“On a January evening the winter gloom is only illuminated by the bright lights of the city’s innumerable cafes. You pass them in the cold, but inside you see they are warm, inviting, filled with life, men and women, young and old, gathered two to four to a table talking, laughing; you feel that the city is alive, and walking past each bright cafe you long to be a part of it. And this feeling stays with you, tugging at you, tempting to pull you into the nearest cafe. Until finally a friend calls you and says: Idemo na kavu. And like it was the greatest thing in the world, you say Da.”—Having Coffee in Croatia
“Ideas quick-march into motion like battalions of a grand army to its legendary fighting ground, and the battle rages. Memories charge in, bright flags on high; the cavalry of metaphor deploys with a magnificent gallop; the artillery of logic rushes up with clattering wagons and cartridges; on imagination’s orders, sharpshooters sight and fire; forms and shapes and characters rear up; the paper is spread with ink - for the nightly labor begins and ends with torrents of this black water, as a battle opens and concludes with black powder.”—"The Pleasures and Pains of Coffee" by Honore de Balzac
[Red carpet of lights in Soho, WIRED Store Opening]
WIRED describes the WIRED Store as an “elite pop-up gallery featuring the latest and greatest in gadgets, gear, art, décor and special events.”
Check out some highlights from the opening night party with us!
Mike, our founder, was lucky enough to nab an exclusive invite to the opening night party. DJ ?uestlove kept the party going while we hobnobbed with celebs like Amber Tamblyn, Nikki Reed, Rob Buckley, Vanessa Bayer and, oh so ironically, Portlandia’s Fred Armisen.
[Craft Coffee on display in the WIRED Store]
Exciting to see Craft Coffee on display! Mike carries around Craft Coffee promotional cards (founders are known to do things like that!), so he left some behind as gifts for visitors.
This year’s theme is “What’s Inside.” Instead of the usual photo booth, all the ladies got an x-ray image of what was in their bag to take home. WIRED said they wanted us to think about the everyday objects we carry around with us.
The walls on the way to the martini bar were adorned with vintage Star Wars posters from Italy. Classy!
The lego art was amazing too. This piece was maybe 5 feet tall!
The WIRED store is open to the public until 12/23/12. If you’re in NYC this holiday season, check it out!
Thank you to WIRED Magazine for recognizing all the hard work we do here at Craft Coffee to bring our customers truly amazing coffee experiences!
Our Craft Coffee Holiday Gifts are on sale while supplies last. Use the code ‘wired2012’ at checkout for 10% off any holiday gift for today only.
Every morning we make a cup of coffee that is more or less a life saver. It’s the 5 minutes of the day we can depend on to be truly amazing.
We’d love to see what your morning coffee ritual is like, so we’ve enlisted our friends at Backspaces to help.
Backspaces, a new photo-story app for iPhone, makes it easy to put photos and captions together to tell a story. Share your coffee morning ritual and enter to win a special brew kit and two months of Craft Coffee. The story with the most likes by Friday, 11-2-12 wins!
The New York-based company plans to build the “most complete and exceptional coffee program in the Universe”, reports lead engineer Nate Berkopec. Founder, Michael Horn, adds “The coffee experience is incomplete. It’s in bits and pieces. Now is the time to take things to the next level.”
The company has received reports that coffee drinkers everywhere are suffering from the terrible experiences of bad “gourmet” coffee. Or worse, they buy good coffee and don’t know what to do with it. Craft Coffee believes all people everywhere deserve better.
Speaking of people everywhere deserving better, by helping Craft Coffee surpass $25,000 in funding through Kickstarter, the company has officially announced that 5% of all revenues received from the campaign will go to the Coffee Kids charity. If it surpasses $35,000 in funding, then it will up that to 10% of all revenue received with no cap. So tweet this and post it on Facebook.
Craft Coffee pioneered a new kind of coffee of the month program. It turns your morning coffee into a moment of discovery, curated by New York’s top coffee pros. There’s nothing like it out there.
Designer, Angie Chan concludes “You’re not going to believe what I’m going to design with these resources. It’s going to blow your mind.” We are prepared for blown minds, ladies and gentlemen.
Jason Burkum at Beansmith has been very busy carefully roasting the coffee you’ll be sampling shortly. Look for notes of blueberry and jasmine and hints of lemon curd. We love it and we’re sure you will too!
This is probably one of the most frequent questions I get asked on bar: How should I store my coffee for maximum freshness?
Well, the answer is actually pretty easy: store it in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Ideally the beans you are buying come in a bag with a one-way valve on it to let the off-gassing CO2 from the coffee out without letting oxygen in, so you can just roll down the bag tight and clip it. If your beans aren’t coming in a bag like that, I’d suggest an airtight container.
You shouldn’t put the beans in the fridge or especially the freezer, this will screw up the moisture content in the beans and break down the cell structure. And don’t forget, the most important thing is to buy small amounts frequently so your coffee is always nice and fresh.
This advice is coming straight from our very own coffee expert Alex Bernson! Tweet your thoughts at him #cupofawesome.
Man, it’s been fun. And educating. And challenging. But mostly just great! After 5 months at Craft Coffee I’m on to new paths and am letting someone else chat with you amazing people on twitter and facebook, the instagram photos will have the touch and style of someone else and the blog will… just continue to be awesome :)
So, thanks you guys, for being part of the Craft Coffee family. I have appreciated your photos, your puppies, your thoughts on iced coffee vs. cold brew (should we continue?) and your retweets. It warms my heart to see a tweet being favorited by you - I know we had something special.
Keep enjoying those Craft Coffee boxes! A lot of love goes into them!! Think I’ll go brew myself a Chemex now - maybe some Bolivian Gimme! ?
Not only is your Craft Coffee boxes on the way - you’re getting a Pro-Tip too!
Coffee has two ingredients: beans, and water. We at Craft Coffee clearly love to obsess over the beans, but without good water, even the nicest coffee may wind up tasting flat. Unless you live in a place with reliably low-mineral water, I highly suggest using at least a Brita pitcher or similar to filter the water you use for brewing. Run of the mill bottled water can work too—no need to splurge since we just want a nice low-mineral water. Avoid distilled water though, you do need some minerals in there to extract the full flavor.
By our very own coffee expert Alex Bernson! Tweet your thoughts at him #cupofawesome.
The latest tempest in coffee-pot amongst the coffee twitter-sphere is the question of cold-brewed coffee versus “japanese” style iced coffee. The debate was kicked off in large part by Oliver Strand’s post on the subject, http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/06/ristretto-i-dont-know-what-you-did-last-summer/, and involves a lot of coffee esoterica, but there are certainly substantive differences between the two styles that merit your further investigation. I encourage you to give both styles of ice coffee a try and see which one is more to your liking. And don’t forget, one variable that most people are ignoring this discussion is that cold-brew coffee is 1.5-2x more caffeinated than Japanese iced coffee.
Music Monday: Craft Coffee Team - Richard Battle-Baxter
It’s Music Monday and today we have the pleasure of introducing a new Craft Coffee team member: Richard Battle-Baxter.
Richard will be on our Marketing team the next couple of months. Please give him a warm welcome and do a little dance-around to his amazingly happy playlist! Remember, you can also find this playlist on Spotify!
IT’S TUESDAY, GUYS!! Pro-Tip Time. I give you your favorite: Alex Bernson
Cleanliness is crucial to good coffee. There are many compounds in coffee that can dirty things up, especially the coffee oils that will coat your brewing equipment and go rancid if you don’t clean them off. You should at least rinse, if not soap and scrub, your brewers after each use, but for deep cleaning, there’s nothing better than Cafiza. Used primarily to clean the tenacious the gunk in espresso machines, a bit of this stuff in hot water will also do wonders on your brewing equipment, as well as any other mess you can imagine. Grease traps from stoves, dirty tubs, baked on food, etc. Just be careful, this will start to eat away at delicate plastic if you leave it sitting!
If you love to dream yourself away to a hammock on a beach-view-patio, imagining the lazy sunday picnics, the homemade lunches, the endless piles of strawberries and children playing in the garden, this is the blog for you.
For all you uber-coffeegeeks out there with an espresso machine in your kitchen, here’s a good way to get a handle on what baristas mean when they’re talking about a shot being “over-extracted” or “under-extracted”.Get ready to make a shot of espresso as you normally would, but get 3 demitasse cups ready. Have an idea in your head of about how long your shots usually run seconds-wise. Start the shot going and put the first demitasse under the portafilter. A third of the way through the shot (~7seconds) pull the first cup away and put the second one under. Do the same at ~15s with the third cup. The first cup will have a dark, dense look to it. If you taste it, it’ll be sour and maybe salty but also have some sweetness, caramel and dark fruit flavors. If your shots tend to taste too much like this you are “under-extracting”. The second cup will be sweeter and have more of a smooth, round body. A good shot of espresso needs to have a lot of this middle sweetness. The last cup will be more bitter and sharp. If your shots normally taste too much like this you are “over-extracting”. Each of these cups will be pretty unpleasant by themselves, but they add up to a delicious shot of espresso when they are all in balance. If your shots are tasting under-extracted to you, try loosening your grind setting, and conversely, try tightening the grind if they taste over-extracted.
Be sure to tweet your thoughts and comments at @alexbernson!
Before Mike Horn founded Craft Coffee he started What Is Fresh - the best online guide to farmers markets in New York City! He clearly has a love for good things (excellent coffee, fresh veggies and local foods) and fell for these crispy asparagus on his stroll through the Union Square Farmers Market.
Tweet at @mikehorn and chat with him about your favorite recipe with asparagus!