Recipe: Mexican Spiced Coffee

If Mexico isn’t on your travel itinerary this year, you can always pretend you’re hanging out with the locals by creating this delicious spiced coffee concoction. This will make enough for three cups of coffee, so invite over your pals for a little fiesta after your siesta!

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup of your favorite ground drip coffee
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons sweetener of your choice

Directions

  1. Combine coffee, cinnamon and nutmeg in coffee filter or in filter basket of an electric drip coffee maker
  2. Pour water into water reservoir of coffee maker.
  3. Combine sweetener and orange juice in carafe of coffee maker
  4. Brew and serve black, with milk and/or sugar as desired.

To All The Ladies In The House

Economic equality between genders is still quite disparate around the world, and the coffee cultivation industry is no different. In many places, women cannot even own the land they work and if their father or husband dies, the ownership reverts to the state or another male relative, regardless of who is inhabiting and working the land. There are many organizations that are working around the world to change this, because one of the major contributors to cyclical poverty is if a country does not support the personal ownership of land and property. Of course, the reasons for a state to not promote this kind of empowerment are varied and complex — and often can be attributed to long-held cultural beliefs around class and status. Since women are often considered a lower class in many parts of the world, they don’t have a lot of rights around changing laws and systems in order to improve their circumstances.

One project in the coffee industry that is taking on this issue is Cafe Femenino, a consortium of female coffee cultivators that seeks to secure land rights and financial security for its members. What began as a group effort by Peruvian coffee farmers in 2004 has grown into an international organization, which is supported, in part, by the Vancouver, WA, based Organic Products Trading Co. OPTCO is the sole importer of the coffee grown by member farmers and resells to many roasters and retailers around the US.

Learn more about Cafe Femenino, the evolution of the project, where you can purchase this coffee in order to support its growth and Organic Product Trading Co.’s history by visiting the project’s website.

Brew Tip: Dialing in Your Grinder

If you’ve just picked up a new grinder or an espresso machine/grinder package and you’re wondering how to get it setup for that perfect shot extraction, check out this video. Gail shows us how to calibrate a grinder with an espresso machine and discusses tips for determining the extraction level and tweaking your puck.

Giro D’Italia Giotto Charitable Auction Status

We were able to secure one more limited edition Giro D’Italia Giotto, so we’ve auctioned three so far and now have three more to go!

This beautiful espresso machine is limited to only 100 total in production, and we’re the only folks to have imported them into the US! Get this gorgeous and functional collector’s item while also contributing to the wonderful cause Coffee Kids. The auctions are closing at around the price of the non-limited edition model, and all proceeds will be donated to the charity, so please help us raise some cash!

Watch Gail show us the unique features of these machines as they compare to the Giotto Premium Plus — the differences are aesthetic only and this machine functions exactly the same as the Giotto.

Crew Review: Nespresso Capsule Espresso Machines

Looking for a quick, easy and relatively mess-free start to your day? The patented Nespresso capsule espresso machine may be the one for you. Taking all of the guesswork out of making your coffee — something that many of us require before, say, noon — Nespresso provides you with delicious variations of capsules and an easy-to-use system with which to extract them.

The good is all about the different modern designs available from this series (we personally love the ‘cube’ line) as well as its simplified functionality and great tasting espresso. The bad? Well, there’s a lot of waste involved here — every cup produces a used capsule, so if you’re trying to cut down on your non-organic waste, this would not be a good choice. Also, you have to order the capsules directly from Nespresso because they don’t resell them to any retailers — we hear the shipping is fast and efficient, however, which may end up being more convenient for the online shoppers among us. The capsules cost between $.50 and $.70/pop, so keep that in mind when you’re looking at the long term costs of owning this machine.

You’ve Got Great Taste: Coffee Flavor Profiles

The world of coffee sometimes seems a little bit overwhelming — even to us! When we’re working with folks to pick the right machine to meet their needs or discussing the different coffee flavors inherent to different bean blends, we often hear the refrain that many people just want coffee to taste “good.”

Like any vague and subjective descriptor, “good” is defined differently by each of us, and how we achieve that “good” flavor is going to be similarly unique. Finding the blueberry or jasmine in a particular blend of coffee doesn’t have to involve pretension as much as it involves your particular sense of smell. Since flavor itself is defined as the combination of two sensory experiences — that of taste and smell — then your unique anatomical make-up regarding these two sensory systems will define your experiences of all foods, including coffee.