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Archive for the ‘ Coffee ’ Category

 

A Sustainable Future for Coffee

January 27th, 2016

One of the major issues in the coffee industry is sustainability. In every aspect and area of the business—from the farm to cup—there is room for growth when it comes to energy and waste management. The future of coffee (like any commodity dealing with climate change) depends on the ability of farmers, roasters, baristas, and customers to make smart decisions that favor long term sustainability goals. As consumers, we can choose to buy coffee from roasteries that participate in direct trade with farmers and cooperatives invested in environmentally sound growing practices. We can also make the... Read More

Simple but Sweet Coffee Gift Ideas

December 16th, 2015

Coffee is a deliciously warm and energizing gift to give to your loved ones this holiday season. It’s also a great way to help you get through the often stressful work weeks and sometimes hectic festivities during December. Whether you’re rewarding yourself or giving coffee to others, there are many caffeine-related present options. There’s the classic gift card or a bag of beans from a local roaster (if you’re a lazy shopper like me), as well as snazzy brewing devices and handy travel mugs (if you’re feeling a bit more thoughtful). You can also purchase a coffee gift... Read More

5280’s Helpful Coffee Guide

December 2nd, 2015

The Denver magazine 5280 is highlighting the city’s ever-growing craft coffee culture in its latest issue. In addition to local cafe recommendations, the cover story also includes at-home brewing instructions and two glossary of terms for words you’re likely to find either on a bag of beans or on a coffeeshop menu. Not to self-promote conceitedly, but the magazine spread reads like a handy summary of my past posts here on this blog.  5280‘s list of recommendations ​is definitely worth ​reading, especially if you’re looking for a new spot to enjoy a cup of joe.... Read More

The Fight for Gender-Neutral Cafés in Pakistan

November 18th, 2015

A group of bold women in Pakistan are fighting to desegregate public spaces, one cup of chai at a time. Roadside tea stalls or coffee shops in Pakistan—known as “dhabas”—are generally unwelcoming to female patrons. In various parts of Southern Asia, it is culturally unacceptable for women to frequent public spaces or communal spots regularly. In these painfully patriarchal rural and urban communities, women are not encouraged to socialize publicly or move around on their own freely. But Desi feminists are fighting against these sexist standards by claiming typically segregated places like... Read More

New Denver Hangout: Black Eye Coffee  

November 4th, 2015

The floor level of a new residential complex, on a relatively quiet corner in Denver, is an atypical spot for a stylish specialty café. The unassuming location is just one part of the overall big charm at Black Eye Coffee’s second outpost, which opened last month in Cap Hill (the original one is located in LoHi). Situated below Moto Apartments on Sherman and 8th Ave., the ultra cool, dark-but-welcoming, and art-deco inspired coffee shop/ bar features delicious drinks, a variety of eats, and solid service from 6 in the morning till 2am. With its surprising menu selection, gorgeously sleek design,... Read More

Barista: A New Coffee Documentary

October 21st, 2015

Most people don’t think about the potential for coffee to be an art form or a competitive sport, unless they are professionals in the industry. So, an upcoming documentary about the U.S. Barista Championship (USBC) will be an informative and potentially entertaining film for most coffee layman. Barista explores the high energy and high stakes competitive coffee-making scene. The film highlights the passion and drive of several competitors as they prepare for and take part in the annual coffee spectacle known as the National Barista Championship or USBC. Check out the food competition... Read More

Coffee4Change: A New Way to Support Coffee Farmers

October 7th, 2015

Last week in celebration of the inaugural International Coffee Day, the charitable organization Oxfam, in partnership with the ICO, kicked off their new campaign to support coffee farmers throughout various countries. Coffee4Change aims to raise funds to aid local workers in Haiti, Honduras, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, and Uganda. The money raised will help ensure that coffee farmers are utilizing the most effective business models and environmentally efficient techniques to grow and sell their crops. It sounds like an excellent way to support the prosperous future of ethical and sustainable... Read More

Goodbye Summer

September 23rd, 2015

Despite the fun seasonal events and vacation travel opportunities, I’m still a Summer-hater. Dealing with excessive sunshine and heat, plus the inability to wear layers, is incredibly frustrating and uncomfortable for me. So I’m super excited that it is officially the first day of Fall—my favorite season—and that the weather is finally beginning to cool. But before I dig out my warm coats, cozy beanies, and knitted scarfs from the depths of my closet, I’d like to give a final farewell to the iced/cold drink season by saluting a couple of my favorite Summertime brews and caffeine-fix stops... Read More

Do the Affogato

September 9th, 2015

The affogato is a beautiful concoction that blends the sweet creaminess of ice cream with the robust intensity of espresso. The simplest type of affogato consists of one scoop vanilla ice cream or gelato with hot espresso poured over it, although I’ve also tried some more decadent versions too (see photo below). While add-ons like chopped nuts, chocolate sauce, liqueur, fruit, or whipped cream can be delightful, I’m a purist who prefers just the two main ingredients. Even if you do like additional toppings, both the espresso and ice cream should still be fresh and tasty on their own. Unfortunately,... Read More

Denver Public Library’s Brew HA! HA!

August 26th, 2015

September is when Summer ends and the new school year begins, which makes it a less-than-favorable time for many. But now, thanks to the Denver Public Library, we locals have something to look forward to next month: Brew Ha! Ha! is DPL’s month-long celebration of the city’s craft brewery culture. Beer, tea, and coffee lovers will all be able to enjoy a slew of events and resources, including brewing lessons, discounts at local bars and cafés, and informative lectures/discussions about some of your favorite drinks. Here are the upcoming coffee-related happenings that I’m excited about in... Read More

Coffee Notes

August 12th, 2015

It appears that I have been slowly and unwittingly elevating my boyfriend’s coffee standards. After three years of dating and being exposed to the specialty beans I invest in, he’s finally becoming more concerned and vocal about the quality of his home brews and drink purchases. Recently, he even started documenting each new coffee that he tries, in a snazzy little notebook he bought at our local coffeeshop. 33 Cups of Coffee is the pocket-sized journal that my boyfriend keeps, for jotting down his tasting notes. It contains a flavor wheel, a five-star rating system, and spaces to write down... Read More

Coffee + Books: Where to Read and Caffeinate in Denver

July 30th, 2015

If I could host my own travel show, I’d drive across the United States visiting the best specialty coffeeshops and independent bookstores or public libraries that America’s cities have to offer. But since I don’t believe my tv dreams will come true, I’m going to share two wonderful spots in Downtown Denver instead, where you can pick up a book and head over to a nearby café to read it. Tattered Cover & Mercantile I don’t care how trendy or touristy it is, because Union Station is a beautiful place and I can’t fault its visiting crowds. If you go on a weekday, after Summer has ended,... Read More

Coffee & Cats: An Istanbul Photo Diary

July 15th, 2015

A look through my iPhone photos from my recent visit to Istanbul provides a narrow glimpse into my trip. A few touristy snapshots of ancient monuments and various places of worship reveal the city’s historical and geographical peculiarities—as the gateway between Europe and the Middle East—but say little about my personal time spent there. On my phone’s camera you won’t find any visual keepsakes from the paternal family reunion that was the purpose of the trip. My Dad and other relatives wanted me in front of the cameras and in the center of all the shots so I obliged them. They had come... Read More

Coffee Jobs: It Pays to be Wired

June 17th, 2015

While it can be tough relying on tips for a living, working as a barista also has the potential of being a tolerable, decently paying, and possibly even enjoyable part-time or transitional job. With specialty coffee companies on the rise and major chains still making solid profits, the occupational opportunities and benefits of barista-ing have actually never looked so appealing for those searching for employment. Of course now that I’m not working in a coffee shop, I kind of miss working in one, even though I didn’t adore the scene when I was in it. Maybe “the beans are always fresher... Read More

Two Sides to Every Story: “Pixán” Brings Us Coffee’s Other Half

June 16th, 2015

 “There’s a lot more to coffee than beans” – Pixán founders, Louisa Lombera and Gates Gooding   I’ll take a short break from featuring businesses explicitly endurance-athlete related to focus on a product that embodies other important ideals for Boulder businesses: organically grown, sustainable, environmental management, social responsibility, improving markets for Latin American farmers and something many of us enjoy daily: COFFEE. Were your first thoughts while sipping this morning’s coffee, “I wonder if the entire coffee plant is being used to... Read More

Always Tip the Barista

June 3rd, 2015

There’s a common misconception that tipping is a generous act and that 10% of the bill should suffice. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an economy that justifies that train of thought or math. As the battle for restaurant workers to earn a living wage continues, it’s crucial for American consumers to remember to tip food servers—and tip them well—every time they dine out or order in (you should tip delivery people too). Food service employees depend on tips for their livelihood and customers who think tipping is optional are either totally oblivious or just cheap. In some states,... Read More

Cold Coffee Trends: Tonics & Nitro

May 20th, 2015

While not a new concept, carbonated iced cold coffee drinks do seem to be in vogue right now. From espresso tonics to nitro cold brews, expect more cafes to offer bubbles with your coffee. Adding carbonation to drinks is both refreshing on the palate and pleasant for the stomach, since it helps cut the acidity of coffee. A shot of espresso poured over tonic water is an effervescent variation on iced Americanos, which I’m eager to see added to more menus nationwide. I have no doubt that stout-like nitrogen infused iced coffees served on tap will be popular here in Colorado, the beer lovers state. While... Read More

Coffee for Your Garden & Your Skin

April 22nd, 2015

When I was a barista in Brooklyn, I remember a customer asking for the café’s unwanted coffee grounds for his home composting. We had tons of it—leftover from the espresso grinder and from making drip coffee—filling up our trashcans so we were happy to pass some on to him. Recycling coffee grounds into your compost or fertilizer is a fantastic way to cut down on coffee waste. It’s also a great way to add valuable nutrients to your garden, since coffee is full of nitrogen and antioxidants. Another fun use for coffee, which I also learned while working at that shop in Brooklyn, is for skincare.... Read More

Cold Brew Season

April 8th, 2015

Despite the ridiculous snowfall last week, it is officially iced coffee season here in Colorado. While I prefer hot coffee, I do occasionally thirst for a refreshing iced coffee on hot and sunny days. Because I usually drink iced coffee the way I drink regular coffee—with no milk or sugar—I find most conventional iced coffee to be bitter. Sometimes I add coconut water to my iced coffee to make it tastier—which I totally thought was a brilliant and unique idea until I discovered that it was not. But there are a few iced coffees I find light and nuanced in flavor, without adding anything to... Read More

LA Coffee Nostalgia

March 25th, 2015

I celebrated the start of Spring with family and friends in Los Angeles, where I grew up. The sunny overcrowded metropolis that I often can’t stand but do ultimately love has an amazing coffee scene. Whenever I’m back in the sprawling suburban city, I’m eager to check out new coffee shops and revisit old favorites. From homegrown standards like Lamill and Groundwork to recent imports like San Francisco’s Blue Bottle and Santa Cruz’s Verve, LA continues to impress locals and visitors alike with its abundance of specialty coffee. My thoughts on Los Angeles are layered and I like recalling... Read More