In a departure from the usual set up, April’s Creative 1 the monthly networking event hosted by Paul Dennis put the venue front and centre. McCoys was one of the fore-runners of Hull’s flourishing cafe culture. They have been serving fresh quality coffee to residents and visitors alike, for over ten years and tonight we were treated to a demonstration of the roasting process, from bean to cup.
That pungent aroma you can sometimes smell wafting down Whitefriargate early doors is McCoys Coffee shop, roasting coffee beans sourced from all over the globe including Indonesia, Kenya, India and Colombia. While the roasting machine was fired up owner Mark Bayston delivered a very interesting talk on our old friend coffee.
He explained about the origins – a Ugandan goat herder realised that his goats stayed awake all night when they ate berries from a certain bush – thus the stimulant coffee was discovered.
Who knew that there was more caffeine in instant coffee than there is in filter coffee? I didn’t.
The civet coffee Kopi luwak got a mention – you must know that the most expensive coffee comes from the coffee cherry that has passed through an Asian Palm civet. I suspect it’s a gimmick. I can’t really believe that coffee that has passed through a feline’s gut is going to taste any better than one just picked from the bush. I reserve judgement I haven’t got the $80/$90 to try a cup.
After about fifteen minutes the beans were giving off the most divine coffee smell. A Q & A followed; to milk or not to milk; decaf, why? At the close Mark received a warm applause and a number of people swapped the wine – provided by sponsors Wykeland Group – for a cup of very fresh coffee.
In a generous move by McCoys each of us received a gift sample of their finest blend to take home.
The rest of the evening was given over to networking and I’m pleased to announce it worked, I think everybody managed to meet and mingle with someone new. The ‘newbie’ policy worked, each of us had to bring someone new this month in an effort to inject fresh blood, new ideas, increase the people pool. I had two newbies who both reported that the event was most useful for them; they are having a follow up meeting next week as a direct result of this networking opportunity. So it works.
Open 4 Business the hastily made sign read on my table and Gone Fishing when I vacated it to refill my plate from the excellent buffet. It’s not all serious stuff, you can have fun at these things as you exchange information get to know people. Going to stuff, meeting people and talking to people about stuff, is the best way to get on. It can be daunting particularly if you are new to the event/community/city but with so many newbies in the room tonight that feeling was lessened.
I met a collector of hidden Hull histories, a documentarian new to the city, an impressive creative entrepreneur from the continent, a romantic fiction author, a sculptor and a stone mason. Not a bad haul. Forgive me for not sharing their names with you, in a week where the issue of IP has been discussed more than once, I’ll be keeping my contacts to myself. But there’s nothing to stop you from coming along next month and making your own.
The event I’d like to mention is Mermaids Tails taking place at Minerva pub Hull, May 23rd, the inaugural storytelling event hosted by the newly formed Hull Storytellers of which I am one.
Having decided to continue the storytelling journey, after receiving support from Freedom To Tell Tales in 2014, a core group of storytellers have formed a story circle, to share fables and folklore, with anyone who cares to listen. First event a charity fundraiser to promote the work of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue.
A good night once again. More of the same please Paul.
Next Creative 1 May 27 (two days before my birthday in case you’re buying) #Creative1Hull