Back in May last year (yes we've seen another whole year go by!) I posted a blog about how some celebrities do an amazing job to promote good, worthy causes in the world. It's a constant battle we have to fight, and it often feels like there's not a lot you (an individual) can do. So we need people like Hugh Jackman 'Hollywood Superstar' to step up to the plate and use their fame, fortune, connections and media attention to highlight a problem or a need. We can do our bit by supporting, not criticising them. 

Back in September I had the amazing privilege of overindulging in a trip of a lifetime to America. It had been a longtime in the making but this was a really special experience for me. Even more so because I was able to share it with my sister, who kindly went along with everything I wanted to see and do. I did, however, promise her at least one vegetarian/vegan meal of her choice and the best fair trade cup of coffee in New York City! On our second morning in the Big Apple we caught the subway from Brooklyn to Chambers Street and walked the short distance to The Laughing Man, on Duane Street - Hugh Jackman's fair trade coffee shop.

It was a lot smaller than I expected, just one tiny store with no where to sit except a fake grass area on the sidewalk outside. I guess it is more of a 'coffee to go' type of place. Despite being slightly disappointed that Hugh wasn't there himself (how epic would that have been!) we had the warmest of welcomes and a nice chat with the Barista whilst Nina decided what she wanted. I was asked what I wanted, "Oh no" I said "I don't drink coffee but I'll try some of hers". Nina ordered the coffee from the Dukale, the original coffee farmer Hugh had met in Ethiopia. We paid and sat outside on the fake grass in the sun. It wasn't a particular scenic street but that didn't matter. It was these little moments that really made the trip special. 

Nina at The Laughing Man, New York  Hannah at The Laughing Man, New York

Nina sipped her coffee and held it out for me to try. She has been trying for years to get me to like coffee but all to no avail. However, I'll tell you now, that coffee is the only coffee I've ever tasted where I haven't pulled a face of disgust. There is hope for me yet! Nina enjoyed her cuppa and bought a bag of coffee beans to bring home with her, which has now all sadly been drunk. We shall have to go back to New York just to get some more coffee!

Even in such a big, bustling, corporate, international city such as New York where it is far to easy to nip into a Starbucks, it felt great to be able to support a local business I knew would be helping people all over the world. And I know for a fact Nina is more than happy to support people anytime if it involves good coffee!

So if you ever find yourself in New York in the Tribeca area of Lower Manhattan, pop into The Laughing Man and enjoy a world class cup of coffee!