Category Archives: coffee

Brighton’s tweeting tea and coffee shops

Metrodeco's Twitter page

A recent tweet by Will McInnes, a Brighton-based social media guru, praised the quality of a mini-explosion of independent coffee shops in Brighton.

Will was probably thinking about the great-tasting coffee – but a man with his digital know-how could not have failed to notice the inventive things these delectable and modern emporia are doing with social media.

Will mentioned Coffee@33 in Trafalgar Street, a delightful and quirky stop-off for anyone heading from the train station to North Laine – or coming back. Coffee@33 has a useful entry on Foursquare to which at least a dozen people have recently ‘checked in’, many urging visitors to try their apparently wonderful ‘flat white’. So I checked in and tried it. Take my word for it – it’s velvety smooth and definitely worth trying. But I’d probably never have known without eavesdropping on the online conversations that enticed me to that shop.

Another of Will’s favourites was our near neighbours at the Red Roaster, who have a vibrant Facebook appreciation group with 183 members, a veritable community of coffee-lovers online. Participants post photos, ask questions of the coffee house’s owners and swap advice on the best product (the Café au Lait is popular). The guys at the Roaster have learned a golden rule of social media – letting go. By that I mean they encourage conversations they do not control about their product, a clear departure from ‘broadcasting’ messages with posters, adverts and press releases. Sure, the odd unfavourable comment crops up – but most people are praise-worthy and the remarks are all the more credible because they come from real customers, not from the owners. Continue reading


Harriet Harman visits the tea shop

Metrodeco's Maggie (left) and Helen (right) get a visit from Cabinet Minister Harriet Harman and Brighton Kemptown parliamentary candidate Simon Burgess

Politics and 1930s Parisian cafes go together like Jean-Paul Sartre and a packet of Gitanes Brunes.

So it was in this tradition that we were honoured to be visited by one of today’s leading politicians.

Harriet Harman, Leader of the House of Commons and Cabinet Minister for Women and Equality, dropped in to take tea and cake with members of the community and to chat to us about running a small business at the tail end of a major recession. Continue reading

Egg-cellent result for Robert

Egg-cellent result! Robert scoops his prize while the Argus Appeal gets a donation

Apparently, anything is good if it’s made of chocolate. Well, that’s what comedienne Jo Brand once said, walking, breathing proof – if ever you needed it – that there can be no negative effects from enthusiastic consumption. Uhhm, hang on….

So we reckon Brighton resident Robert Brooks (pictured) will have a lot of goodness in his front room at the moment. You see Robert won the raffle for our giant Easter egg and he picked it up today.

Whooooah, before you slam your laptop shut in indignant jealousy, Robert’s not going to scoff the 10kg monster himself. He’s going to hold a party for his son and dozens of the toddler’s young friends in Queen’s Park. Many of those who bought tickets said they would put the egg to a charitable use – and we’re really glad it will put lots of little smiles on little faces.

It also made £112 for the Argus Appeal, which supports good causes across Sussex – so, all in all, that big oval ball of calories has brought a fair amount of joy to those around us.

Thanks to Holly from Chocoholly, who made the egg (you can see that amazing process here in our YouTube film). Thanks also to everyone who took part in the raffle – and commiserations. Commiserations, that is, to everyone except Robert. But Robert deserves a bit of luck because he’s obviously a good egg.

The kettle that tweets!?!

People joke that their computers are so good the only thing they can’t do is make a cup of tea. Well, as if to prove that we now live in a topsy-turvy, crazy world, some mad scientists have come up with….no, not a computer that boils water and knocks together a warming brew – but the reverse: a kettle that tweets.

Yes, you read that right A KETTLE THAT TWEETS. It’s just an idea at the moment (news story here at Gadget Republic). But has been designed and is being heavily promoted ahead of a likely product launch. It will work by connecting to the local wi-fi network and automatically tweeting when it has boiled, meaning the thirsty operator can go off and do something else for a few minutes once he or she has filled it and hit ‘go’.

The designers say it could also do some other ‘fun stuff’ like tweet the energy usage and tea/coffee drinking statistics. You could even make it boil remotely.

Our verdict? As anyone who follows us on Twitter knows, we love tea and we love tweeting. But if you’re waiting for the bubbles and steam, isn’t it easier just to hang around near the kettle and have a natter with your workmate/cat/imaginary friend for three minutes than to check your Twitterfeed?

Is this really where we’re heading? Is this how we’re going to start making our tea? I think a cup of something a little stronger is in order.

Protest for dog rights

Metrodeco's Helen Wilkinson (left) and Maggie Morgan (middle) rouse the troops before today's march

Wow, what a turn out!

We reckon 30-40 dogs brought their owners on our demonstration for canine rights on Brighton seafront today. Watch our short YouTube film of the event here.

This fantastic turn-out says one thing to me – people in this city really do care about their pets being treated like outcasts.

In fact, I’d bet most of the 50,000 dog owners in Brighton & Hove would say people who shun dogs in their bars and cafes are barking up the wrong tree entirely.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: a city that is not dog-friendly is closing its door in the faces of thousands of potential tourists bringing in millions of pounds just at the point when Brighton ’s visitor economy badly needs investment. Continue reading

Easter march for dog rights

Ever wandered into a cafe with your beloved four-legged friend – only to be met by tutting and barely-concealed disapproval?

Unfortunately, that has been the experience of many visitors and residents in Brighton and Hove because some businesses are needlessly intolerant of dogs.

Often, it’s just based on the false presumption that they will somehow be unhygienic and poorly-behaved, when the vast majority are not. We’ve admitted dogs at Metrodeco since we opened a year ago and never had cause to ask an owner to take his or her pet outside.

But it’s not just unfair – the real damage is that dog-owners from from other towns and cities will eventually consider this to be a city that is UN-FRIENDLY to dogs. And that’s bad for tourism.

So we’re making a stand by holding a march to highlight the issue.

Continue reading

We’re open for business again! Yay!!!

It was a bit of a slog, which involved a smattering of late evenings, a light dusting of patience, a moderate seasoning of creativity and a healthy dollop of hard work.

But we got there in the end.

After four days of refurbishments, we’re open for business, serving all your favourite teas, coffees, light lunches and our signature Afternoon Tea over the Easter bank holiday weekend.

As part of the improvements, we’ve made our preparation area more spacious, meaning we can launch our new menu very shortly – so watch this space!

If you pop by before or on Easter Monday, you’ll notice a giant Easter egg, which we’re raffling off for charity. You can enter the raffle for free simply by registering on our website. Be absolutely assured – we will not spam you or use your email address at all. We’ll just ask you once – politely – whether you’d like to hear from us when we’ve made a new film, posted a blog, when we’ve got some news or when we’d like to give you the opportunity to write a review of our shop or of an individual product.

If the answer’s no, we won’t bother you again 🙂

Back to the giant egg – you can view our YouTube film of it being made here.

In the meantime, please feel free to book a table so you can be sure of being one of our first customers to take advantage of our new look!