c[_] Video of the Day

Signature drink... with a little flair!


Monday, February 22, 2010

Cafe Snapshot: Bedrocks Organic Coffee!

We coffee lovers here in the beautiful city of Eugene are already spoiled. And it's only getting better! Bedrocks Organic Coffee is located in the new Coburg Station shopping center on Coburg road barely two blocks from Oakway Center. Bedrocks boasts a drive through window for your convenience and at the time of this writing they're giving away $2 lattes and $1 cups of house coffee in the drive through as a special promotion this week only. 

Some of the beautiful modern interior of Bedrocks.

My first surprise as I walked into the shop was the unique beauty of the interior design, a mix of modern/retro and attention to detail which made it as pleasant to look around at the shop as it was to sit in one of the comfy hydraulic cushioned chairs and sip my latte. 

Enjoying a cup of coffee and a chocolate orange scone.

My next surprise was the wonderful service I got from my friendly baristas; Kiira and Stephanie. Friendly, attentive service isn't the easiest thing to come by these days but that's exactly what I've received each time I've visited Bedrocks. It's refreshing to find knowledgeable staff that can answer my questions and even make product recommendations to help me find what I'll really enjoy.  

Beautiful latte art by Kiira and a scrumptious drink.

If you haven't been into Bedrocks yet, this is one shop you won't want to pass by. If you're a tea lover they have you covered there too. Brew coffee at home? No problem, Bedrocks roasts their own Fair Trade organic coffees. I took home some of their Honduran coffee beans and they brewed up very nicely with my Aeropress coffee maker. Follow Bedrocks on facebook and twitter to keep up on special offers and some fun events at Bedrocks. I've heard rumors of a coffee cupping and maybe a wine and/or beer tasting event as well. See you at Bedrocks! [_]o

Coffee Snapshot: Cold Water Extract from Caffe Pacori!

"Caffe Freddo" African roast is Caffe Pacori's cold water extract coffee. The cold water brewing process produces a dream of a cup of coffee. A much less acidic cup of coffee, cold water extraction creates a super-smooth and full bodied cup. With hints of toasted nuts, malty cocoa notes seem to dominate this brew and without the typical coffee acidity to distract, all the little flavor nuances in this rich, complex coffee are easy to pick up and a pleasure to enjoy.

You can find a cold water extract brewer at any number of local kitchenware stores or you can find them just a 
Google search away online. "Toddy" is a long standing and trusted brand of cold water brewers and using a Toddy coffee maker is a pretty straight forward process. Cold water extract coffee is typically brewed with a full pound of ground coffee beans at a time. The coffee is ground course and put in the cylindrical Toddy with its cloth filter where it is left to steep in room temperature water as it slowly brews and drips into a second container over a twelve hour brew cycle. The coffee concentrate produced is then stored in an airtight bottle or jug and kept refrigerated until ready to cut with water to taste (roughly 1/3 concentrate-to-2/3 water), served and enjoyed.

Although I prefer my extract coffee hot it does make for the best iced coffees. The cold water extract won't melt your ice cubes and dilute your favorite iced coffee which makes for a more full flavored and enjoyable iced coffee drink. I whole heartedly recommend trying your hand at brewing cold water extract. Check out Caffe Pacori online for a list of local cafe's and groceries where you can find some of Pacori's wood roasted coffee.
Enjoy! (_)o

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Coffee Corner: Free Online!

Good News for Coffee Professionals and coffee enthusiasts, "Specialty Coffee Retailer", "Fresh Cup" and "barista Magazine" are now all available free online!

Are you a barista, coffee shop owner or manager? Are you thinking about getting into the business or just a coffee lover curious about the goings-on behind the scenes in the exciting industry of specialty coffee? Check out these popular and trusted industry publications for more useful coffee and business info than one person could fully assimilate. Very informative articles and often times beautiful photography can hold the interest of any coffee lover and all three publications are jam-packed with useful insights for the specialty coffee retailer and the professional barista. Check out each of these magazines in their original printed format online for free via the following orange links. Enjoy! [_]D

Cafe Snapshot: Espresso Roma Cafe

Espresso Roma cafe on East 13th avenue, just half a block from the University of Oregon campus, is a long time fixture here in Eugene. Though the cafe has been a favorite of some of us "townies" (locals) for years, it's the university students that keep the place buzzing throughout the school year. With it's proximity to campus and sprawling interior with seemingly unlimited seating, Espresso Roma makes an ideal spot for either people watching or getting some homework done. 

This was the view from my table in one of the back seating areas.

Looking towards 13th Ave. from the outdoor seating area in the back of the cafe.

Very nice outdoor seating areas with an entrance from the rear alley.

At first I was disappointed that there was no wifi available at the cafe but after subsequent visits I realized that this actually gives Espresso Roma its own unique atmosphere and feel, one that seems somehow more social.. more personable. Espresso Roma serves up their own brand of coffee and I enjoyed both their drip brewed coffee and the latte they made for me. And though you can get a good cup of coffee at the cafe they are a high-volume type of operation so I probably wouldn't go in expecting any hearts, rosettas or any other artistically presented lattes. 
The service was prompt and they had a great food selection too. I also picked up some large burlap coffee bags  that they have for sale at the shop which I used to decorate with at home. If you haven't been to Espresso Roma yet or if it's been a while since the last time you've had one of their drinks I highly recommend that you visit for yourself while the weather's nice and school is in full swing. Enjoy! [_]D 

One of many seating rooms and nooks @ Espresso Roma.

Espresso Roma 
825 East 13th Ave.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Coffee Corner: Coffee Fueled Creativity!

Over the centuries coffee has fueled countless a creative mind,
 inspired artistic expression and greased the gears of invention.
Here are a couple of the artsy projects I've undertaken recently, 
both borne out of my enjoyment of the world of coffee.

When communicating through my keyboard I often use
an emoticon such as this smiley face :_)
Since so much of my focus is on coffee these days
I guess it was just a matter of time that I came up with the
 coffee equivalent of an emoticon. A coffee cup of course!
There are a number of coffee cup emoticons you can check
 out by scrolling down the left and right hand columns of
 this page.  

I decided to take my coffee cup emoticon idea to its
 logical conclusion and set out to design a business logo
from the idea. Below is the finished product.   

I set out to see if I could make a cool looking logo
 from a coffee stain left by a coffee mug. 
Below is a slide showing how I went about creating
 the coffee stain. This is the finished product. 
I took this photo using a makeshift camera lighting studio
  I threw together at home and then put the finishing touches
 on it using photobucket.com's awesome photo editor!

Have any coffee inspired or coffee related art or ideas? Consider sharing them with others on either of these social media sites; look for the group "Coffee and the Arts" at baristaexchange.com and the group; "Eugene, Worlds Greates City of Coffee and Espresso" at facebook.com 

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Coffee Corner: Coffee Cupping at Gary's Coffee

 A coffee "cupping" at Gary's Coffee, just one of the classes and events hosted at the shop.
"Cupping" is the technique for tasting coffees used by coffee industry professionals like raw coffee quality graders, coffee buyers and coffee roasters. Jennifer Prince from Stumptown Coffee Roasters in Portland made the trek to Eugene's own "Gary's Coffee" to introduce some of us local coffee enthusiasts to the art of cupping. Cupping provides a uniform method, a standard for experiencing and communicating flavor components and other characteristics of this complex concoction. To give us some frame of reference we can look to the world of wines. While wine connoisseurs enjoy any combination of a thousand flavor components found in the fermented grape, coffee boasts three times the flavor components just waiting to be detected, extracted and enjoyed!

Brenda Cervantes of Gary's Coffee sets up for the cupping

It was a real treat getting to taste a variety of single origin coffees from around the world. Unlike some coffee roasters that boast "fair trade" practices with third world coffee farmers, Stumptown buys their coffee directly from the farmers themselves, eliminating middlemen and ensuring that the farmers that toil and labor to produce the coffee are the ones that reap the financial rewards also. 
Cupping focuses us in on the five areas of coffee tasting; aroma, flavor, body, acidity and the overall impression you get from the cup. 

Below: Jennifer from Stumptown Coffee Roasters prepares coffee for cupping.

I was so impressed with Stumptown's coffees I decided to special order some of their Ethiopia Michelle to brew at home.

The coffee cupping was fun and it was nice meeting Jennifer, her passion for coffee was contagious! Along with the people I got to meet and spend time with, the most exciting thing I came away with was the beginnings of a coffee vocabulary to be able to put the aromas, flavors and textures of coffee I'm experiencing into words. Here's a link to a site where you can find a coffee "flavor wheel"- http://www.atdcusa.com/flavor.html

Gary's coffee has some more fun events planned and I encourage you to stop by for a drink and see what's coming up next at Gary's. Thanks again to Brenda at Gary's Coffee for hosting the cupping! 

If you can't wait until Gary's Coffee's next cupping, here's a video that will step you through the process.

Gary's Coffee is located on High Street directly across from the 5th St. Public Market.

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