Before boarding our small ship for a week off the coast of Costa Rica, we found a coffee plantation tour that we could just squeeze in during our one free morning.
Britt Coffee has a small plantation at their roasting facility that was about 45 minutes from our hotel in San Jose, Costa Rica. The hotel arranged a taxi for us, we paid for the tour and lunch and we were on our way.
The tour was very entertaining with two hosts who must have a background in theatre! Throughout the plantation there were coffee stations so by the end of the tour we had tasted most of their blends, and had a caffeine buzz!
I wanted to buy some coffee but didn’t really want to carry it with me all week on a boat. Clearly I wasn’t the only one who thought this way since they made it very easy to ship coffee home. I placed my order, it arrived last night and this morning I ground my Costa Rican beans and drank my coffee watching the snow fall!
This Fairtrade coffee subscription caught our eye this week and is our friday favourite.
Headline Coffee is a delivery service of the Toronto Star, a daily newspaper, based on the fact that coffee and the morning paper are a good combination.
They source the beans from Fairtrade certified producers all across the globe, roast the beans in Toronto then ship them out to subscribers (only in Canada.)
Sounds like an easy way to taste some great coffee!
I don’t know if this holds true for the tea drinkers in the audience…but the first coffee of the day is like none other. The aroma is more intoxicating, the taste is indescribable and the ritual is, well, perfection.
But then there is the second cup. And on a weekend, for me, that is sometimes a homemade latte. And it comes awfully close to the perfectness of cup number one. It’s a ritual. It’s lighter. And there is no rush to get the caffeine in my veins and working.
Here’s what the process looks like – which is almost as important as the first sip.
- Brew a strong cup of java. I have lots of options for this – my newest is the Aeropress. I love that you can so easily alter the strength of the coffee. And it’s a fun gizmo.
- Gently warm up milk and get it ready for the French-press “low tech” style frother.
- Coffee, meet your frothed milk.
- Top with powdered maple sugar.
Ahh, that first cup of the day. There is no taste quite like the first sip – whether you do the full caffeine, half decaf, Americano or espresso. But I think the taste of coffee goes downhill throughout the day. (Might just be the office coffee). Until, of course, it’s a freshly brewed cup to finish off a fine meal. (Now I’m hungry, I digress).
For some of you, it’s been a long holiday weekend, complete with Black Friday madness. So to get your week jumpstarted, we salute the coffee bean with some of our favourite shots of caffeine from our kitchens and coffee shops around the globe.
The coffee counter in our kitchens contain a (not surprisingly) very similar set of paraphernalia — burr grinder, milk frother, French press and maple sugar for the perfect topping.
When my millennial kids started talking about cold brew, I figured I better find out what all the buzz was about. I wasn’t sure if it had been around for awhile and I hadn’t noticed it. Or it really was just exploding in popularity and my head had been in the french press sand! I think the truth lies somewhere in between. The most informative article about cold brew came from Food52 where I learned that:
“Cold-brewed coffee is like iced coffee’s cooler sibling. They’re made of the same stuff, but one’s a little more “in”—and one’s well-known and loved, but a bit passé. Dare we say it: Cold brew is the summer beverage…” I was feeling pretty on-the-ball until I noticed the date on the article was July 8th, 2015. So I am about a year late to the game…whatever.
Cold brew is made with cold water and is never heated. The result is coffee with a lower acidity level which creates a smoother cup of coffee that’s mellow on sensitive stomachs.
Several millennial’s were going to be around one weekend so I decided to make some cold brew and join the hip crowd. I followed Food52’s recipe and ground 3/4 cup of beans and put them in my 32 oz french press. I filled the pot with cold tap water, stirred it around, covered it with a plate and left it on the counter overnight. After 12 hours, I plunged the press and poured it through a strainer into a mason jar and put it in the fridge.
The result was a hit. Smooth, strong, cold coffee that can be diluted as much or as little as you like. It is very simple but you have to remember to make it the night before…when you are preparing your overnight oats!
I haven’t been to the local library for years. I have a healthy obsession with buying books at the local independent bookstore in town.
I found my way back to the library a few weeks ago on a Wednesday morning. Lots has changed. Like the grocery store and Home Depot there is a now a self-checkout.
And better still, I can grab a cup of java, served up by an amazing and inspiring local project call J.O.E. Watch their short video here.
I’ve become a regular again at the library. For the books, the jokes and java from the J.O.E. folks, and just to sit and watch a little slice of the local community happen.
My sister has been throwing clay, making mugs and bowls for years. My new kitchen cupboards are full of her creations. Check out what she just pulled out of the kiln. I love the big, bold colours and hand-carved designs.
Wouldn’t you love one for your morning java?
What coffee ritual did you grow up with?
We had a 16 cup perc coffee maker that simmered on the stove all day long.
Maybe those early days of gut rot caffeine explain my love/obsession for a great cup of java, and the entire process that comes with making it.
First, there is choosing the method. French press – Frieling is my new favourite. Melitta Individual cup drip with at least two big scoops of ground coffee per cup. Or espresso.
The cup. I love little mugs. My favourites are the one my sister made.
The addition. Always cream. Milk makes it look like mud. Unless it is frothed up in one of these frothers. And the first cup of the day is always better with some crumbled maple sugar.
And when it is all fixed up, I let it sit until it’s just the right temperature.