up in the morning
it’s dark i should be sleeping
drinking my coffee
up in the morning
up in the morning
it’s dark i should be sleeping
drinking my coffee
Yesterday, was CoffeeCON 2013 (@coffeecon2013) and it was amazing!
Before going to CoffeeCON, I was finally able to meet up with Ruthann (@RAWiesner) for breakfast. She took me to a place where they bring donuts to the table like they bring rolls or chips and salsa at other places.
How can you not love a place like that? I had an amazing frittata with spinach, bacon and tomatoes. Yum!
Then it was off to the event du jour: CoffeeCON!
Just opening the door you know was fabulous because you could smell all of the different coffee offerings.
When we got to CoffeeCON, we found my twitter friend, Debra (@debramariem).
Debra is terrific, too, and we had fun hanging out together, visiting the vendor booths, the classes and our other twitter friends,
One of the things I was most looking forward to was talking to the roasters. There were several different options there including a woman who was roasting beans with a heat gun (yes, like the one from Lowe’s) and a guy who had repurposed his hot air popcorn popper to roast coffee. He was very excited with his roaster and was cute to listen to.
There were two roasters, though, that had machines that seem like what I would use to roast coffee which I believe is the next frontier for me.
We watched coffee demos and attended a couple of classes.
I was really taken with the siphon coffee maker and think I’m going to have to have one of those. I was sad that we didn’t get to see the Turkish Coffee demo. She had some kind of a water issue but I did get the instructions for making the coffee so will be trying that at home soon.
Right before I left, I thanked the show producer, Kevin Sinnot (@coffeekevin), for his fabulous event. He wanted to interview me because I had come from Oklahoma for the show. I did that and said my goodbyes.
It was such a great time. Great coffee, great people. I can’t wait to return next year and bring/meet more friends. Will you join me?
I first learned of CoffeeCON last year after my friend Robert Caruso (@fondalo) returned. I checked out the website and made my mind up right then and there that I was going to be there this year. I mean, really, as a coffee achiever, is there a more perfect place for me?
One of the reasons I’m excited about going is for the coffee, of course. After my trip to Eight O’Clock Coffee, I fulfilled one dream: to learn how to cup coffee.
While I was at Eight O’Clock Coffee, I talked to Glenn quite a bit about roasting coffee beans. It sparked a new dream: to learn how to roast my own coffee. There will be coffee roasters at CoffeeCON that I can talk to and learn more about this. Exciting!
Although I asked if I really have to go to class, I’m super excited about learning more about different coffee topics. After living in the Middle East, I grew extra fond of Turkish Coffee. I’m very much looking forward to the Turkish Coffee demo I see on the schedule. I have a ton of cardamom pods that are just waiting for something in my cupboard.
I will try (really hard) not to be the class clown so we can all learn something.
An absolutely awesome side benefit of attending CoffeeCON is that I get to meet some of my favorite twitter friends in real life! I’m so looking forward to meeting @fondalo, @coffeenate,
@RAWiesner and @thatsalrighty.
If you’re going to @Coffeecon2013, be sure to look me up and say hi!
Look out Chicago, I’m coming home!
So, now that things have slowed down a bit, I really need to tell you about my amazing trip to Washington, DC as the guest of Eight O’Clock Coffee.
Back in the summer when David was doing the project in Amarillo, I got a direct message on twitter from the Eight asking for my email address. I gave it to them and then wondered what they could want. I speculated while talking to David but really had absolutely no idea.
I’ve been drinking Eight O’Clock Coffee since I was 15. I remember going to the A&P grocery store when I was little and they had a bright red package and a grinding machine. I have loved the smell of fresh ground coffee my whole life as far as I can remember. I was eagerly waiting to hear what Eight O’Clock Coffee wanted to talk to me about that took more than 140 characters.
Then came the email. They had selected me as a Super Fan and wanted to find out what date would work for me to come to DC for a visit to see their coffee operation.
OMG! I was beyond excited!
“I wonder if we’ll get to cup coffee?”, I asked David.
Several years ago, I was marketing director at a sensory lab and that was where I learned about cupping coffee. We analyzed all types of foods, beverages and personal care products but not coffee because that’s a whole different ball game.
So I gave Jaime my information and waited to find out when I was going and what we would do. When I got my itinerary, there it was, “Plant Tour/Cupping Session”. I was SO excited!
When I arrived in DC, they picked me up at the airport in a limo.
They drove me to the Embassy Row Hotel where I was given a goodie bag full of fun stuff and my room. We all met in the lobby for dinner.
I met my sister super fans, Holly and her husband Bill, Donna and her husband, Rudy, and Ronda. Also, I met Jaime and Lori from the S3 Agency who made sure we were where we were supposed to be.
The first night, we went to dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. YUMMMMY! The only bad thing is that Ruth’s Chris doesn’t serve Eight O’Clock Coffee and I think the waiter was a little intimidated by us coffee achievers when we ordered coffee after dinner.
I was lucky to be seated across the table from Glenn for dinner. Not that everyone wasn’t fabulous. They were. But Glenn had been in the coffee business since he was 18 years old, working himself into his current position where he buys the beans, cups the coffee and makes incredible new flavors like the Chocolate Mint they rolled out around Christmas time and we were treated to the following day.
I transformed, groupie-style, into a Glenn monopolizer and I don’t think anyone else got a chance to talk to him at dinner.
The following morning we had breakfast at the hotel with Alisa, Director of Marketing. She basically held a focus group with us on things that could be done differently or better. I heard a lot of good ideas around that table!
We got fabulous red fleece jackets!
We were welcomed at the door. And again at lunch time.
We were then taken on a tour of the roasting facility. We had to remove all of our jewelry except for our wedding rings so that nothing would fall into the coffee.
Then we got another gorgeous outfit: white coats, goggles and a hairnet!
We got to see all phases of the coffee operation including the flavoring which smelled AMAZING. It was Hazelnut!
Then, finally, the moment I had been waiting for. We went to the cupping room and they taught us how to cup coffee. In the end, it really wasn’t too different than sensory testing of foods/beverages that I had already experienced. I was pretty good with a spit cup, having had previous experience.
After that we went back to DC and dinner at the Old Ebbitt Grill which was delicious! I can highly recommend the Peanut Butter Pie.
Then back to our hotel to sleep and get ready for an early trip back to the airport.
And there you have it. My awesome Eight O’Clock Coffee trip to DC. It was so amazing, I can hardly believe it really happened. What I learned on my trip was that the people who make Eight O’Clock Coffee are as awesome as the coffee that they produce. As excited as we all were to be there, they were equally excited to have us there. It was so cool.
I tweet about Eight O’Clock Coffee and I’m so excited when I see my friends trying it and enjoying it like I do. Not because of a trip to DC but because the coffee is truly wonderful and it makes me happy to be the bearer of such great coffee information.
Thank you again, Eight O’Clock Coffee. I had the most incredible time and I will never forget your hospitality!
PS – At Christmas time, I got a box from the UPS man. What could it be?
Coffee!!! I thought, “Oh they love me! It’s my favorite French Roast!”
Yesterday on twitter, I started seeing all of these tweets.
Hmmm Kred. I had been there at least once. I always go and check things out to see what they are about, if they are useful. I see people giving other people +Kred (whatever that is) but I don’t live in there and the number certainly doesn’t concern me.
Still, I was intrigued and clicked through to see my score. Hmm. It’s pretty high? Why am I not a 1% Elite Kredster? In the middle of a tornadic afternoon, I found myself starting to feel concerned, ripped off even, that I hadn’t made the cut.
Well, in my inbox this morning was the golden email. There it was:
Thank God they realized it! Ha!
In the light of day, well, it’s still dark but as I sit here with my new prize, I come back to the idea I’ve believed since Klout started messing around with their algorithms, I’m not a number!
I deactivated my Klout account several algorithm changes ago because, the way I read it, I was going to be penalized for interacting with “less influential” persons than myself. I call BS on that!
I love all of the people I meet on twitter. It’s such a rich and diverse group that you’d have a hard time assembling in real life on a daily basis. I learn and gain from ALL of them not just the top dog Klout wise.
When I started seeing articles that employers weren’t even looking at your resume’ if you didn’t have a certain Klout score, I thought, “now the world has really gone mad”.
I think that within my sphere I am influential to a certain degree. When I get excited, people get excited right along with me. I can see this with my own eyes and I don’t need a number to prove it.
I have gotten some very nice, real life, tokens of appreciation from various brands because of this quality. I haven’t even blogged about my trip to Washington DC as a guest of Eight O’Clock Coffee and I really should. It was a dream trip. Did they look at my Klout score to pick me? No, I don’t think so because when you go to Klout and look for me, you see this:
No, they saw me actually influencing others regarding their brand. I’ve been drinking their coffee since I was 15. It’s my favorite and it’s not a secret. I drink it, I hoard it, I tweet about it. This is real, not some put on. They noticed, called me a Super Fan, and flew me to DC for the experience of a lifetime.
I think the numbers are probably fun to a certain extent but should they mean anything in real life? I would give a hearty NO! to that.
So, if my klout score is the reason that someone will or won’t hire me, I guess I’m destined to be an unemployed trophy wife forever. Dang the bad luck!
So I’m a coffee achiever. I’ve gotta have it. And I don’t take any chances when I travel.
If we travel by car, I have a small Mr. Coffee pot that I take, along with coffee and filters.
A few years ago, hotels started putting pod coffee makers in their rooms. I’m not a cup at a time gal and this did present a challenge to me since when you fly in the US, it’s a little harder to take the 4 cup pot and most rooms don’t have kettles for hot water.
So Macgyvering was born.
And it’s been mostly successful.
Here’s how you do it.
You’ll need to bring your filters and your coffee.
Take the filter and tear it so it will fit into the pod space.
Hopefully, you’ll get a nice, delicious cup of coffee instead of nasty hotel pod coffee.
Now, I must caution you. The rectangular pod makers are easier for me to use since I like strong coffee. This was my first experience with a round pod and it just didn’t let me use as much coffee as I would have liked. Still it was a better cup of coffee.
If you overfill the coffee in this maker, you could be surprised early morning style by an explosion that will send you pushing your chair backwards but laughing nonetheless.
So there you have it. How to have great coffee while staying in a hotel. Macgyver it.
Or white rice. As the case may be.
We stopped eating white rice (and all white things i.e. flour, sugar, etc.) a while ago so it seemed odd to put that bag of white rice into the shopping cart last week. But my coffee grider was dirty.
Yep, we grind our coffee (or whack our beans as we lovingly refer to it ) every morning. After a while there is a quite a build up in the grinder. This build up can cause the beans not to grind evenly and even make the coffee not taste as good as it previously did.
Using white rice is the simplest way I know of to clean the blade coffee grinder.
Exhibit A: Here’s the grinder after a week or so of whacking beans.
So to clean it, add white rice
and process like you are grinding coffee. You will notice that all of the caked on coffee and oils will become mixed up with the ground rice. Empty it out and…..
Shiny as new.
Super simple, super cheap, and hopefully, bringing you some great coffee!
Coffee I love you
Hot, dark, deeply tasty brew
In my morning cup
You know I’m a coffee achiever. So when I see recipes that contain coffee, I make plans to make them. I got this recipe for Coffee Chicken the other day and I knew, with some minor modifcations, I could make it paleo friendly.
I know that the one thing that will derail the Paleo Train here is if David has to come up with his own meals. I can eat the same thing over and over again, but it’s not so easy with him.
Consequently, we’ve had some terrific meals over the past week even though it’s created an unbelievable amount of dirty dishes! I just can’t seem to cook without using every pot and spatula in the kitchen. Thank goodness for the dishwasher which is now running about three times a day.
So the coffee chicken was terrific. Kind of a coffee flavored barbeque sauce. It was easy but be sure to plan for the one hour baking time. The recipe said to baste it every 15 minutes and I did it the first couple of times but the sauce stayed on the chicken pretty well.
2-3 pounds of chicken or turkey, cut up*
3/4 cup brewed coffee
2 heaping tablespoons of tomato paste
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon stevia
*You can easily use 2-3 pounds of thighs or breasts cut into large chunks, or a whole chicken
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a one-quart saucepan, mix together the coffee, tomato paste, soy sauce, lemon juice and olive oil.
Stir in the sugar and heat the mixture to boiling then reduce the heat to a simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes or until the mixture has reduced.
Place the chicken pieces in a large shallow pan then pour the reduced mixture over all the chicken covering every piece well.
Bake (uncovered) for about an hour taking care to baste often, at least once every 15 minutes.
Serve with a green veggie and call it lunch. Or dinner. It’s fabu!