c[_] Video of the Day

Signature drink... with a little flair!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Cafe Snapshot: The Divine Cupcake Cafe

On West 11th Avenue just shy of Chambers Street behind a little lime green storefront you'll find Eugene's first gourmet cupccakery, "The Divine Cupcake Cafe." You may have Seen Divine Cupcake owners; Thaddeus and Emily Moore and their delicious vegan treats at any number of special events over the past few years. When the retail space in front of Thaddeus' professional music recording studio, "Sprout City Studios" opened up the couple decided to expand their wildly popular cupcake catering and wholesale business by creating a unique little neighborhood style cafe for their growing fan base. 

Thaddeus Moore, wanting to give his friends, family and neighbors a coffee experience that would compliment the high quality of their cupcake offerings, has employed a couple of unique ideas at the cafe. First, after a blind taste test by barista & baking staff and assorted friends & family Moore chose to carry organic coffees from the two blind tasting winners. Wandering Goat Coffee Roasters is a popular little local roaster that produces some of the best coffee I've ever tasted. Caffe Pacori is another small local roaster and unique to Pacori is their traditional Italian wood roasted coffees. A unique choice of flavors await the coffee lover behind the bar at this cafe.
Next, Moore decided to skip the automatic, electric big-batch coffee brewer used by most cafes, espresso bars and coffee houses. Instead all brewed coffees are brewed manually (by hand) which gives the barista the greatest control over the brewing process resulting in a better cup of coffee. Brewing the coffee directly into preheated thermal pump pots keeps the coffee hot without cooking it as it sits like most electric coffee brewers tend to do. The use of reusable cloth coffee filters reduces paper waste.

This was the scene inside the cafe from 10am until we had to close the doors at 10pm. The turnout was amazing. I think free organic vegan cupcakes with flavors like Red Velvet, Lemon Heaven, Peanut Butter Cup and Coconut Lime probably had something to do with it.

Vegan Cupcake? What Does That Mean?
The fact that it's a vegan cupcake simply means that it's the most delicious cupcake you've ever had. And it means that no animals were harmed... or milked in the making of these cupcakes! All cupcake ingredients are organic and no expense was spared bringing the guests organic local coffees, local organic milk and a great assortment of dairy alternatives including soy, rice milk, almond milk, hazelnut milk, coconut milk & hemp milk.

Along with a full espresso menu and latte art in the mornings, the Divine Cupcake Cafe is also Eugene's own artisan coffee brew bar! Yes you can get the more common brewed on-demand custom cups of coffee here like an Americano (cup of black coffee brewed from espresso) and everyones favorite; the French press but you can also get brewed fresh to order pour-over drip decaf coffee, cold water extract coffee (hot or cold), or try a cup of brewed with our gold filtered dripper. Ask your friendly barista for an Aeropress coffee or you might want to experiment with a Cafe Au Lait (latte made with brewed coffee instead of espresso) using an americano or Aeropress coffee, instead of drip! And if that's not enough to indulge your every coffee whim, the Divine Cupcake cafe is the first place in the world to get "shaker" brewed coffee, a new brewing method developed by one of the cafe's own baristas! Let me give you a hint...

Cafe  Borgia. Chocolate and espresso, orange peel rubbed cup rim & dropped in the chocolate, textured(steamed) milk,
a dollop of whipped cream, orange zest and fresh grated dark chocolate.

Divine Cupcakes

All of the cupcakes at The Divine Cupcake are vegan and made with all organic ingredients. There is usually a selection of gluten free cupcakes at the cafe as well and sugar free and gluten free cupcakes available by special order. Lots of love go into making these truly divine cupcakes! Since the cafe opened March fifth to a packed house of cupcake lovers, the cafe and it's delicious fare is quickly becoming a favorite treat for meetings, for birthdays and as gifts for clients, co-workers, hairdressers and chiropractors. Gourmet cupcakes are also proving to be a popular choice for weddings.   

Espresso and coffee pairs perfectly with gourmet cupcakes!

The tea station at the cafe.

In addition to all organic cupcake ingredients, organic coffees and organic milk, the cafe features local organic teas by "J Tea" and "Sip-T"! Each tea is hand measured and brewed to proper tea-to-water ratio and for the proper steep time for the optimum cup of tea!

The line from the door ran from 10am until the doors shut at 10pm!

Some of the awesome people at the Divine Cupcake.

I invite you, my fellow coffee lovers to come visit us at The Divine Cupcake Cafe. I'll be your host and barista from 7am until 11am Tuesday through Saturday. The Cafe is open 7 days a week from 7am until 9pm with extended hours until 11pm on Friday and Saturday. Free Wifi too! - Cash c(_) [_]o

The Divine Cupcake Cafe
1680 W.11th Ave.
Eugene, Oregon

Friday, March 12, 2010

Coming Soon...

What Happens when you hook up a Flux Capacitor to your Astoria Argenta?
We'll be traveling back in time, ten - twenty years to collect new footage and photos of Eugene and the coffee industry past!

Great Scott!
Coming Soon.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Coffee Corner: Aroma Infusion!

Brewing Caffe Pacori coffee infused with aroma of fresh chopped Cinnamon. 

Back in my days as barista at Coffee Corner, Eugene's first local coffeehouse chain, I would experiment with direct contact flavor infusion by sprinkling sugar, cocoa powder , cinnamon or nutmeg directly onto the packed espresso grounds before extraction. More recently it dawned on me that because of coffee's odor absorbing properties, like that of baking soda, I may be able to introduce new aromas for the coffee to absorb without covering up or destroying the coffee's own flavor.
For my first experiment I put a Punch label cigar in a giant Ziploc bag with whole bean coffees. My reasoning was, "well since a good smoke pairs well with a good black cup of coffee..." I let the two sit for about 24 hours. When I ground the beans and brewed them up the coffee had a hint of spicy tobacco leaf aftertaste that I could almost feel on my tongue. It was an interesting, unusual and fun cup to brew and taste and I could distinctly taste the characteristics of the coffee and at the same time the spicy cigar tobacco flavor was unmistakable. So in that respect my aroma infusion experiment was a success. However the combination in the cup of coffee was less than desirable, a pairing better left to the traditional puffing from the one hand and slurping your coffee from the other.

I chose Caffe Pacori coffees for my aroma infusion experiment.

My second experiment involved fresh chopped cinnamon and ground coffee as shown in the above slide show. After about 12 hours of exposing the ground coffee to the cinnamon I could barely detect any hint of cinnamon in the cup that I brewed. I brewed another cup after letting the two sit in the same container for several day, never making direct contact with each other. This time the cinnamon aroma and hint of flavor was apparent and very pleasant without covering up or distracting from the cup of coffee like a cinnamon flavored syrup or creamer would tend to do. Fun! c[__]


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