Life locked down as a coffee lover

Well how do you start to capture the last few weeks in writing the short answer is that it is impossible to do so however it is interesting to reflect and look back on the emotional and mental adjustments we have all had to make which of course has been eased by drinking some amazing hand-roasted fresh coffee! 

Cafeology chose to close its office on Tuesday 17th March a week prior to lock down and during that time the company invoked its disaster contingency plans and kicked down plan B. We took the decision as we are a family run business and had the flexibility to make our own decision. We pride ourselves on being 100% ethical and felt that this was the right decision and it’s the right time to protect our wonderful team and their families.  Our shift has been to switch its operations to supplying the consumer direct as overnight all our customers were forced to close their doors. 

Personally this has been the most challenging period of my life making hard decisions outside of my comfort zone and at breakneck speed. The initial feelings of panic have now subsided and replaced with feelings of thankfulness for to date the health of my family and friends, gratitude to all NHS and all the unsung heroes on the front line day to day and hope for the future. 

I have found daily hope from the small things that previously due to the pace of my life were too often missed such as pegging out washing on a sunny blowy day, having time to smell fresh cut grass from a neighbours garden or actually day dreaming and literally watching the kettle boil for that next cup of coffee. 

This brings me onto two of my main passions coffee and food as I literally can’t live without either! My love of coffee is that you cannot beat the thought of a fresh coffee to get you going in the morning a delicious Colombian is my favourite as it is smooth, with a sweet nutty flavour finishing on hints of caramel.  

Early on in the crisis I decided, well my panicked mind reverted back to my days as a girl guide that I should think ahead and grow my own food in this situation. So, I ordered a Portabello grow your own mushroom kit alongside potato planting kit from our friends at Amazon. 

Well to date I am still awaiting on the delivery of the potato kit and I am assuming that they have germinated in some distribution hub somewhere and at this rate may arrive fully grown and hopefully deep fried as chips!  

However, the same cannot be said for my trusty mushrooms that have been covered in soil and watered for seven days now. Each morning I take a peak and even have a sweep stake with our newly formed online pub as to which area will sprout and produce the beautiful food first. Anyway watch this space but I am not planning on a listing a mushroom omelette on our home menu this week. 

I am really enjoying though the new found sense of invention and learning that this time gives as everyday really is a school day again.  I am finding this challenge refreshing and rewarding but also feel a sense a guilt in using those words throughout this time as so much suffering and heartache is taking place as I write but keeping myself mentally strong is a requirement now and so this helps balance my emotions. 


Each new day brings small new pleasures this morning as an example has been eating a soft boiled egg with soldiers in the garden washed down with a delicious Micro lot Costa Rican coffee grown by our dear friend Roberto Mata and roasted by Alastair at our roastery in Sheffield. 

Time has also allowed much more sleep and this in turn has allowed me to also reformat my mind giving room for other thoughts such as how to create a new smoothie which combines my normal rushed favourites coffee and banana’s . 

We have this morning created a new delight two shots of espresso (through an Aeropress coffee maker ) we have used our winter coat blend, two bananas, a dash of maple syrup and ice blended for thirty seconds. Not sure what we will call this little caramel coloured delight but it tasted delicious and was full of flavour. 


My other passion that I have been unable to fulfil to any potential recently has been gardening I love being outdoors and prior to this crisis I was known to repeatedly state - all I want is time. Well now I have it its making sure I put things to good use.  Whilst sitting in the garden my day dreaming results in look at the garden fence to decide the next shade to choose as clearly in need of some TLC and then scrambling in the cupboard to see if we have brushes and paint and planning on the next sunny day that from the shed to the cherry tree is my new target ! 




Naturally the same as everyone else I am desperately missing my family and friends however still feel very connected through WhatsApp, Teams and other social media platforms, its great to see such good coming from Facebook and Instagram. 


Pop up Pubs, family online baking and group chats form the basis of the daily structure and help to keep us all connected in a new and very real way. 

I must dash as I have my home-made bread dough proving and I am due back for the next WhatsApp kneading stage with my Mum and Sister, who spookily enough have all chosen a stripy top to wear today so have named our group the Stripy Bakers roll over The Hairy Bikers you are not a patch on us ! 



Toni Unkles 

Finance Director

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