All posts tagged: coffee

coffee, tea, treats.

For someone who doesn’t drink coffee I had my share in Japan. The coffee scene is on fiah and the attention to detail makes the experience so much more special. A few coffee (and tea!) explorations to follow. My favorites were the spots with coordinating tiny treats. & Coffee by Maison Kayser was one of our first stops. Hubby had an espresso; I had a lavender milk tea. We also ordered a pain du chocolate and our beverages came with little chocolate treats. It was quiet when we arrived (before 8AM on a Saturday). This was our in-between spot after sushi breakfast and before Itoya shopping. We heard about the Toyko Coffee Festival from a local magazine ~ I like to pick those up from airports; sometimes you get lucky with ideas. En route, we ran into a cousin-in-law who at the time lived in San Diego – so random! So we all tasted cups of brew together. There were over a dozen coffee vendors, mostly from the Tokyo/Kyoto area, but also a few international …

coffee festival.

The New York Coffee Festival was happening the weekend we visited New York, and even though I’m not a big coffee drinker (caffeine, am I right?), I appreciate a good cup of coffee or fancy coffee drink. So, I convinced my friend, another avid non-coffee drinker, to accompany me. It was pure caffeinated fun. Instead of having to visit different cafes around the city, the local roasters (and then some) came to us! There were all-you-can-drink coffee tastings and lots of giveaways. Also exciting: treats, giant Bodum coffee presses, futuristic looking coffee makers, alternative milk samples, … Plus: coffee liqueur bevvies, a photobooth, latte art demos, doughnuts, tea! Check out my haul! Our goody bags came with a New York Coffee Guide. I’m already planning my next adventure to the city. Have you coffee shop hopped around New York? Share your favorite spots below! Featured image photo credit: Lenniebelle E.

stumptown.

For our first Portland stop we headed to Stumptown HQ for a coffee tasting which I then learned was actually a “cupping” session. Not a fan, but exciting, nonetheless. We learned how the pro coffee bean buyers smell, taste, and experience coffee beans in a blind test. I learned the difference between fragrance and aroma. Fancy. We also had a lesson in direct trade and fair market prices. After smelling the freshly ground beans and the brewing coffee, we each got a spoon and a spittoon and slurped our way down the tasting line, rinsing our used spoons in warm water between each taste. The whole thing was a germaphobe’s nightmare (and I won’t go into detail), but I participated still since I wanted the full experience. (Totally monitoring myself for potential contagious diseases now.) But back to the coffee. We tried five kinds of beans which are roasted in house at HQ. Honestly, it was really hard to focus on the fragrance, aroma, and taste when I was trying mostly to get the cupping technique …

coffee bar.

I bought golden letter balloons for my crafty business’ birthday photobooth to spell out FEED THE FISH CO and I’ve been waiting for an occasion to use them again, especially since I could scramble up the letters to spell COFFEE. Enter (or rather exit) my coworker’s two week notice. He loves coffee, we loves coffees, I have a coffee sign. A coffee party was meant to be! We picked up coffee from Catahoula Coffee; it came with cups, creamer, sugar, and stirrers (they use pasta!). We gathered coffee accoutrement, pastries, and treats from all over — the blueberry coffee cake was from La Farine, yum! I made rosemary simple syrup to share, and I’m getting good use out of my craft show display items since they double as party ware! Coffee bar essentials: Coffee – lots of cafes do coffee to go boxes and they can also provide hot water for tea Creamer, half & half, assorted milks Sugar, flavored syrups, chocolate drizzle Cinnamon, nutmeg Hot water, assorted teas Pastries, fruits, veggies Cups, plates, napkins, …

good morning. 

Hubs and I have started a coffee shop tour! It’s easy to get stuck in a routine, or stay home because pajamas, but it really does feel good to get dressed for a coffee shop date and some strolling. Also, it’s nice to go somewhere together when it doesn’t involve errands or getting something done. We get to sit and talk with each other without distractions or responsibilities (even though some of the conversation might be what needs to get done when we get home. Ha!). Explore along with us! Hal’s Office in Albany, California We ventured to Hal’s, a new kid on the block. Sit by the window on a sunny morning and take fancy pictures, people watch, dragon watch (yes, we saw a dragon pass by – it was Lunar New Year weekend), dog watch. The workers get excited when you order mochas “for here” because they get to practice their coffee art skills. Check out this beauty. We tried the cherry pastry and the sausage & cream cheese croissant, both by Firebrand. And to …

curfee.

Saturday morning plan: Roll out of bed and head straight to a coffee class! ☕️ I recently took Handbrew 101 at Allegro Coffee Roasters in Berkeley. Our instructor Nat was the coolest. Self-proclaimed coffee nerd, she walked us through four handbrewing methods, sharing her techniques and coffee insight along the way.  Coffee coffee coffee! It all starts with a good roast. Nat selected the Ethiopia Watona roast. She also prepared worksheets for us to take notes and start our “coffee diary” (bt-dubs: important if you want to keep tabs on how you like to make your perfect cup). I took all the notes. So much to learn!  Nat walked us through four coffee brewing contraptions plus all the accompanying equipment – scale, gooseneck kettle, coffee grinder, cupping cups…. We sampled the same beans via French press, Chemex, Hario V60, and Aeropress. I can’t say I have a favorite but they all produced different flavor profiles. What I thought was most interesting was how the flavor changed as the coffee cooled. Science!  At the end of …

the shop.

The Hubs and I were browsing the coffee aisle at a market in San Mateo and asked a stranger a coffee question. Turns out he owned a coffee biznaz and he was popping up shop at San Mateo’s First Friday that night. Whaaat? We totally walked on over to check it out. The Shop host’s the event and features local makers & artists, food & drink, and music. I felt all the local love; everyone knew someone and if you didn’t you sure felt like you were part of the in crowd. Leo, owner of Killer Coffee, was that stranger we met in the coffee aisle. Most days he pops up at Shane’s Barbershop, but tonight he was making coffee for the First Friday crowd. I tried his iced coffee which totally tasted like coffee ice cream – my favorite flavor! I don’t normally have coffee; I might now be addicted. We also picked up some of his coffee beans and can’t wait to brew them at home. We also met Laurel of Laurel Elaine Jewelry. She makes simple, beautiful pieces. …