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Love your daily dose of caffeine? Here’s how you can brew the perfect cup of coffee!


  • A rule of thumb for the ahh-inspiring cup of coffee is ‘the fresher, the better’. If using fresh coffee beans, ideally consume it within 4-5 days after roasting.
  • Coffee can be stored for a couple of years, in airtight containers, in a cool and dry place. Once opened, it should be used as quickly as possible as it will begin to oxidize.
  • Avoid keeping coffee in a hot place. If storing in a refrigerator, ensure that the container is airtight as the coffee will absorb all the aromas in the fridge and you may find your prized Jamaica Blue Mountain tasting of last night’s leftovers!
  • There are many methods of converting coffee beans into a drink – espresso, filter coffee or mocha – and each have their distinctive characteristics and flavours. Whether you like a full-bodied rich coffee, or appreciate a fruity, light coffee, always use high-quality coffee beans.
  • For a good cup of cappuccino, use 25ml of perfectly extracted espresso with 125-150 of perfectly foamed fresh milk. When this ratio changes or there is too much milk the drink is no longer a cappuccino. But don’t let that stop you from discovering your own cherished coffee concoction!

– Damian Burgess, Head Trainer and Master Barista for Caffe Vergnano 1882.


Reader recipe:
Vanilla Cupcakes        Cupcake-Fantasy---Vanilla          
Makes 20-24

For the cupcakes:
300g/11oz flour
250g/9oz sugar
250g/9oz butter
½ cup milk
4 eggs
1tsp baking powder
2tsp vanilla extract

For the Icing:
250g/9oz butter
500g/18oz icing sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
1-3 tbsp milk


Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 and line muffin trays with cupcake cases.

Sift flour and baking powder together. With an electric mixer cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.

Add the flour a little at a time alternating with the milk. Add vanilla extract.

Spoon the mixture into the cupcake case until two-thirds full. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

For the icing, sift the icing sugar. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and add half the icing sugar and the milk. Mix on medium speed gradually adding the remaining icing sugar.

Finally, add the vanilla extract. If needed, add food colour of your choice.

Ice the cupcakes with any coloured frosting that you prefer, when they are completely cool.
– Fathima Rushana, Cupcake Fantasy, Dubai