The journey home – 'home' still being the word I instinctively use for the house I grew up in, atop of wild Welsh hillside, even if today it's where I go to escape everyday life – begins with bustle. The battle on the Tube with a case, the dash around Euston juggling handbag-paper-coffee-lunch. It's wise to stock up: the journey to Pen-y-Bont takes over four hours, via Crewe and Shrewsbury. It's very much not the route a crow would fly...

Thirsty Work: The coffee shop as office

Coffee shops are the unofficial offices of an army of modern workers thanks to free wi-fi, good company and caffeine on tap. But, says David Crookes, cafes have been places of business for centuries

Business Diary: Johnson chokes on his coffee

Luke Johnson, the private equity mogul, might want to check staff aren't spitting in his latte next time he pops into Starbucks for a pick-me-up. Johnson is less than complimentary about the coffee chain in the latest issue of Management Today – and particularly its chairman Howard Schulz. The Starbucks founder's latest tome, How Starbucks Fought for its Life Without Losing its Soul, is on sale in the chain's coffee shops. "This book is 350 pages of self-indulgent claptrap," Johnson says.

Pint of bitter and a juicy murder story, please, librarian

As libraries close, their books may be moved into pubs, shops, and even doctors' surgeries

Walmart sets up London team to lead European drive

The retail giant seeks takeover targets on the continent, as sales stagnate in Britain and America

Adams' tenure ended by Sheffield United

Sheffield United have parted company with their manager, Micky Adams.

How I came, had coffee, and conquered: Starbucks boss publishes secrets of success

Apparently starved of options at the counter, customers at Starbucks can now buy a new book by the firm's billionaire chief executive, in which he boasts how he rescued the company before building it into a global giant.

Starbucks UK enjoys frothy sales thanks to March heatwave

Starbucks UK served up strong sales growth in the UK in its second quarter after the "exceptionally" warm weather in March helped it enjoy soaring sales of frappucinos.

Widow weeps at G20 death footage

Family members of Ian Tomlinson were in tears today as an inquest jury was shown harrowing new video of the newspaper seller dying at the G20 protests.

Do bookshops have a future?

To survive, Waterstone's is planning to copy the very independent stores it put out of business. Will it work in the age of Amazon? All customers want is the personal touch, argues Tim Walker

In Kind Direct calls for charity tax change

Charities are missing out on millions of pounds because the UK's tax regime does not offer companies an incentive to donate their surplus goods, according to In Kind Direct. The UK corporate charity, founded by the Prince of Wales, is calling on the Government to introduce a more favourable tax system in the forthcoming Budget, to bring it in line with the US. It said such a similar regime would treble donations of excess goods.

Cooper Brown: Lesbian sticker lady

Had a big run-in with Lesbian sticker lady this morning. I’d just got up and the new Nespresso machine had broken because I’d made about a hundred coffees last night and was more wired than Charlie Sheen on prime time. I slipped out of the flat in my housecoat to go to Starbucks.

Starbucks warns of 'tougher' UK trading climate

Starbucks UK has become the latest big high-street chain to warn of a slowdown in consumer spending, as the coffee shop giant unveiled the first shop with its new look and logo in London yesterday.

Christopher Isherwood: A singular talent laid bare

Doctor Who star Matt Smith is going back in time to Thirties Berlin to play the novelist Christopher Isherwood. Gerard Gilbert hears about his journey

Letter from the editor: Few certainties in life

There used to be a few certainties we could all believe in beyond death and taxes.

Starbucks is banking on our new love affair with top-notch filter coffee to stay ahead of the game

In a smart basement cafe off London's Berkeley Square, a secret ceremony is taking place. Screened from the view of punters sipping their lattes and Flat Whites, coffee master Laurence Winch is brewing up something much more rarefied. He takes beans – grown on a far-flung Indonesian island – which have been aged and cosseted for five years and roasted until the beans pop twice. After grinding them on the spot, he moistens them in a paper-lined ceramic cone with water calibrated at just below boiling point, in order not to scald the grounds.

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