Do you want to know a little bit more about the people who are making your coffee here at The Meeting Place Cafe? Well, you're in luck because we are doing a staff spotlight this week on one of our baristas!! Maddie Mae is one of our newest baristas, she joined our team in September of this year! Here are some of the questions we asked her:
Q. Why do you make coffee?
A. "It's very exciting to me! The more I learn, the more it intrigues me, and there's so much more to coffee than you would expect there to be."
Q. Have you always liked coffee?
A. "No. I started to really like coffee at the beginning of this year."
Q. What is your favorite drink?
A. "Iced caramel latte."
Q. What do you want to do with coffee in the future?
A. "I want to open my own cafe and have it be a beautiful community where people come to hang out and meet people, but also just enjoy each other and good coffee!"
Q. What is your favourite thing about cafe culture?
A. "Meeting new people."
We look forward to sharing more about our other staff members and we hope that you enjoyed learning a little bit about Maddie! Our staff team is very friendly and loves meeting new people, so please feel welcome to come and hang out with us over a good cup of coffee!
Dear readers, this week we would like talk a little bit about coffee roasting! As some of you know, the coffee cherry is picked and then roasted before it actually makes it to the bags of coffee that you purchase from the shops. Coffee beans can be roasted in different ways such as light, medium, and dark, and the flavour of your coffee largely depends on the roasting process. “it is for the home brewer, perhaps the most important stage of the entire chain of events that takes us from farm to cup” “roasting the coffee beans.. this keenly observed and succinct process that gracefully traverses the line between science and art..” As you may be thinking, this is a very complex process that requires skill and diligence. After the coffee is picked from the farm, the roasters will buy it. Many roasters, but not all, will take into consideration the sustainability and ethics of the farm. Roasting coffee requires much skill and can very easily be messed up, this is why the roaster needs to be someone who possesses a great deal of skill. “..a bad roaster or an average roaster… can very easily corrupt even the finest specialty beans” The method of roasting a bean can change and manipulate the flavor dramatically which is why roasters will go through years of roasting and experimenting and trying different methods and styles until they come up with something that they like! “…the growing realization that coffee is enormously complex has only really cemented a feeling of acceptance as to how powerless we are to truly affect and select its attributes on a molecular scale.” Coffee roasting can take anywhere from 7-20 minutes generally speaking, and the main idea is to generate a flavor through applying heat to the beans. The water contained in the beans will slowly start to evaporate, this is the drying process. Then the beans will become so dry that they go through a stage called first crack. Think of a snail that has become too large for its shell that it pops off! The coffee can actually be consumed at this point but depending on the roast style, the process can be continued and roasted more. The longer you leave the coffee in the roaster, the more nutty, charred, and smokey the flavor becomes. The darker roasts are often used for espresso. There is so much more to this process, but hopefully this was a helpful intro into the coffee roasting process. We hope that you feel inspired to do more research and to learn a little bit more about all that goes in to the process of having a delicious cup of coffee!
Have a blessed weekend!
information sourced from The Curious Barista's Guide to Coffee by Tristan Stephenson. Published in 2019 by Cindy Richards.
Hello and good day to all of you lovely people who so faithfully read this blog! Today I thought it would be fun to share some random facts about coffee! Hopefully some of them are new to you! Let's get right into it..
1. Hawaii is the only American state that grows coffee
2. It was said to be discovered by a goat herder
3. Apparently adding cream to your coffee keeps it warmer for 20% longer
4. Coffee is a fruit
5. The most expensive coffee in the world “Kopi Luwak” is made from cat poop
6. Around 65 countries in the world grow coffee
7. A coffee tree lives for around 60-70 years and produces fruit for about 50-60 years on average
8. There are two main kinds of coffee beans: arabica and robusta
Here are some websites where you can learn more about these facts and also find some more:
Have a lovely weekend!
If you are anything like us, we absolutely love a pretty cup of coffee! Who doesn’t love designs on their coffee?! Well, this kind of art, known as latte art, is not an easy skill to master. It requires time and patience, practice and determination, it requires a good shot of espresso and perfectly steamed milk! But who’s idea was it to put milk drawings on top of a shot of espresso?! Well, the first place to be known for creating this concept is said to be the country of Italy, however the US is given the credit for making this idea go mainstream in the late 1980’s. I will attach a link so that you can see pictures of the process from cold milk to poured latte art!!
Check out this website: https://bluebottlecoffee.com/preparation-guides/milk-and-art
Other information sourced from: https://www.baristainstitute.com/inspiration/history-and-basics-latte-art
Have you ever heard someone in front of you ordering a coffee with a Ristretto shot? If you’re anything like me, you stop and think "wait, what is that?!" Well good thing you’re reading this because I’d like to explain it to you! Ristretto in Italian means ‘resitricted’. Essentially, this shot is pulled shorter than your normal espresso shot. The process of creating ristretto is the same as a normal single or double shot, but instead of letting the shot pull for the full length of time, it is pulled much shorter. Because of this, the amount of coffee that you are getting is much less, but hat doesn’t mean that there is less caffeine content. “Since a ristretto is an overall shorter pull than an espresso, the final drink is a slightly sweeter, more concentrated flavor that plays out without any bitterness.” Every cafe is different, but in our cafe it works something like this: a normal shot will pull on average for about 30 seconds and a ristretto shot will pull for about 15 seconds! I hope that you find this helpful and feel excited about ordering your next coffee with a ristretto shot just to try it out!!
(information in quotations taken from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2015/06/extraction-wars-espresso-vs-ristretto/ )
This week we'd like to explore a few unique cafés from around the world!
Sorry Coffee Co (Canada)
“What's truly different about the Sorry Coffee Co is its unique branding. The Sorry cafe logo that appears on signage and cups is drawn by a local designer and before anyone has a chance to get bored of it, it changes. Every three months, the cafe logo is replaced by a brand new one. Sorry also provides pencils to customers, encouraging them to create art on their cups and come up with their own cafe logo designs.”
Little Man Cafe (Australia)
“The Little Man Cafe is a quaint suburban cafe in Melbourne, Australia that was recently born out of a massive transformation of an old Post Office building. The minimalist all-white space is now a homey outpost for coffee lovers and those in need of a snack in a friendly environment. The cafe is designed in a way that makes it resemble a pristine home kitchen..” The idea of this cafe is that you feel like you are just hanging out in your kitchen having breakfast and sipping your coffee!
Cafe 27 (Beijing)
“Located in Beijing, Cafe 27 is a charming new greenhouse cafe that was designed by Shanghai-based Four O Nine. Boasting a creative organic menu and a stunning supply of natural lighting, Cafe 27 is situated within a glass building that former housed a greenhouse.”
“Cafe 27 is a charming and aesthetically pleasing example of green architecture and of spaces designed to stimulate one's senses.”
Foghound (South Africa)
“..is an innovative repurposed shipping container. Despite its industrial and rugged facade, its interior is a sleek and modern cafe and showroom… The contemporary retail space combines a permanent glass-covered structure, with shipping containers acting as an ancillary element in the overall design”
This is just a glimpse into the endless creative realm of cafes around the world! Let us know of any really incredible cafes that you have visited on your travels!
Dear Readers, have you ever been randomly complimented by a stranger? Perhaps they said they liked your outfit or complimented your smile? Well I know for sure that when this has happened to me, it has made my day! With that being said, I have been thinking a lot about random acts of kindness and how sometimes we as people get so busy and caught up in our busy days, that we forget to be kind to others! We never know the full story of our neighbor unless we ask, we never know the reason someone is sad unless we ask, but we can be the reason someone smiles because of something nice that we do! This week I have compiled a list of ten things that we can do to show others around us that we love and appreciate them. I would like to challenge all of us to do ten things in ten days and I will list below some ideas and prompts that could be helpful to you! So, let’s get right into it!
I challenge you, as the reader, to these ten random acts of kindness! Let’s be people who love people well, and let's have a good time doing this!
Ready, set, go..!!
love from TMPC
Dear readers, I know that none of us were expecting to come into this year and have to learn what social distancing looks like or having to work from home for the first time, and possibly having to frequent your favorite local restaurants and cafe less. Yikes! Who could have known?! But in light of the current circumstances, we as The Meeting Place Cafe staff were reflecting on some of the positive things that have come out of this season for all of us, and we created a few points that we wanted to share with you. Here are the top three things that have challenged us to grow most!
1. Relationships- We all have a group of even a handful of friends that we like to catch up with at a cafe or meet up with for an adventure, but that had to change for a little while which was tough, but also showed us something about our relationships. We found that a space was created for one on one meet ups, forcing us to go deeper in our relationships and really talk and get to know our friends on a much more personal level. This is really beautiful, as we often fall into the habit of ignoring the real "stuff" when we're with our friends and we ignore the sometimes difficult realities and instead we try to focus on having fun and unwinding when we see each other. But we have started to ask questions like "how are you really doing?" There were also a lot less people in the cafes which allowed for customers to get to know staff better! I personally started having regular little chats with the staff of one of my favorite cafes in the area, and am happy to say that we are all on first name basis now!
2. Skillset- We decided that this was a good time to improve our coffee skills and make our drinks better and more consistent! We have been working on our latte art! We were even adding little personalized notes on the cups of our customers! But we also know that it wasn't just us, but plenty of other companies and coffee shops really took advantage of a slower season to make sure everything is up to the best level! Only the best for you!
3. Creativity- We have had to find new ways of reaching out to people and make sure that people still knew we cared about them and had been thinking of them even when we were closed. We recently started a prayer request jar where people can let us know how we can be praying for them! It has been great to take time to talk to our regulars and keep up with their lives!
I know there are a lot more positives that have come out of this season, but also am not unaware of the difficult things that we have had to go through. If you are someone who needs some encouragement please don't hesitate to reach out as we would love to hear from you.
Many blessings to you,
“This is a passion for us, not just a job, and we believe that makes all the difference in your cafe experience"
To our faithful readers, we would like to take this time to thank you for your dedication to reading our blogs and for staying up to date with us as The Meeting Place Cafe. We felt it would be a nice refresher to go back to the basics and answer the question of “why do you exist and why are you different?” We get this question often, especially when people order and then hear the phrase “the suggested donation is…” If you have come to our cafe, you would know that we are a donations based coffee shop that exists for the purpose of serving quality coffee in an environment that builds community. We are here to bless people and to offer coffee to anyone and everyone who comes through our doors, whether they can pay for it or not. It is our hope and desire that everyone who walks through these doors would feel welcomed and know that this is a place where you as a customer are seen and heard, you are valued, and appreciated, and we care about you and what you have to say. The staff at The Meeting Place cafe are easy to talk to and interested in hearing your stories and keeping up with what’s happening in your life. But why is this the case? We are a group of volunteers who are passionate about God and about making Him known to the world. We believe that the greatest commandment found in the Bible says "Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” The staff at The Meeting Place Cafe are all volunteers who come from all over the world in order to train and practice how to run a coffee shop both as a business and also as a ministry, they are young people who have a heart for missions and for reaching many different kinds of people through their businesses. They come here to learn how it’s all done and how they can go and take this idea into other countries and therefore be a blessing to other communities. This is a passion for us, not just a job, and we believe that makes all the difference in your cafe experience. If you haven’t had a chance to come by and have a coffee, please don’t hesitate any longer and when you do come, let us know that you have been reading our blog! It is an honour and a privilege to be able to serve coffee and spread hope and joy no matter who you are or what you believe. We love and appreciate you and look forward to seeing you come through our doors!
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