REMINDER! Time To Clean Your Coffee Brewers

Getting ready to be cleaned

Getting ready to be cleaned

I know there is talk or saying~"Don't clean your coffee maker, it's well seasoned and keeps your coffee tasting great!" Uh....No! In my opinion, that's gross.  

If you don't have an RO system (reverse osmosis) or other filter action system, your coffee brewers/makers will build up a lot of calcium and minerals that will soon ruin your coffee brewer of choice AND makes your coffee start to taste a little yucky. AND...using filtered water WILL build up deposits and minerals too. 

So it's nice to clean them out often to keep your coffee makers brewing great coffee.  

The one I turn to is Distilled White Vinegar. I'm sure you are familiar of the advantages of using Distilled Vingear to decalcify. When you notice your coffee maker not driping as quickly as it used to, it's time to get the vinegar out. 

It's not just for salads.  

It's not just for salads.  

As you know, I have just about every style of coffee brewer from single pour to espresso machine. However, I love this electric Pour Over that Johnny purchased for me. Unfortunately they stopped making them for the US because people complained that it wouldn't fit under there kitchen cabinets. Who cares!!!! I love it because after it brews you can unplug it and carry it by the top handle to your dinning table to serve coffee. Everything stays in place...the coffee carafe never moves as you maneuver through the house. It's super cool.  

Anyway, I will take about half of a small bottle of vinegar and pour up top. Whatever coffee maker you have just add to the reservoir. I usually let that sit for a few minutes just on its own. Then I will turn on the coffee maker and begin brewing through as if I'm making coffee. It's amazing how quick and easy this is. If you feel you need to run it again with vinegar, let your coffee carafe cool and just pour the vinegar back through and start the brewing process again. 

Next, discard the vinegar from your carafe and wash with soapy water. If there are other removable parts, I would suggest you wash those as well. You are now wanting to remove the vinegar from your carafe and coffee parts. 

For espresso machines and use for other coffee accessories

For espresso machines and use for other coffee accessories

Lastly, add water to your coffee reservoir and and run water through the maker a couple of times to remove any residual vinegar. When you think you've run enough water through the machine, I would take a sip of the hot water you just ran through. Make sure it doesn't taste "vinegar-y". I learned the hard way years ago when Johnny had cleaned the coffee maker and maybe ran one cycle of water through. He poured me the first cup of coffee and when. I took a large sip...it was the most vinegar tasting coffee...so horrible I ran to the sink to spit it out. Of course I asked him " How many times did you run plain water through?" His immediate answer to this type of questioning is typically "I don't know!" "Is it bad?" I told him to taste it...he wouldn't. (Wink wink smiley face)  

If you are a serious coffee drinker, you should keep up on all coffee brewers in your home. Be sure to review instructions on your maker to ensure you can add vinegar to clean. I have a commercial espresso machine and I use a product called Cafiza. You can order on Amazon and a little goes a long way. 

Sparkling clean

Sparkling clean

I will take a 1/4 teaspoon of Cafiza and add to my Chemex and French Press with hot water and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Everything comes out sparkling clean. This product works great on some of your coffee accessories to clean up the coffee oils and residue. Again, be sure to check with your manual on best practices of cleaning any coffee maker and especially the semi automatic and automatic espresso machines. Those will have specific instructions on how to properly clean and keep running smoothly so you'll never miss a drop of good tasting java. 

Lolita☕️ 

 

 

 

Another Cool And Refreshing Coffee Drink...Coffee Tonics

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I am continuing my series of wonderfully refreshing cool (as in cold) coffee drinks for the hot days of summer. This one is pretty simple and has been around for quite sometime outside of the US but in recent years made its way here. 

Coffee Tonics or sometimes called Black Tonics! Hmm a sophisticated version of the simple iced coffee? Could be...I just really like the "fizz" or the bubbles. (wink wink smiley face)

Poring a long shot  

Poring a long shot  

The key (for me) is to get the right tonic water and coffee. I prefer a tonic water with no "lemony" or fruit flavor added. Just a plain naturally light tonic water. However, you can experiment by trying different kinds and seeing if you find a great combination for your coffee. 

Next would be your coffee or your espresso that you are going to mix. I find that the Central American beans such as Brazil, Costa Rican and Guatemala pairs wonderfully with the tonic water. You're seeking coffee without the bitterness. 

Now I did say espresso...a long espresso shot if you will. So if you own an espresso machine at home...great! Make a long espresso shot. If not, try using a Moka Pot. Yes, I have an espresso machine but I will show you using a Moka Pot. 

Black Tonic is ready.  

Black Tonic is ready.  

By the way, these Moka Pots are awesome. They have been around forever and do make great cups of espresso. 

Grab a glass add some ice and add about 6 ounces of tonic water. Next add 2 ounces of espresso. Last...enjoy. Simple, natural sweetness from the espresso beans equals delicious and the bubbles make it quite refreshing. 

If you don't have any kind of espresso making machine or Moka Pot...try using your cold brew concentrate. When I've tried with our cold brew concentrate I've added about 3 ounces. It works just as well. 

Cheers! 

Lolita 💋

 

Featured Coffee; Buzz Kill

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I've been drinking coffee ever since I was very young. (No, coffee does not stunt your growth 😉) Of course when I was young...the coffee mom made for me was more cream and sugar than coffee.  

I've always L❤️VED coffee...been drinking it all my life. Always coffee with caffeine too. Never had a desire later in life to drink decaf. I recall when I was younger drinking decaf at a friend's house who's parents didn't drink caffeine and I took my first sip and cringed.  😱

Decaf always tasted like chemicals to me....now that I know how decaf was (and with some still is) processed...I now know I WAS tasting...chemicals!  

Since I started roasting, I needed a decaf bean to roast for my customers. Honestly, I wasn't thrilled at roasting a decaf bean and serving. My fear was the taste. I was fearful that I was going to serve the same chemical tasting decaf I remembered as a kid.   

With the advancement in the coffee industry and the new generation of roasters in the last 15+ years, there are new ways of processing decaf that offers a wonderful cup. One such process is the Swiss Water Process. Swiss water process is a natural chemical fess process that removes 99.9% of the caffeine while maintaining the coffee's origin and flavor. 

Currently we offer our Buzz Kill Decaf that comes from Colombia. It has gone through the Swiss Water Process and arrives in bags just lot our other coffee beans do.  

The Colombian delivers a smooth, slightly heavy body with a hint of chocolate. It's rich, sweet and delicious. Although I've been one not to be concerned about the effects of caffeine...I do enjoy a cup or two in the evenings. I do not add sugar to my coffee and this cup has a natural sweet taste. A great way to enjoy a full bodied cup of coffee.

We roast on Mondays & Thursdays and delivery locally the following day OR ship out (2-3 day shipping) the following day.  

Lolita💋 

A Great Way To Clean Your Coffee Equipment & Accessories

I know there are many coffee aficionados around that have there very own espresso machine. Their love and passion of coffee and enjoying the creation of an espresso, macchiato or latte style drink they made themselves at home, can be such a joy. 

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I purchased a Rancilio commercial version for our coffee shop on Highway 28. I still have it and use it everyday. We know that high quality, fresh roasted beans are important and the water is very important too (typically use reverse osmosis in espresso machines so there are no minerals etc) so is keeping your espresso marking clean VERY IMPORTANT!  

But....what about your other coffee makers out there? Your favorite French Press or ceramic pour over or white cups that are stained? What can you use to really clean them?  

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I was told to purchase a product via Amazon called Cafiza. Cafiza (and other espresso machine cleaners) is an espresso machine cleaner powder that is an important and integral part of daily maintenance routine for the busiest of espresso machines in restaurants, coffee shops etc.. If you are not cleaning your espresso machine regularly, the best and freshest coffee will taste stale and awful if you are not properly cleaning your machine....and it can cost an owner a lot of money for service and repair if not cared for properly. 

What I also found out is this product is amazing to use on other coffee accessories AND other coffee brew methods too. Your glass carafes from your drip coffee makers, French Press, Chemex and other pour overs. You can also soak your coffee cups/mugs, tampers and stirrers you use at home for coffee. The product is designed to clean the toughest coffee buildup and stains with the ease of rinsing clean....hence why it is used to clean and back flush espresso machines. 

I have found when I have coffee cups that were stained from lots of "coffee drinking" use, a little Cafiza, some hot water and time...they look brand new. (I know I know...I sound like an infomercial)

Here's an example, I took our vintage Chemex (1950's found at an estate sale) and added a 1/4 teaspoon of the Cafiza powder and then added some hot water. I "swished & swirled" it around and let it sit for a couple of hours. Why not do it after your morning coffee and let it soak in the sink while you're gone all day or you can do it over night. 

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After it's been sitting, I take my sponge or cleaning utensil of choice and gently clean the inside of the Chemex. I pour out and begin rinsing. As I mentioned before, Cafiza rinses easily and you can feel the squeaky clean on the inside. 

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It comes out beautiful and ready for a wonderful brew of Johnny Lolita's Coffee! (shameless plug) 

I purchase the Cafiza on Amazon. For $11.50 you receive a 20 oz bottle. You will have this for quite sometime. Just a little goes a very long way. All of your coffee mugs, espresso shot glasses, pour overs etc will look brand new and your coffee will taste even better. 

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Try some out when you really need to clean some hard tough coffee stains..... 

Lolita 💋 ☕️ 

 

Irish Coffee

"Put some whiskey in my coffee because it's Ireland somewhere!"

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Yes, it's that special time of year where "us Irish" proudly wear our green! My father had an incredible ensemble (outfit) a light suede jacket in a beautiful shade of green and a turtleneck....also a lighter shade of green...with the slacks. He certainly was handsome with that gorgeous silver hair and hazel eyes. And off he and my mom went to the Irish parties in the neighborhood.  

So...in honor of St Patick's Day, I have included the original Irish Coffee recipe. Have a get together this weekend with your family & friends and offer this tasty coffee drink. 

 Here is the original Joe Sheridan Irish Coffee Recipe:

Cream - Rich as an Irish Brogue 

Coffee - Strong as a Friendly Hand

Sugar - Sweet as the tongue of a Rogue

Whiskey - Smooth as the Wit of the Land.

Pre-heat a clear stemmed glass with very hot water. Empty the water, and add 2 teaspoons of brown sugar. Now add some freshly brewed rich coffee and stir.  As soon as the sugar is melted, add a generous measure of Irish Whiskey (about 2.5cl). Stir again, then wait for the brew to still. Now take a hot teaspoon and pour gently whipped fresh cream slowly over the back of the spoon. The cream should be "half whipped" i.e. not too stiff and not too liquid.

I suggest Johnny Lolita's Turquoise Trail, Brazil Dark and Costa Rica as your coffee base for this wonderful Irish drink. Cheers, or if you wish to say it in gaelic, Sláinte

Lolita 💋

You Know What? That Would Be Great With A Cup Of Coffee!

My whole life...I've been surrounded by that wonderful cup of java. I'd hear it (and smell it) in the morning....the Corningware (with the blue cornflower design) coffee pot "sputtering, hissing and percolating" our morning coffee. That was our cue to get up out of bed. 

Coffee goes great with???Everything! 

Coffee goes great with???Everything! 

Another thing that was very big in our family is what would taste great with that cup of coffee. Especially Phyllis, my beautiful Mom. it was really funny actually...we would see some commercial on TV about a new cake mix, recipes or anything chocolate and my Mom would say "Oh, I bet that would be great with a cup of coffee." 

We all did it actually. We would be out to dinner and when we finished our meal the waiter would offer up the dessert menu. He would leave us to our devices to discuss options and choices. Many times we would order one or two pieces and take home because....It would be great with a cup of our coffee at home!" 

Our life did surround that cup of coffee...typically with great conversation and a little sweet, but we needed that balance of rich chocolate or fruity pie with our wonderful perculated coffee. We'd search recipes just to find "the one" that would taste great with???? You got it...a cup of coffee. My brother Kim has become an excellent cook. I'd like to call him a Chef... he says "I just love good food...nothing fancy or gourmet, I'm not a chef, but I disagree. He creates fabulous pies from scratch. Right down to the crust. From fruit to chocolate, lemon or whip...they are De-lish! Of course when he's ready to unveil his latest creation....enjoying the pure sweet aroma...he turns to me and says "You know what? This will be great with a cup of coffee! Let me get some going." I know our Mom is smiling down on us and I know she's holding a fork in her hand to steal a bite. 

So in honor of our family tradition, I've enclosed a simple recipe that I know would be great with a cup of coffee. A Johnny Lolita's coffee blend would be best, wink wink smiley face  

  Soft Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Cup (2 sticks) Salted Butter softened
  • 1 1/4 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 cup of sugar (for rolling dough) 

Prep

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Whisk together flour, baking soda and baking powder and set aside.  

In another bowl, add sugar and butter and cream together using an electric mixer. Add egg yolks and vanilla continue mixing. Add flour mixture and continue mixing until combined but don't over mix. Scoop dough into balls and roll in sugar and place on cookie sheet.  

Bake 15-18 minutes or until tops of cookies start to crack. Cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet before moving to wire rack. Now make a cup of coffee and enjoy!  

Lolita💋 

Happy 4th Of July

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Happy 4th! Our second holiday of the summer season. Well....technically Memorial Day was in the Spring. But in the Southwest & West...it's already hot! Time to spend with family & friends, barbecue competitions amongst neighbors and of course fireworks.  

Ah yes, fireworks! We all love them and as a kid, we all wanted to shoot them off. Of course my best friend and I were the targets of our older brothers who liked to chase us with fireworks.  

Because of the heat, you may not be thinking of hot coffee. But have you ever made cold brew? Cold brew is a great way to make coffee concentrate to be utilized as an ice coffee OR if you are craving the hot cup in the morning, all you need to do is add some boiling water to a 1/3 of the coffee concentrate and instantly you have hot coffee.  

The other awesome thing about cold brew is that the same coffee you drink everyday hot, will result in a completely different taste and profile when cold brew. The taste is sweeter and smooth with no acidity. The chemical reaction that takes places when heating the grounds gives you the acidity. Cold brew doesn't. Another great thing is it will last up to 6 weeks in the fridge. 

In our next quick blog, I'll discuss how to make cold brew simply at home. In the meantime, Johnny & I wish you a happy and safe 4th of July. Remember our vets & pets when it comes to fireworks.  

Confessions

I must confess, we do own an electric coffee pot. Before you judge us, let me explain. 

Capresso Aromatic Coffee Maker

Capresso Aromatic Coffee Maker

Our coffee maker is not the run of the mill box store special. It is a Capresso Aroma Classic. It is essentially an electric pour-over machine. 

Here is how it differs from your mother’s drip machine. The water is brought to a rolling boil in an upper glass chamber. Once it’s boiling, a valve opens and the water is slowly released into the coffee filter chamber. This is a slow process and the boiling water is allowed to sit in the coffee grounds while they bloom. The coffee then collects into a traditional looking glass coffee pot. The Capresso produces what is nearly as good as a manual pour-over because the brew process is so slow and, the coffee is much hotter since the water actual boils. Traditional coffee pots only attain a 175-190 degree temperature range (if you are lucky). 

Unfortunately the Capresso is no longer sold in the U.S. The primary reason they discontinued the unit is that it is too tall to fit under standard kitchen cabinets (The average upper cabinets in the U.S. are 16 3/4” above the counter and the Capresso stands 20” tall). What is additionally cool and unique is that once it is done brewing, unplug the cord from the wall and the unit and carry (pot, filter and all) to the table to pour. They can still be had on eBay and occasionally one will pop up in a second-hand store. If you find one, buy it! 

Next, we will show you a video on how this cool coffee maker works! Stay tuned....

It Starts With A Flame

It's dawn, very quiet and slightly cooler this early in the morning. I love this time of day. Everything is fresh and new. You're starting a new day...a new quest...a new adventure. For me, my quest is for the perfect tasting cup.  

As I sit in the quietness of the room filled with large burlap sacks of green coffee beans, I chuckle to myself, "How did I get here?" I guess I'm more sensitive to it as I just hit a monumental birthday a couple of weeks ago, but can't help but smile at how my life has changed and switched gears. I'm here because I took a chance at something I've never done before but have become very passionate about. I had a successful career in "Corporate America" but wanted something more. I counseled so many candidates during the economy crash in 2008 who lost their jobs and now we're in a situation where they didn't know what they were going to do but had a desire to chase a dream. Doing something completely different and possibly outrageously risky! Yes...I counseled them on taking the steps to seek and figure out what they wanted to do next in their career adventure. (Yes an adventure....a career adventure). John and I found ourselves in the same boat...and I began taking our own advice and here I am....up at dawn...roasting coffee.

It does start with a flame. The light of the gas and the drum heating up to welcome its first batch of green coffee all the way from Sumatra. Roasting the coffee beans to deliver an earthy taste that has a heavy mouth-feel. Or the next batch of green beans that will result in a spicy and citrus taste in your cup. My goal each day I roast is to deliver the freshest and best tasting cup of coffee for you to start your day. It is my goal each day, one that I've become so passionate about. 

We've been doing this a little over two years now and have grown successfully (slow but constant) and hopefully ready to take Johnny Lolita's to the next level. I know it's just coffee....but that fresh hot cup first thing in the morning can set your day as well as finishing up a perfect meal at the end of your day. Hot or Iced...Caffeine or Decaf....that is my goal. AND...it starts with a flame. 

My goal is to always deliver you the freshest and great tasting coffee each day.

Lolita 💋 

Who wants coffee?

Coffee available at Trade Craft 3737 N Mesa Suite B El Paso TX 79902

Coffee available at Trade Craft 3737 N Mesa Suite B El Paso TX 79902

Last blog..Shh....You Look Parched. We told you about a great new place in El Paso to relax, catch up on your favorite book and enjoy a handcrafted cocktail or fresh roasted coffee (fresh roasted by Lolita). 

What I failed to mention is that you are able to purchase a pound of fresh roasted coffee and take it home with you. Available at Trade Craft (3737 N Mesa Ste B) you can pick up a pound of Turquoise Trail, Buzz Kill Decaf OR our wonderful new House Blend created especially for Trade Craft. Trade Craft House Blend is all Organic with flavors of chocolate, oranges/citrus, light acidityand a very smooth body. 

So....stop in, take a break, enjoy some time for yourself or chatting with family and pick up a pound of fresh roasted coffee. 

Lolita💋 

Shhh.....You Look Parched

Neon Sign at Trade Craft

Neon Sign at Trade Craft

I know many many of you were disappointed when Johnny Lolita's decided to close the brick & mortar coffee shop on HWY 28 in La Union.  We were looking to grow our business in what I...(aka Lolita) was uber passionate about....roasting coffee.

Our goal is/was and forever will be, delivering fresh, roasted coffee. I had the ability to find top quality green beans from all over the world and truly begin to perfect my roasting. The results have been fantastic and I feel I've accomplished so much in the last year since we closed the actual shop. 

Now, I am able to focus on my local customers by delivering fresh roasted coffee locally (Las Cruces/El Paso area), create automatic monthly subscriptions to our dedicated customers who never wish to miss a single day of Johnny lolita's roasts AND our newest stream...providing fresh roasted coffee to unique coffee bars, specialty food trucks, restaurants, hotels & more!

Currently we have new accounts beginning in Arizona, however, we NOW have an uber ( I know...uber is my favorite word today) cool place to grab a wonderful cup of roasted Johnny Lolita's deliciousness here in El Paso.... AND the place is Trade Craft.

Espresso + Tonic H2O + Lemon Twist = Delish!

Espresso + Tonic H2O + Lemon Twist = Delish!

Trade Craft is a place to unwind with dark wood and exposed brick walls surrounding you. Tall backed booths to work and read quietly while sipping your favorite cup of french pressed coffee or espresso based drinks. The electrical plugs are well thought out for the traveling sales rep, student or "techy" guy/gal by providing plugs and usb ports as well.

Looking for a new twist on your coffee? How about an espresso, tonic water with a lemon twist? It is de-ish and refreshing especially as the summer heats up! How about taking it another step further? How about some brandy, (my fav) or your favorite liquor in your coffee? How about a specialty made cocktail that speaks of hand crafted workmanship and care so lacking in today's fast paced world? Right down to the brandy infused cherries that are made from scratch like so many of their syrups and sauces.

Photo courtesy of Trade Craft

Photo courtesy of Trade Craft

It's here people and it's the kind of place that young and old El Pasoans will enjoy. I really don't want to tell you any more....I'm not going to show you a bunch of photos of the place....you have to go and experience for yourself and yes...it IS an experience! Shhhh....tell them Lolita sent ya! 

Trade Craft Logo

Trade Craft Logo

Soft Opening Hours:

M-W 8AM-Noon, 5PM-Midnight,

TH-FRI 8AM-Noon 4PM-2AM,

SAT 5PM-2AM

Address 3737 N Mesa Suite B                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Lolita💋