Coffee

Algebra Tea House

Today E and I visited Algebra Tea House near Little Italy on Murray Hill. I got the Tanzanian dark roast and E got their Raspberry Black Tea.

Tanzanian Dark Roast in E's coffee mug!

Tanzanian Dark Roast in E’s coffee mug!

E wanted to try something new and she had never had fruit flavored tea before.

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Algebra’s tea menu (above).

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Arabica Coffee House

Last weekend C and I went to Arabica Coffee House in North Ridgeville on Center Ridge Rd. It was a great outside- one of the first that hadn’t been freezing temperatures- and so we went and drank our caffeine in the sun 🙂

Welcome to Arabica Coffee House in N. Ridgeville!

Welcome to Arabica Coffee House in N. Ridgeville!

C and I both got mocha drinks, but I added a little twist: a caramel apple espresso shot! It was so delicious and C was jealous she hadn’t thought of it first. It added just the right amount of fruity flavor from the apple flavor, and we all know caramel and coffee go great together.

Sitting outside with our mocha at Arabica Coffee House.

Sitting outside with our mocha at Arabica Coffee House.

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Coffee Beanery

I went to the Coffee Beanery with G and S.  It is right at the entrance of Midway Mall in Elyria, a nice little coffee station near the kids’ play center.

They had some specialty drink promotions so I decided to go ahead and try the Turtle Mocha- basically chocolate coffee, the world’s best combination of flavors! I got it blended with ice for a nice cold drink. It was very sweet but didn’t have enough of a coffee flavor for my taste. I really like chocolate with my coffee so I enjoyed the chocolate drizzled on top of the whipped cream.

My Turtle Mocha and G's Cafe Caramel from Coffee Beanery!

My Turtle Mocha and G’s Cafe Caramel from Coffee Beanery!

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illy

illy is an italian company that produces coffee beans, coffee grounds, and coffee machines. They portray coffee as an art (just check out their website, it comes off as very communal and artistic). You can order several type of coffee blends at their website, but it is also available at Williams Sonoma (where I aways see it) and I actually picked this mini sized canister  up at T.J. Max. I was happy with with mini size because it was inexpensive (compared to the large tins) and I knew I could finish it all before it went bad.

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illy Coffee Canister

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illy Lid

The coffee comes in a pressurized tin to optimize freshness. Technically, the coffee is for use in their espresso machines, but I used it in my little pink coffee maker, and it came out tasting great. The below image shows the grounds in the canister. It is very fine and smells great. (more…)

Cafe Du Monde

As Spring Break  approaches, my cabin fever sets in. Coffee from New Orleans (in the spirit of Mardi Gras) could do the trick. Anyone who has been to New Orleans has probably heard of the Cafe Du Monde. From the sidewalk to the food court, Cafe Du Monde’s drinks and treats can be found throughout the city; they also can be bought as grounds to make at home.

Cafe Du Monde

Cafe Du Monde

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Peet’s Coffee & Tea

Hey west side-rs! I paid a visit to Peet’s Coffee & Tea in Avon over the weekend. There’s been a lot of talk surrounding Peet’s “takeover” after Caribou closing its shops all across Ohio, so I decided to get a cup of coffee there after work with an old friend, C.

The inside layout was pretty much the same as I remembered from Caribou, although both C and I liked the lighter color palette of wall color and table tops better. Peet’s offers hand selected teas and hand roasted coffee. I tried the daily coffee special: a dark roast Gaurda blend and C tried an iced coffee. C loved her drink, and my drink was delicious too- I loved the subtle nutty flavor and the rich aroma. Perfect after a long day at work!  Check out their  yummy description of the Garuda blend here.

My drink- dark roast Garuda Blend, and C's drink- iced decaf coffee.

My drink- dark roast Garuda Blend, and C’s drink- iced decaf coffee.

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Coffee Roasts Explained

When roasting coffee beans the primary goal is to get the green coffee beans to change color to that dark rich color we all know and love, as well as start the chemical reactions that give coffee its characteristic aroma and flavor.

Contrary to initial guess (I always though darker roasts meant more caffeine and a more potent taste) lighter roasted coffee beans are more acidic and have a higher caffeine content. Dark roasts are less sharp in flavor and also contain less caffeine.

A couple common roasts are: American/Light roast- most common for the Eastern US; often used in professional coffee tasting. City/Medium roast- most common for Western US. French/Espresso- color is dark brown and have less acidity. Spanish roast- darkest roast available, with a “burned” flavor.

http://coffeetea.about.com goes into more detail about each type of roast.

Coffee and oranges have the same amount of antioxidants.

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Zack Bruell

Home Brew Coffee Blends by Zack Bruell

Cleveland restauranteur, Zack Bruell (of L’Albatros, Table 45, Parallax, Chinato, Cowell & Hubbard, Chinato, etc.), released a line of home brew coffee blends. These are available at local Cleveland Heinen’s. See this news release for more information.

Parallax Coffee blend

Parallax Coffee blend

I recently has the opportunity to try some of the blends when the bags were gifted to me. The first blend tried was ‘Parallax’ (below), followed by ‘Table 45’ (not shown). (more…)