Forget your typical paper coffee filter, The Kone, designed by Coava Coffee Roasters is made of USA grade stainless steel. The goal for The Kone was to create a sustainable coffee filter that could also brew excellent coffee. It is designed for pour over style coffee makers like the Chemex and Hario. Here’s what Oliver Strand from the New York Times had to say about The Kone:
“The Kone is a beautiful object, simple and stark. More to the point of the design, the coffee it makes is rich and full. The filter is cleaner than a mesh basket, and the photochemically machined holes let oils that would be absorbed by a standard paper filter flow through. It gives you the control of a Chemex and the tannic cup you get from a French press: a Frenchmex. Whether you like it is a matter of taste. For most of my adult life, I was a French-press partisan. But in the last few years I’ve been experimenting with different filter methods, and now I’m accustomed to drinking coffee with bright, floral flavors. When I started using the Kone last week, it was strange to find such an aggressive coffee sitting in my Chemex. It was like pulling the top off a bamboo steam basket and encountering a piece of grilled meat.”
Buy The Kone from Coava Coffee Roasters for $50.
One thing is for sure, with the Concrete Espresso Machine, you will never have to worry about knocking your espresso machine over – unless of course you’re the Incredible Hulk! That’s because this espresso machine is like no other. It’s built out of solid concrete! Israeli student, Shmuel Linski, from Shenkar College of Engineering and Design came up with solid concept product. The machine features metal parts alongside a unique and very chic concrete encasing.
Why concrete? Linkski had this to say:
“Concrete in the kitchen, not only as a wall or decorative part, I wanted it to be a desirable consumer product.”
The New York Times ran an excellent story a few days ago on the death of a New York icon, Leslie Buck. The 87 year old Buck passed away at his home in Glen Cove, New York. Buck is known as being the designer of the ubiquitous Anthora coffee cop that dominated the streets of New York for nearly 4 decades. Beck introduced his novel coffee cup idea to the masses in 1963 and since then it has become a part of the daily ritual for millions of people.
Sales of the cup reached 500 million in 1994 (when it was by far the most popular design for the company’s cups), but fell to about 200 million cups annually in 2005. One New York Times writer in 1995 called the Anthora “perhaps the most successful cup in history”. By 2007, it was mentioned in passing in a New York Times television review as “one of those endangered artifacts” – Wikipedia.
The Anthora coffee cup features the image of an ancient Greek amphora, a decorative border on the top and the bottom, and the capitalized slogan, “WE ARE HAPPY TO SERVE YOU.” The Solo cup company, which purchased the rights to the Anthora cup discontinued it from their catalog in 2006, however, they still have it available for custom orders.
Buck’s NY Times obituary can be seen here.
You might be familiar more with ThinkGeek as a place to purchase geeeky apparel or gadgets. You might not know that they have an entire section of their store devoted to caffeinated goods! That’s right, alongside their caffeinated candy, drinks and lollipops, you’ll find this impressive little device – the Mypressi Handheld Espresso Machine.
“Consequently, coffee snobs (we can call them that because many of us are thus self-professed) require a lot of precision in their brewing instruments. Take this new portable espresso dispenser, for example! Many espresso machines of the hand-pump variety give a strong burst of pressure to force the water through the grounds, but the pressure dies off quickly, leaving your espresso a muddy mess of over and under-extracted coffee. The Mypressi Handheld Espresso Machine uses canisters of compressed N20 to give you a half-dozen or more strong pulls at an even 9-bar (135psi) from beginning to end. The resulting cup is hot, flavorful, with a mild bitterness and strong crema.”
Buy the Mypressi Handheld Espresso Machine from ThinkGeek for $169.99.
To the chagrin of the traditional coffee house, Starbucks has become a mainstay in cities across America and the world. As we know, coffee can have many health benefits including benefits to cardiovascular health. Starbucks, however, serves up some of the most unhealthy and calorie filled “coffee” drinks on the market. Here we take a look at 10 of the worst drinks that you can order up at your local Starbucks. If maximizing your total calories and fat intake is on your list of priorities then this is the definitive beverage list for you.
*Note that the chart reflects the venti with whole milk and whipped cream options. Please see below for 2% and nonfat milk options.
1. Peppermint White Hot Chocolate with whole milk and whipped cream. Damage: 730 (690 with 2% milk) calories venti, 27 (22 with 2% milk) grams total fat in venti.
2. Iced Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha with whole milk and whipped cream. Damage: 700 (680 with 2% milk) calories venti, 26 (23 with 2% milk) grams total fat.
3. Mint Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino Blended Creme with chocolate whipped cream. Damage: 680 calories, 21 grams total fat (same calorie and total fat count for the venti whole milk, 2% milk and nonfat options according to Starbucks.com).
4. Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino Blended Coffee with whipped cream. Damage: 660 calories, 19 grams total fat (same calorie and total fat count for the venti whole milk, 2% milk and nonfat options according to Starbucks.com).
5. Tazo Green Tea Frappuccino Blended Crème with whipped cream. Damage: 650 calories, 15 grams total fat (same calorie and total fat count for the venti whole milk, 2% milk and nonfat options according to Starbucks.com).
6. Eggnog Latte. Damage: 630 calories (610 with 2% milk), 30 (27 with 2% milk) grams total fat.
7. Iced White Chocolate Mocha with whole milk and whipped cream. Damage: 630 (610 with 2% milk) calories, 27 (24 with 2% milk) grams total fat.
8. Java Chip Frappuccino Blended Coffee with whipped cream. Damage: 600 calories, 23 grams total fat (same calorie and total fat count for the venti whole milk and 2% milk options according to Starbucks.com).
9. Caramel Brulee Crème with whole milk and whipped cream. Damage: 600 (560 with 2% milk) calories, 22 (16 with 2% milk) grams total fat.
10. Espresso Truffle with whole milk and whipped cream. Damage: 560 calories, 21 grams total fat (whole and 2% milk options not available).
Some things to note: all of the items here are the venti counterparts. You can definitely knock down a few calories if you:
- Drop the size of your drink to a grande or a small.
- Choose 2% or nonfat milk over the very fattening whole milk option.
- If you want to drastically reduce the total fat count then pass on the whipped cream option.
- Just say no to anything Peppermint from Starbucks.
- Stay away from their Frappucinno menu but I quickly found out that simple drinks like hot chocolate can be just as dangerous.
- If you just have to have a Frappucinno then get one of their light blended options.
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Check out this excellent video from the guys at The Department of the 4th Dimension, a design and production studio. They examine what goes into making a cup of espresso by interviewing Kyle Glanville, a barista at Intelligentsia Coffee in Venice, California.
Some take home points:
- Every variable in espresso making is very critical.
- Any misstep will manifest itself in the cup.
- Feel the grind and then adjust accordingly.
- Preheat cup with hot water while you prepare the espresso.
- Make sure your filter basket is nice and dry so that the oil released from the coffee can do its job.
- Redistribute coffee in basket so that the water can extract the coffee evenly.
- Proper espresso extraction will take about 20-30 seconds.
- Adjust grind depending on the look and taste of your espresso.
- If your espresso shot looks pale, tastes a little thin then you might have to adjust grind a little finer.
- If your espresso shot looks black, too short and tastes super bitter and compact then adjust grind a little coarser.
The Nespresso D290 Concept Automatic Coffee-and-Espresso Machine with Aeroccino Milk Frother is one sexy machine. It might be pricey, but think of it as an investment considering that you spend an arm and a leg on coffee and espresso at your favorite “not-to-be-named” coffee shop anyway. This model comes with the Aeroccino milk frother so that you can make the perfect milk froth in mere seconds. They also have a model sans the Aeroccino if you could care less about froth.
- 1250-watt single-serve automatic espresso machine designed for coffee capsules
- 19-bar pump; ThermoBlock heating system; backlit control buttons; removable 40-ounce water tank
- Capsules eject semi-automatically into collection container; auto and programmable coffee quantity
- Includes 12 capsules, espresso cup, lungo cup, saucers, and 1-touch Aeroccino milk frother
- Machine measures 14 by 8-2/3 by 12-1/5 inches; milk frother measures 3-1/2 by 3-1/2 by 5-5/7 inches
Buy the Nespresso D290 Concept Automatic Coffee-and-Espresso Machine with Aeroccino Milk Frother from Amazon for $438.58.
Costello’s Travel Caffe has been serving up coffee and other delights to people in PDX for the last 5 years. The little euro style cafe was started by Chris Costello in 2004 out of his passion for travel and film. Stop by the Caffe during the week and be pleasantly surprised with live classical and jazz music, foreign language conversation nights, and travel trivia.
“In keeping with a passion of travel, Costello’s hosts weekly foreign conversation nights, foreign films, and international soccer. From the Soccer World Cup to the Tour de France, Costello’s has been a fixture for devoted fans to enjoy sporting events from each corner of the globe. Live music is played on Thursday and Friday night from 8-10pm, ranging from toe-tappin’ Gypsy jazz to Brazilian bossa nova. Foreign Film Night, Wednesday at 8pm, has been a longtime favorite as customers crowd the café to see some of the world’s best films.”
If you own an independent coffee shop, tea lounge, bar or know of one that you especially love then let us know about it so we can share it with the world!
Costello’s Travel Caffe
2222 Northeast Broadway
Portland, Oregon 97232
First of all, I love the name of this brand – Black Ass Coffee. What’s not to love? They currently have 7 different blends available, including the seasonal fall blend, The Great Pumpkin. How could you resist wanting to brew a cup of Black Ass with names like Secret Agent (dark roast), Jacques Cousteau (French roast) and Rico Suave (medium roast)?
“Black Ass Coffee was formed by two serious coffee drinkers who were tired of overpriced, stale, burnt coffee. Who said “burnt” is “better” in the first place? And why pay a premium for “over-roasted” coffee? So, stubbornly, we started the hunt to find good “strong” coffee.”
Buy an 11oz. Bag of Black Ass Coffee (Ground or Whole Bean) for $9-$10.
Karen Eland likes coffee. Okay, Karen Eland really likes coffee. So much so that she has made a name for herself as an artist who paints in espresso. The Oregon based artist has been busy recreating some of history’s most famous paintings, including the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. You can even find an 8 foot mural of The Last Supper hanging in one of Karen’s favorite coffee shop, Nordaggios Coffee in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Different print sizes are available and prices vary based on print size.
“Coffee art is a truly unique art form. It requires a thoughtful and delicate touch. Capturing the depth of these classic works is only possible through a slow and sophisticated process of building layers upon layers of espresso. I first thought of the idea of painting with coffee while watching rich, red-brown espresso pouring perfectly into my cup. As I enjoyed my hot latte, it occured to me that perhaps I could take my passion for coffee to a deeper level. So I dipped my brush and began painting, and to my delight, it worked beautifully.”
Buy Coffee Creations from Karen Eland for $5 – $500.
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