CoffeeBeer >> Double Shot Buzz >> Iberico Cafe

Back Buzz - August 28, 2016

pumping heartIberico Cafe, 235 Crookes Road, Crookes, Sheffield, South Yorkshire

It was earlier this year when I was sitting in the Punchbowl having a pint with a friend that I noticed the old Barrett's cafe across the road had changed into a new cafe. That was months ago, and life has been busy and hectic as I spend my days working and slowly chipping away at the dozens of lists and reminders in my phone. At least in this digital age I'm saving all that paper that used to be used for lists and reminders...

Anyway, I finally had the chance to come up one Friday morning and try Iberico Cafe. As it was only a little past eleven in the morning the place wasn't very busy. It was a very pleasant morning where for once it didn't appear that the heavens were suddenly going to open up unannounced and start heaving buckets of rain on my head and into my shoes.

The first thing I spotted while I was ordering my double macchiato was the giant leg of ham in the deli counter below me. As it was a bit of a startling sight that early in the morning I decided to take a seat around the corner at a window table, where I could enjoy the filtered sun and the refreshing breeze wafting in through the open door. The barista served my double macchiato in what I used to think of as a cappuccino cup in my old Seattle days, back before Starbucks turned the formerly modest “cappuccino” into a massive drink indistinguishable from a latte. Basically the cup was larger than a macchiato cup, making it a suitable size for a double macchiato. The coffee was quite pleasant, not very strong but with a good flavour. I would have preferred the shots to be stronger but that’s just me.

As I sipped my coffee more customers filtered in, and I could hear the people behind the counter chopping meats for lunches, most notably ham. The cafe was named for Iberico ham, which comes from the black Iberico pig in Spain and is supposed to be the best in the world. That explained the giant ham leg and also the distinct presence of all sorts of Iberico ham items on the menu. For those not into ham the menu also features cold and toasted sandwiches, tortilla pizzas, Spanish sausages, bagels, Spanish beans, poached eggs, and cakes. And the coffee is from Frazer’s which is a local roaster based in Attercliffe.

I wouldn’t mind stopping in for a sandwich or a tortilla pizza someday. And even though I don’t eat meat, I’d even consider eating my lunch with a view of that impressively giant ham leg. But I’m just like that.

Speaking of impressive things reminds me of a recent e-mail exchange with my Bay Area friend about the potential of 3D printing:

A couple of years ago I set up a Google Alert set up which sends me pages and posts found on the Internet having to do with the term "coffeebeer". Unfortunately it's so lenient that it sends me anything with "coffee, beer" or "coffee and beer", which means it's a bit useless. But this particular page [on 3D printing using coffee, beer, and hemp] got me really excited, especially as I’m particularly interested in the potential of 3D-printing using unusual print media. I would love to have a pair of cappuccino-cup earrings printed out of coffee, as well as pint glasses printed out of beer. This is mind expanding! The juxtaposition of two unrelated 3s—3d printing with 3 filaments (with elements unconnected to most people, even though two of them are dear to our hearts)—made something click in my head.

What if you could use the 3 filaments to extrude objects into new dimensions orthogonal to our familiar length, width & height? What sort of objects would you chose to create? What sort of perceptual device would viewers need to perceive them the way the designer does?

If, for instance, even limiting the filaments to physical compounds, you had filaments to construct things along the dimensions of cat hair, vomit & cat nip, what a clowder of model cats and a boutique of felines you could construct! A dream cat village.

But what if you had a filament into another sensory dimension? A filament of Meow, which would extend your cats along the Meow axis?

Generalizing, what if your 3D plotter could extrude objects along dimensions of color, odor and sound and you had a full set of primary filaments to cover the spectrum in each dimension? Consider an axis of suburbia, an axis of millet and an axis of bark. How many variations of our old friend Dr Ray could you print?

Visionaries have already reached the point of printing objects you can see and taste. Isn’t it time to extend the possibilities to include things you can hear, that can induce pleasure or pain?