Last week I ventured into the blizzard to find some comfort in that painfully cold, dreadful week. And I got it. The Old Toad delivered. I was feeling great, well, until the polar vortex. The Old Toad’s traditional British pub fare provided joy in 15 degree weather, but I needed something extra for this week’s -30 wind chill. Cozy, comfortable, relaxing, uplifting — I found it all at Equal Grounds Coffee House.
Equal Grounds is a charming café featuring warm wood tones, comfortable couches, colorful artwork, a shelf of books at patrons’ disposal, and quite an impressive stock of board games. Ryan and I — just me, really — thought Sorry would be the perfect complement to our chow. I won, so turns out I was right about that one.
In addition to being a leisure experience, Equal Grounds markets itself as an all-inclusive environment, a supporter of the LGBTQ community. So, the cafe is atmospherically comfy-cozy. But does it walk the walk with the wining and dining as well?
To start off with drinks, Ryan played it safe with his usual — the house blend coffee — and I spiced up my life with a chai tea latte. I asked Ryan to describe his coffee using three separate words, a harder assignment than I intended. Ryan had some trouble getting creative with the descriptors, but I did manage to squeeze two adjectives out of him: “smooth” and “full-bodied.” Sounds more like a wine review to me, but maybe that means something to you coffee fanatics out there. I’ll also note that the first response was “This tastes good.” So, there you have it, folks. If you’re looking for a smooth, full-bodied coffee that tastes good, then Equal Grounds is the place for you.
As for the chai, it tasted good as well — very good. The different flavoring options were, from what I can remember, vanilla, spice, and green tea. Green tea chai latte is something I had never heard of or seen before, but I was really feeling vanilla that day, so that’s what I went with.
In high school, I was super hooked on Starbucks’ chai, and I never knew what I was missing. I’ve been watching a lot of “Master Chef” a la Gordon Ramsay lately, so I’ll explain it like this: Starbucks’ chai is the cook that has gotten through week-to-week because other, better cooks make horribly destructive mistakes, but you know they shouldn’t be there (cough cough — David, season three —cough cough). Equal Grounds’ chai is the dark horse that is never shown on camera and just sorta floats by until they suddenly slay a challenge halfway through the season. Next thing you know, they’re the talk of the town and end up winning the whole shebang. You already know who I’m talking about. (It’s Claudia, season six, guys.)
Even though I ordered it with fat-free milk, this chai latte was creamy and rich, with the vanilla and spicy chai shining through brightly. The vanilla was pure and wholesome, nothing like the chemically fake French vanilla flavor typically in creamers. Also, the latte was the absolute perfect temperature. It was hot enough that I got the chills from my first warm sip, but not so hot that I couldn’t distinguish the individual flavors. Kudos.
To complete the outing with a light, healthy meal, the obvious choice was the raspberry cream cake. It was refreshing to have some real cake. Like, not supermarket cake with weird fake “buttercream,” but the real stuff with fresh buttercream and a proper sponge. It was good, but all of the elements were a bit too sweet, and for a raspberry cream cake, it was severely lacking in raspberry flavor.
Last semester, I was on a very short-lived quest to find the perfect cozy Rochester café. After Founders Café totally missed that mark, I moved on, but I’m happy that I resurrected the mission. Cake with sugar, chai with spice, and everything nice over at Equal Grounds Coffee House.
Powered by WPeMatico
We’re looking for twenty people who are changing the world of coffee. And we need your help.
Welcome to The Sprudge Twenty—presented by Pacific Foods Barista Series. The Sprudge Twenty is a new annual initiative honoring and amplifying leaders in the specialty coffee community. We believe that the future of coffee is being written right now, by the people who work in the coffee every day. The strength of this community is in its membership: the mentors and leaders as well as the young strivers and future game-changers. Baristas and farmers, traders and teachers, entrepreneurs and original voices—our hope is that by identifying those exemplifying what’s special about coffee, we will be able to uplift and center their stories to the entire world.
But Sprudge and Pacific can’t do it alone—we need you, our readers, to tip us off to the individuals who best exemplify what makes coffee special in 2019. This is an open call to our global network of readers and partners: nominate people in your business or community who exemplify excellence, leadership, and the future of coffee. Mentors can nominate their young students; owners can nominate a member of their core staff; or cafe patrons/coffee lovers of all kinds can nominate their favorite baristas or roasters.
Nominations can be submitted in any language, in the form of an original essay, audio nomination, or video recording, so that there is no barrier to submission. Entry is 100% free for all thanks to the support of Pacific Foods Barista Series.
Winners will receive a series of spotlight features highlighting their stories and causes on Sprudge, as well as mentorship opportunities from Pacific Foods Barista Series, and much more to be announced in the weeks and months to come. Nominations are now open through March 4th, 2019.
To nominate someone in your community for The Sprudge Twenty, simply fill out this form below, and visit sprudge.com/twenty for updates in the weeks to come.
Powered by WPeMatico
There’s gourmet coffee, and then there’s coffee roasted by the searing heat of re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere from the edge of space.
The latter is the goal of the company Space Roasters, whose plan calls for a special bean-roasting capsule to fall from about 110-125 miles (180-200 kilometers) above Earth’s surface.
“We believe the idea of taking a seemingly ordinary Earth-based activity of roasting coffee beans and demonstrating the use of space technology to achieve a better product will stimulate the general population to think outside the box,” Coffee Roasters’ founders, Anders Cavallini and Hatem Alkhafaji, told Room Magazine. (A copy of the article is available on the Space Roasters website.) “It will also encourage others to realize that space is not just for satellites — but for just about anything the mind can ponder.” [To Boldly Brew: Astronaut Uses ISSpresso to Make 1st Cup of Coffee in Space]
The founders told Room that traditional coffee is roasted in a spinning, heated drum, where beans contact the sides of the container and heat unevenly. To get a uniform roast, the beans have to be cooked for longer.
Many manufacturing processes in space can take advantage of microgravity to keep material evenly mixed and avoid the effects at the edges of containers, and Coffee Roasters’ plan is to make use of that situation to evenly roast their beans by distributing the heat from re-entry — caused by friction between the fast-moving capsule and particles in Earth’s atmosphere — among four gas- and bean-filled chambers.
Space.com asked company representatives by email when exactly the capsule experiences microgravity, since objects experience a slowing drag during re-entry, and got the following response: “We will achieve roasting in microgravity in two stages. First, a suborbital flight to prove the concept and gather data from the roast. Second, with our Space Roasting Capsule (SRC) at orbital speeds, there will be a low angle of re-entry which will minimize accelerations, but still achieving a microgravity environment.”
According to Room Magazine, the capsule could be about 350 cubic feet (10 cubic meters) to encompass the roasters and other components, and weigh about 1,100 lbs. (500 kg) on Earth. By adapting the attachment, it could work with different rockets — though the founders are “in discussion with a handful of providers, including Rocket Lab and Blue Origin,” there is no set plan. They added that their goal is to space-roast coffee beans by 2020 and serve them first in Dubai before expanding internationally.
Though the founders don’t propose a price for the coffee, Eric Berger in Ars Technica calculates based on the mass and proposed trajectory that with launch costs alone this coffee could cost about $200 per cup. With the cost of design, development and the capsule itself, the per-cup cost after the beans are recovered from land or sea could reach $500.
Powered by WPeMatico
If you’re wanting to start your Sunday off being outdoors, meet at the Wyler Aerial Tramway and hike up Directisimo. The hike goes to Jackaloop trail and back and starts at 7:30 a.m. Important things to bring include water, good shoes and weather appropriate clothing!
This event is free and pets are welcome! If you want more information on this hike you can call the park at 915-562-9899. The park says this hike is rated as strenuous and lasts around two hours.
Mas y Menos Sunday Coffee Shop Ride
Start your morning off with a coffee then head out for a bike ride! The Mas y Menos Sunday Coffee Shop Ride is two hours long and starts at 8 a.m. Bikers should expect to ride 18-20 mph and this ride is rated intermediate. You should also be comfortable riding with other bikers and taking directions on guidance. Mas y Menos is located at 1035 Belvidere St.
Super Bowl LIII
And of course the big game is Sunday. The New England Patriots will be taking on the Los Angeles Rams at 4:30 p.m. for Super Bowl LIII. You can catch the game on CBS4 Local. If you’ll be watching the game at the comfort of your own home, here are some tips for throwing the best party at your own convenience.
Powered by WPeMatico
SPARTANBURG CO, SC (WSPA) – Chapman High School students with special needs are running their own business, inside their own classroom, called the LIFE CAFE.
The LIFE CAFE is coffee shop run by the students in the special education program. The cafe started back in September 2018, thanks to a suggestion by fellow teacher, said Special Education and Track Coach Robert Gray.
“Initially, when they first started, you see the nervousness. The wow factor of it being their first job. Coming in and just like, this is a lot of stuff to do. A lot of responsibility. But we take our time and give them a routine,” Gray said.
By letting the students run the cafe they’re getting hands on experience, to work in the real world. They learn how to take food and drink orders, how to make coffee and pastries.
All of these skills can translate into jobs outside of school, for example a coffee shop.
Sophomore KeNya Brooks said she’s a fan of working in the cafe. The experience has given her confidence and a sense of pride in herself and her work.
Since working in the cafe, Gray said Brooks has developed better interpersonal skills and is willing to talk to faculty and staff she doesn’t know.
“Don’t be shy or nervous. Like, I mean, there’s nothing to be shy about. It’s just getting to know people. Like, know people you don’t like know,” Brooks said.
The name of the business, LIFE CAFE, is an acronym: “Learning It From Experience, the Chapman Aroma For Educators”. Chapman principal Dr. Andrew McMillan said he’s proud of what the special education department has done with this project for the students.
“They’re doing a lot of things that we can certainly talk about all day in the classroom. But, until they put it into practice, where it really makes sense to them, connections are being made for them. So, when they leave here, they can put it into practice,” McMillan said.
McMillan said the department already had a skills lab classroom. There students could learn how to make their own bed, iron clothing, or operate the washing machine.
Now with the addition of the cafe, teachers are able to teach more skills for students to use outside the school.
Matthew Vukusach said his classroom is the best because he likes to work with his hands.
On top of helping in the cafe, Vukusach also does laundry for the girl’s basketball team, by washing their jerseys
“It’s makes me feel good, because my teacher really trusts me,” Vukusach said.
He attributes his success to one thing, confidence.
“You can’t get nothing done unless you have the confidence,” Vukusach said.
Although, the learned skills listed can seem simple, McMillan and Gray said they’re game changing for these students.
Money from the LIFE CAFE helps continue the business by purchasing supplies for the coffee and breakfast items said Gray.
Powered by WPeMatico
Portland’s only cat cafe announced it would close in October, leaving the city without a place to drink and pet cats until you decided, “What the heck, let me just adopt one.”
Sergio and Kristen Castillo, the owners of Purringtons, which opened in 2015, told The Oregonian/OregonLive they matched more than 600 cats from Cat Adoption Team with adoptive families between 2015 and the time they closed in 2018.
They had hoped to find a buyer for the cafe, but according to Willamette Week’s number one cat reporter, Matt Singer, “It didn’t appear that they had any takers, and the bar has sat dim and meow-less on Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard since early December.”
“But,” Singer adds, “cat cafes always land on their feet, apparently.”
On Facebook in the middle of January, the Castillos announced that they had found new owners for the cat cafe. Willamette Week reports they are Garrett Simpson, a volunteer at Cat Adoption Team, and Helen Harris.
The new owners have not yet set a date to reopen Purringtons, but it will remain in the same location, 3529 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
— Lizzy Acker
Visit subscription.oregonlive.com/newsletters to get Oregonian/OregonLive journalism delivered to your email inbox.
Powered by WPeMatico
Ready to go Online Store with fully Automated Dropshipping Service by Guaripete Solutions
What is Dropshipping: definition and main principles
Dropshipping is the form of retail where the reseller (and you actually are the reseller) collects orders from customers and transfers them to the actual manufacturer or another reseller (supplier).
In this model dropshipper doesn’t possess any stocks, he only markets the goods. However the reseller markets the goods setting the prices that are pretty higher than the ones set by the supplier, this difference is your profit.
When you open a retail store, you have 2 choices: to hold inventory, or not. You can buy products in bulk, unpack them, and ship them to your customers as you generate sales. OR, you can find a wholesale distributor (supplier) who will warehouse the items for you and ship individual items directly to your customer.
Drop ship, “pack and ship”, “direct fulfillment” – they all mean the same thing. A supplier will ship the item to your customer for you, and you never have to handle the product. Drop shipping allows the re-seller to focus on marketing the business and eliminate the hassle, time, and cost of dealing with the actual products they are selling.
In dropshipping model although you don’t need to stock the goods you will still need some money at the very start. The reason is when you receive the order from the customer the money he pays won’t transfer to your account immediately but will be frozen for the safety reasons. At the same time you will have to pay for the order to the supplier which will require your own money.
What do you get for your Money?:
- Fully automated Orders Fulfillment and Tracking, you won’t need to deal with orders
- Domain name (.com)
- 1 year of Hosting Service
- Free SSL
- Custom design
- Mobile devices ready
- SEO Optimized
- Number of products ready to sell: 50
- Payment gateways: PayPal, Credit cards
- Delivery time: 10-13 business days, ORDER NOW: rodulfox.com
Powered by WPeMatico
Every Completed Delivery Puts Money in Your Pockets. No Strings Attached. Fast Approval Process. Be Your Own Boss. Get Paid Same Day. Use Any Car to Deliver. Earn All Tips. Bikes & Scooters Accepted. Easy Signup. Referral Bonus Program. Work When You Want.
Busca Trabajo? Unase a Doordash, Click Aqui: https://drd.sh/2cHmBi/
Cada entrega completada pone dinero en sus bolsillos. Sin ataduras. Rápido proceso de aprobación. Sé tu propio jefe. Recibe el mismo día. Utilice cualquier coche para entregar. Gana todos los consejos. Se aceptan bicicletas y scooters. Inscripción fácil. Programa de bonos de referencia. Trabaja cuando quieras.
Powered by WPeMatico
Fred Moesinger and Aimee Sterling took a giant leap backward when they were forced to move their beloved Italian restaurant, Caffe Molise, and its sister bar, BTG, because of planned city construction. Instead of abandoning downtown for new construction in the burbs (and yes, I count Cottonwood and Holladay), they decided to invest in Salt Lake’s history and take over the landmark Eagle Building. That’s not the Salt Lake way—we generally prefer to tear down the old and put our money into new and shiny—and usually boring—buildings.
So hurrah for Fred and Aimee and kudos to their craziness. The new old space is 15,000 square feet over three floors; the original Caffe Molise space was 9,000 square feet. BTG now has a whole floor with its own entrance, the top floor is a ballroom fit for Beauty & the Beast to waltz across.
Built in 1915-16 for the Fraternal Order of the Eagles, the building has a formality and a presence seldom seen in new architecture. The grand entryway staircase on West Temple leads into the dining room, which, because of tall ceilings and architectural detail, lending a sense of occasion to your meal.
Molise’s menu has remained the same, which seems weird, because it all tasted better in the new space. It’s been proved (as much as social science can prove anything) that where people eat affects how much they enjoy what they’re eating. Caffe Molise’s arista—spice rubbed roast pork tenderloin with fig compote—has always been one of my favorites. The moist pork and the mildly sweet fruit have a naturally beautiful relationship in the mouth, but the newly elegant setting is conducive to slowing down and relishing flavors. Eggplant polpette have all the umami of meat, enhanced by tomato cream and grilled asparagus—a humble dish elevated by its surroundings.
Subscribers can see more. Sign up and you’ll be included in our membership program and get access to exclusive deals, premium content and more. Get the magazine, get the deals, get the best of life in Utah!
Powered by WPeMatico
When it comes to processing coffee beans, longer fermentation times can result in better taste, contrary to conventional wisdom. Lactic acid bacteria play an important, positive role in this process. Other species of microbes may play a role in this process as well, but more research is needed to better understand their role. The research is published February 1 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
“A cup of coffee is the final product of a complex chain of operations: farming, post-harvest processing, roasting, and brewing,” said principal investigator Luc De Vuyst, M.Sc., Ph.D., Professor of Industrial Microbiology and Food Biotechnology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium. “There are several variants of post-harvest processing, among which wet processing and dry processing are the most common.” Wet processing — commonly used for Arabica and specialty coffees — is the step that includes fermentation.
“We carried out the research at an experimental farm in Ecuador through a multiphasic approach, encompassing microbiological, metabolomics, and sensory analysis,” said Dr. De Vuyst.
Fermentation was of particular importance. During extended fermentation, leuconostocs — a genus of lactic acid bacteria used in the fermentation of cabbage to sauerkraut and in sourdough starters — declined in favor of lactobacilli, said Dr. De Vuyst. Lactic acid bacteria were already present before fermentation, and these acid tolerant lactobacilli proliferated even more during this process.
However, it is challenging to draw a causal link between the microbiota and the volatile compounds in the beans — those compounds that contribute to the coffee’s smell — since many of these compounds can be of microbial, endogenous bean metabolism, or chemical origin,” said Dr. De Vuyst.
“However, we did see an impact of the microbial communities, in particular the lactic acid bacteria,” said Dr. De Vuyst. They yielded fruity notes, and may have “had a protective effect toward coffee quality during fermentation because of their acidification of the fermenting mass, providing a stable microbial environment and hence preventing growth of undesirable micro-organisms that often lead to off-flavors,” he said.
“Furthermore, there is a build-up of the fermentation-related metabolites onto the coffee beans, which affects the quality of the green coffee beans and hence the sensory quality of the coffees brewed therefrom,” said Dr. De Vuyst.
Dr. De Vuyst emphasized that how each stage of processing influences the taste of coffee remains mostly uncharted. “We were aware of many different micro-organisms during wet coffee fermentation — enterobacteria, lactic acid bacteria, yeasts, acetic acid bacteria, bacilli, and filamentous fungi,” said Dr. De Vuyst, but it is still unknown how most bacteria influence this process.
The work was a collaboration between the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and the Nestlé Research Center. “Nestlé was interested in the fundamental aspects of coffee processing, in particular, the post-harvest processing chain, in order to correlate it with the roasting process and of course the final cup quality,” said Dr. De Vuyst.
Powered by WPeMatico
Get the latest from TODAY
Sign up for our newsletter
/ Source: TODAY
By Lyn Mettler
Pay-it-forward chains, where customers pay for the order of the person in line behind them, have become a thing at Starbucks drive-thrus — especially around the holidays. It’s always a sweet surprise that usually sticks with participants throughout the day.
But the owner of a small coffee shop in Crown Point, Indiana, has come up with her own way to spread some love and is making a positive impact in the lives of her customers and the local community every day.
Breanne Zolfo opened Cafe Fresco six years ago. When the shop wasn’t super busy, she and her employees would jot down inspirational quotes on random coffee cup sleeves. Pretty soon, customers started requesting the quotes if their sleeve didn’t have one.
Now, her team writes up to 200 quotes on sleeves every morning before the store opens to make sure all of her customers receive one. They include quotes like:
- “Believe there is good in the world.”
- “Be the good.”
- “Let your light shine.”
“There are people who go through their whole day, who don’t have anything positive or inspirational in their day,” Zolfo told TODAY Food. “To be a small part of that is really cool.” But Zolfo’s mission isn’t just about sharing motivational quotes.
About three years ago, Zolfo began encouraging her customers to go out and perform real acts of kindness themselves by writing a suggested good deed inside the coffee sleeves, like donating clothes to a homeless shelter or putting money in a Salvation Army jar. When they return with a photo or video of the deed, they get a free coffee.
“The customers love it,” said Zolfo. “They feel like they’re doing their small part, too. They see the outcome. They see they can change people’s lives.”
Mother Teresa, now St. Teresa of Calcutta, often encouraged her benefactors to do the same: to not just donate money, but to actually come see how their money was being used, which she felt would change the donor in the most impactful way.
And every week, Zolfo takes all of the money collected in the tip jar (they call it the “Community Love Tip Jar”) and surprises someone local with something special.
After asking a homeless man what he really needed, the Cafe Fresco staff surprised him with a bike. He returned to the shop a few years later and explained how the bike totally transformed his life by enabling him to have transportation to get a job. He is now no longer homeless.
She also surprises people in grocery store checkout lines by paying for their bill.
“We planted a small seed in Crown Point, Indiana, and now people are spreading our mission to other cities and states. When we have other people helping us, that’s when we can do it everywhere,” said Zolfo.
To continue her mission, Zolfo says she’d love to get a “Community Love Bus” and drive it around the country to surprise even more people with good deeds.
Powered by WPeMatico
Artists Cafe, the iconic Michigan Avenue restaurant that has been in business for 58 years, is closing, the owners announced Friday.
“After close to six decades, it’s time for us to take a bow,” the owners wrote in a statement.
The restaurant, located across the street from Buckingham Fountain, was visited by celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Luciano Pavarotti.
“We have been blessed to brush up against greatness before some of the world’s best talents were discovered, keeping their heads down while toiling away at their craft, sitting at our counters and tables. It is very humbling to think that simple cups of Artists Cafe coffee could have fueled so many creative minds and moments,” owners Irene Makris, Aris Mitchell and Maria Mitchell Tsourapas wrote.
In 2016, a second location closed in the South Loop, Eater Chicago reported.
“Chicago, we might be leaving you, but you will never leave our hearts!” said the statement.
Powered by WPeMatico
Purringtons Cat Lounge has cashed in one of its nine lives.
The owners of Portland’s only cat cafe—in which patrons can sip beer and coffee in the presence of adoptable felines—announced in October that they would be shuttering the business ahead of a planned move out of state, unless someone offered to buy it off them.
Related: Portland’s Only Cat Café Is Closing.
It didn’t appear that they had any takers, and the bar has sat dim and meow-less on Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard since early December.
But cat cafes always land on their feet, apparently.
On Jan. 15, a post on Purringtons’ Facebook page announced that they had indeed found buyers. This week, former owners Sergio and Kristen Castillo made the transition real, writing what they called their “last post as the founders of Purringtons Cat Lounge” and officially handing over the keys to the new owners. It will now be run by Garrett Simpson, a longtime volunteer at Cat Adoption Team, the Sherwood-based shelter that provides the bar with cats, and partner Helen Harris.
“Our little baby is in good hands!” the Castillos wrote on Facebook.
Simpson tells WW he and Harris plan to redesign the bar area and expand the cafe side “for people who may not be going into the cat lounge to sit and eat and drink.” The food and beverage menu will also be revamped.
A firm reopening date has yet to be set. But for now, just, uh, ignore that last thing we said about Purringtons when we thought it was dead and gone.
Correction: A previous version of this article misidentified co-owner Helen Harris. WW regrets the error.
Powered by WPeMatico
For all the good will former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has built up over the years, he’s wasted little time in throwing it all away in the whirlwind few days since announcing his potential presidential bid. After taking to Twitter to pre-announce his bid as a “centrist independent,” Schultz has been criticized for potentially splitting the democratic vote, effectively handing over re-election to the Republicans. He has since gone on to defend billionaires, refer to himself as “self-made,” and take aim at the progressive polices of New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. For a centrist, Schultz sure has spent a lot of time the past four days taking shots at those to his left, forgetting presumably what new hell sits at his right and the consequences of splitting its opposition.
Now, according to the Huffington Post, Starbucks is trying to get out in front of the blowback with their recent internal “Baristas Need-To-Know” updating with talking points on how to handle questions about Schultz’s potential presidential bid.
You really have to feel for Starbucks baristas. They already catch the brunt of the ire the conservatives want to fling toward Schultz. And now they’re going to hear about it from the other side. Their only friends, it seems, are the centrists, should such a group even exist in the current US political dichotomy.
For the coffee chain’s weekly internal update, partners (the Starbucks term for employees) are given instructions on how to handle customers’ questions about Schultz’s new book From the Ground Up as well as bullet points for redirecting any interactions that involve Schultz’s political aims:
Related to the launch of Howard’s new book, partners may be asked questions by customers or hear media speculation about Howard’s potential political intentions. We encourage you all to take a moment to review the talking points below with your partners.
If a customer ask if we are selling Howard’s book at Starbucks:
- No, the books are available at bookstores and online.
If a customer attempts to instigate, or share aggressive political opinions, attempt to diffuse the situation by sharing:
- We respect everyone’s opinion. Our goal is simply to create a warm and welcoming space where we can all gather, as a community, over great coffee.
If asked about Howard’s political intentions:
- Howard’s future plans are up to him.
Give the biggest non-answer you can muster, essentially. Which is probably a smart tack for the company, considering the Starbucks baristas quoted in the HuffPo article have called his potential bid “extremely awful” and saying things we are all already painfully aware of, “Just because you’re a businessman does not mean you’re also a stellar leader.” One barista even went as far as to say that voting for Schultz “would be voting against [their] family’s economic security.”
So please, no matter whether you’ve hated Howard Schultz for years or have only recently come to dislike him, please, please, please, don’t take it out on the baristas. They’re just trying to make coffee and pick up a pay check.
Powered by WPeMatico
Coffee can take many forms today: blended with syrup and sickly-sweet colours in a day-glow Frappuccinos, passed through civets and elephants, frozen, chilled and sometimes, just acrid and burnt.
At what point, one might ask yourself: does a coffee stop being a coffee?
Recently, coffee chain Tim Hortons released a caffeinated snack bar (presumably for those people too uncoordinated without caffeine in the morning to navigate a hot beverage?). “Made with Tim Hortons coffee beans, the Double Double Coffee Bar is similar in size to a chocolate bar, has a smooth and silky texture with an espresso bean finish, but contains no actual chocolate,” says a release from the company. Marketed towards “both coffee and non-coffee drinkers alike”, the bar brings caffeine into the snack bar market — an interesting step for a company known primarily for its ability to provide convenient cups of coffee in its drive throughs and outlets throughout Canada.
Brewers are also thinking beyond the bar. This leap, however, may not seem as far-fetched as it may seem. Launches of caffeinated bars sourced from coffee and tea have gone up 50 per cent in terms of annual growth from 2014 to 2018, according to Innova Market Insights.
Today, the caffeine dependent among us are offered a bevy of non-beverage options to get their morning jolt.
Caffeinated soaps, such as Shower Shock, have been populating bathrooms for the last few years. “Scented with peppermint oil and infused with caffeine anhydrous, each bar of Shower shock contains approximately 12 servings/showers per 4 ounce bar with 200 milligrams of caffeine per serving,” reads the ThinkGeekwebsite. Caffeinated shaving cream (“A little goes a long way,” promises Pacific Shaving Co.), toothpaste (“get a rush while you brush!”, says the Indiegogo page) and even caffeinated hair gel, from Grenade Supply Co. are all apparently products that someone, somewhere thought we needed.
Last fall, people even eagerly awaited the purported introduction of a caffeinated ham supposedly made by energy drink manufacturer Monster Energy (the claim was later debunkedas the work of a digital artist).
Friends, colleagues and countrymen have rarely seen me without some form of caffeinated beverage permanently attached to an appendage — and I’m not alone. According to the National Coffee Association’s 2018 Coffee Consumer Trends Report, 64 per cent of those surveyed reported drinking coffee within the last day; the highest number since 2012. Much of this growth, however, springs from home-based consumption, due in part to the proliferation of convenient and customizable pod-configured machines. This shift has changed the idea of what a takeout coffee entails: major players in the coffee retail landscape such as Starbucks have moved the duty of providing hot water, cups and accoutrements to the consumer with k-cups and instant coffee products, while retaining the home brewer’s brand loyalty (and daily purchase). As demand for coffee increases, these market for non-beverage based caffeinated products remains open for business — who knows what form tomorrow’s morning Joe may take?
Powered by WPeMatico
Within the last five years, Edinburgh’s coffee landscape has evolved from a mess of chain cafés to a robust collection of artisan coffeehouses. Now, it’s a community that feels present at every counter—beans and provisions from fellow roasters and local purveyors line menus around town—with plenty of cozy spaces to relax, brunch, and breeze through. Eventually, you’ll start to see the humdrum coffee break the way this city does: as a friendly, communal act, always meant to be enjoyed. Whether you’re in search of a bold espresso to-go, a silky capp to savor alone, or a curious lavender hot chocolate to mull over with friends, you’ll find it all on our list of the best coffee shops in Edinburgh.
Powered by WPeMatico
GOLDEN, Colo (CBS4) â€“ In Golden, there is a tiny cafÃ© with a big mission. Chris and John Ross own the restaurant, but itâ€™s the community that has taken over the dÃ©cor in a celebration of life.
JCâ€™s CafÃ© features home-style cooking for breakfast and lunch every day of the week.
â€œWe are a family run restaurant,â€ said Chris Ross.
And they run the restaurant like a family. Itâ€™s the kind of place where everybody knows your name.Â Even the dÃ©cor is homemade, walls covered with the names and sentiments of people whoâ€™ve passed through.
â€œThereâ€™s stories, upon stories, upon stories, upon stories,â€ Ross told CBS4.
Like the story of the Dominoâ€™s Pizza driver who was killed while on duty. Nathan Leonâ€™s wife left a prayer in his honor.Â Then thereâ€™s the longtime customer named Rose, who put the names of her entire family on the wall, and then when she passed they came in and put her name next to theirs.
â€œI think it is very healing,â€ Ross explained.
It started before Chris and John bought the place, with the phrase, â€œLight a Candle, Say a Prayer.â€ Now, hundreds of candles line the walls each with the name of a loved one.
â€œThese people feel like they have ownership of this place,â€ Ross said.
â€œChris, tell me what it means to you to have something that means so much to the people around here?â€ CBS4â€™s Karen Leigh asked.
â€œI think weâ€™re really blessed here in this place. We try to be a blessing to the community and I think, weâ€™ve been blessed by the community,â€ Ross replied.
Powered by WPeMatico
Welcome to Noticed, The Goods’ design trend column. You know that thing you’ve been seeing all over the place? Allow us to explain it.
What it is: The chair. Its metal body might be painted bright yellow, red, or pastel turquoise — often it’s left in its natural silver tone — but its sturdy, curved legs and indented back are unmistakable.
Where it is: Across the country, in airy coffee shops and dimly lit wine bars, at the local Pret a Manger and upscale Italian restaurants. You can buy a version for your home at Bob’s Discount Furniture or Urban Outfitters, among other retailers. Principally, though, this chair and its corresponding stool live in the public sphere as the seats of choice for all kinds of restaurants, bars, and cafes.
Why you’re seeing it everywhere: The chair is having a moment, definitely, but it’s deeply not new. The ones we see today are based on the Tolix “A Chair,” which the French designer Xavier Pauchard brought to market in 1934, according to the Tolix website. The company, bought out of bankruptcy in 2004, still sells the stackable style today.
The Vitra Design Museum in Germany says Pauchard’s galvanized steel chair was in fact a riff on an earlier design by another Frenchman, Joseph Mathieu, who created his stacking metal “Multipl’s” chair in the early 1920s. Design historian Charlotte Fiell, the co-author of several books on seating, says she’s seen other, similar chairs from that period and finds it impossible to say whether Mathieu’s version was the original.
“In those days and before, there wasn’t such strict design rights protection,” Fiell says. “If someone saw a chair that was doing well, they made their own homage to it or variant of it, so it’s pretty difficult to tell for sure who was the originator of it.”
It may not have been the first, but the Tolix has become the iconic version of the chair. More industrial and solid-looking than Mathieu’s, it is, in Fiell’s estimation, “a much more resolved design.”
The presence of the chair in restaurants today is consistent with its historical use. For the better part of a century, the style has been present in bistros and other public spaces.
“The metal chair was weatherproof, durable, and could be stored in small spaces,” reads the Vitra collection entry for Mathieu’s chair. “This meant that it was ideally suited to a wide range of applications and was especially useful for seating large numbers of people, such as in factories, auditoriums, sidewalk cafés, and parks in French spa towns.”
When modern-day restaurant owners talk about their reasons for buying Tolix-style chairs, they also focus on its functionality.
“They’re very simple, they’re stackable, they’re light,” says Adrian Bruyère, the co-owner of La Parisienne, a year-old cafe in lower Manhattan. “They’re very easy to maintain and clean.”
“I think we bought them because they’re kind of stylish, they’re relatively inexpensive, they are very easy to clean. They’re stackable, so they’re functional,” says Jordan Sachs, a partner at the V-Spot, a vegan restaurant with two locations in New York. “It sounds gross, but when you’re in New York City, sometimes wood things attract …”
She trailed off: bugs, yes.
While a Tolix chair starts at nearly $300 from Design Within Reach, you can buy a similar seat for significantly less. (Bob’s Discount Furniture has sold them for as little as $20.) Bruyère says he got his white chairs on Amazon at $99 for a set of four, while Sachs estimates the cost at between $80 and $100 per chair.
This style of chair hasn’t gone out of fashion since its creation, per se, but it has experienced swells in popularity when its look has converged with bigger aesthetic trends. The 1970s brought about an “industrial heritage revival,” says Fiell, which in turn gave new life to the Tolix chair.
“Every self-respecting trendy cafe had one,” Fiell says of that period, which helped cement the chair’s current status as an iconic piece of design history.
Cut to 2019, same deal. The rise of the post-recession hipster industrial aesthetic — exposed brick, raw wood, etc. — has wrought another Tolix moment. It satisfies a variety of styles: While Sachs noted its “Brooklyn industrial appeal,” Bruyère, who is originally from the northwest of France, sought out the style for its French bistro connotations. The design team for El Cosmico hotel in Marfa, Texas, and Jo’s Coffee in Austin, both owned by Bunkhouse Group, deemed Design Within Reach’s Tolix chairs “the perfect fusion of West Texas and classic European metalwork.”
“El Cosmico and Jo’s both share a similar language of West Texas ranch, so we use material of that place in our design and construction — cedar, steel, aluminum … anything you’d actually find out there on the ranch,” explains a rep for Bunkhouse.
When I asked the Eater team for their thoughts on the style, which they’ve inevitably come across in their restaurant reporting, responses included “kind of like the chair version of the Edison bulb trend” and “I just anecdotally associate that look with gentrification.”
To capitalize on our thirst for all things industrial, furniture brands have jumped on the Tolix trend. Superior Seating, which caters specifically to the hospitality industry, started selling a version of it four or five years ago, currently priced at $53.95. It’s been “very, very popular,” says Superior Seating director of sales Jane Petrillo. Though the company accepts orders for custom colors, it focuses on selling the more classic bronze and distressed gray colorways due to space restrictions in its warehouse.
Bob’s Discount Furniture introduced a Tolix-style chair in 2017, which has “sold okay” relative to the rest of the “accent chair” category, vice president of merchandising Tracy Paccione writes in an email. (It’s no longer sold online, but is available in stores.) This may not be a game changer for Bob’s, which sells to individuals and not establishments like restaurants, but Paccione is well aware of how it dovetails with current tastes.
“It’s familiar and inviting with an industrial vibe for a retro-modern edge that’s on trend and very approachable,” she writes.
Despite its prevalence, this is not a perfect chair. “Ugly” and “not the prettiest” are descriptions that came up during the course of reporting this story. Fiell notes that cold metal isn’t especially inviting or comfortable (not necessarily a bad thing for restaurants that want to discourage customers from lingering). Both Petrillo and Bruyère mentioned that the chairs, which often have smaller seats, aren’t ideal for people of all sizes — one example of the ways design can send a message of exclusivity, intentionally or not.
Petrillo estimates the chair has another five years or so before it starts to dip in popularity; that’s assuming the industrial trend ever releases its iron grip on the design world. Should that day come, though, history suggests that the chair won’t disappear entirely.
Even during its less popular periods, Fiell says, “it’s always been there in the background.”
Powered by WPeMatico
News flash, breaking, extra extra: working on an espresso machine all day long is fucking bad for you.
Repetitive motions in the workplace that engage small muscle groups can lead to serious injury. This not a theoretical construct. It is a reality with which the coffee industry must grapple going forward if it intends to protect its own and develop paths to career longevity. It’s not going away.
So—what if we just said like, “no“? What if through a combination of research and implementation, the coffee industry stepped up and made a concerted choice not injure its own? The worst thing about “barista wrist” is that it is, at least in theory, largely an avoidable condition. We can, in theory, invent our way out of it, design and engineer our way into a better reality for the baristas who help drive coffee as a culture and community.
What’s changing is the “in theory” part. This style of new tech is fast emerging, and now today La Marzocco has stepped into the fray in a major way. Today they’ve launched a new espresso machine, the KB90, that addresses the ergonomic reality of the barista profession in what I think is a fundamentally transformative and disruptive way. They’ve done so by correcting one of the main stress points: the small muscle movement motion by which a portafilter locks into the espresso machine grouphead.
The result may be the most ergonomic espresso machine ever made.
Think about it with me for a minute. On a traditional espresso machine—any brand, including all versions heretofore of gear by La Marzocco—you have a portafilter in one hand, and it’s your job to get that portafilter to lock in to a little set of pin locks hidden in a grouphead. You place the portafilter unseen in the grouphead, then you twist a little bit with your wrist, maybe adjust with your thumb, and the portafilter locks into place.
This motion, though intimidating as all get out for new baristas (and journalists!), has long been accepted as “the way things are done” when using an espresso machine. That’s despite the fact that injuries directly related to the motion are literally among the most costly and time consuming injuries in all of food and beverage service.
On the KB90 you are required to make no such blind twisting motion. Instead you get the portafilter to click into the grouphead by simply… sliding the portafilter straight forward. It is deceptively simple both in concept and practice, but the engineering, design, and concepting work around it took years to perfect.
Using the mechanism feels like clicking on a pair of ski boots, or plugging in the Rumble Pak attachment to the controller of your N64. (I realize this reference dates me.) There is a uniquely satisfying haptic response, with bumpers that give a wonderful “click” sensation when the portafilter pops into place. Kent Bakke—who served as CEO of La Marzocco for decades—has been working since the late 90s to perfect this technology, and now, in the hands of the La Marzocco R&D team, that work is a reality. There is a reason why this is the first La Marzocco espresso machine named after an American.
The overall effect is tough to put into words; you simply have to click in and try it for yourself, which you’ll be able to do at upcoming marquee trade shows like Host and the 2019 SCA Event in Boston. There you’ll have the chance to see some of the other cool stuff this machine can do, including an automated group flush option that increases efficiency; a “Pro Touch” steam wand that uses double walled stainless steel to regulate temperature (no more burning the shit out of yourself on accident!); drip prediction tech adapted from the Modbar AV; improved ease of access for maintenancing the steam wand; and a design aesthetic that evokes the square block retro-futurist techno-chunk of a 1980s Ferrari, or the motorbike from Akira.
But even sitting here, writing this, a week or so removed from my preview time with the machine at LM USA headquarters in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, I can still hear and feel that satisfying *click*. There’s really nothing else quite like it.
“It’s fun,” Scott Guglielmino tells me. He’s a career espresso tech who has worked his way up through the company, starting first as an advisor on the Strada “street team,” to his role today as La Marzocco’s Global Product Manager. “Working on this machine is fun. But it also allows you to speed up while reducing hypertension—it’s supposed to be both fun and safe.”
Think about that for a second. Both fun and safe. Isn’t that the dream? In our shitshow of a toxic modern society, a slurry of constant aggressions both overt and micro, I think this might be all I really want in the world. For something to genuinely be both safe and fun.
La Marzocco conducted and outsourced a range of studies, including with the Italian ergonomics consultancy Faentia, that found the new tech in their filter holder required a lower amount of muscle engagement, could be used with the same efficiency by both left and right handed baristas, kept the forearm in a neutral position throughout usage of the machine, and engaged the whole arm-hand-wrist system while disengaging, as opposed to isolating movement to the hands and thumbs (a precursor for repetitive stress injury). It requires less total muscle engagement. It takes less time to train on. Execution time is shortened. As per the Faentia study this machine is safer and more efficient to use than the previous iteration of La Marzocco machines by a factor of twelve.
It is both safe and fun.
There’s lots of ways to write about a new espresso machine, and at this point in my career (Sprudge turns ten years old this fall) I’ve done pretty much every version: technical, design-focused, brand-y, trade show beat, press release reblog, and on and on. But my response to the machine was above all else emotional. Technology in the right hands, in the right moment, has the power to make us feel stuff. That is an extraordinary power! The full summation of man’s command of the world around us! The orangutan fishing for grub worms with a stick dipped in honey, the Apollo space program engineer sending man to the moon and back on less computing power than an iPhone—a continuum of invention and innovation dating back before recorded memory, indeed, responsible for the technology to record memory in the first place. We can design and invent ourselves out of anything, from the earth to the heavens, including something as relatively conquerable and quantifiable as barista wrist.
The result is a sea change that I think is going to be integrated into the next several waves of espresso machine technology, wherein approaching any project with a health and safety mindset becomes not a novelty, not a disruption, but a basic tenet and focal point across the whole big wide world of coffee tech. This is a very good thing! Let’s see more R&D like this, more products dedicated to workplace safety for baristas, especially those without subsidized access to healthcare. In twenty years I hope we look at “barista wrist” the same way we look at second hand smoke: a once-accepted workplace hazard of yesteryear. Big leaps in the interplay between tech and society quickly become mundane; that’s how you know they’ve been adopted. This is how you measure change.
This new espresso machine, the La Marzocco KB90, makes me feel optimistic about the future of coffee. What else is there really left to say?
Jordan Michelman is a co-founder and editor at Sprudge Media Network. Read more Jordan Michelman on Sprudge.
Disclosure: La Marzocco is an advertising partner with the Sprudge Media Network
Powered by WPeMatico