All posts filed under: guests

How about some coffee in New York?

“Welcome to New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there’s nothing you can’t do.” These words perfectly describe New York. Perfectly describe the coffee scene. Perfectly describe the people there. I have had the massive privilege of travelling to the amazing New York City twice in the past six months. I have experienced, seen and tasted so much awesomeness that it only seems fair that I share such experiences with you. If you are a coffee lover, love experiences and want to know where to get the best cup in the Big Apple, then this article is for you. I first want to preface this article by telling you what the coffee scene is like in this City. One word comes to mind: explosive. Absolutely explosive. I was in the city for over three weeks and every day I made it my mission to visit at least two to three stores a day. I wanted to meet baristas, I wanted them to make and tell me about their coffee and take some nice …

10 Excellent Gifts for Coffee Lovers

Finding a good gift for someone can often be pretty difficult. If you know someone who is a big fan of coffee, however, the task can become a lot easier. That’s because there are so many amazing gift options out there for people who adore the caffeinated beverage to bits. If you want to make an important coffee lover in your life smile, these 10 gift options should definitely do the trick for you. Shopping for coffee enthusiasts can be easy. They often don’t care much about apparel design and expensive bags. They just love their daily cups of joe! Maple Bacon Coffee There are many adventurous coffee lovers in this world. There are also quite a few interesting and quirky coffee flavor options out there. If you want to please your number one coffee lover, consider giving him or her some maple bacon coffee. The combination of maple and bacon may sound odd but is actually a favorite among many people everywhere. It’s a wonderful A.M. coffee option, too. Candy With Caffeine People who …

How to drink coffee… like an Italian

What could be better than enjoying a coffee… in Italy? Knowing what to order, and how (and when) to drink coffee like an Italian! That’s because Italian coffee isn’t like coffee in the United States or anywhere else. Even the names don’t mean what you might expect. Take a story we heard from one traveler to Italy. Since she was familiar with the “Italian” lingo of coffee from Starbucks, she thought she was all set when she arrived in Italy and, proudly, ordered a “latte.” The server looked at her funny. “Latte? Caldo o freddo?” (Hot or cold?). She spoke a little Italian, so it was her turn to look at him funny: “Caldo, of course!” she said. He disappeared for a moment, came back, and handed her a cup of exactly what she’d asked for—hot milk. Don’t want that to be you? Then it’s worth knowing a little bit about coffee in Italy! Here are some starting tips. A “bar” is really a “cafe” The number of places labeled “bar” in your average Italian city would make you think all Italians have a …

How to make your coffeeshop a catalyst for change

“Learn to make coffee, make coffee, chat, drink coffee, chat, change the world.” That pretty much sums up what it’s like to be a Green Bean at Vintage Coffee. But it is so much more that! Green Beans are an important part of who we are and what we do at Vintage. Vintage Coffee is driven by a simple, yet radical mission: to add value to our city one cup of quality coffee at a time. We actively do this by, firstly, giving a portion of our profits to different non-profit organisations every month and, secondly, by supporting four orphans by means of an established trust fund. Vintage Coffee started because we saw a need in our community and wanted our business to be a catalyst for change.  Consequently, we are a for-profit business that benefits non-profit organisations in and around our city. Vintage Coffee has found a way to give back to the community in the hopes that the profit donated will add value to the non-profit organisations, which will, in turn, add value …

Here’s why your next holiday needs to be to Vietnam

Viet Nam, a diverse Southeast Asian country bordering Cambodia, Laos, and China, has a lot to offer to a curious traveler, with the sprawling Mekong River Delta and non-stop rhythm of Saigon in the South, relaxed rural pace of Hoi An in the country’s center, and the stunning landscapes surrounding the capital, Hanoi, in the North. Charting a course from the South to the North, let’s embark on an in-depth exploration of this fascinating country, with stops below serving as guideposts to your own journey. South Vietnam: The energy, youth, and future of Viet Nam is here, in Saigon (officially known as Ho Chi Minh City). So is the foreign investment, the startups, and the momentum. The city is on fire and does not stop; there are more motorbikes than people in this metropolitan of more than 8 million – cross the roads at your own risk! The city is divided into 24 districts. Most visitors stay in Districts 1 and 2, but a more authentic experience awaits outside of this overdeveloped, backpacker-friendly scene. Districts …

The Midlands has a new coffee hotspot

The part of my ongoing education in coffee which I am enjoying the most is the discovery. Discovering new coffees, new perspectives and new coffee shops. And after I saw  photographer and designer Julie Patrick‘s lovely photo essay, one spot that’s made in onto my bucket list is Ground Coffee House in Hilton, KZN. Here’s a sample of the photographs that inspired me to add it to my 2017 list of coffee places to see. To see more, go to her blog post on this new hotspot in Hilton.

What is Speciality Coffee?

To this question, one cannot merely state what it is, but rather comment on what their individual perspective is to this illusive question. This question was recently asked by good friend and special friend of the coffee community, Ben Carlson, during a gathering and presentation on the work he and his family are doing in Burundi to share these amazing coffees with the world. Of course, the initial discussion around this question was surrounded around the grading aspect of the delicious and wonderful cherry and bean. Beans are graded due to the uniformity of size, shape, colour, density, and defects/ taints. But I don’t believe in this being the sole definition of what ‘speciality’ is. I refer back to my 2015 World Barista Championship presentation. I pushed back on who defines what is speciality, and how it’s decided. For me, to an extent, I don’t believe that only a buyer/ ‘green bean grader’ can solely define that. I went to the WBC with a coffee from Adam Overton, of Gesha Village Coffee Estate in Ethiopia. …

A guide to coffee brewing techniques

A Guide to Coffee Brewing Techniques People have been drinking coffee for hundreds of years. The earliest evidence of coffee being roasted and brewed goes back to the 15th-Century in Yemen (Weinberg et al., 2001).   They simply roast and ground the coffee before throwing it into a pot with hot water. Over the years, the methods used to brew coffee have evolved considerably. While some cultures still use very simple brewing techniques, others have developed elaborate machines that are carefully designed to create the perfect cup coffee! In this article Arik Weiss, CEO and Founder of London based Doppio Coffee will examine the most common brewing techniques that can make a delicious cup of coffee. Coffee Brewing Techniques There are several methods for brewing coffee, but they can all be classified in one of four ways: Decoction (Boiling): This is the technical name for extraction via boiling. Coffee grounds are placed in boiling water to extract their flavour. Gravitational feed (Filtering): Coffee is usually placed in a filter of some kind and hot water is …

There’s a coffee culture brewing in Saigon. You just have to know where to find it.

The day I first set foot on a Saigon street by myself, without anyone demanding my attention, a cacophony of honking, scooters speeding by, and construction work greeted my morning. I took out from my pocket a newly bought reporter style notebook. In it is a list of cafés I curated myself from various blogs, writing down the ones that caught my interest – making sure I wrote each one’s idiosyncrasy. Most of them were within a two-kilometer radius from where I stayed so everything was a few minutes’ walk. Which café to visit all came down to an arbitrary decision. Never has the selection process of where to drink coffee been this interesting Being a tourist, I did not care to equip myself a local phone plan. That meant that my connectivity to the rest of the world and Google was kept within the walls of my apartment. Nevertheless, I had managed to load the route to the day’s choice café. After a few minutes’ saunter in the Saigon heat, I found that I …

This looks like a must-visit coffee shop in Toronto

Is it too late to say sorry? I’m not even sure how this post got so delayed and thus forgotten… Sorry Coffee Co. was the first coffee shop I visited in 2016 because it was a high priority on my ‘to visit’ list. I’m so glad to say I wasn’t disappointed and it turned out to be better than I could imagine! Sorry Coffee Co. was a newly opened coffee shop inside of the store Kit and Ace on Bloor street, in the Yorkville area. I wasn’t exactly sure where the store was so I wandered around Bloor street till I came across Kit and Ace and went straight to the back. The coffee area is quite small in size, a nice cozy space in the back of the retail store. I was fortunate when I went inside there were still a few seats unoccupied so I snagged a window seat! I loved the décor around the café, it was modern, clean and minimalistic which was perfect for photos! I went up to the marble …