Zombie-Proof Film Developing

It’s important for all of us to take a step back, assess our particular activities in life and try to plan around how to handle them in the midst of a zombie attack. You might think we’re joking, but we’re not.

First on our list is to make sure that, should said zombie attack take place, we’ll still be able to develop the film from our trusty 35mm SLR camera. After all, how else will we be able to fondly look back at fighting off zombies and putting our loved ones out of their crazed misery if we don’t have any snapshots that document the experience? Sure, most of you might use digital cameras these days, but we have a special throwback love for SLRs that will probably never die — zombie infestation or not.

So you can imagine our glee upon reading about the chemical reaction qualities of instant coffee and vitamin C and how they can be used to develop film. Sure, we generally leave instant coffee related items off this blog because they’re comparatively gauche, but we have to admit that any aforementioned zombie attacks may separate us from our beloved espresso machine(s) and we might have to rough it a bit. Thankfully, now we have a handy guide to refer to whilst developing our bloodcurdling film.

Maui Coffee — Back on the Map?

We all hear about the fabulously delicious Kona coffee, grown on mostly boutique plantations located on the Big Island of Hawaii, but a renaissance in Maui-grown coffee has begun, with MauiGrown Coffee’s record-setting 2009 harvest.

The plantation in western Maui is cultivating four different types of coffee plants: Typica, Red Catuai, Yellow Caturra and a Maui-specific strain called Mokka. Once the holy land of pineapple and sugar, the commodity trends for these products have suffered quite a bit, making room for the reintroduction of coffee agriculture on Maui. Visitors to the island can arrange for a tour of the plantation, or just taste the different blends that are served up at the company’s store, located in Lahaina.

News from the Front: Gail at The International Home & Housewares Show

We sent Gail out on a little recon this past weekend, to the International Home & Housewares show in Chicago. Here’s what she’s reporting back:

Delonghi: Charity Auction
Delonghi had a few artists design different front panels for a limited edition Artista machine — only 5 of each design will be made. They plan to auction these babies off on eBay, with the proceeds benefiting Oxfam International. We’ll post an update here with photos and details once this goes live.

Hourglass Coffeemaker
We wrote about this machine last week, and Gail had a chance to meet with this group at the show. No samples yet, but it is one of only two products at the show that are made with BPA-free plastic.

Handpresso in Color
One of our favorite gadgets for delicious espresso on the go, the Handpresso team has now added different colors to their available models, plus they’ve developed a travel pack that includes a thermos for hot water, 4 demitasse cups and a carrying case — we’re looking into adding some of these to the store.

On Chicago, and Her Cheap Date Ways
“I did go to a pub called Dublin last night and experienced quite a few characters. It was one of the local hang outs. Does that count?  One guy bought a round for the bar, myself included. He was well lubed up.  I had already had one beer and was quite full from that, so I was a little disappointed I didn’t get to choose my second poison. I hadn’t had much food all day so wandered out for chow.  It was interesting and Chicago is pretty cool.”

The show ends tomorrow, so we’ll post a follow-up later this week with Gail’s final notes on the show and possibly photos of the grand event.

For Those That Are About to Rock, We Salute You

Infuse your espresso with a little heavy metal! After an incredibly creative and customized development cycle, the Slayer professional espresso machine will be introduced to the specialty coffee world at this April’s SCAA exhibition in Atlanta.

The brainchild of Seattle-based Slayer, this uniquely designed and conceived machine is an extension of Slayer’s enthusiastic mission to positively impact the coffee industry — and the world. They accentuate the art inherent in espresso, and this little baby’s design speaks volumes about their singular approach to aesthetic form and function.

We can’t wait for this machine to hit the market and, hopefully, a cafe near us so we can check it out. And we almost made it through this whole post without making references to buttrock and mullets, but clearly our restraint is limited and easily overcome.

Recipe: Meyer Lemon Pie with Chocolate Espresso Ganache

We love lemon curd but don’t really love meringue; there is a strange hollowness to the flavor that we’ve never been able to truly embrace. Whilst poking around for a yummy lemon pie recipe sans meringue, we ran across this gem that not only banishes the meringue from the picture, it includes espresso! A perfect fit for our favorite coffee related blog.

The recipe is broken down into four components:

  • Pie Crust
  • Espresso Chocolate Ganache
  • Meyer Lemon Curd
  • Candied Meyer Lemon Slices

And you can read about the full process of developing the pie here. Enjoy!

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Ah, yeah….we dig curves. Especially if they come bearing low-acidity, cool brewed coffee. Okay, they usually don’t come with that — but now they can, thanks to the Hourglass Coffee Maker.

Debuting at the International Home Housewares show this weekend in Chicago, this voluptuous little number cold brews a coffee extraction, which results in 69.6% less acidity in the java. For hot coffee, you add hot water to the extraction, or you can take the cold extraction and mix it up for an iced coffee.

We’ll be at the show and can’t wait to try it out — cool, smooth coffee never looked so good!