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💋 

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💋  

 

 

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💋 

Your Coffee Is Out For Delivery

I love reading those words on my computer. Well....the United States Post Service doesn't know that the packages I'm shipping contain coffee, but I know. And the only thing the USPS emails me is "Your package is delivered"...but I know better.

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So does the postman that comes to pick up the orders and so does the postal guy at our local counter. With all theses boxes filled with fresh roasted coffee, you can't miss it.  My one friend at the post office loves to take a deep breath in and inhale all that coffee goodness. Of course there is typically a line of people watching as I pass them by and pile all the packages on the side counter. (No, I'm not cheating...I've created and paid for my labels online so all I have to do is drop off) however, people do wonder of this odd relationship I have with the postal guy. But we don't care....we both stick our faces in all the packages, inhale together and just smile. We then part with a wave and say "Until next time." And he says "I'll be waiting." 

We roast our coffee fresh on Monday and Thursday to ensure that all our customers receive the freshest batch of roasted coffee. So if you order online or for local delivery Thursday through Sunday, we will roast Monday and ship out Tuesday. If you order Monday through Wednesday, we will roast Thursday and ship out Friday. 

Head to Johnny Lolita's online and check out our latest coffee offerings. Order your next bag of coffee...delivered fresh to your door. 

Lolita💋 

 

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💋