child coloring

Explore Coffee From The Comfort Of Home: Loring’s Roasting Coloring Book

As an illustrator and a coffee enthusiast, I appreciate this on several levels.

Loring, a coffee roaster manufacturer based in California, recently crafted a coffee roasting coloring book to keep people occupied during the pandemic. Not only is it a good way to keep children occupied when phone time’s up, it’s a neat look into the ins-and-outs of roasting facilities. It’s stuffed with all sorts of lineart illustrations, from the beans to the machines. It’s currently available for download on their website and can be perfect for digital painting or filling in with marker. If you’re in need of a little therapy, look no further.

Painting is one of my most reliable forms of calming down and cooling off. Has been for most of my life. Something I love about this idea is not just the clever way of keeping people in touch with their local coffee businesses, but the unabashed appreciation of fun. Miserable news circulates more consistently than the air we breathe: inviting people’s artistic spirit is a pitch-perfect idea that will leave a positive impact.

galaxy

Star Wars And Coffee Go Together Like Java And Jawas

Something that might not be readily apparent with this blog is the fact I’m a huge geek. A raging one. An unapologetic nerd so massive as to simultaneously create and inhabit my own black hole, of which no movie quote or videogame-related TED Talk shall ever escape.

Imagine my delight when I came across this fun list linking Star Wars characters to certain types of coffee. It’s funny, because I’m not even that big a fan of the franchise, having only recently found interest with the new trilogy as well as the stunningly well-crafted The Mandalorian. That said, I’ve seen all the films and know enough to appreciate how spot-on these are. I’m glad I wasn’t drinking my morning brew when I read the Yoda post.

There are spoilers for the new trilogy in this piece, though, so proceed with caution (and the only reason I’m not arguing about how very uninteresting those spoilers are is because this is still a beverage blog). Speaking of which, I’ll have to start thinking which coffee drink personifies me best. I’m thinkiiing…a frothy brown sugar latte in a cup the size of Middle Earth. Maybe a decaf dalgona in the shape of the statue of David.

Variety Is The Spice Of Life: Five Interesting Products Made From Coffee Supplies

One of the most common starting points for sustainability conversations are building materials: the ingredients we use to craft where we live and how we move.

To recycle something is to keep valuable materials out of toxic landfills and back into the hands of the people and businesses that need it. You don’t have to be a sustainability expert to know about the viability of recycled cardboard for storage. In fact, one of my earliest school memories was making my own paper out of recycled bits! Things get a little interesting when you see just how many materials can be reused and for what. Since this is a beverage blog (and I put the hook in the title), you can likely guess where this is going.

Coffee is a daily staple. A lifestyle and, for many, a passion. The old coffee grounds, as well as coffee-related supplies, can be a practical ingredient for all sorts of products. Let’s take a look at whether this is mere novelty or an actual change to get excited about.

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How to support local cafés and businesses during quarantine — Coffee with the Queen

“A small business is an amazing way to serve and leave an impact on the world you live in.” -Nicole Snow This statement by Nicole Snow is true — but, as a small business owner, I think she only captured half of what it means to be a small business. Small businesses contribute to their […]

How to support local cafés and businesses during quarantine — Coffee with the Queen

A quick little guide on how to support your love of coffee beyond the (increasingly) rare trip to the grocery store.

I recently bought some decaf beans from local roasters (which I’ll be reviewing within the next month), as well as some much needed coffee equipment for my kitchen. With the American economy already showing similar statistics to the Great Depression, though, I’ll also emphasize you don’t need money to show your support. An email or supportive comment on social media will go a long way to show these cafes and roasters you’re thinking of them.

roasted coffee beans

Bitter Foods Make Sweet Foods Sweeter…In Other Words, The Sky Is Blue

A recent study from Danish scientists have found that the oft-bitter flavor of coffee helps sweet foods taste even sweeter. Yes, this mundane knowledge apparently has to be ‘discovered’ by a university to be valid.

There are entire fields dedicated to pairing or contrasting flavor notes to enhance the experience. Hell, you see a similar logic at work when ordering pizza online and being offered a variety of sugary sodas. What has been ‘found’ here isn’t new in the least.

I love deep-diving into all the fascinating facets of coffee. Over the months I’ve kept a close eye on scientific articles analyzing coffee’s antioxidant count and how it does — or doesn’t — translate into healthy results. I’m endlessly curious about the process that goes into picking, washing and packaging green coffee bean varieties. Never mind the unique histories behind each origin! There’s always something new to learn and I’m thrilled to be part of the journey…

whiiich is why I’m having a rather hard time getting excited over basic information being rebranded as a surprising discovery. Are people really that starved for content?

You don’t have to be a sommelier to know bitter notes change your palette, no more than you have to be a painter to know that yellow contrasts blue. Now, the study does have an interesting angle in how this knowledge can be used to help diabetic and extremely overweight patients change their diets. That’s a fantastic focus that could help a lot of people! All I’m asking is that we don’t take basic knowledge and pretend it’s something else. If the approach of this study had leaned closer to ‘confirming’ or ‘pivoting’ rather than ‘discovery’, I wouldn’t have rolled my eyes quite so hard.

Pro-tip from a copywriter with several years of experience…words mean things. Trying to reinvent the wheel sounds appealing in an oversaturated world increasingly defined by people screaming the loudest, but it’s a myth best left in the dust.

Beer Doesn’t Have The Appeal It Used To

Left and right I see the shrinking appeal of alcohol. I’ve even felt it myself.

Once or twice a week I dip into my alcohol stores. I’ll crack open a hard cider over a baked potato for dinner. Pour myself an inch of wine during a lazy Sunday in front of a movie. As time goes on, however, I find myself getting more selective with what I put in the fridge. How many calories it has, how it lines up with my current diet and exercise regimen. This is a far cry from a few years ago, where I was less picky as long as it tasted good.

While the United States has been seeing a consistent dip in beer and wine sales (with the reasons usually lining up with health concerns), it’s far from an American phenomenon. This analysis from The Guardian goes into a similar trend in the U.K., exploring how younger drinkers are starting to skew toward lighter beer or no beer at all. Craft beer, beloved for its unique local varieties and limited-edition offers, is starting to dip after a strong past five years.

This is lining up with another prod to the beer-making bubble: a lack of CO2 connected to the ethanol industry’s current struggles. While recent spikes in beer purchases have been attributed to COVID-19, those numbers are not going to be easy to maintain when breweries don’t have the supplies they need. Combined with an overall shrinking interest in party culture and binge-drinking, this is a slope that will only get steeper. Drinks are going to have to continue getting creative (and healthy) to keep people’s attention.

What about you? Do you see your beer-drinking habits changing this year?

A Wealth Of History In Each Bean: The Depth Of Central America’s Coffee

The more I read about coffee, the more I need to learn. It’s not a pain point for me, but rather, a joy.

With every single country having a unique relationship with coffee, it only makes sense getting to the bottom of this bean is like trying to reach the deep ocean with the tips of your fingers. If you’re in the mood for an informative-yet-brisk read, this piece over on Vinepair takes a brief look at each coffee variety throughout Central America. This guide sheds light on the incredibly subtle flavor notes that can be cultivated (such as brown sugar and honey) to the astronomically high prices-per-pound, quite literally, only found in high places.

The sheer depth of detail that goes into cultivation is a lesson in patience. Some coffee varieties found mean competition in the mass market not even for their flavor notes, but for the fact they were more resistant to destructive rust. The Robusta variety, as such, might see more popularity in the future for being less delicate than the more coveted Arabica. You’ll never find me wagging a finger at someone for lacking cultural or technical coffee knowledge, because the very nature of this widespread and ancient drink means there’s always something new to discover.

And what fun it is.