CONSUME – CRITIQUE – CREATE: Coffee & Creativity

If you’d have asked me a year ago about coffee and creativity and how they’re linked, I’d have thrown my head back and snorted in derision. Possibly.  But back then, no-one asked me, I didn’t answer and now I’ll never know what I would have said or done.

But a year is a long time and much has changed since then. Just over a year ago, I emerged, Bambi-like, blinking and not too sure on my legs, as one of Liverpool’s five Cultural Champions. With no real clue what we were doing, the five of us – me, Johny, Ray, Judy and Andre – were let loose on the cultural life of our city with the brief to CONSUME – CRITIQUE – CREATE

The “CREATE” part of the brief left me quaking in my boots.  Faced with the extraordinary breadth and range of talent in this city, I waited for someone to show me the door with a shake of their head as if to say, “Come on, love. Who were you kidding?” I was single, working mother who just fancied getting out of the house a bit more. What was I doing here?

But no-one showed me the door and I immersed myself in the cultural life of the city. And it’s no exaggeration to say it was a life-changing thing.

“Ok, so where does coffee come into this?” you may well ask. Well, coffee for me has been integral to my life of culture and creativity. Probably the most well-used phrase I’ve deployed over the last year has been “Fancy meeting up for a coffee and a chat?”

I’ve used it with artists, musicians, writers, event organisers and, of course, my fellow Culture Champs. There are few things more rewarding than shooting the breeze over a coffee or two. As well as being an excellent opportunity for a good old bit of gossip (an excellent pastime in my experience) coffee is a great catalyst for new ideas and collaborations.

And amid a sea of cappuccinos, lattes and mochachinos, I had an idea. I was ready to CREATE. My idea at the moment is like a newly hatched chick that needs some good old TLC for it to grow. Whether it grows into a beautiful swan or a big old turkey is one for the future, but in the meantime, I’ll keep on having those coffees and watching those ideas flow.

Check out Liverpool’s Cultural Champions website at

Words by Andrea McGuire. Image by Mook Loxley. 

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