We’ve definitely been in a baking mood lately — everything from cobblers to breads to complicated Italian dishes (timpano!) — and these little vittles have definitely found a tiny place in our hearts (and not so tiny spot on our waistline!).
- 1 cup organic whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 cup organic whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground espresso powder
- 1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
- 1/4 cup raw organic cacao powder
- 1/2 cup unsalted pastured butter, softened
- 2/3 cup non-refined sugar
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 large pastured egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup fair-trade semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup raw unsweetened organic coconut flakes
- Whisk together the flour, espresso, baking soda & powder, salt and cacao.
- Beat the butter until fluffy, then beat in the sugar, egg and vanilla.
- Fold the flour mixture into the butter mixture, stirring until just combined.
- Fold in chocolate chips and coconut flakes.
- Drop dough by heaping tablespoons onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes, pulling them out while still moist and soft.
- Allow to cool 5 minutes, serve warm.
Intelligent coffee? Look, if we could get our coffee to do things like take out the trash and feed the cat, we’d be all set. Actually, that’s a little terrifying, strike that. We would, however, settle for it learning how to maintain its body temperature, but in the absence of that ability we’ll take the next best thing: A new ‘smart mug’ that incorporates a wax-like substance that can keep coffee (or any beverage, for that matter) at its optimal temp for 20 – 30 minutes! That’s right, no re-heating as you stumble through your morning.
Sounds like this is just out of the creation stages, however, so we haven’t been able to find any actual mugs for purchase on the US market, but we’ll certainly keep our eye out for them.
The Australian version of the popular blog site Gizmodo features the mad cooking skillz of one MacGyver Chef in all his ‘glory.’ Now, we’re not recommending the Poached Chicken & Couscous made in a coffeemaker recipe outlined in the blog post, but it did give us a laugh.
Maybe we shouldn’t be so precious, eh? Who knows what lengths we might reach for if we were forced to cook out of a Super 8 motel room? Something tells us we’d probably just skip the chicken prep, though, and settle in for the night with a six pack instead.
One of our favorite methods for making coffee at home is using our moka pot on the stove — sure, it’s not technically espresso, but it is a delicious, smooth brew that is a wonderful complement to a lazy Sunday afternoon. So it was with great relish that we tracked the development and evolution of OTTO, billed as the world’s best stovetop espresso maker. More than just a labor of love for engineer Craig Hiron of Sydney, Australia, OTTO is a significant achievement in function and design as well, taking the basic design of the 40′s era Atomic stovetop coffee maker and re-engineering it for a new millennium.
The folks over at CoffeeCrew got their hands on an OTTO and wrote a great review of how it works, comparing it to traditional pump-driven espresso machines and the standard moka pot. You can also check out a few videos that the makers of OTTO have produced to show off how it works. It looks like they’re shipping all over the world, with a base price of $595AU — it seems a little bit steep to us, but perhaps it will find a good home in the market usually explored by La Pavoni/lever espresso machine connoisseurs. It is a gorgeous piece of engineering, however, so if its functionality aligns with its design, it could be well worth the investment.
As folks discuss the reasoning behind Starbucks’ recent move to completely retool & rename their 15th Ave Coffee and Tea house, yet another example of the global java giant’s new approach is put on display: The redesigning of the back room of one of their Hong Kong locations to look like that city’s coffee shops from the 1950′s and 1960′s.
Literally translated as “Ice Room,” the Bing Sutt style change-up also comes with some specialized additions to the cafe’s menu to further extend the coffee chain’s connection to its local area. We love the design of the space and applaud their attempts to increase their community relevance — whether or not a face lift and menu change will revitalize their market share remains to be seen.
One thing that we really love about the world of coffee is its diverse economic lifecycle: It’s putting food on the table and roofs over the heads of millions of people, from its cultivation through its brewing. A rather rich and unique dimension of this portrait is that of the small espresso or coffee shop — and we found a couple of examples of really cool independent businesses that are worth checking out.
First up, Redeye Roasters in Hingham, MA. Based out of a brightly colored truck, Bob Weeks founded his java-on-wheels when he elected to change up careers and get out of the advertising business. In 2006, he started roasting his own beans out of his house and in the subsequent three years has grown to distributing them in specialty groceries around the Boston area. This excellent profile goes into detail on Redeye’s past and present.
Another great little operation we ran across is the Celtic-influenced White Horse Coffee and Tea Co. in Sutherlin, OR. Owner Kristin Lusk has been roasting and brewing coffee and teas to an exotic bird aviary backdrop for the last 11 years — and you can balance their Kilted Ladies of Hell blend with a cinnamon roll that measures 10 inches across! She’s been taking in “stray” exotic birds like cockatiels and parrots so often that her roost has expanded to nearly 100 birds. You can read more about White Horse in this blog post.
If you live close to either of these businesses and have had the chance to sample their goods, let us know what you think!
In this episode of coffee blog love, we’d like to introduce you to Coffee & Conservation: Are Your Beans For The Birds?
This excellent coffee and ecological blog discusses a variety of topics that pertain to how coffee agriculture affects the environment. Assessing plantation growing practices and how they affect birds, reviewing different types of coffee (including the highly sought after civet-processed coffee) and information on how drinking different brands impacts our little winged friends are just a few of the subjects addressed in this blog.
If you’re interested in keeping track of the ever evolving relationship between coffee and the environment, this blog is an awesome place to start.
In this episode of our hot action, we’re going to talk about something a little different: The video log.
A newly launched effort featuring UK roaster Steve Leighton and Dublin barista Colin Harmon, TamperTantrum is targeted towards home espresso enthusiasts that might consider themselves in the ‘prosumer’ arena — folks interested in bridging the gap between professional espresso skill and home espresso experience. The first episode is a little long, but worth the watch and we’re definitely looking forward to future videos!
Coffee Nomad records the experiments, excursions and experiences of one coffee-lovin’ Phoenician!
Chock full of reviews for coffee shops in the Phoenix area and some thoughts on different caffeine-included products that are on the market (including one hilarious record of using the terrifying substance known as 5-Hour Energy — a.k.a. Trucker Crack), this blog is fun, casual and worth a regular check in.