All posts tagged coffee

Kitchen coffee center: just put it in a drawer!

One of the main goals for my new kitchen was to find a solution for my coffee stuff. In our previous space, it was sort of confined to a corner of the counter, but still took up counter space and still was an eyesore. Since I use a stove top coffee maker and/or a French press, I hand wash the parts and need a place to dry them. Again, that takes up counter space.

So what do we have in total? A coffee grinder, a hot water kettle, a couple of coffee pots that are used regularly, canisters of beans, a milk frother, coffee stirrers, sugar… these really add up!

The solution is using one of my drawers in our new IKEA kitchen as a hidden coffee station. It turns some of the IKEA parts that go with the Bygel rail system seem to fit nicely on the rails for the drawer. As you can see, I’ve got some of the smaller items in the Bygel cups and have used one of the baskets for drying my coffee pot. I’ve put an old cloth underneath so the drawer doesn’t get wet, and have also taken a small cloth bag and put some uncooked rice in it to absorb any leftover humidity (you can’t see it in the photo but it’s there. It’s about the size of a golf ball). So far, so good.

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Cold Brewed Coffee in a French Press at Home

I will consume coffee almost any which way. There was a scene in a Jim Belushi movie where he eats a tablespoon full of coffee grounds because he’s desperate for his morning coffee*. One can relate.

Cold brew has become more popular as of late. The lack of heat keeps coffee sweeter, keeps the acid down so it’s less harsh on your tummy and allows different flavors to come through. A great experiment is to brew your usual beans using your usual method and then try the cold brew method. You might notice more chocolate or vanilla flavors that weren’t there before because they were hidden under a layer of heat and acid. I wouldn’t say cold brew makes “better” coffee, but it’s certainly different**.

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Friday Linkathon: Construction Edition

It’s been a rough couple of weeks. We failed inspection thanks to a brand new inspector that is having our contractor bend over backwards. While I appreciate his thoroughness, it’s slowing us down to a crawl. Good news: WE HAVE HOT WATER:

Takagi TK-4

Takagi TK-4

This is the Takagi TK-4. It’s been providing us hot water for the last couple of days and so far, so good. It’s about as loud as a bathroom fan, which was our biggest concern.

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Afternoon Tea: a modern update to an old tradition

So my previous post on snacking indicates that I appreciate meals outside of the Three Squares. In fact, they’ve become imperative for me since I don’t eat breakfast. When 3pm rolls around, I start to get hungry and, until recently, go for whatever is in my field of vision.

And in yet another previous post, I’ve also indicated that I’m a coffee drinker. But that doesn’t mean that I’m totally into tea as well. In fact, my #1 afternoon pick me up is usually a Starbucks Venti Green Iced Tea, no water, no sweetener. I try to keep this habit at bay since daily Starbucks trips can really add up. And unlike my coffee, I will not touch any tea that has been sweetened. I think my mom originally got me started on unsweetened iced tea with lemon. She’d drink it constantly and as any curious child, I finally wanted to try some. “EW!” was my first reaction. But tastes evolve and here we are.

afternoon tea

Traditional Tea Service. Via Flickr

Afternoon tea services have cropped up at boutique hotels and eateries. Depending on the lavishness of the establishment, it can range from tea and snacks to what I’d consider a full-blown meal. It’s nice to see these places make it their own tradition. For me, it is a great way to pace your afternoon. A lot of people eat lunch from 12-1pm, followed by a non-stop race to 6pm. And then you get home, feed your face, watch TV and go to bed. But when you take 30 minutes to have a cup of tea and a snack around 3 (4pm seems too late to me), the afternoon seems less daunting.

And just to clear things up, what is commonly referred to “high tea” is actually a heavy meal with meat, AKA dinner. Afternoon tea is called “low tea” and is what you usually see in the United States when someone says “high tea.” Afternoon/Low/Light Tea consists of tea with snacks like scones, cookies, jam and toast, etc. Sometimes there’s cake and not-so-light pastries, and now you’re more into the “full” tea service. What’s crazy is the British diet consisted of breakfast (ale, bread and meat) and dinner at the very end of the day (which was also heavy and lasted until right before bedtime). At some point tea time was introduced and then they were just eating all the time.

But enough with tradition. It’s 2013 and I really think the British had something going here! So I’ve made my own modern tea time:

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Italian Stovetop Espresso: Not just for decorating but for great coffee!

A couple of years ago I became infatuated with stovetop espresso. I liked the idea of an espresso maker that didn’t cost as much as a Volkswagen and yet produced decent coffee. Yes, coffee. The true espresso aficionados will tell you that the stuff that is produced by this little pot is a strong coffee and not an espresso. But since it looks like espresso and is seemingly as strong as espresso, we’ll refer to it as such. Moving on…

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