was the ‘2nd lot’ of plants that had been bought ….after the “1st Lot had sadly died. I felt rather smug about my success in ‘Kew Bathrooms’ – see earlier post in The Chatterbox.

Mr Duffin was drawn to an Austrian roaster based in Vienna. The incentive being that his brother has a hotel in the Austrian ski resort of Stuben Am Alberg. I noticed that their roaster was wearing a flat cap made from an up-cycled coffee sack …. that’s one for my ‘to do’ list.  I also noticed they had a Sumatran 100% Robusta… just for the hell of it I had to try this black sheep of the coffee world ….mmmmmmmm to be honest not as bad as I was expecting but certainly couldn’t manage a full cup…..not without 6 sugars and full fat milk!!

By now my mouth and stomach needed refreshing – thank goodness for and their ‘drink no evil’ range of soft drinks. Also picked up a couple of pressies for the kids.


The queues for food were just way too long, sooooo we took the opportunity to nip outside and walk down Brick Lane and into ‘Dosa World’ for a quick Indian snack – I know it’s not coffee related or a super raw food but it was veggie and utterly delicious!

After that all I needed was a ‘Chai Latte’ and there were plenty to choose from, each one with it’s own little twist…

Our stomachs suitably lined it was time to hit the hard stuff – Mr Blacks Cold Press Coffee liqueur, wow weeeeee I loved it, great product, great brand good luck with that one guys

And in keeping with the theme of coffee grounds as seen in latest post in The Chatterbox – imagine my delight when I came across some coffee cups made with used coffee grounds, have a look for yourself

I could go on there was so much more on offer: Baileys, Flowers, Juice, Clothing, Music, Skin Care Products, Music, Beers, Aprons, Art, Trendy Accessories and a cocktail or two – I will just have to go back again next year. Well done to Allegra Events for putting on such a fantastic display.

This post came straight ……

From the horses mouth !
From the horses mouth !
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Coffee Grounds



Our son Max was given a ‘Grow Your Own Mushroom Kit’ for Christmas from his Aunty. He was not impressed – he doesn’t like mushrooms!! However his parents were thrilled, having seen a T.V documentary about growing mushrooms on coffee grounds.
Max decided to embrace the growing project and set to following the instructions. It claimed on the box to be very easy and growth would be rapid……and it was. On day one after the initial soaking the first signs of growth appeared. That was it, they were off, growing before our eyes on occasions I swear I could see them moving!!

Max had the glory of harvesting the crop – rather meagre weighing in at 79 grs. Steven and I had the pleasure of eating them – rather disappointing. They resembled over cooked squid or for those of you unfamiliar with the typical deep fried Spanish dish an elastic band would substitute nicely!!
I have since done a little research to pursue this idea further. It would appear to be a fairly common project as the mushroom spores are readily available to buy and there are plenty of used coffee grounds to be had. I did read that one grower claimed the mushrooms tasted of bacon when cooked for a long period of time ….. mmmmm now that sounds promising.


I also discovered quite a few other uses for coffee grounds used and fresh – around the house, in the garden and for body care. I will share my favourites, you can ‘Google’ more yourself if interested.
GARDEN – Hydrangeas, will give bright blue flowers when grounds added to compost of dead leaves and grass, sprinkled around the base of plant.
HOUSE – Fresh coffee grounds are odour eaters – make your own air freshener using nylon tights; hang in the car, place in shoes or put in a dish and place in fridge.
BODY – wet used grounds will remove hair products residue, massage into hair before shampooing. ALSO a flea repellent for dogs and cats, massage into coat after shampooing then rinse off……..Just a thought wonder if it works for head lice ??
CRAFT – as a water colour paint, lovely sepia effect.

Keeping with the theme of Coffee Grounds …… Try these ‘Buzz Bites’

1 cup oatmeal – I ground porridge oats     1/2 cup ground flax seed      1 dessertspoon ground fine coffee

1/2 cup peanut butter       1/2 cup honey or agarve

1/2 cup grated choc        1/2 cup chopped cranberries     1/2 cup coconut

Buzz Bites


STIR – oatmeal, flax seed & coffee grounds together. ADD – peanut butter & honey. COMBINE – Choc Chips & Cranberries. CHILL – for 20 mins in fridge. ROLL – into balls & store airtight container.
Kids not keen on these!!

The coffee plants have become a permanent feature in the bathroom! This is the only place in the house that is vaguely close to ideal growing conditions. Firstly they needed a water filled pebble tray to help with humidity, fortunately in the village there is a garden nursery ‘Inglefield Speciality Plants’, who were able to provide me with some replica volcanic rock. They also gave me compost and suggested re -potting as there are 10/12 well developed seedlings in each pot. The plants should be positioned in bright light, free from draughts (I felt the plastic bag would help) and temperature not less than 18 degrees. We have turned the under floor heating up to 22degrees – much to the kids delight!!



Some of the plants have signs of new growth – others have leaves that have become discoloured and dropped off …….oh dear!!
Fancy growing your own – check out &


No 5 up – cycled coffee sack is a ‘Runner’ to protect the top of the piano. It’s lined with fleece on the underside, nice and soft! I wanted to decorate it with ribbons & buttons even some embroidery!




Why are coffee grounds like kids ?
Because they are always getting grounded!!