New Coffee & It’s So Good

Ok, so I went to a coffee festival a few weeks ago in San Francisco… Yeah, I know. It sounds maybe silly, maybe pretentious, maybe a bit overzealous in my love of coffee. BUT, and there is a but, it was totally worth it. So many local coffee roasters in one place. I would never know about half of these coffee roasters, and I walked away with some new delicious coffee beans. That was a win in my book!

The first new coffee I have tried is Proyecto Diaz Coffee El Carmen. El Carmen is a light-roast Oaxacan coffee and I find it aromatic and delightful.

This weekend, I was able to spend some quality time with my Chemex and enjoy a few cups of Proyecto Diaz coffee. In addition to fine tasting coffee, the company seems pretty darn amazing. They source coffee exclusively from small-scale producers and co-ops. They are working toward sustainable farm infrastructure and farming practices. Props to these guys. I’ll definitely be buying more.

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Post-Run Coffee

I’ve read a lot about the benefits of coffee before running. For me, that’s not really feasible. I run early and I am not so keen on the idea of getting up any earlier. 

I recently read that coffee can be beneficial after running as well. Yay for me! 🙂 Caffeine increases how quickly carbs are absorbed, which can help glycogen replenishment. Especially if you drink your coffee with carbs that are quickly digested. Some options include bananas, grapes, watermelon, dates, peaches, some cereals. Caffeine can also decrease muscle pain – the theory is that caffeine blocks a biochemical that plays a role in the pain cycle, so you wont feel achy or sore after a tough workout. 

So, with all of this good news, here is a photo of my recently-mastered caramel latte. Mmm, mmm, good! 🙂

Caramel latte made by me!

Weekday Morning Coffee

I’ve posted previously about my weekend coffee ritual. I love making coffee on the weekends because I can grind my beans, do a pour-over drip, and enjoy the process. Weekday mornings are a different beast altogether. I don’t have much time, so I have to go quickly… Enter the Nespresso machine.

Foam on my espresso

On weekdays, I warm my latte milk while getting my coffee pod into the machine and ready to go. Once it’s done, I add the milk and a little sugar… Voila! A few minutes yields a decent latte and gives me time to do all of those morning things that stop me from enjoying my coffee zen style. 😉

It’s a fine latte

Because I enjoy coffee so much, I do appreciate having a quick alternative. I do have a little guilt about the coffee pods, though. That’s a lot of waste. Nespresso recycles the pods – they give you a bag to collect the used pods and they then recycle both the container and the grounds. It’s still probably on the wasteful side, but less than if I just toss them in the trash bin. I’ll pretend my trash is offset by not using disposable coffee cups… Maybe. It does help me make it through my mornings, though… Still prefer my weekend mornings when I can enjoy Illy and Dillanos freshly ground and brewed. 🙂

My Morning Coffee

Tonight, I am nursing a sore quad and glad this morning’s run was only 6 miles. Next weekend is the Oakland Running Festival and I am running the half marathon. Gotta get this quad feeling better! But, that’s not what I want to write about… I want to write about my morning coffee ritual.

Coffee, you complete me!

Coffee, you complete me!

I have been working hard to perfect my home brewing technique and I am rather pleased with how things have been going. I’ve played around with several different coffees and my two favorites are Illy and Dillanos. Illy is an Italian coffee roasting company that specializes in espresso. Dillanos is a Washington-based coffee roasting company that focuses on speciality coffees. They are both DEELISH!

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Getting ready for my Dillanos!

Weekend mornings, I get to make pour-over coffee and I delight in the process. I love making a great cup of coffee. I grind the beans that morning, and then use a Chemex brewer. My coffee experience starts with putting the water on the stove. Then, I grind my beans at a French press level – somewhat course. When the water is warm, I pour a little through the filter to eliminate any papery taste and to preheat my brewer. After dumping out the excess water, I put the beans into the filter and wait for the water to get just right. You want to get it just after the boil.

Waiting for the water to boil

Waiting for the water to boil

My brew process includes 3 pours – the first is a small pour that lets the coffee beans expand, sometimes called a “bloom.” This takes about 45 seconds or so. A good bloom will give you even water dispersion and your coffee will taste fabulous. The other 2 pours are to get the volume right… When I’m all done, a little cream and sugar and I am one happy camper. I like to make proper lattes, too. My husband thinks I am crazy, but look at this! Mmmmmm…

This coffee is ready to drink

This coffee is ready to drink

Hope there are a few other caffeine and/or coffee addicts out there that can appreciate a good cup of home-brewed heaven. 🙂 I really do love the whole process. There is something calming about it… It’s a strange love affair, but it works for me. Have a great Sunday!!