To The Mountains.. of New Mexico

January 15, 2009 · Filed Under Uncategorized · 1 Comment 

Taos Mountain

I am leaving for Taos tomorrow morning, and the mystery plagues me as usual.

The mystery of how to get a propper extraction from a non-pressurized brew method when the boiling point is ~199F, which means that by the time it hits the coffee, it’s probably closer to 190, if you’re lucky.  If you don’t have the luxury of having a means to actually get your hands ON boiling water, it becomes even more of a challenge.

Last time, I brought a whirly blade grinder.  I suppose this isn’t much of an issue for most parts of Texas, but it’s early ski season, and if anyone else will be making a trip to the rockies, it might be useful to know how to prepare.

This year, I’m going to pre-grind my coffee.  Yes, terrible, I know, and in direct contradiction to the article below.  The problem that I had on the last trip, was that the blade grinder left the average particle size being much too large for adequate extraction, especially considering the amount of heat energy we were working with in the solvent(water).

So, I’m pre-grinding the coffee at roughly an espresso setting into individual zip-top bags in hopes that it won’t be TOO far gone by the time we get to brewing.

This may beg the question.  Is freshness king?  Well, in a case such as this one, unfortunately, the answer appears to be “no”.  If I can get a properly extracted stale cup of coffee, or a horribly extracted fresh cup of coffee, it seems I would tend to prefer the former.  I can deal with stale coffee, provided it’s good coffee, and I am hoping that pregrinding tomorrow morning coffee that was roasted on the 13th to be brewed the next day at roughly 7,000ft. will not have lost all of its CO2 aromatic luster.

Stay tuned.  Reports on the findings to come next week.

Have a great weekend!

"No, There's no place like Home for the Holidays"

December 29, 2008 · Filed Under Uncategorized · Comment 

The lack of posts, and the lack of activity here is directly related to the Christmas season.

Like many others, I left town to visit family.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! (or Hannukah)

I visited a few coffee houses on the trip, and was reminded of how much there is to do.  Despite how awesome COE winning coffees and new gem-like discoveries are, and no matter how big of a splash they make, the wake never really makes it all the way to the heart of where it really matters:  the average neighborhood coffee house.

They are almost always full of great people, and this is one of the aspects I loved when I first got interested in coffee.

So, if you find yourself traveling for New Years, good luck!  Better yet, forgo the luck factor and bring your own coffee.  (but don’t be afraid to try what’s around.. there are some undiscovered gems out there.)

The 2008 Texas Coffee People Holiday Sale Guide

December 18, 2008 · Filed Under Uncategorized · Comment 

The Texas Coffee People Holiday Sale Guide

It’s here, and just in time.

Mouse-over the “About” tab, and scroll down.
Or, you can just Click Here.

Thanks to the Duncan Coffee Comany for giving our readers a discount!

Thanks also to the Texas Grinder Company for their long-running offer of a discount for readers.  (unfortunately, if you have not ordered by now, it will not be in time for Christmas, so it is not on the guide)

If you would like to be included in this sale guide, HURRY!  It won’t last long!

ATTN: Coffee Roasters, Retailers, and All Other Sellers of Goods in Texas

November 30, 2008 · Filed Under Uncategorized · Comment 

The Holiday Season is upon us.

With the coming of the holiday season (and maybe partially due to the progressing recession) many roasters, retailers, equiment suppliers, and other businesses have slashed prices on some items, put together money-saving package deals, and perhaps have start promoting holiday specials.

We at Texas Coffee People would like to help both the businsses as well as the consumers.

It can be difficult to find gifts for certain friends and family members, and coffee is always welcome in my house, and I am under the impression that great coffee is always a great stocking stuffer, and for the real coffee lovers, what better to pair it with than a new brewing, grinder, or storage gadget?

This is a call-out:

If you have any holiday specials going on, and you want to let our readers aware,
let us know!

We would like to put together a list of holiday specials and gift items as a resource for folks who may not otherwise be aware of your product line, specials, or have simply forgotten that your business exists when they are shopping this holiday season.

So, if this is something you think you would like to get in on, shoot us an email through our contact page (linked above) to find out about the details of this offer.  This is the first year we have offered this service, and if it goes well, we’ll probably continue it again for the next year.

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 26, 2008 · Filed Under Uncategorized · Comment 

For those who are traveling, be safe!

Enjoy the long weekend, and stuff yourself silly (unless you’re not into that sort of thing.)

Hawaii Bill 361 Banning GMO's passed, vetoed, and then passes!

November 17, 2008 · Filed Under Uncategorized · Comment 

This is something I’ve been following from the good folks on the newgroup for awhile (specifically from the people at SmithFarms in Kona).

They just keep fighting the good fight out in the Pacific.  They tried to pass jurisdiction that required a specific percentage of Kona coffee to be in a blend that can be labled “Kona Blend” a good whila go, and it failed. (|Kona Coffee and Kona Blends: A plea for your help (old site) ) + (|Kona Coffee Legislation Update (old site) )

Then, there is Bill 361:

Basic facts:

Bill# 361 protects taro and coffee from genetic engineering on the Big Island.  It was unanimously passed by the Hawai’i County Council on October 8th in response to overwhelming public support and testimony.

I read just the other day that the bill’s veto was overridden, so the bill has effectively passed!

Great news for our coffee growing friends(and taro farmers) in Hawaii!

I just wanted to pass this along.

Coffee N Cream Grand Opening (2nd location): Allen, TX

November 12, 2008 · Filed Under Uncategorized · 2 Comments 

I received an email today from the folks at Coffee N Cream to let me know about the grand opening of their second location. (I didn’t know they had one in the works in the first place!)

They write,

Please come out N celebrate with Neighbors N Friends the Grand Opening of our newest Coffee N Cream!!
When: Saturday, November 15, 7-10p (Come and go)
Where: The Village At Allen 190 E. Stacy Rd, Allen TX 75002 (Hwy 75 and Stacy Rd)
Live music featuring Nicole Conrad!
We’ll be debuting some of our CNC Own Baked(tm) creations – fresh from our kitchen…a Coffee N Cream first!  Cookies…banana bread…cupcakes…muffins, N more.  Some yummy hors d’oeuvres too.
We look forward to seeing you Saturday night!
Warmly – Mary and John
So, if you happen to be in the area, it might be worth checking out!

New Poll: Does Latte Art Matter?

November 12, 2008 · Filed Under Uncategorized · 4 Comments 

It seems that latte art is becoming more and more commonplace as more baristas take it upon themselves to master this decoration of espresso based milk drinks that seems to have become a phenomenon of popularity and a perceived mark of achievement. (whether this is true or not is quite debatable, and if you so choose to, you can debate it in the forums)

So, the poll is in place.  What do you think?  When you are visiting a shop, is latte art expected?  If they are not pouring art, do you feel something is missing? Do you consider latte art a novelty not worth paying attention to?

Cast your vote, and tell us what you think.  The poll can be found on the sidebar to the left of this post.

Fredericksburg Gourmet Coffee & Tea: Fredricksburg, TX

November 10, 2008 · Filed Under Uncategorized · 1 Comment 

I received an email a few days ago from this roaster-retailer asking to be added to our list(s).

The message was short,

15 Years in business. Diedrich Roaster
Coffee, Fair Trade, Organic,Water Decaf, non-alergenic Flavors
60-70 loose teas

Their website has lead me to believe that they roast in-house on a Diedrich.  They also push the “fresh” agenda as is evidenced by this image taken from the “coffee” tab on their website.

They have quite a variety of coffees on hand, it seems!  Many more than most roasters in our list.

Fredricksburg Gourmet Coffee & Tea has been added to our List of Roasters and our List of Retailers.

The 2008 SCRBC is History!

November 4, 2008 · Filed Under Uncategorized · Comment 

Congrats to the Podium finishers!

1.  Clancy Rose (Cuveé Coffee)

2.  Patrick Peirce (Caffé Medici)

3.  Lorenzo Perkins (Caffé Medici)

We had a lot more competitors this year, and it was really a competition!  It was exciting to see the overall improvement of the regional competition caliber, and it was nice to finally put a few faces to a few names.

It was also nice to see some more judges from OUR region as well.  Last year, I think Chuck Gutilla was the only one.  This year, we had Bill Giffen, Chuck G. again, Aaron Heil, and a few others whose names I was not previously familiar with, so forgive me if I’ve left you out. (you can let me know, and I’ll add you to the list!)

The winner gets a trip to the USBC in Portland, OR in the spring.

Thanks to all the competitors who came to strut their stuff, both returning as well as new competitors.  We hope to see at least this many again next year.  Viva Barista!

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