Saturday Morning Sips: Your Next Coffee Date Just Got Animated.

Pick your soundtrack, kick up your feet and enjoy your favourite brew.  While sipping away, check out award winning illustrator Rachel Ryle. A self-taught artist who grew into an illustrator only a short time ago, Ryle often features the everyday comfort accompaniments to our life (aka: coffee) in her work.

Check out the Apple App Store to see her amazing new coffee ☕️ iMessage sticker pack! With it, every coffee drinker can further share their enthusiasm for the bean in iMessage. Ryle is also a social media maven of sorts, having been named the #1 Instagram account to follow by MTV & BuzzFeed.

video by: @rachelryle

 

Sunday Morning Sips: Coffee Jargon

The next time you step inside your local cafe or roaster, look them straight in the eye and confidently place your order with a dash of knowledge and flair. Adding a few new words to your vocabulary could result in a whole new take on your favourite bean brew. Here’s what you need to know:

Acidity: A term that describes the high notes (with words like “bright”, “clean” or “dry”) or unpleasant qualities (described as “sour”).

 

Arabica: The main cultivar of the coffee tree used for most specialty coffee.

Aroma: The smell of just-brewed coffee.

Bloom: Freshly roasted coffee is constantly releasing carbon dioxide. When ground coffee is combined with hot water, the release of gasses increases in what is called a “bloom”. “Blooming” essentially involves preparing coffee for extraction by sitting the ground coffee in hot water, forcing out that carbon dioxide.

Body: The weight of the coffee; how it feels in your mouth, from watery to oily to grainy.

Coffee snob: Folk who only drink specialty coffee and frown on those who don’t.

Crack (first and second): The sound made when coffee beans release gases during the roasting process.

Crema: The tan coloured top layer of espresso that is a result of gas trapped in bubbles of oil. It’s a vital part of espresso flavour and texture.

 

Cup of Excellence: Although you may start referring to your own brews this way, technically it refers to the competition that determines the best coffee bean grown in a particular nation. It’s a not-for-profit program which directly benefits farmers from member countries, and the winners at Cup of Excellence fetch significantly higher prices at auction.

Cupping: The method used to judge the quality and characteristics of coffee beans. Coffee is coarsely ground, then exactingly steeped, scraped, sniffed and slurped.

Espresso: A short black, or 30 millilitre shot of coffee, extracted using an espresso machine.

Estate Coffee: Coffee that has all been grown in a certain region and processed in the same mill. Unlike single-origin coffee, estate coffee may be grown on several different farms.

Single origin: Coffee brewed from beans that have all been grown on the same farm, making it easier to generalize about flavour.

Smallholder farms: Small farms, mostly in developing countries.

Specialty coffee: Coffee that has been sourced with an extra focus on the quality of the bean, from crop to cup.

Tamp: To press coffee into the filter basket of an espresso machine, so it’s evenly extracted.

 

 

 

Third Wave: The new breed of coffee roasters who deal exclusively in specialty beans and who are totally devoted to getting the most out of them by whatever means, including varying roasts (particularly lighter roasts) and filter brewing.

Filter: Coffee that’s made by coffee grounds being steeped with water and passed through a filter to remove all the solid bits.

Green coffee: Un-roasted coffee beans.

Group: The handle of an espresso machine – the bit that holds the ground coffee and the conduit through which your espresso passes.

Microfoam: The ideal textured milk consistency for lattes, cappuccinos and other milky coffee. Less soap bubble consistency and more like shaving cream.

Micro-lot coffee: The most regulated of coffees. Micro-lot beans have all been grown in the same field, with minimal changes in altitude. All beans are picked on the same day.

Mouthfeel: It’s how the coffee feels in the mouth – maybe oily, bubbly or silky.

Peaberry: A coffee bean that hasn’t separated into two parts. It looks a bit like a football and is known to have an intensified version of the flavour profile of the rest of its crop.

Pull: Espresso shots are “pulled”. It’s a hangover from the days when machines were lever operated.

 

Whole Bean Quick Tip

When making espresso coffee, good quality beans and the shortest time between grinding and brewing will help make it the most flavourful cup you’ll sip!

The Legacy.

home-left-right-image-2There is a coffee farmer in Tanzania with 10 children… and a legacy to uphold. His name is David Robinson, and he is the youngest of Rachel and Jackie Robinson’s three children. In “Of The Father And of The Son,” directed by Alrick Brown for Spike Lee’s Lil’ Joints series, viewers will visit with David in Tanzania, where he has been living for 30 years, and his mother and sister in New York, where they balance amusement and pride in his commitment to Africa. Sit back, relax and enjoy this one here.

 

 

 

How Do You Brew?

cowboy-coffeeCoffee is more than just a vessel for caffeine. A wide variety of beans, mix-ins and machines have recently turned coffee brewing into a delicate art. In fact, depending on how you make your morning cuppa, you’re toying with the flavor, nutrition and caffeine content. Here’s a look at seven common brewing methods—in order of most basic to most time-consuming—and what actually ends up in your cup.  Check out this gallery from Paste Magazine to see see what’s actually in your cup of coffee.

Want To Know What A Coffee Cherry Tastes Like?

It’s easy to forget that coffee comes from a fruit, since hardly anybody outside of coffee-producing countries ever gets to see it in its  natural state. Coffee grows on spindly, bush-like plants, and its cherry-like fruit ripens over the course of several weeks approximately nine months after the shrubs’ jasminey blossoms bloom and fall. When ready for picking, most coffee cherries range in color from blood red to a kind of deep, smokey burgundy, becoming sweeter as they mature.

5519494922_9a8c4fea69_bThe fruit’s skin is taut and snaps like a bell pepper when you pierce it. Inside there’s a sweet, sticky pulp layer that tastes something like watermelon, rosewater, and hibiscus all at once. (And taster beware, as I learned the hard way: there’s not much meat behind that red skin, and chomping too hard could lead to some serious dental work).

Jimmy’s Coffee

Jimmy’s Coffee

City: Toronto OntarioFullSizeRender

Location:  Ossington Avenue & Queen St. West  (map it)

Opened: 2015

Recommends:  Cappuccino and a butter tart

5 Cup Rating: 4 cups

Did You Know:  The fourth destination of this Toronto staple borrows its layout from the Kensington location and is a welcome addition to the bustling Ossington strip.  From the comfy seating to the open and airy space, the entire menu never disappoints. Perfectly pulled Americanos to frothy, light Cappuccinos, the Queen West crowd will love the offerings this location has to offer.  While you’re at it, be sure to pick up some beans too… the Hendrix blend is perfection!

Making Cuban Coffee In Miami

Saveur, famous for their award-winning videos, show us that for Miami’s Cuban community, making coffee is as important as drinking it.

The Japanese Art Of Coffee

A couple years ago I saw a fantastic documentary called Jiro Dreams of Sushi.  It captured Jiro’s relentless pursuit in perfecting the art of sushi.  Now Idobata Coffee from Kamakura, Japan present us with the peaceful art of creating the perfect cup.  The fact that the tiny little coffee stand  operates out of the back of a van adds to the intimate, unique art of the pour over cup.   Sit back, relax and take in his mastery.