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Keep Your Coffee Safe

We brought our favorite coffee up to the lake last week on vacation and it seemed like everyone in my family brewed my coffee instead of theirs {I know, I definitely have way better taste in most things, including coffee, than my brothers :) }  Now, I love my family and am happy to share just about anything, don’t get me wrong…but when I wake up in the morning, wisps of my dreams still floating through my head as I move slowly to the kitchen thinking about taking that first sip of my favorite brew and it’s all gone?  Grrrrr!  You can imagine exactly what I was thinking about bringing on my next family vacation to protect my coffee…

Safe

All kidding aside, did you know that you really should be protecting your coffee to ensure the best possible freshness, flavor and quality when you’re ready to brew it?  After coffee beans have been roasted {try roasting your own!}, they are actually quite delicate and sensitive to things like light and oxygen. Many of us go to great lengths to preserve the freshness we desire. Recently I stumbled upon a product, appropriately name BeanSafe, that has solved this issue.

beansafe

This storage container seals in and protects your coffee beans from heat, light, moisture, and oxygen. What I didn’t know is that even CO2 that emits from the beans can damage them as well. BeanSafe has also addressed this issue with a valve on the top of it that allows the unwanted CO2 to escape, without compromising the beans to moisture or oxygen.

coffee bag

Tips to Store Your Coffee At Home

  • Store your daily coffee in an air-tight glass or ceramic container in a dark, cool place (NOT the refrigerator or freezer as contact with moisture will cause the bean to deteriorate).
  • Don’t buy in large quantities unless you use large quantities!  Coffee is like the value of a car, it begins depreciating the minute it’s made.  The quicker you use your coffee the better it will taste.
  • If you do need to store larger quantities, store the excess in smaller portion air tight bags in the freezer for up to 1 month.  Once you open the air tight bag move them immediately into an air-tight container.

How do you store your coffee beans and grounds at home?

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A Proper Way to Brew Iced Coffee

It is summer and that means HOT. I’m not talking just mid day hot, I’m talking about wake up and the mercury in the thermometer is already skyrocketing hot. When it is this kind of hot, just thinking about a hot coffee in the morning makes me sweat before I’ve gotten out of bed. Brewing my own single-serve iced coffee has become such a refreshing morning treat and since I have embraced drinking it more and more, I had to look into how to properly brew it on my own.

iced coffee

If time is of the essence, then a quick, single-serve brew from my k-cup or Flavia machine does the trick.  Use a tumbler (instead of glass) and fill it with ice and brew the hot coffee right into the tumbler.  To avoid the watered-down taste I’d plan ahead the night before an brew a quick cup of whatever flavor I was going to drink in the morning, freeze it into ice cubes and use the coffee ice cubes in the morning.  It was when I noticed that even my quick iced coffee often had a kind of acidic taste to it that the computer came out and the research began. I learned that true iced coffee is a slightly different brewing process and although a bit more lengthy in time does not lack taste in any sense.

To brew your own iced coffee at home you’ll need:

  • Light or Medium roasted coffee beans, ground coarsely (Dark roast are more acidic)
  • Desired container (Something large enough because it takes a day to sit and brew)
  • A Cheese Cloth or Filter
  • Room temperature water

Since the process takes a day to sit and steep like tea, I decided to reuse my gallon orange juice jug. The first step is to add your grounds to a third of your water and stir it in so you have a thick mixture. Then you mix in the rest of your water and let sit for 24 hours. Lastly just give it a stir a couple times over the sitting time. When you are ready to serve, pour your coffee through your cheese cloth or filter to catch the grounds.

iced coffee 2

The water to grounds ratio is totally up to you, depending on how strong you want your coffee. For mine, I put in about 20 tablespoons of my coffee grounds to my gallon jug. And since I used a gallon jug with a narrow top, I couldn’t stir it with a spoon so I just capped the top and gently shook it. I would recommend using something similar to a gallon jug or a pitcher because this allowed for easy serve and storage in the refrigerator.

Did you try this at home?  Let us know how it went for a chance to earn 500 reward points!

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More Than Just For Tea

Just as much as coffee drinkers are fanatic about the coffee they brew and how they brew it, we can’t forget out the tea lover’s out there.  Many tea enthusiasts swear by certain tea brands and how to brew them to get the best cup of tea.  My sister-in-law SWEARS she can tell the difference between kettle pot heated water on the stove and when it’s microwave heated…no joke. :)

With the boom of the single-serve coffee machines, such as the k-cup and freshpack machines, it’s easy to overlook the loyal tea drinkers and their manual process to creating their perfect slice of heaven.  Well, now it’s time for tea drinkers everywhere to know they’re not alone when it comes to machine brewing.  The bkon (pronounced beacon) is a craft brewer for all tea enthusiasts to marvel over.

bkon craft brewer

This machine is unlike any other beverage brewing machine. It has the speed of a Keurig, but the delicate touch of an artist. Through a series of vacuum and pressurized steps, the bkon is able to extract all of the desirable qualities out of the tea, without any bitter aftertaste. This process is called RAIN.

bkon rain process

RAIN stands for Reverse Atmospheric INfusion and it is as mesmerizing to watch as the science behind it. By creating a vacuum and using pressurized energy in the brewing cylinder, you can see it manipulating the tea leaves as they expand to full size for full extraction of all the best qualities in the tea.

tea leaves before and after

Although I do not fully understand the science behind this technology, I do know is that this complex machine puts on a nice 90’s lava lamp kind of show before it delivers a perfect slice of heaven into my cup and to boot, it self cleans itself!

bkon bubbles

The bkon is not limited to just tea however, it’s only the beginning. Your imagination may be the only thing that limits this genie lamp. Whether you want to insert loose tea leaves, coffee grounds, dried fruits, or spices, this machine extracts it all. Because of the wide range of ingredients you can use, it’s perfect for any time of the day. From the morning cup of tea, to an evening cocktail or even a glass of water in the middle of the day, the possibilities are endless. No time to be creative?  This technology is paired with a touch screen that keeps about 200 different recipes stored for you. The only recipe you can’t program into it is how to make a bad beverage. Just be careful of the current price tag…….cough…$13,000….cough.

So tea lovers weigh in…how do you brew your perfect cup of tea and what do you think about the bcon?

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Pairing Coffee And Wine

Coffee and wine are among some of the most widely consumed beverages across the world. These drinks have been a source of much discussion and refinement over the years as many try to fight their claim to fame and be the best of the best. We have talked about how certain coffees pair well to certain foods just like wine pairs well to their respective foods in order to match the proper tastes. Coffee is typically consumed in the morning while wine is typically consumed in the evening…until now.

coffee wine

Imagine having wine AND coffee at the same time. A unique concoction has been created by a company called Friends Fun Wine. They sell many varieties of wine in a can for the convenience of taking it with you wherever you go. In a recent announcement they unveiled a new product that infuses coffee and wine.

friends fun wine coffee

Currently there are two potential blends for their canned wine and coffee blend. One is a blend of Cabernet wine grapes with espresso coffee and a hint of chocolate. The other is a blend of chardonnay wine grapes with vanilla cappuccino coffee and a hint of chocolate. This concept is still in the works and it will be interesting to see if this idea comes to fruition.

What interesting combinations have you concocted with your coffee?

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Let’s Hear It For Coffee Kegs!

As the hot days approach, we often look for cold refreshments to help cool ourselves. Some days it is too hot to truly enjoy a morning cup of hot coffee without sweating in your work clothes. Many coffee companies are shifting towards different ways of producing coffee and making it as convenient as possible {like the coveted k-cup, freshpack and pod single-serve options we see today}. Need something more than single-serve?  Check out what Joyride Coffee has done…

This company was an idea grown by three brothers who started as a mobile coffee truck in New York. They quickly found that many of their customers wanted to take back their coffee to the office which they felt lacked quality coffee. The brothers decided to sell the mobile cafe and take a different route to the business. Instead of having the customers come to them for the coffee, Joyride Coffee decided to bring the coffee to the customers.

 

cold brew keg

Just like a craft beer brewer spends countless hours perfecting their brew, Joyride Coffee brainstormed a way to serve the cold brew coffee in a growler or small keg. This cold brew coffee is not just simply coffee brewed over ice either. The process has been well thought out in order to maximize quality convenience. The coffee is steeped in room temperature water for 12 hours to produce a concentrate of coffee, similar to that of an espresso. The beans chosen are typically from Central America and Brazil because they maintain their flavors through the cold brewing process and come out with a less acidic coffee due to never being heated.

coffee keg

This cold brewed, coffee concentrate is meant to be diluted on a one to one ratio with water or milk or however you like your coffee. This means that their one gallon growler and five gallon keg can serve up to two and ten gallons of coffee respectively. This may not be the case if you are looking for a quick pick-me-up for that 2:30 feeling at the desk as you may opt for the stronger, espresso like blend.

coffee growler

Whether you want to share this at work or keep it for yourself at home, these cold brew kegs have a shelf life of over a month, however I can’t imagine it not being consumed by that time anyway. All you need is to have a normal outlet to keep it cool and pumping and you are well on your way to having gourmet coffee anywhere! I think the water cooler will no longer be the cool place to hang around once this enters the office.

What is the most crazy/different way you’ve brewed or obtained your coffee? :)