Tooting My Own Horn

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Ok...yes...I'm tooting my own horn. Why? Well I was so excited to see yet another great review on our coffee. I do L❤️VE roasting coffee. It's my quiet time...my "zen" in the morning if you will. It's a whole ritualistic thing for me. Writing out my orders, weighing the green beans, preparing the roaster and roasting the beans. I spend a lot of time on each batch of coffee I roast. Making sure I take the right amount of time, the right amount of heat and hit the right temperature to make a great tasting cup.

I constantly worry....worry about each roast ensuring I'm managing my roast resulting in a perfect cup for my customers. All my customers...old and new love the taste and have their favorite coffee. It's a constant worry for me that I'm producing a great cup. 

Step in CoffeeKen...click on his name and it will take you to his website.  I met Ken via Twitter a couple of years ago when I first started roasting coffee in New Mexico. CoffeeKen is a "Java junkie, blogger and coffee aficionado". He's been passionate about coffee since he was very young and has taken his passion and knowledge and created a great "all about coffee" website to learn about great coffee shops and coffee roasters as well as brewing techniques and best practices to making your morning cup. If you're a coffee lover and planning a trip, check out his website and see if there are cool coffee stops you can check out on your travels. 

Ok...I digress...Recently moving to Arizona, I wanted to meet CoffeeKen and provide him some of my coffee. I was so nervous....I'm basically putting myself out there with someone who's pretty darn knowledgable about coffee. The one thing I did know about CoffeeKen was he's a very positive person and if he doesn't like your coffee...he just won't write anything about it.  

I kept checking his site to see if anything had come up especially on our Turquoise Trail. I know he's busy and I know he's reviewing other coffees....but that wasn't helping my cause. Lol  

CoffeeKen texted me a brief note telling me he had a chance to try our Coffee and he loved it. WHEW!!! Heavy sigh of relief. Needless to say he wrote a great review on our Turquoise Trail. Along with the Turquoise Trail, I handed him our Buzz Kill Decaf. I wasn't sure if he drank decaf...most serious coffee people enjoy the caffeine jolt.  

Again, I was excited to receive another note from him letting me know he reviewed the Buzz Kill Decaf. I was very very happy and humbled on the report he delivered on our caffeine free java. With a big smile on my face, here's an excerpt from his blog. "I was very much skeptical. Imagine my surprise, that when I finally got around to brewing this coffee up, I was completely taken aback by it’s richness in aroma, flavor, and body! Even the acidity was perfect for me!"

I am not a decaf person either, however, this decaf really makes a great cup of coffee. I don't realize I'm drinking a decaf as you do on most decaffeinated coffee. If you'd like to take the time and read the full review, please click here.  

Thank you CoffeeKen for your review...  I am sitting back with a cup and a BIG smile on my face. 

Lolita💋 

Yoga & Coffee...A Perfect Duo

Doodles for the day

Doodles for the day

Last year when I was quickly approaching the big 5-0, I was becoming more and more aware of my health. Reason being.... My mom had her first heart attack at 50. I was a junior in highschool and I will never forget that day when a student came into the classroom with a note asking me to go to the activities director's office. My parents were friends with the director and she was waiting for me. My dad was waiting on the phone and told me that mom was in the hospital. She had suffered a heart attack. Of course my mom was insistent on going home...she just wanted a couple of aspirin and she would head home to rest. Needless to say she started a new routine and program to get back in shape. 

Fast forward to last year...all that ( regarding my mom at 50) was weighing on my mind and I really didn't want to deal with the same situation my mom endured. So I started a new regime to get healthy, lose weight and exercise. I always managed to exercise all my life. I love to do stuff outdoors...bicycling is my absolute favorite as well as walking and hiking. The good news is Johnny and I lost weight. Johnny actually hit his goal weight (I hate him) and I'm working on hitting mine. I'm not there but I'm getting close (wink wink smiley face). We are big believers about healthy eating but not perfect. Calories going in verses calories going out. Yes...we do eat sugar from time to time. I digress and I really need to get back to what I wanted to talk about...Yoga and Coffee. 

If you're living in "two zip codes past hell" called Arizona with extreme temperatures, Johnny and I are going to start doing yoga indoors. There are some great apps via Apple & Android that you can mirror right on to your tv. 

There are incredible benefits to yoga. Yoga actually burns quite a bit of calories and stimulates your muscles. It's a whole mind & body workout uniting stretching and strengthening. I am focusing on some yoga exercises that focus more on weight loss. I can't wait to see Johnny stretching...he's never been a "bendy" person like me. 

Today, more and more research suggest coffee as an "assist" to losing weight. High quality coffee beans to improve the condition of the body and to stimulate your whole form. Yoga has been around for eons and has a great effect on your body to help you lose weight. It seems over recent years...yoga has become more popular. If you think yoga is NOT a serious workout? Just go and try out a class...be gutsy...go right into an advanced class and see how you do. It's not that easy.

My doodle of me and my coffee  

My doodle of me and my coffee  

Drinking coffee before or after your workout in helping in weight loss is heavily debated. The debate is about what you are putting in your coffee. Large amounts of cream and sugar is not going to offer the benefits you need from drinking coffee black. For years, I always drank lattes since I usually was drinking inferior coffee and adding lots of cream and sugar to help the taste. Now I drink coffee black and at times, I will add a little dry creamer. Adding cream and sugar is going to increase the calorie intake and the next thing you know you're basically "drinking a candy bar or two". 

Try drinking a cup of coffee an hour before your workout or yoga. Coffee can boost your energy and alertness, which will result in a more thorough and focused workout. I've also read more studies about the positive effects of coffee on joint and muscle pain. 

Always remember, too much of anything (even coffee) is not good for you. If you can't drink coffee alone because it will cause an upset stomach during your workout, maybe enjoy your coffee as a reward after your workout with your meal.  

I'll keep you posted how Johnny and I do on our new yoga regime.  

S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g now...... 

Lolita💋 

 

 

 

Ways To Enjoy Coffee Cold.

Living in Phoenix, you enjoy the Winter month's temperatures in the 70's. So packed full of people during the wintertime...those escaping the 10 feet of snow and below freezing temps. 

However, the summer here....well it gets a little hot. Ok...a LOT hot. We will be enduring another excessive heat warning this coming weekend with temperatures between 114-120 degrees! 

So, I thought this would be a good time this week to talk about some great "cold inspired" coffee drinks.  

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Are you familiar with an Italian drink...Affogato (means drowned in Italian). You take a scoop of ice cream and pour an espresso shot over it. Of course you may wish to add another scoop...or more. I have a slightly different spin AND a couple of variations.  

You may not have an espresso machine at home...that's ok. I want to show you variations to enjoy at home and to serve to your guests at your next get together. 

I've talked a lot about cold brew method (see blog post on April 20th). It is a great way to brew coffee at home using cold water and patience (12-24 hours). This is a great way to make a great tasting concentrate of coffee too. 

To make a great variation of the Affogato, take a scoop or two of ice cream in a glass, pour 4-6 ounces of cold brew coffee (add as little or as much as you like) over the ice cream and add some whip cream on top, that's it. I made some homemade whip cream for another desert...so I had some to add to the top. The taste is De-lish!

If you are having guests and want to add something "more adult"? Add a shot of Ameretto or other liquor. I like to call it the "Drunken Lolita" 😁

Another variation to the Cold Brew Affogato is to add some soda such as coke or root beer to give it a really refreshing and fizzy taste like a float. 

I'll be adding more fun and cool recipes this to enjoy your coffee cold. If you try it, let me know. Always remember if you have any questions feel free to write me shawn@johnnylolitas.com or leave a comment below. 

Lolita 💋 

Summer Is Here...How About A Nitro Brew

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I'm sure you've seen all over the TV and Internet how Starbucks is bringing Nitro Brew into their stores across the country. This isn't a news flash or something new to the coffee world. However, I will say once again, it was a smaller coffee roaster that introduced this creation awhile back. 

Stumptown Coffee Roasters out of Portland OR, always a strong leader in coffee roasting and other amazing offerings was one of the early producers of nitro brew...selling it in a can...however, Austin Coffee Roaster, Cuvée Coffee seems to be (from what I've read) the first to introduce and serve coffee on tap! Yet I've read others who've stated they were the first to create and bring Nitro Brew....depending on where you are and who you talk to, there might be a difference of opinion. Please know...I can not tell you for certain who started it! Regardless... all the new wonderful ways to drink coffee...was created by a smaller coffee roaster.

So what is Nitro Brew? It is cold brew coffee infused with nitrogen gas. Much like your stouts or Guinness where beer is forced through a pressurized system adding the nitro gas which creates that creamy, "stout style" head. The taste is smooth, clean and so enjoyable. It's a silkier & heavier mouth feel when you drink it. 

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You typically don't add ice, cream etc...you enjoy it black. If the coffee beans are roasted beautifully and the cold brew coffee is made correctly, the final result with nitro will be an incredible experience. As I've talked about before in past posts about making cold brew coffee, you will have a much smoother tasting coffee with no acidic aftertaste.  

Many specialty/artisan coffee shops do sell Nitro Brew for you to enjoy during these hot days of summer. (Yes! Phoenix is hitting 114 degrees this weekend) BUT..... You can enjoy it at home especially if you have someone in the family who enjoys making their own craft beer OR just invest in a tap and get some nitro and "BAM"...you're the hit of the party offering this wonderful alternative way to enjoy coffee. Seeing the cold brew flow out of the tap slow and smooth....leaving a beautiful creamy top is an experience for the eyes. 

There are many videos and instructions on making Nitro Brew at home and it's simple. Now....there are companies out there that are dedicated to selling tap equipment specifically for cold brew coffee. I purchased a "Kegerator" through Amazon and found it very simple to create the cold brew on tap! 

If you L❤️VE entertaining, this would be a wonderful and tasty addition to your "line-up"! As the temps heat up, a nice way to enjoy your coffee. 

Lolita💋  

 

 

Coffee Cockails

Well...Happy Cinco de Mayo!  

It's a party out there and what wouldn't be better then to have coffee + booze to equal YUM! Johnny and I are looking at some great coffee drinks that are refreshing and tasty too. 

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So how about a Salted Carmel Coffee Martini? You can use your Cold Brew Coffee too!    

Here is what you'll need: 

  • 1/2 oz Kahlua
  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 2 oz Coffee (cold or room temperature) 
  • Sea Salt
  • Caramel Sauce

Directions: 

Rim your martini glass with caramel sauce and salt to taste. I would dribble a little of the caramel sauce inside the glass too.  

In a shaker, combine Kahlua, Vodka and Coffee with ice. Shake, shake shake... Strain and serve in the martini glass.  

Its different and refreshing. What a great way to enjoy a little salty...a little sweet...and a little kick! 

Enjoy your Cinco de Mayo and drink responsibly!  

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 💋

Why Not A Coffee Bar!

If you've checked out or revamped website, you'll see that Johnny Lolita’s is making some awesome changes. We are STILL about coffee. However, we are about enjoying and entertaining in your home. We all do it…we LOVE to go out for a nice dinner or up early for some homemade biscuits & gravy at your favorite breakfast joint. But it’s nice to have some wonderful tasting coffee at home and even having friends and family over for coffee!

That being said…I met (via Facebook and Mini affiliations) a wonderful gal all the way from Belgium! We share a love of Mini Coopers & Coffee. (I am on my third Mini which is a Countryman)

One thing that Johnny and I would like for people to take away from our new goal is finding fun and unique ways to enjoy being at home. Cocktails? Barbecues? and yes Coffee. 

Well Panida Thierens from Belgium was given a cool birthday gift from her hubby. Embracing her two loves…Mini’s & Coffee. 

“We were thinking of making a coffee corner, but we didn't find the right furniture” says Panida. “So he made me this!” "He worked two weeks on this project and I think it came out great!" Panida says she is so thankful her husband knows his way around building things. 

She uses a Nespresso machine. Which provides different options for what she is in the mood to drink. I asked Panida to let me know when does she drink coffee. Well, she is a lot like me..any and all the time. Panida enjoys Cappuccinos, Lattes, Macchiatos and of course just a regular cup of coffee. 

She's created a cool Coffee Bar for herself and for anyone who cares to enjoy a hot cup of goodness any time of the day. I think creating a cool Coffee bar along with a Cocktail Bar is very chic. A great space for all your special coffee cups and mugs along with additional items such as sugars, flavorings perhaps and utensils. 

Do you have a special spot for coffee? A Coffee Bar perhaps? Be sure to share your photos with me on our Facebook page! 

My thanks to Panida Thierens all the way from Belgium for allowing me to share her cool Coffee Bar photos!