This year was the first year of the Coffee Masters so we were delighted to see this up close and sweaty.

Coffee Masters, the new fast-paced multi-disciplinary barista competition designed by the team at Allegra and coffee creative duo DunneFrankowski, was hosted for the first time at The London Coffee Festival 2015.

The competition saw some of the world’s best baristas compete head-to-head for the prestigious Coffee Master title and a £5,000 cash prize - Whoop whoop! Delighted to say that the first ever Coffee Master is James Bailey from Workshop Coffee Co. Congratulations James!


IRISH TIMES UNA MULLALLY - Cloud Picker Sam Blend (which for my money is the best coffee available on the Irish market)

I don’t know how other people who work from home deal with afternoon nourishment, but my main lunchtime ritual is wandering around the living room absentmindedly eating slices of ham.

Sometimes I wrap the slice of ham around a slice of cheese and eat that. I believe something like this snack was the cornerstone of the Atkins diet, so if it’s good enough for Jennifer Aniston…

Sometimes I wish I could get freshly made lunch portions of delicious things delivered to my door, but then I realise that kind of codology belongs on the list of Ways We Wasted Money: 2002 - 2007, like hiring dog walkers and buying fridges the size of Cian Healy.

Colm Tobin said in a recent interview with Kathy Sheridan that meeting someone for lunch is “an awful waste of time” and this has been weighing heavily on my mind. I often arrange lunch meetings or catchups, and now I realise that I’ve been doing so to avoid working mid-afternoon, which is a win for procrastination but a fail for productivity.

If I’m being honest, most of my consumption revolves around coffee. One mug of espresso-strength coffee in the morning, which is the punch in the face I need to successfully roar at whatever latest national screwup is being reported on MorningIreland, followed by a pot of lighter Cloud Picker Sam Blend (which for my money is the best coffee available on the Irish market) sipped at intervals, and that leads me to lunch, and the inevitable ham-daydreaming combo.

When I cook, I often cook in bulk, so dinner becomes next day’s lunch; chorizo and chicken hotpots, chilli, curries that take three hours to make and therefore are a fantastic way to procrastinate. You can’t give out to me for wasting time! I’m cooking!

Occasionally I get bursts of virtuousness that are inextricably linked to whatever food fad is on the go that I feel pressured by artisan deli menus and ‘what’s hot’ lists to get involved in. In the recent past, this has meant kale salads, which I am now over. Most recently I made a completely flavourless black quinoa (impossible to cook), pearl barley and butternut squash salad. I called this Halloween Salad. It haunted the fridge in various tupperware containers until I threw it out.

Food slumps are the enemy of getting things done, so although I have absolutely no qualifications in the area of nutrition, I do recommend eating as little as possible during the day so your body emits a jittery and caffeinated sort of productivity.

That’s science.

I frequently go well into the evening without eating anything significant, which is terrible, and will probably prompt a letter to the editor from my mother.

Let the record show I had porridge this morning.

Irish Times 13 November 2014