Arren Williams is the name, and I'm a stylist, editor and trend reporter. You'll catch my work regularly popping up in print in the likes of the National Post, House & Home and elsewhere. I'm also a guest expert on Citytv's CityLine, and you can occasionally find me on HGTV as well as on ABC 7 News in Chicago.

To keep things fun I've tapped a couple of friends - Julia Black and Jenn Hannotte - to contribute their views on design too. Enjoy!


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Entries in Mercury Espresso Bar (1)


guest blog / Jenn Hannotte: Continuing coffee education

I need to reveal some information about myself to give this post some context. It's not something I'm proud of, but nonetheless, here it is: I am basically inept when it comes to any kind of appliance that when used results in something you're meant to consume. So you can understand that I was a little nervous when I attended the Breville Barista 101 event that promised to turn me from someone who thinks instant coffee is fine, to a coffee connoisseur in one short hour. 

With the skilled assistance of Master Barista Matthew Taylor of Toronto's Mercury Espresso Bar (below helping my neighbor create perfect foam), and the amazing ease-of use of the new Barista Express, I was cranking out cappuccinos  with billowing, frothy foam; latte's with perfect precision and even learning how to make coffee art (okay, so my first, second, and third attempt at that 'art' all resembled a hippo more than the intended leaf or swirl). The Barista Express isn't just for beginners - it has manual espresso options as well, for the more seasoned at-home barista who wants maximum control over their coffee's flavour.

The real test came in the morning at 6am when I usually brew up some thick-as-mud crude and choke it back until I'm sufficiently awake to deal with the day. I didn't know if I'd be willing to make my own espresso, but this thing is seriously so easy (and fun!) for someone like myself that I'm finding the ritual of making coffee beautifuly adds so much to my mornings.

Take a look at some pictures I snapped of that morning at the event, and my creations (don't judge me too harshly!). No, I won't be serving you up a macchiato at Mercury anytime soon, but I will be thoroughly enjoying my own!