Kat & Gail Roast with Velton

We headed out on the road in the beautiful afternoon sunshine yesterday and took a field trip up north to Velton’s roastery, located in Everett, WA. Watch as Velton talks about his history and roasting theory and then takes us through the roasting process from green bean to bag. Yum!

Part One: Velton’s History & Roasting Theory

Part Two: From Green Bean to First Crack

Part Three: From Second Crack to Bag

New! Dammann Teas

We like to think of ourselves as equal opportunity imbibers — coffee, beer, wine, cocktails, juices, smoothies, water…and even tea. Of course. Tea, for us, is pretty simplistic: We have a deep and loving relationship with genmaicha, but we’re willing to take a new tea out on a stroll every now and again. That’s just how we roll.

Enter Dammann Teas, the fresh and potent legacy of two French brothers who wanted to do tea and wanted to do it right. Available in both loose leaf and sachet, we can’t seem to get enough of the 4 Fruit Rouges or the L’Oriental — both are rich and complex, very delicious and a wonderful afternoon treat.

If you dig teas, definitely give these a try — we think you’ll love them!

Health Watch: Caffeine & Asthma

Researchers at Indiana University have found that caffeine is as effective as an albuterol inhaler in preventing exercise induced asthma (EIA). When they combined the use of both caffeine and the inhaler, however, no additional benefits were noted.

A dosage equivalent to the amount of 9mg of caffeine per kilogram of weight was found to ease the symptoms of EIA in a manner similar to inhalers, and smaller amounts (3mg – 6mg/per kilogram) reduced the coughing, wheezing and other EIA symptoms, while not eradicating them completely.

The study’s subjects ingested differing amounts of caffeine one hour prior to running on a treadmill and their pulmonary condition was monitored 15 minutes before they started to run and then at different intervals afterward. The differing dosages were deemed to provide varying levels of relief from the symptoms, with 9mg functioning on par with the performance of an inhaler.

This study is part of a larger analysis of nutritional modifications that can be made in place of the corticosteroid used to alleviate EIA on a long-term basis. Other beneficial dietary habits found to reduce the severity of EIA include increasing fish oil and antioxidant intake while reducing salt. Researchers are interested in finding other methods for controlling or eliminating EIA without using pharmaceuticals because of the concern over long-term use and the decrease in efficacy after using the medications for prolonged periods.

Ask The Experts: How Much Electricity Does My Espresso Machine Use?

Sure, our espresso machines give us energy, but how much are they taking from the planet? We ran a test on a few of our favorites to show examples of the electricity draw and cost involved with running these machines each year. Our cost estimates are based on a national US average of $.11/kWh — you can find more accurate data for your specific area here.

Machine Name & Type kWh Used Estimated Annual Cost

Jura Ena 3 & 4

Superautomatic

.17/day

62.05/year

$6.83

Jura Impressa Z7

Superautomatic w/One-Touch

.24/day

87.6/year

$9.64

Rancilio Silvia V3

Semi-Automatic w/Single Boiler

.81/day

295.65/year

$32.52

Rocket Espresso Cellini Premium Plus

Semi-Automatic w/Heat Exchange

1.91/day

691.15/year

$76.03

Incidentally, we measured how much kWh it took to make a one-touch cappuccino on the Jura Z7 and found that it was .02kWh — at $.11/kWh, that means you’d need to make about 5 cappuccinos to rack up 1 cent in energy costs!

Recipe: Espresso Cocktail

We’re ramping up for a gorgeous weekend and it’s times like these that inspire us to break out the cocktail shaker and amp up our booze. Check out this delicious recipe — a twist on the classic caffe corretto.

Ingredients

  • Ice
  • 1 1/2 ounces grappa
  • 3/4 ounce coffee liqueur, such as Patron XO or Tia Maria
  • 1 ounce chilled espresso coffee
  • Whipped cream, for garnish (optional)

Directions

Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add the grappa, coffee liqueur and chilled espresso. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds, then strain into a cocktail (martini) glass. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.

The Great Vita-Mix Experiment 2009

Well…maybe it’s not that great — but it was fun and that’s about 63.4% of the reason why we do things around here. Gail shows us the ins and outs of the awesome Vita-Mix Professional Series blender, which we wrote about earlier this month, and even whips up a couple of experimental smoothies for our refreshment. We cannot stress enough how deeply we adore this blender — it’s unnatural!