Tag Archives: coffee

Snapchat Influencer Q&A with Lauri Rottmayer

It was an honor to be interviewed by Custom Filterz for their blog. You can read the interview by clicking here. It was fun to talk about my current favorite social media platform and how it applies to my business and personal life. 

Because I talk about it, but it wasn’t included in the post, I give you a sample of my daily coffee snap that I’ve become known for. 


 I’d love for you to join the fun and follow me on snapchat! 

Social Media in the Real World


I’ve written before about my reason for being on social media. It’s to be able to have coffee with a friend anywhere in the world. I’ve had coffee with one of my snapchat friends, nessamakes, who happens to live just a mile away from me. But we were heading to Jacksonville, FL for the Mrs.International Pageant and I was excited to see that one of my other snap friends, Dapromoqueen, lives there. I made arrangements to get together with her.


We met at a cute coffee shop called Urban Grind Coffee Shop. It was an easy walk from the Omni Hotel where we were staying and was on Laura Street. Now, I don’t like when someone calls me Laura (even though it’s my given name) but I had to have a photo with the cool Laura Street sign.

Laura Street

When Dapromoqueen aka Tory, arrived, we had to snap about our meeting, of course. We had a fun time visting. She’s so nice and genuine and I love that we felt like friends right away.


When we got ready to head back to the hotel we took a photo together. I’m really tall AND I had tall wedge shoes on. Tory was prepared for work and had flats on so I was WAY taller than she was. It was pretty funny!


THIS, my friends, is what social media is about in the real world. At least for me. I know I have a friend to share coffee with anywhere I go. I’m so glad I got to meet Tory. I hope I’ll get to meet you when I am in your town!

J is for Japantown

Today, included in our walk, was a detour into Japantown.


 We wanted to try a new coffee shop but couldn’t find one beginning with J but there is a coffee shop in Japantown called Roy’s Station Coffee and Teas. I knew I could make Japantown be in the path of our walk and I’m glad I did. 


We stopped into Roy’s. It’s a great coffee shop with an awesome patio outside. Where, of course, we sat.

I hate to tell you that I had another almond croissant but, when it comes to almond croissants, I’m weak, y’all, I’m weak. This croissant was so big and so delicious. The first thing I tasted was the butter but the almond taste was so nice. 


David had a chocolate croissant which he said was really great, too. We both had their house coffee which was yummy. I do so love drinking out of a real cup. 😀


The people at Roy’s station were super nice and I know we’ll go there again because it was a nice experience. They, too, have a nice menu of not only drinks but food. 


We then walked to the end of Jackson Street, which I would call the heart of Japantown. 


I loved how the traffic control system boxes have ninjas 


and dragons. 😀


We considered living in Japantown and I really like it, but in the end, downtown won. Still, I’m sure we’ll at least go to Japantown for coffee at Roy’s again , if for no other reason. 🙂

I is for I Java

So excited to do another downtown coffee shop and it’s not even Saturday! And I had coffee with a friend from Oklahoma who’s here for a convention!


I picked Amy up at her hotel and we walked around downtown a little bit before we found ourselves at the street that I Java is on. I hadn’t been over to that part of downtown yet so it was fun to see what was there. There are very, very wide sidewalks over there! 🙂

We were going to try another shop but then I realized today was I in the challenge and I had seen a sign for I Java when I was coming back from the grocery a week or so ago. When I looked, I found it was close to Amy’s hotel. Perfect!

I Java is a cute place. I love the tables and chairs on the inside (which I neglected to photograph) even though we chose to sit outside on this gorgeous morning. 


They have a nice goodie case but I only had coffee today. After the pageant, I do hope to come back and try something yummy from their bakery case. 😉


 They also have a very nice, large menu of breakfast, lunch and drinks. 


My coffee was delicious and I had it hot. Amy had hers iced. This is a nice shop, sort of off the beaten path. I’m not sure I would have found it if I hadn’t seen the sign the other day but I will definitely return. 😀



D is for Devine Grind


I was excited when I learned that for the Saturdays in April’s A to Z Challenge, I could find coffee places to visit. Today, the first Saturday, is D and Devine Grind is right around the corner from where we live. I walk by all the time and was happy to finally go inside.


We were greeted by Winifred, the owner. I was excited to see an almond croissant and told her that I was going to have one in honor of my half-birthday. She asked me what a half birthday was and seemed tickled at the idea and wished me a happy half birthday. Noticing her accent, I asked her where she was from. She told me Nigeria. At that point, David jumped in because he’s done a lot of work in Nigeria and they chatted about that for a little bit.


We placed our order which Winifred offered to heat up for us. Then we took our coffee outside to sit. It was such a lovely morning and I’ve felt “outside eating” deprived for a long time and sit outside every chance we get.


The almond croissant was delicious! I haven’t really eaten sugar like that since before September 1, 2014 and it made me feel a little wasted but it was such a nice treat along with the delicious coffee.


David got a breakfast burrito that had eggs, sausage, hash browns and cheese, served with a side of salsa. He said it was really good, too.


When we came back inside to drop off our dishes and say good bye, we got a chance to meet Winifred’s husband, Joseph. They are such nice people and our experience at Devine Grind is one I’ll look forward to replicating many times in the coming months! 🙂


Bel Bacio Cafe

We’ve been in San Jose now for nearly a month and I decided it’s high time to start checking out the local coffee places. I think about it during my days when I’m running all over the place but I’ve been too busy to slow down and stop at those times. Plus, it’s more fun to explore with David. 

We decided today that we’d try Bel Bacio Cafe at the end-ish of our morning walk.


Bel Bacio is in a cute little house located in Little Italy. We walk through Little Italy every weekend and have had dinner at Paesano and attended the arch dedication ceremony Friday night so it seemed like a good place to start. 


We walked over two miles before getting back to Bel Bacio and going inside. I was warm enough that I wanted to order an iced coffee and sit outside.


David got a hot Americano and a Nutella croissant which he pronounced as “really good”. I think he was somehow surprised but it was NUTELLA. How could it be bad? 


When I check in on Yelp! I saw that we got a free coffee with the purchase of two pastries so we went ahead and got these cute little cookies as well.


We then sat outside under and umbrella in the beautiful morning before concluding our 3+ mile walk. 


We really enjoyed Bel Baccio Cafe and I know we will stop by there again really soon. The lady who served us was super friendly, the coffee and food were great, and we loved the atmosphere. 🙂

Big Shoulders Coffee: Kenya Kalilani

At CoffeeCON, I received a bag of Kenya Kalilani by Big Shoulders Coffee from Anne Reuss

Kenya Kalilani

The first thing I noticed about the coffee was that the bag smelled HEAVENLY. After it had been sitting in my car overnight, my car smelled HEAVENLY. 🙂

So I was really excited to try it. I am normally more of a dark roast fan and the bag shows it to be a medium roast and the website shows it as a light roast so  I was  a little hesitant. But how could something that smells that good be bad?

Now, I am a novice coffee reviewer. I know what I like but maybe don’t have the right words to tell you but I’m going to try. 

I decided to try the Kenya Kalilani in my new Oskar by Sowden Softbrew. I questioned the Sowden vendor at CoffeeCON about the grind and he said I should grind it medium to fine. 

I ground it. OMG. Have I mentioned how this coffee smells? Heavenly.

Then I put it into the Oskar filter basket, poured my water on top, stirred, replaced the lid and waited for four minutes.

This is a delicious cup of coffee. The flavor is amazing. I taste the sweet, the raspberry and cocoa. I don’t taste pine but, heck, maybe I want it to taste like gin? 😉

This is a cup of coffee I enjoy mid-morning when I just need one more cup and after I’ve gotten my initial four cup start to the day with a darker roast.

I totally recommend this coffee. If you can get me to give two thumbs up to a light to medium roast, it’s a good thing. 🙂

I was excited to both try the coffee and the Oskar so it was a long four minutes.

The coffee was amazing! 

Carpe-ing the Java at Cafe’ Mondo

After CoffeeCON, I drove out to where I call The Middle Of Nowhere, Illinois. I call it this because I get NO cell service there. It is my cousin’s house. 

I love to visit here and just hang out and watch her animals. This time, there was no Llily the Llama as she had passed away since my last visit. There was, however, another dog named Cosette, lots of chickens, and kitties. The day it snowed, the mini horses were playing like little kids in the pasture. I wish I could have gotten video but I was so afraid they would stop when I opened the door.


We drove to the nearest town that was bigger than 84 people which is the population of the nearest town to them, Adeline.

My cousin had to run some errands and we stopped off at Cafe’ Mondo, in Freeport, for lunch. The cafe’ is cute and I loved the coffee pot display they had on one wall.

coffee pots

Of course you know that I needed coffee and I was happy to find Tanzanian Peaberry coffee as an offering. I’d never had it before and I liked it’s smooth, nutty flavor a lot. 

The menu was nice with a lot of sandwich offerings. I chose the Colosseum Sandwich which was a grilled chicken breast, provolone cheese and tomatoes served hot on a bun. We also ordered a little piece of dessert to split that was chocolate and caramel. I don’t know the name but it was delish! 


The service was very good and friendly. If I get back to Freeport, I’ll definitely stop back at Cafe’ Mondo. It was a good choice. 🙂

Carpe-ing the java at LaBriola Bakery Cafe’

After a day of coffee, coffee, coffee at CoffeeCON, on Sunday I need to have…coffee. 🙂

When I knew I’d be in Chicago, I made plans to visit with a long time twitter friend, Jay Beaton aka @Chi_Coffee_Guy

Lauri and Jay

I was staying out in Oakbrook so a quick Google search of coffee + Oakbrook brought me to the LaBriola Bakery Cafe. Having no advance knowledge of where this place was in relationship to my hotel, I arranged to meet Jay there. And it was SO easy. Three roads in one. Cermak turned into West 22nd Street, turned into Butterfield Road and I was there. 🙂

And what a great choice I made! You see, I had also checked to see if they served Almond Croissants. They are my favorite and I have not found a real almond croissant in the state of Oklahoma yet. 

I have fond memories of almond croissants at a no name coffee shop in New Orleans. Delicious and as big as my head. This one was very close to that. 

Almond CroissantI had to window shop through the other cases, too.

IMG_6546On instagram, my friend Suzie said of this next photo, “That right there is what Heaven will look like.” I think she’s right. As long as there’s a coffee pot somewhere in the area. 🙂

LaBriola Bakery

All in all, this was a great place to visit. The food (and coffee!), service and company were all top notch. You know my main goal in being on twitter is to meet people to have coffee with and it was good to share a cup with Jay. 🙂

#CoffeeCON 2014

Last year, in May (yes, MAY!) I drove through a snow storm to get to CoffeeCON 2013 in the suburbs of Chicago. It was an awesome event where I was able to meet four twitter friends in real life (IRL) and have some fabu coffee. I also took classes and learned a lot about coffee. And got sick. Really, really sick. 

You see, with all that coffee there, I was like a kid in a candy store and I had ODd by around 11 a.m.  I was hoping to go back this year and was absolutely thrilled to be invited as a media guest. 

press pass

This year, I knew I would pace myself so I could fully enjoy the day and the coffee. And the visiting, of course.  CoffeeCON 2014 was held at the Zhou B Arts Center in Chicago. It’s on the same street, a few blocks down, from the park formerly known as Comiskey. 

Zhou B Arts Center

It’s such a cool old building which I loved almost as much as the coffee. I have this fascination and love of doors and had to take a photo of one to complete my day.

Zhou B Door

 This year, I was not too sick to try the Kopi Luwak coffee from Indonesia. If you aren’t familiar with that, in a nutshell, civets (a catlike animal) eat the coffee berries and they are processed after elimination. Sounds gross but the story behind why they originally did this is very interesting.

Kopi Luwak

 I found the coffee to have an interesting, sort of nutty taste. The little coffee cracker cookies they had at their table were delicious!


 It was fun to go around and talk to the vendors and sample their coffee. I absolutely got goosebumps when I tasted Rustico from Counter Culture and I had to take that one home. Their website describes the coffee as having a kaleidoscope of flavors and it truly does. 

Rustico by Counter Culture

I also got a Sowden Oskar pot which I haven’t tried yet but plan to this a.m. In the Sowden class, the man said it was simply the easiest way to make a good cup of coffee. I’m looking forward to that. The thing that struck me even more, though, and made me choose it over the Aeropress (which I’m sure I will get one of these days) is that it is like French press coffee, which I love, but the filter is so fine, less particulates are left in the coffee when it’s poured. I’m hoping this will help it to be coffee that David enjoys better, too.   

Sowden Class

The winner of the contest I held last week was Dwana, a long time twitter friend of mine. I was so happy I would get a chance to meet her. Our first reaction to each other, IRL, was “OMG you’re tall, too!”. 🙂 

My only regret for the day was that we didn’t take a photo together but I did make my CoffeeCON movie staring Dwana and the Aeropress.  

We were introduced to the iCup machine by iCoffee. I enjoyed the presentation we were given. The iCup will take a K-cup and turn it into a good tasting cup of coffee by steaming and aerating the grounds, extracting the Co2 before dispensing the coffee. It also plays a little Mozart!

Although I’m not a Keurig user, I’ve had coffee from one a couple of times and found it to be bitter. The coffee we tried from this machine was much tastier. A real improvement!

Of course I can’t forget about the fun coffee roasters outside. I know I talked about the heat gun lady and popcorn popper guy all year and they were there again. 

heat gun coffee roasting

The popcorn popper roaster had a new addition this year: a Weber grill. Ingenious! 

Roasting with a WeberOne of the ladies outside gave me my own little packet of green coffee beans. I’ve decided that I will make Beauty Pageant Roast by using my blow dryer and curling iron. 😉

green beansOnce again, I had a great time at CoffeeCON. Well, I actually had a better time than last year since I paced myself. Thank you, again, to Kevin Sinnott for inviting me.

There are other CoffeeCON events planned for this year in San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles. Check the website for further information and Carpe Java! 🙂