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Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Perfect Cup of Coffee

Ok kids...this is m first post so listen up...haha j/k

Alot of people I know seem to always store their coffee incorrectly (my roomate being one of them). The second a coffee bean has finished roasting, time, temperature, and the air around us work against it to compromise its quality; a perfect bean becomes less so with every passing hour, losing flavor and character the longer it’s stored.

The purchase date of your coffee isn’t nearly as important as the roasting date, so when buying coffee, look to be sure it was recently roasted. Jerry recommends buying beans in small quantities to prevent them from sitting for too long in storage. Many people will tell you to put your coffee in the refrigerator but when I was employed at Starbucks, they said just the opposite. I would suggest keeping it in an air-tight container in a dark spot (such as a cabinet) and be sure you kep it away from dampness. Coffee beans have a shelf live of about 6 months after they are roasted and about a life span of about two weeks once ground.

To achieve the freshest flavor, grind your coffee just before you brew it. Small grinders are inexpensive and easy to find—just be sure to wipe them out with a paper towel after each use. When grinding the beans, gently rotate the grinder to ensure that the beans are evenly ground.

Using the best water available is essential when making coffee; if your tap water has an unpleasant taste, you can purchase a purifying filter. One problem inherent in many coffeemakers is that the temperature of the water isn’t hot enough when it pours over the ground beans; what results is a blander, far less interesting brew. For best results, I recommend using a French press, instead of an electric coffeemaker.

In a kettle, bring water to a boil, then let it stand for about a minute. Use two level tablespoons of ground coffee for each six ounces of water, or two ounces per quart. (Follow the same instructions if you’re brewing decaffeinated coffee, but increase the ratio slightly to enhance the flavor. If the brewed coffee is too strong, you can add a bit more water to dilute it.) Place the coffee in the press pot, and pour the water over it. If it bubbles, this is another sign of its freshness; fresh coffee releases gas as it comes into contact with hot water, a process called blooming. Gently slosh the water in the pot to saturate all the grounds, and allow them to steep for two to three minutes. Carefully push the press pot’s top (which contains the filter) to the bottom of the pot, and pour the coffee into heated mugs.

That my friend's is your way to the perfect cup of coffee. =)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Coffeehouses are 21st century malt shops

Jack Vaughn munched on a ham sandwich and sipped a café latte Monday afternoon at Java Jaay coffee shop on Sixth Avenue Southeast.

Vaughn, who moved to Decatur in April, lives only five minutes from Java Jaay, which offers books, meeting rooms, wireless Internet and cozy corners with couches. The coffee aroma-filled café has become his second home.

"You walk in the door, they call you by name," he said. "These are the only people who call me Jack."

Along with other Java Jaay franchises, several other area coffee shops have sprung up in the past five years, as the trend has spread from coffee-obsessed Seattle to northern Alabama. The coffee shop culture is fueled by consumers like Vaughn who love going somewhere — other than on a TV set in Boston — where everybody knows your name.

The trend is so strong that from 1999 to 2004, the number of coffeehouses nationwide increased from 12,000 to 19,000, according to the New York-based National Coffee Association. The NCA has tracked detailed coffee consumption statistics for more than 50 years.

Source: The Decatur Daily

Friday, October 13, 2006

Early or latte, cafe can be workplace

A news article discusses how today, all you need to create a workplace is a cup of Joe and an Internet connection. And of course your neighborhood provides the perfect solution. The articles further states "Fitness trainer Terrence Thomas, 32, regularly stakes out a spot in Borders, or Starbucks. On this day, Thomas wears his polo shirt emblazoned with his company logo, a free billboard for his upstart business. He checks his e-mail, zips off a few, too. His new office in Hallandale Beach will be ready soon. In the meantime, the Aventura Borders suits him fine.

"I’ll probably come here even when I have an office," Thomas said. "You know, for a change of pace."

Could this be a new avenue for business incubators? I think it's definately something to look into. I know many freelancers who chooses the local coffee house for their office or at least to meet clients for lack of one.

What are your thoughts?