Home Coffee Brewing – An Adventurous World! (Part 1 of 3)

The coffee industry, like so many, has evolved and changed greatly, especially during the past twenty years. You walk into basically any coffee shop now and you see more than simply “Drip Coffee” followed by three prices for three sizes. There are standard drip coffees for immediate service and then the, sometimes daunting, pour-over menu, with words like V60, Kalita Wave 185, Aeropress, Chemex….wait, isn’t a Chemex how the F.R.I.E.N.D.S. brewed coffee? It’s true, in countless episodes you’ll see a Chemex in Rachel and Monica’s kitchen, and you’re also likely to see it in a coffee bar being prepared by someone who wasn’t even alive when Friends was airing! Why would you go with a pour-over instead of drip coffee? Is there a difference? Is one superior to the other? To explore this we are going to break it down into three parts: Various pour-overs and what they do/basic recipes, Automatic…

Coffee Education / March 25, 2020

US Coffee Championships – what you need to know

During the last few days in February coffee people from across the United States flew to Costa Mesa, CA for a weekend of coffee competitions. Every year, the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) hosts competitions for coffee professionals testing their skills in making espresso, brewing coffee, roasting green coffee, crafting coffee cocktails, or a cup tasting competition. If you’ve ever wondered what the coffee equivalent of Chopped or The Amazing Race is, read on! From top left to bottom right…The newly crowned US Barista Champion, Andrea Allen from Onyx Coffee Labs in Arkansas. She has been serving judges 4 espressos, 4 milk drinks, and 4 signature beverages for seven years and has officially claimed the title as champion! She will be representing the US at the World Barista Championships in Melbourne, AUS May 4-7, 2020. First time competitor and national Brewers Cup qualifier, Kristina Jackson, an educator for Inteligentisa Coffee. Kristina…

Coffee Education / March 10, 2020

Office coffee is more than just a caffeine boost

As the workforce skews younger, the lukewarm pot of freeze dried coffee is rapidly becoming a relic, pushed aside in favor of an experience more vibrant and meaningful than a can could provide.  Younger workers have come of age with a view of coffee sharply in contrast with that of their parents, considering it not as a commodity but as a craft, not just fuel for the day but a social experience and connection to a larger community.

News / February 18, 2020

Meet T.Ben Fischer – The Founder of Glitter Cat

T.Ben is Founder of Glitter Cat – a barista training program for underrepresented groups of people. He is also the latest addition to our growing training and education department! We sat down with him to learn a little more about his coffee background and what he’s doing when he’s not showing off his latte art skills.

News / September 30, 2019

Anatomy of an Espresso

The perfect espresso: a lifelong pursuit for us coffee nerds. At it’s best, espresso is a harmonious balance of acidity, bitterness, and sweetness. At its worst, it can be aggressively sour or bitter. So how do you avoid these pitfalls? One of the first steps is to look for the “three phases” a shot goes through while it’s pulling. Each phase brings something different to the table. Coffee experts talk a lot about extraction, and that’s essentially what we’re looking at here. Different compounds in the espresso extract at different times. Too much of one phase will throw the shot out of balance. Part One: The Heart This is the most concentrated part of the shot. It’s heavy in body, and often it shows itself as deep, rich brown drips. This phases carries most of the bright, vibrant flavors of the espresso such as citrus and other fruit notes, but can be…

Coffee Education / June 26, 2019

How to Find the Best Chai Tea

Whether you’re a casual tea drinker or a seasoned tea connoisseur, you’ve undoubtedly come across your local coffee shop offering the tasty and popular beverage known as chai tea. The History of Chai Tea The Hindi word for tea, the term chai was originally derived from the Chinese word for tea, “cha.” Chai tea is one of the most popular types of tea enjoyed worldwide and for a good reason. Not only is chai tea incredibly delicious, but it is also believed to provide a whole host of benefits when consumed. Chai tea has been the tea of choice for cultures around the world for thousands of years. Today, chai tea generally refers to a type of tea that consists of a wide variety of spices, sweeteners, and flavors. There’s even a chocolate chai tea. In this brief guide, we’ll be exploring the many types of chai tea and cover…

Tea Education / December 17, 2018

How to Cold Brew Tea

Everyone seems to be warming up to cold brew tea. The growing appreciation for subtler, softer flavors in drinks knows no season. As individuals look to replace super-sweet, carbonated drinks with healthier alternatives, these herbal options have stayed beyond summer, becoming the staple chill beverage of choice in restaurants and cafes. And you can easily make this beverage a staple in your home too. Unlike traditional hot cups of tea, cold brewing runs no risk of over steeping which means making large batches is incredibly simple, and the leaves can be re-used (for a lighter, second or third batch). Plus, all the magic happens inside your refrigerator. And if you’re a little more adventurous, you can even mix together your favorite flavors and use ingredients you already have at home – fruits, herbs, and even spices – to make a satisfyingly refreshing new drink. The best part about making your…

Tea Education / December 17, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Matcha Tea

Originating in China, Matcha tea has been the beverage of choice for both the Chinese and Japanese cultures for thousands of years and has quickly become a drink of choice around the globe. Thanks to its incredibly rich flavors and a wide variety of tastes, matcha tea has won over the hearts of many casual tea drinkers and tea enthusiasts alike. Matcha tea is also believed to provide a whole host of health benefits when consumed on a regular basis thanks to the unique way in which it is processed. Despite being one of the most enjoyed beverages in the world, matcha tea remains a mystery for many. In this brief guide, we’ll explore what exactly matcha tea is, the difference between matcha and green tea, and how to find the best matcha tea to enjoy. What Is Matcha Tea? So what exactly is matcha tea? Matcha tea is a…

Tea Education / December 17, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Tea Storage

Have you ever sipped your favorite tea only to find the taste flat? Your disappointed frown on finding a different taste than when you first bought it and drank it. You might have blamed the manufacturer for the decrease in quality. But did you know that the improper storage of tea can be the actual culprit? While we’re all mindful of how we store our spices, we forget to pay the same attention to our teas. Even though, proper storage of the tea is crucial for maintaining its shelf-life, quality, taste, and aroma. In fact, adequately stored loose tea can last for about 18 to 24 months. That said, let’s dive into the details of tea storage, its fundamentals, and how you can best go about it. The Importance of Tea Storage Despite tea being the second most widely consumed beverage globally, many people toss in their opened tea packages…

Tea Education / December 17, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Coffee Grinders

When it comes to choosing the best manual coffee grinder, where do you start? Should you get one with a blade or burr? What’s the difference? And what about if you’re looking for an electric grinder? How do you narrow down all of your options? You’re not the only one wondering. In fact, we’ve put together this guide because we know that most people don’t know where to even begin. And not only can we help you navigate the maze of searching for the best coffee grinders, but we think it will also help you know to more about coffee grinding in general. All of this can be overwhelming especially when you’ve never owned a coffee grinder or you’ve never ground coffee before. We get it. Why Get a Coffee Grinder? Here’s the thing: Coffee grinding is not just about pouring coffee beans into a grinder, brewing the coffee and…

Coffee Education / May 24, 2018