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Summer Iced Tea Recipes

The heatwave is showing no sign of stopping, so make use of these iced tea recipes this July. Their fruity flavours and refreshing coolness will help you to keep cool in the heat and avoid dehydration. 

Peach and Raspberry Iced Tea

Stokes’ blend of black tea, peach oil and marigold flowers is delicious served cold due to its slightly sweet flavour and floral notes – the perfect drink for a hot summer’s day.

Brew your Stokes Loose-Leaf Peach Tea as you normally would – we recommend using about one level tablespoon per glass, and fresh hot water. Let it brew for 3-5 minutes, then take the tea leaves out and leave the tea to cool until it is room temperature. If you wish to sweeten your tea, now is the time to do it – use sugar, honey or agave nectar. Once the tea has cooled, pour it into a large jug filled with ice, muddled raspberries and fresh peach slices and enjoy!

Earl Grey and Lime Cooler

Our Earl Grey blend is perfect for this recipe due to its bergamot oil, which creates a delicate and refined flavour. This contrasts with the acidity of the lime to create a balanced and refreshing summer drink.

Add a level tablespoon of Stokes Earl Grey Loose-Leaf Tea to your tea pot or strainer with freshly boiled water for 3 minutes. Let the tea cool completely before adding a splash of lime cordial – this will help to sweeten the tea and add a tangy flavour. Finish by pouring over ice and adding freshly cut lime wedges.

Top tip – If adding citrus to your tea, ensure that the tea is completely chilled, otherwise the peels of the fruits will impart a bitter quality.

Strawberries and Cream Iced Tea

The vanilla loose-leaf tea that Stokes produces gives this drink sweet, creamy notes, thanks to the vanilla oil included in the blend. The chopped strawberries add a freshness and create a summery flavour perfect for hot July days.

Brew a tablespoon of Stokes Vanilla Tea with freshly drawn boiled water for 3-5 minutes before leaving to cool until it is room temperature. Add the cool tea to a large jug filled with ice, then add chopped strawberries. Allow the strawberries to infuse into the tea for a few minutes before serving – enjoy!

Top tip – If you prefer a sweeter tea, try adding some strawberry syrup.


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The Benefits of Rooibos Tea

Rooibos Tea

The Rise of the Rooibos

Many of us are aware of the benefits of drinking tea, particularly green tea due to it’s high antioxidant level. Fewer of us are aware that rooibos tea (or red bush tea) is a close second when it comes to health benefits.

Health benefits of red rooibos tea include its ability to cure headaches, insomnia, asthma, eczema, bone weakness, hypertension, allergies, and premature aging. This tea is absolutely free from caffeine content and is also low in tannins. Drinking rooibos tea can further ease severe stomach cramps, as well as bring relief from asthma and other related conditions. It also boosts the immune system.

Rooibos tea or red tea is an herbal beverage, with medicinal properties, that is acquired from the Aspalathus linearis bush plant found in South Africa. According to the South African Rooibos Council, rooibos is not a true tea, but an herb. The fermented tea is red in color. The health benefits of red rooibos tea are abundant. It is popular due to its great taste and unique color that come along with health benefits.

Its medicinal attributes have been confirmed by The US Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., which has affirmed that red rooibos tea is capable of reducing cancer, heart diseases, premature aging, and other serious conditions.

•Rooibos is all natural and contains no additives, preservatives or colorants.

•Rooibos is naturally free of caffeine and makes a terrific beverage for anyone avoiding caffeine late in the day or all together.

•The soothing effect that Rooibos seems to have on the central nervous system may make it an effective sleep aid.

•While Rooibos is high in antioxidants it is not as high as green and black teas.

•The antioxidants in Rooibos are also different than those found in green and black teas.

•Additionally, Rooibos is high in polyphenol content, another type of antioxidant.

•Rooibos has its own properties, one is a specific flavonoid that is found only in Rooibos called aspalathin.

•Of the 10 identified antioxidants present in Rooibos aspalathin is one of three that are found in the greatest quantities.

•Green Rooibos or the non-oxidized version has more antioxidant benefit than the more popular oxidized version.

•Rooibos contains numerous nutrients.

•Rooibos has been successfully used to treat the symptoms of colic in infants.

•Rooibos can relieve stomach and digestive disorders such as nausea, vomiting, heartburn, cramps and constipation in adults.

•Rooibos has shown promise in alleviating the symptoms of psoriases and aiding in the treatment of acne and aging when used topically and I predict it will be the next big thing in beauty products.


Stokes Tea & Coffee stock over 30 types of loose leaf tea including Rooibos and several unique blends exclusive to Stokes! See our full range here.


Information sourced from:

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Join the Refill Movement with Stokes

Refill with Stokes

Why should we REFILL?

The problem with plastic is the effects our pollution of it has on all marine life. Between 8 and 12 million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans each year – over 80% of it coming from land-based sources. The biggest contributor to this is in the form of large plastic items such as plastic bottles and other household items that are littered and make their way to the water.

The Global efforts to recycle plastic bottles cannot keep up with the one million bought around the world every minute! Here in the UK, the average household uses 480 plastic bottles a year, but only recycles 270 of them – meaning 44% are NOT put in the recycling.

We’ve all heard of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and it’s clear that in general we fall down at the recycling end of the line. Stokes Tea & Coffee have therefore joined the Refill movement to help combat plastic pollution before it even reaches the recycle stage.

It’s all in the name: REFILL. Reduce plastic production and plastic waste by reusing your plastic bottles when you REFILL your drinks at any of our FREE REFILL STATIONS.

Stokes have refill stations in all three of their Lincoln cafes: Stokes High Bridge Cafe, Stokes Collection Cafe, Stokes Lawn Cafe. Here you can refill your water bottle for free using the Ovopur.

The Ovopur is not just a water filter, designed by Canadian Architects it is also a piece of art in itself and is exhibited in the Canadian Fine Arts Museum. The Ovopur is designed to look great in any space all whilst filtering tap water through Aquacristal filters which emulates the natural water filtration process, making the water taste great. Find out more about the Ovopur here.

To join the REFILL movement, find our Stokes cafes on the app, pop into your nearest one and ask to refill your water for free from the Ovopur.

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Reusable Coffee Cups

Frank Green Reusable Cups

There has been a lot of discussion over plastic waste found in our oceans and looking into ways of reducing this. One particular focus has been on coffee cups and how we should be encouraged to reuse our cups and bottles in cafes and restaurants in an effort to reduce plastic waste. Environmental sustainability is something we at Stokes are very passionate about and promote incentives to purchase reusable coffee cups as well as offering free water refill stations in all three of our Stokes Cafes: Stokes High Bridge Cafe, Stokes Collection Cafe, Stokes Lawn Cafe.

Listen to this short interview with BBC Radio Lincolnshire and Stokes employee Lewis Windeatt BA(Hons) CIMA Cert BA on what we have to offer as part of the solution.



You can purchase your own reusable coffee cup here.

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Plastic Pollution

Say NO to the SINGLE USE plastic bottle

Reuse, Recycle and Refill

Since 1902, Stokes Tea & Coffee have remained a family run business that is concerned for the future, respect the environment and buy responsibly.   Buying better and inspiring change in our people, our partners, our customers, our community and our business.

Taking responsibility for the impact of our own operations, we support all campaigns that aim to make our communities and cities plastic water bottle free.  Plastic pollution is destroying marine life, entering the food chain and ultimately our bodies.

If you buy bottled water because you don’t like the taste and smell of tap water then PLEASE RECONSIDER – filter your tap water instead and buy a reusable bottle.

Around the world, people buy 1 million plastic bottles each minute or 20,000 per second and most of them will either end up in a landfill or the ocean.  Less than 50% of these are collected for recycling and only 7% of those are turned into new bottles.

The demand for plastic continues to grow but its durability – the key characteristic that makes plastic so popular – is also the reason why it is so widespread in the oceans.  Plastic debris in our oceans is emerging as a new, truly global challenge and one that requires a response at local, national and international levels.

The people behind Blue Planet 2 say there was rarely a time when they were filming that they didn’t come across plastic in the sea.

Nearly 700 marine species have been reported to either ingest and/or become entangled in plastic.  The effects can be fatal and experts warn that some of it is already finding its way into the human food chain.

Plastics contain chemicals (added to increase their durability) that, when eaten, leach out and disrupt normal hormonal function.  Manufacturers often add different chemicals to plastics to give them the exact characteristics they’re looking for, like flexibility, strength, and reduced production cost. These components can include phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) and tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) — all of which alter hormone expression in animals and humans.




A classification system called the Resin Identification Code describes the type of plastic resin used to make a container or bottle ranging from #1 to #7.

PET, PETE (Polyethylene Terephthalate)
Properties: Clarity, barrier to gas and moisture, heat resistant, toughness
Used for: Clear soft drink and beverage bottles, food packaging
• Considered safe although repeated use can increase risk of leaching and bacterial growth and difficult to decontaminate
HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene)
Properties: Stiff plastic – Toughness, resistance to moisture and chemicals, ease of processing
Used for: Detergent and cosmetic bottles, industrial wrapping and film, sheets, plastic bags
• Low hazard – Re-usable, recyclable and no-leaching.
PVC (Polyvinyl chloride)
Properties: Soft and flexible – Versatility, toughness, resistance to grease, oil and chemicals
Used for: Cleaning product bottles, packaging film, credit cards, plumbing pipes
• Known as poison plastic as contains numerous toxins that leach chemicals. NOT recommended for reuse for food, beverages or children.
LPDE (Low-density polyethylene)
Properties: Toughness, flexibility, ease of sealing, barrier to moisture
Used for: Cling film, plastic bags, flexible containers and food wrap
• Low Hazard – Reusable but not always recyclable
PP (Polypropylene)
Properties: Strength, toughness, versatility, barrier to moisture
Used for: Yoghurt and margarine pots, sweet and snack wrappers, medical packaging, shampoo bottles
• Considered safe to reuse
PS (polystyrene)
Properties: versatility, insulation, clarity, easily formed – sometimes called styrofoam
Used for: Disposable cups, cutlery, food boxes, packaging foam, egg cartons
• Avoid – in high heat it can leach styrene, a probable carcinogen
Other (BPA, Polycarbonate)
Properties: Catch all for other plastics, properties dependent on chemical make up
Used for: Baby bottles, CD’s, number plates, storage containers.
• It is recommended to avoid #7 plastics, especially for storing food and liquid. The main issue is the hormone disrupting chemical bisphenol A (BPA).

Bottled Water Truths

Globally we drink more packaged water than we do milk or beer.  Today, bottled water is the second largest seller to carbonated drinks.

The growth in the water beverage market has been driven by consumers worried about tap water quality, the health impact of sugary drinks and the bottled water companies promising a purer, healthier water product.

Clearly, the bottled water industry is here to stay, but is the price of bottled water really worth it?  Do you get a better water product for your money and is it really safer than tap water?

Is bottled water SAFER than tap water?

In 1999, the National Resources Defence Council (NRDC) published the results of a 4 year study in which researchers tested more than 1000 samples of 103 brands of bottled water

  • An estimated 25% or more of bottled water was really just tap water in a bottle, sometimes treated, sometimes not.
  • One fifth of the brands tested positive for the presence of harmful, synthetic chemicals used in the manufacturing of plastic.

In the USA, bottled water is defined as a ‘food’ and is regulated by the authority of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates tap water and mandate that local water treatment plants provide city residents with a detailed account of tap water’s source and the results of any testing, including contaminant level violations.

  • These tests for harmful microbiological content in tap water happen several times a day and reveal where the water comes from, how it is treated and what contaminants it may contain.
  • Bottled water companies have no such directives and only test for these microbes once a week – a significant number of bottles have undergone almost no regulation or testing.

Bottled water, due to several factors, is clearly not a healthier or purer alternative to tap water.  Tap water is plainly the more economical, and in many cases, the healthier choice.

Despite this, tap water does not remain without its problems and the concerns over the quality and safety of tap water that sparked the growth of the bottled water industry are still present.

Tap water is nowhere free from contaminants and the most recent and innovative solution to the problems of low water quality has come about in the age of water filters.

Water filters remove more dangerous contaminants than any other purification method, and they are uniquely designed to work with tap water.  The water they produce is not subject to phthalate contamination and they are able to remove cryptosporidium (a chlorine-resistant parasite) from drinking water, a feat that neither water treatment plants nor bottled water companies have yet managed.


Better Tasting Water

Whilst chlorine is used to kill off bacteria and other microbes in drinking water, it can also affect both the taste and smell of tap water.

Great for Growing Kids

Chlorine and lead are both pollutants, among others, found in drinking water.  Providing children with purer drinking water offers them a great start in life in terms of the mental and physical development, particularly as their immune systems are developing.

Saves You Money

If you purchase bottled water, one of the key benefits of a water filter is that it will pay for itself and start saving you money very quickly.

Protects Immune System

Tap water often contains numerous organic and inorganic contaminants, from arsenic and fluoride to chlorine and a host of other unhealthy toxins, such as pesticides and industrial chemicals.  Whilst water companies test rigorously for a whole range of factors, some toxins are unregulated, and others, whilst monitored and kept to a minimum, still exist in tap water.  Long-term exposure to these contaminants can weaken your immune system therefore, filtering your water helps to avoid the build-up of these toxins in your body

Healthier Water

By removing the chlorine and its by-products from drinking water, you are avoiding any potentially harmful substances that could have adverse health effects.


Since filtered water negates the need to buy bottled water to consume at home, a water filter means less plastic bottle waste, making them a sustainable choice.  Even if you tend to buy bottled water on the go, using a portable glass water bottle filled with filtered water from home is a far more eco-friendly and sustainable option.

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Latte Levy – Why you should invest in a Reusable Cup

‘Latte Levy’ a term that has become widely used in the last 6 days, but what does it mean?

MPs are proposing a 25p charge on all disposable cups to help reduce waste or a complete ban on disposable cups if recycling doesn’t improve.

There have been many articles in the news on the topic which highlight some alarming statistics:

  • Creating the paper cups to meet the demand of the world’s burgeoning coffee house culture sees some 6.5m trees felled every year
  • The UK throws away 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups every year – that’s enough to circle the planet five and a half times
  • Of those, almost none are recycled and half a million a day are littered
  • The amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the production and shipment of 2.5 billion cups is equivalent to that produced by burning around 120 million litres of petrol

Statistics are taken from articles from The BBC and The Independent.

If you are in need of even more reasons to stop using disposable cups and start using your own reusable cup, we’ve put together a list to highlight the positives.

Top 5 Reasons to invest in a Reusable Cup

  1. More and more coffee shops are offering discounts when you purchase your drink in your reusable cup. This includes high street chains and independent shops, so wherever you go you are saving money and helping the environment
  2. By investing an insulated cup, you are able to keep your coffee hotter for longer helping you savour that all-important caffeine fix!
  3. The variety of cups on offer means you can get the perfect cup to suit you. Pick a colour, pattern or even personalise your reusable cup to help you stand out or to give as a gift!
  4. Coffee shops will often sell their own coffee as beans or ground for you to make your own coffee at home, saving you money, time and giving you another excuse to use your reusable cup without compromising on the quality of your coffee.
  5. By investing in a reusable cup, you become part of a greater movement to invest in our planet, clean up our oceans and reduce the amount of waste unnecessarily produced on a daily basis.

Half of the plastic used in the world today is for single use disposable items, like coffee cups. By committing to a reusable coffee cup, you are taking huge strides in the fight against plastic waste.

At Stokes Tea & Coffee, we offer a 20p discount on any takeaway drink purchased in a reusable cup.

Get your own reusable coffee cup today by clicking here.

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11 Coffee Myths, Busted!

Coffee at Stokes Collection Café

Here are 11 coffee myths you may have heard, spoiler, they aren’t true!  See how many you knew to be false from the list below.

Asleep in bed

1. Your afternoon cup will cause insomnia

Caffeine is a stimulant. However, the caffeine you consume in your post-lunch cup of is processed through the liver at lightning speed and nearly all of it (roughly 75 percent) is flushed out of your body within four to seven hours. So, if you drink your second cup at 3 p.m., it’s completely gone by bedtime, unless you’re really lame.

Coffee grounds

2. You use boiling water on the grounds

If the temperature of your water goes above 200 degrees Fahrenheit, the water will start to extract some of the bitter oils from coffee grounds and may even scorch them. You can attribute the burnt taste of coffee to extra-hot water.


3. Coffee dehydrates you

Not true. Why exactly? Well, take a look at your cup of coffee. Notice the watery consistency? You can attribute this characteristic to all the goddamn water in a cup of coffee. The amount of H2O in a cup makes up for the dehydrating effects of caffeine.

Cup of coffee

4. A cup of coffee will sober you up

The amount of drinking myths rivals that of caffeine myths, but the short answer is: no. Caffeine can make an intoxicated person more alert, but a study by The American Psychological Association concluded that coffee does not reverse the negative cognitive impact of alcohol. It’s actually even worse for you, they report: “People who have consumed both alcohol and caffeine may feel awake and competent enough to handle potentially harmful situations, such as driving while intoxicated or placing themselves in dangerous social situations.”

5. Coffee helps you lose weight

Not exactly. The stimulating effects of caffeine can slightly—and I mean very slightly—increase your metabolism, but not enough to make a dent in your diet, especially in terms of long-term weight loss. Caffeine may reduce your desire to eat for a brief time, but there’s not enough evidence to show that long-term consumption aids weight loss.

Child in autumn

6. Coffee stunts your growth

This myth has been around forever and is the sole reason why my mother thinks she hovers above five feet. However, the belief that coffee does stunt your growth is—forgive the aged expression—nothing more than an old wives’ tale. It’s unclear how this myth got started, but there’s no scientific evidence supporting it.

 Coffee beans in a cup

7. Caffeine is highly addictive

While there’s a little bit of truth to this one, it’s not as bad as Jessie Spano made it seem in Saved By The Bell. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, which causes a very slight dependence, however, the withdrawal effects last only a day or two and are a far cry from the withdrawal effects of, oh, heroin.

 I love coffee

8. Coffee causes heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, rabies

Calm down, everything is going to be fine. Consuming a moderate amount of (up to 300 milligrammes or three cups of coffee) caffeine on the daily isn’t going to hurt you. If you have high blood pressure, you could potentially experience a temporary rise in heart rate, but there is no link to caffeine and high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, or rabies. Especially rabies. There’s even plenty of evidence from places like Harvard that coffee is good for you.

It's a boy

9. Pregnant women shouldn’t drink coffee

Caffeine won’t harm a fetus, however, it is advised that women should limit their caffeine intake to only 200 milligrams—about one cup of coffee. Caffeine can pass through the placenta and reach the baby, but there are no concrete studies saying it’s harmful. But better safe, right? So, just be careful.

Coffee beans

10. The darker the roast, the stronger the coffee

Quite the opposite, actually! Roasting actually burns off the caffeine and gives you more of an acidic taste.

 Coffee and coffee beans

11. All coffee has the same amount of caffeine

Not all coffees are brewed the same and some cups have a hell of a lot more caffeine. For instance, McDonald’s has a measly 9.1 milligrammes per fluid ounce as compared to the goliath 20-milligram cup of Starbucks.


Written by Jeremy Glass.

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History of High Bridge

The history of High Bridge is an interesting tale, so we’re taking a look back in time to see exactly what our beloved bridge has seen in its very long life.

The High Bridge, built over the river Witham, is one of the few medieval bridges in England with houses upon it. The High Street itself passes over the original portion of the bridge, which is a fine ribbed Norman Arch of 22-foot span, dating from about 1160. The dark vault beneath, formerly named The Murder Hole, now bears the romantic title of The Glory Hole. In medieval times the bridge was an important centre for merchants. Fish was brought up from the coast and also caught locally in the Witham itself, and then sold on the bridge. Farmers from the surrounding district brought meat, either by boat or wagon, to be bartered at this busy spot. Under the bridge passed vessels, loaded with wool, on their way to Flanders, whilst above, on the bridge, porters stood around waiting to be hired. The bridge must often have assumed the appearance of an open-air market, swarming with life and activity.

In about the year 1235, an addition was made to the eastern side of the bridge; namely, a chapel dedicated to St. Thomas á Becket of Canterbury. Unfortunately the reformation in 1594 led to its desecration, however it was later used by the Guild of Tanners and Butchers as an assembly room and by the middle of the eighteenth century it was being used as a chandler’s shop and was finally pulled down in 1763. An Obelisk was erected to mark the site of the chapel and for many years this formed an object of interest for visitors to Lincoln, but it was removed in 1939.

It was about 1540 that a further extension was made to the bridge and the half-timbered houses were built. In the nineteenth century the Victorians plastered over the picturesque front of these houses, covering over all the charm. Fortunately they were carefully restored in 1902 and most of the timber beams visible today are the original ones, dating back to the sixteenth century.

Earlier in the history of the High Bridge, in the early 1790s a fierce discussion was in progress as to whether the river should be made navigable all through the year, or left as it was. It was navigable during the winter months, but in the summer the water sometimes sank so low that horses and carriages were known to ford it, rather than cross by the bridge. It was at last decided, after much opposition from some citizens, that the river should be made narrower and deeper and this was accordingly done in 1793. However, before it was done, a celebration dance was held under the bridge, planks having been laid across the water for the purpose.

Also at this time there are known to have been two posts placed at the foot of the bridge with a chain stretched between them. The chain marked the two municipal divisions of the city, and whether or not you were entitled to common rights depended upon if you lived “above” or “below” the chain.

So, as you can see, the history of High Bridge is a rich one – it’s been part of Lincoln life for centuries, and hopefully will be part of it for centuries to come too.

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Stokes Coffee Facts & Figures

We love our coffee facts here at Stokes, so here are a few that tickle our fancy… read on for facts straight out of the Stokes kitchen, as well as a few caffeine-packed tidbits from far and wide. 

  • Stokes High Bridge Café sells over of 600 cups of tea every week. If you lined up each cup sold since 1937, the line would reach from the Stonebow to Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square.
  • If you lined up each cup of coffee, we would even reach the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
  • Since David Peel, grandson of R.W. Stokes, created the Blue Mountain Blend in the late 1970s over 500 tonnes have been roasted and drunk by coffee lovers.
  • With an average of 120 meals served every day, Stokes High Bridge Café has sold well over 3 million meals since it first opened!
  • We bake over 30,000 scones each year.
  • Stokes has employed over 500 different members of staff since opening the High Bridge Café in 1937. That’s almost 1 out of every 200 yellow-bellies.

Did you know?

Voltaire loved coffee, and made his way through 50 or so cups every day. So, the next time somebody says that coffee is bad for you, point out that, in an era when medical experts still turned at times to bleeding, or even to a leech or two, Voltaire managed to live to the ripe old age of 83. Not that we would recommend that you follow his example to the cup… 49 is a much more sensible number.



Image sourced from

Did you know?

Originally, coffee was eaten. African tribes mixed coffee berries with fat to form edible energy balls!

Did you know?

Here’s a surprising coffee fact for you. Legend has it that Ethiopian shepherds first noticed the effects of caffeine when they saw their goats appearing to become frisky and ‘dance’ after eating coffee berries.

Did you know?

The term ‘Americano’ comes from American GI Joes serving in the Second World War who would order espresso with water to dilute the strong flavour. The fact that the GIs were such big coffee drinkers also gave rise to the term ‘cup of Joe’.

Bonus interesting coffee fact…

During the eighteenth century, coffee houses were often referred to as ‘penny universities’. Instead of paying for drinks, people were charged a penny to enter a coffee house. In a society that attached enormous importance to class and economic status, the coffee houses were unique. People from all levels of society could come inside and talk as equals. Once inside, the patron had access to coffee, the company of others, intelligent discussions, pamphlets, bulletins, newspapers and the latest news and gossip. And students, it seems, often spent a great deal more time there than at their real universities!