Automated Coffee in Houton: The Nook’s Steampunk brewer

IMG_5312One of the things that I love about coffee is the variety of ways that a cup can be made. If you want to highlight a characteristic of a bean you can change the brewing method or even the variables used in that method. For as many manual brewing methods that exist there seems to be an equal amount of “automated” brewing methods.  In recent years a number of new brewers have been created that appear to take similar time and care that hand crafted manual methods offer. While some may believe that they can’t compare with a handcrafted cup of coffee it’s hard to argue with the results that some machines produce. Continue reading

What is Good Coffee?

I am a firm believer that every coffee drinker should drink good coffee. The problem is, though, defining good coffee. Is it coffee that is made a certain way? Is it coffee made from certain ingredients? Is it purely subjective, depending on each person? Or is it just a combination of these three things? I think so. I believe good coffee is crafted, made with select ingredients, and tastes good to the drinker. Continue reading

Righteous Bros Coffee Roasters: Coffee & Community

IMG_0965right·eousadjective 1. morally right or justifiable; virtuous. 2. very good; excellent.

For most words in the dictionary you can find more than one meaning to define a term, and as you can see above the same goes for ‘righteous.’  In the case of the new Tomball, Texas coffee roasters Righteous Brothers I found that both meanings apply to them as well. “People come in and ask, ‘what makes you righteous; do you sing?’ Well yeah, but you probably don’t want to hear it,” Jacob Loyd, Operations Manager, tells me chuckling. When I ask him what their name really means he doesn’t hesitate in telling me. ”Righteous? After our faith. Faith is a big part of what we do. Our faith in Christ, and the salvation that we have in Him” It appears that their faith has blessed them with growth, great opportunities and new friendships. Continue reading

A trip to Milk Origin – Mill King Market and Creamery Pt. 2

IMG_0659Part 1 can be found here…

Small herd, stress free environment, and chemical free are all variables that affect the quality of the milk that goes into our favorite espresso drink. While it sounds like the cows at Craig Miller’s Mill King dairy farm have it easy Craig himself does not. “Me and my mom each put in around 100 hours a week,” he explains as he points out his mom taking a break outside one of the barns. They have a handful of employees and Craig, up to recently, has been doing the selling, marketing, and delivery as well as run the farm and work alongside his employees. “It’s getting better though, because I can get 8 hours a sleep now. Just not in a row,” he adds. “My day starts at 2 in the morning when we load trucks, and then I take a nap, then get back up for the morning meeting with the process crew, then I’ll work with them for a while, and then go take another nap. Then get up and do office work and go take another nap.  It hasn’t been a walk in the park but going into it we knew it would be hard work. But we are workaholics anyway.” Continue reading

A trip to Milk Origin – Mill King Market and Creamery Pt. 1

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Take a look inside any Houston coffee shop or café and you will find customers chatting over cups of coffee or espresso drinks. Some may be black or small shots of espresso but most are bigger cups with crafted rosetta or heart shapes decorating the surface of the drink. Depending on what you order you may receive a creamy warmth or a caramelized textured experience as you savor your drink. The two main ingredients that create these sweet and satisfying drinks are obvious: espresso and milk. Most of us know that the espresso comes from carefully sourced coffee beans. Importers, roasters, and sometimes shop owners carefully check the quality of the bean at it’s source, as well as the process used to harvest them.  If such care is taken with the espresso, then why not the same with the milk? Why not go to milk origin and discover the quality and process of harvesting coffee’s important companion.

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Around Houston, Around the World: Cà phê sua dá

IMG_0794It isn’t hard to argue that Vietnamese Iced Coffee has become one of Houston’s favorite ways to cool off during the summer. This sweet rich coffee drink can be found at dozens of Vietnamese restaurants and cafes, as well as coffee shops like Blacksmith and Paper Co. Within the past year bottled versions, like local Caphin, have appeared on the scene too and quickly grown in popularity. Recently Caphin debuted in Central Market and sold out within a day. Continue reading

Cadillac Coffee: No gimmick, just good coffee

image (2)I am willing to bet that at least every other day a new food truck appears on the scene in Houston. Add that to the army of existing trucks and it can be hard to stand out among the rest. So, when a new truck opens up that happens to be a ‘57 Cadillac pulling a ‘62 Shasta camper and serves espresso drinks it has no problem making headlines. The real news, I discovered after chatting with Cadillac Coffee owners Meghan Ackerman and Austin Lane, is that the retro theme is no gimmick and not their focus either. Quality, hand-crafted coffee drinks are what they want to give their customers and not just a show. Continue reading

Around Houston, Around the World – Café Touba

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Houston has such a diverse mixture of cultures that you can drive 10 minutes in any direction and be able to sample food from any part of the world. So, it’s not surprising that you can also find different coffee recipes from around the world as well.  Every culture has their own variation of coffee, whether for ceremony or just to cover the taste of burnt low quality beans.  Today I’m starting a series that I will be updating periodically, focusing on the different ethnic coffee drinks that you can find in Houston.

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Review: Fusion Beans – Ethiopian Yirgacheffe

DSC_1280_SnapseedOne of the best coffees that I have come across this past month is Fusion Bean’s Ethiopian Yirgacheffe from the Idido Misty Valley. Of course Ethiopian beans are from the birthplace of coffee and considered to be some of the best in the world, but this particular lot is my favorite. I have had it before at Southside Espresso as a shot and loved the strong taste of fresh blueberries cut with lemon zest and a clean aftertaste. The last time that I was there, though, I asked them to make it for me as a pour over. After tasting it, I immediately bought a bag for home. Continue reading