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!
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/ )
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,
Tamborine Mountain is more than just a place to catch pretty views. Last month, our cafe internship team was able to take a trip to Tamborine Mountain Coffee Plantation to learn more about coffee farming and the bean to cup process. Before going on the plantation tour, we were able to sit at the cafe and enjoy delicious coffee and baked goods. Their Australian-Grown tasting board featured their award-winning coffee beans in 4 forms (flat white, espresso, batch brew, and cascara) each with a smooth taste that delighted us with every sip. The cafe boasts a friendly and engaging staff along with delicious home-baked pastries making this place a must try for anyone looking to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city.
After enjoying our time at the cafe, we joined the plantation tour to learn more about the process of roasting and brewing coffee beans. The tour was informative and entertaining with a walk through the coffee trees and a tour of their roastery. During harvest season, the plantation opens up for volunteers who are willing to spend the day picking coffee beans from the trees for a more hands on experience. The tour ended with a coffee tasting that didn’t disappoint. Overall, we highly recommend this experience for anyone wanting to learn more about what goes into their favorite cuppa.
For more information, visit Tamborine Mountain Coffee Plantation
No matter what's going on around us, the world keeps running and we still need our daily coffee to fuel us through the day. But what's worse than having an amazing home brewing method and not knowing how to use it? I can't think of anything. So, we're here to help you get that perfect cup of coffee from home with a V60.
Written by Alyssa Telecky
Community on the Corner
Artistic and welcoming, Two Charming Finches cafe sits next to the train station on Blackwood street in our little suburb of Mitchelton. If you’re looking for a comfortable spot for a meeting, study spot, or casual conversation, this spot is a lovely option. A selection of beverages and brunch foods are offered, in a trendy yet family friendly atmosphere. The owner, Mia, of New South Wales, opened the cafe in December 2017.
The cafe’s vintage vibe is comfortable and well put-together; mustard yellow chairs around simple wooden tables, simple art and greenery stand out against the dark wood floors and white walls. Small plants in colorfully painted pots line the railing of the patio outside, simple vines wind around the ceiling beams and colorful furniture invites you to relax and enjoy a quiet morning cuppa.
The coffee served at Two Charming Finches is a blend from Wolff Coffee Roasters: a mix of Brazilian, Guatemalan, and Mexican beans. The soy flat white I ordered arrived with latte art--a small heart (but I observed the barista creating more detailed rosettas as well). Not a coffee fan? Milkshakes, juices, soft drinks, and tea are offered as well. Pastries are fresh and warm in the early morning and served promptly on colorful dishes. For those who prefer vegan and gluten free options, there are multiple choices: I can recommend the blueberry-chia muffin and banana bread.
Plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, a restroom out back, and free wifi are conveniently provided during open hours, 6:30am-2pm on weekdays, and 7am-2pm on weekends (the cafe is closed every Tuesday). The prices are very reasonable. A shelf in the corner holds children’s books and toys with a couch and coffee table near by for families who stop in.
Care for the environment and the community is evident at Two Charming Finches (even the cafe’s name represents the owner’s love of animals and nature). Mia and the staff appear well-acquainted with the community, addressing many customers (including myself) by name. Bringing a personal takeaway mug is recommended to lessen waste, and a discount is given for those who do. A local middle-schooler’s drawings are featured and sold on a shelf inside. The cafe’s active Instagram page advertises that there will be a Jumble Sale in June with proceeds benefiting brain cancer research, in memory of Mia’s sister. “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about getting there and dancing in the rain,” is some encouragement written on the wall behind the front counter. From businessmen to young families, the people of this neighborhood will find their experience at the corner cafe to be a positive one.
Two Charming Finches is definitely an addition worth welcoming to the community of Mitchelton with its air of both playful creativity and genuine care for the world. I have highly enjoyed each of my visits to Two Charming Finches, and would recommend it to anyone who finds themselves on Blackwood Street in need of a smile and some quality caffeination.
In Brisbane where we live it is winter - and it is cold. So we thought that now is the perfect time to introduce some new WARM drinks. While you sit in the comfy couch in our café and you listen to mesmerising jazz music it is really a perfect time to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate with ekstra whipped cream and marshmallows. So why not try one of our four new variations of that popular winter drink:
BIRTHDAY BONANZA - white hot chocolate with vanilla and sprinkles - a sweet party in your mouth
BERRY DELIGHT - berry tea mixed with hot chocolate - people say it tastes like cherry ripe
SALTED CARAMELLO - caramel, sea salt and chocolate - do I need to say more?
SPICY AMIGO - hot chocolate with chilli and a tiny bit of milk - (we secretly call it the heart starter)
We definitely have something for everyone!
As a 'barista in training' when it comes to making coffee there is a lot of new words, smells, flavours, ideas and concepts that I suddenly need to understand."The slowest part of coffee extraction is not the rate at which compounds dissolve from the particulate surface. Rather, it’s the speed at which coffee flavor moves through the solid particle to the water-coffee interface, and this speed is increased with temperature."
Uhm what..? I'm always looking for inspiration and information as to how I can make good coffee without fully understanding the whole science behind it. And today I was stumbling over this little chart that just makes the coffee aspect of my life a little bit easier. Not only because we need to understand the difference between coarse and fine coffee grinds for different brewing methods, but because it compares the size of the grinds with something that we actually understand - like salt. So here it is. Hopefully making your coffee tasting better at home!
(Chart found on en.ilovecoffee.jp)
For those mornings when you don't have the chance to swing by the cafe before work (or for Sundays and Mondays, when we're closed!) but you find you're still craving a little something more than a dash of milk in your coffee, we’ve got some ideas for you. Today we’re sharing a few things you probably already own that can be swirled into your coffee to switch your plain black cuppa to a slow Sunday morning treat, or a sweet Monday morning pick-me-up!
1. Sweetened Condensed Milk
A thicker, more saccharine version of adding a splash of milk to your mug.
Adding a little cinnamon (and maybe some nutmeg!) gives your coffee a subtle, cheerful Christmas taste, while a spice like cardamom brings a bit more of an exotic flavor. Sprinkle some into your coffee grinds before you brew, or into the cup after.
3. Agave Nectar
A syrup-ish natural sweetener with a distinct taste of its own - I think of it as honey’s lesser-known cousin.
4. Vanilla or Almond Extract
Not just for baking! Try adding a few drops on their own, or mix some vanilla extract with coconut milk for a homemade flavored creamer.
5. Lavender Tea
Try letting a bag of lavender tea steep in your freshly brewed black coffee for a few minutes - or maybe experiment with any other floral teas you may have on hand.
While nothing beats a classic cup of regular ol’ coffee, it can be fun to see what you can mix in and end up enjoying. And of course, if it all goes horribly wrong, you can always just come to the cafe ;) Happy experimenting!
Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash
A blog brought to you by the staff of The Meeting Place Cafe. Highlighting coffee and community both locally and abroad.