Checking Out Italy, January 2017

My friends have been asking me my plans to visit Italy January 14-31 so I put just a tiny blog post together to capture my thoughts and allow for advice from everyone =]

Planning my trip in Italy. If you're a coffee professional in Rome/Florence/Rimini/Venice/Milan then let's chat!

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First off, I am heading to Chicago Sunday January 8, then leave for Fort Collins, Colorado on January 11. Leaving straight from Denver to Rome, Italy. I chose to fly into Rome because how could that be a poor decision? I am in Italy because I will be working the www.sigep.it event in Rimini January 21-25. So I have from January 14th till the 20th to explore. Then I fly out of Milan, Italy on January 31.

With all that said, here is my ROUGH agenda:

  • January 13: leave Denver
  • January 14: get to Rome, stay CouchSurfing in Rome till January 19 when I will travel to Rimini for the work event. I land in Rome at 3:41PM.
  • January 15:
    • 9:30A-12:30P Colosseum, so many choices (3 hour tour $48 link). May even see the Baths of Caracalla & Villa Quintili Combo while there ($11 link)
    • Have till 7P to take this 50 minute tour of Leonardo Da Vinci exhibit ($11 link). Since I work for a brand called DaVinci Gourmet, I sort of have to see this, right?
  • January 16:
    • 9A-12P Catacombs – St. Sebastian Catacombs and Appian Way Coach Tour ($59 link)
  • January 17: make sure I see most of these….
    • Mamertine Prison
    • Capitol Hill
    • Victor Emmanuel Monument
    • Pantheon
    • Piazza Navona
    • St Peters
    • Vatican museum
    • Dolce Vita stroll
    • Trevi Fountain
  • January 18: might head into Florence, if so to see……
    • Florence tourist interests:
      • La Marzocco espresso machine plant
      • Duomo (possible audio tour $23 link)
      • Baptistry
      • Palazzo Vecchio
      • Ponte Vecchino
      • Midici Chapel
      • Piazzale Michelangelo
  • January 19:
      • Cooking class, 10-2p ($86 link)
      • Walking food tour, 3P-5P ($72 link)
      • 2 people required – Beer tour ($63 link)
        • Other odd adventures
  • January 20-25: work at the Sigep event, Rimini
    • Rimini tourist interests
  • January 26-30: Venice
    • Venice tourist interests
      • St Mark’s Basilic
  • January 30-31: Milan
    • Milan tourist interests
      • Milan Cathedral (link)
      • Piazza del Duomo (link)
      • Galeria Vittorio Emanuele II (link)
  • January 31: 10:25AM fly out of Milan, Italy arriving in Chicago January 31st at 5:17PM

ACP 059: Caffeine Crawl in Madison Wisconsin

INTRO
Do you go on cafe or bar crawls? This fall in Madison, Wisconsin I got to do the CaffeineCrawl.com event, big event with a lot of logistics and moving parts. Lots to organize, great exposure for local cafes and super fun for the local community. For me as an attendee it was a great chance to see the whole local scene at one time, stopping into shops that I haven’t been into before.
This episode can be thought of as an extension of the Yelp (episode 54) podcast we did, making a special event and getting people out to see you.

TIME 2:55 : Local coverage…
Sadie from CaffeineCrawl.com took to getting local coverage for JBCCoffeeRoasters.com and all other cafes, reaching out to all media know about. It was important to have a killer after party to end the whole day off on a great note as a whole group of coffee crawlers, all were invited.

TIME 3:35 : Levi’s comments…
If you’re going to setup an event you may not be able to get TV coverage, but what about at least setting the event up on Facebook/Yelp/CouchSurfing/MeetUp/Twitter #YourTown/other sites like local paper? This is SO IMPORTANT.
Think of the next thing, what is the next event you want to promote? The Crawl had a TNT, then after the TNT a local bar to grab drinks? Make sure to leave off with a “Thank you for visiting our cafe and don’t forget about our next event…”

TIME 4:45 : Cafe-Collaboration…
When planning make your first goal to have shops shine in the way they feel comfortable and proud of and is unique to them. Make sure that the samples being served are totally delicious and wonderful, also test to make sure the team can make multiple samples back-to-back-to-back.

TIME 6:00 : Levi’s comments…
Work ON your business not just IN your business.
As Sadie talks to cafes she learns about different roasters who want to have a small pop-up because they don’t have a local retail location. Like JBC, hosting a party because they don’t have retail space at this time, it was perfect for them to open the roastery and welcome people in.
Serve a drink you’re proud of and make sure the other spots aren’t serving that drink as well.

TIME 7:10 : Putting together routes…
Pair businesses that work together well, could be a few surprises along the way, especially little snacks to eat. Craft beverages and foods fit together. This is a chance to meet the makers in the background of the local community.

TIME 8:40 : Levi’s comments…
If you make an event will there be an over-arching theme such as “Coffee in the spring” or “Coffee drinks made without dairy” or “Meet the makers”? Think about what you can do that is super special. What about 1980’s theme, each location playing their favorite ‘80s tunes all day?

TIME 9:50 : How to prepare, catering to customers…
You need 10-15 minutes of great intro to your cafe for people to listen to, you will repeat this the whole day so practice it!
Bridge the gap of enthusiast and pro barista. Meet customers where they are at, whether you’re a hip 4th wave or a Java Jive Cafe with free wifi.
Good chance for someone to see what the community can offer them, this is a chance for people to pick their new favorite cafe in town.
Encourage guests to ask if someone has questions. Leave plenty of time for the community to chat. Important for everyone to feel comfortable and welcome.

TIME 12:50 : Levi’s comments…
This is a great chance for you to make an elevator speech for your business, from there stretch it to a 10 minute pitch.

TIME 14:10 : Columbus Ohio recap…
Old and New contrast, things that don’t seem to fit can be special, even for their contrast. Some may even say that “the obstacle IS the way.”

TIME 16:35 : Levi’s comments…
You can make cafes that don’t really ‘fit together’ and make it work, collaborate, rising tide raises all ships.
That next weekend after an event like this be sure to have a post-event hangout for all the staff(s) who worked the event, re-give a briefing of your speech and best practices you noticed. After all, this event is as much for you as it is for the people who are attending it.

TIME 17:30 : How can you be a great cafe to work with?…
Being accessible is key. Check your email, be alert when serving drinks.

TIME 19:35 : Levi’s comments…
Prepare, have everything setup the day or week before so you can attend to last minute details and also be promoting the actual event the day before, rather then not at all after the fact.
Have fun. Check in with everyone face to face that is working the event to see if they are alright. Appreciate them, make sure they are supported. Drink the drinks they are working on and provide feedback like “I think people are really going to like this part of your presentation.”

TIME 21:10 : National drink trends…
Nitro coffee on Draft, bridging the gap between craft beer and coffee. Impressive baristas working hard to master niches. Coffee/Cocktails (like gin with coffee).

TIME 24:00 : Levi’s comments…
Get out there and host something special for everyone. Don’t be afraid to try something totally different. Contact other businesses in your area and get something special going, who knows where it will lead to =]

MUSIC : The Dirty Moogs, Clause. Podington Bear, Now Son. Podington Bear, Movin On Up. Podington Bear, Now Son.

How To Play Barista At Home

I am often asked “Levi, what’s the best espresso machine for home?” which can lead to SO many answers, depending on what you want exactly. But to be a generalist, here is usually what I point to: this espresso machine for $1,295 or $685, paired with this grinder. Its usually the best option. I have used the Nuova Simmonelli Oscar for dozens of events, its perfect for home and smaller events.

Home setup =]

Yes the above suggestion is fairly pricey, but you could actually buy one of these gorgeous beasts designed for home, Slayer/La Marzocco/Synesso for more than a few thousand dollars each.

The big thing for making great coffee is to simply use the right water and BAM you have a HUGE head start. Great blog post on the correct water to use, to make it easy on you I *generally* suggest spring water. Now, you have to buy coffee to brew coffee, right? Well don’t buy coffee with expiration dates, instead focus on coffee that is 2 days up to 2 weeks old, or ‘from roast date.’ That’s generally the sweet spot.

ACP 058: Tulsa Coffee Crawl

Topeca Coffee in Tulsa hangs photos of their coffee farm on their wall, then roasts it to be tasty

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Topic
1) Coffee crawling through Tulsa, OK
2) Meeting baristas is a great thing
3) Get out there and try stuff, bring people with you
4) Thank you to Samuel Smith (video below), for coming along with me on the trip

Insight:
1) Ask baristas ‘where should I go next’ and use Yelp to save the answers
2) Cold Brew nitro with vanilla and cream was outrageously great
3) Maple Soda uses shelf stable ingredients that don’t expire or require to be ‘dialed in’

Reason to interact:
1) Map of the places I went
2) Maple Soda and Sparkling Green Tea recipe
3) Photos of the drinks (below!)

“How do I use Yelp to find cool places?”
1) Look for 3-5 star ratings
2) Number of reviews and photos should be higher relative to other local cafes/places
3) Keep track on your favorites list when someone suggests a place, then when in a new area open up your “Bookmarks” tab in the mobile app
4) Checkout podcast #54

I got to see Tulsa Oklahoma through three peoples eyes in the last two days. One girl has Family ties to the land, literally the very Native American clan who named this place Tulsa so very long ago. She also had dinosaur bones in her house that I got to see, while Indiana Jones played in the background on her XBox. Another girl who I would call a traveling bartender, staying in town for a few months or years experiencing the area, but always looking to the next place that may quench her thirst again, for now. And finally I worked out of the café this morning while I watched a barista who I had met when he was a teenager. He's now moving up in the world and shared his experience about going to New York and Vancouver Canada because of his skill and craft with coffee. I grabbed my phone and looked up his name, where I found a bunch of notes about him and his coworker and a wonderful experience I had here almost exactly 2 years ago . I have it to him on his break while we reconnected and laugh and over how I described him back then . Three different people, two industries, one city. Tulsa

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Time 2:18
    Visit the show notes for ISI Whipped cream recipes. I’ve seen some sped-up extraction recipes.
    How can you tell if its real ice? …It melts.
Time 3:45
    Different levels of carbonation for different brands
    Real Maple or Honey does change the mouth feel, LINK to brands and their level of carbonation. Sometimes a high level of carbonation is great because some recipes have a lot of other ingredients competing for the total volume of the drink itself.
Time 4:44
    Espresso Tonic recipe, Levi uses just a hint of espresso in his recipe to allow for coffee to be the background flavor, rather than having it dominate the flavor profile.
    Thought – why don’t we look at espresso as a background flavor?
Time 6:50
    Owl Puccino signature drink, the name plays into what the cafe used to be called. What about a signature drink called the Al-Puccino, and it can be made with almond milk?
Time 8:30
    Foolish Things Coffee Company, don’t be foolish, ask questions.
    Oak Aged Cold Brew Float – was cool, you can use a brand like Time & Oak to get those flavors. They used local ice cream but not enough, lost the woody-flavor but like the idea and it was fun.
    Cold Brew Soda with Blueberry Shrubs –
Time 13:00
    Do the next thing, hop on Yelp and find a cafe then ask the barista ‘where should I go next?’ and they may direct you to some wonderful place or party that only the locals know about. I also use Yelp to bookmark places I will visit in the future when you’re in that town.
Time 15:30
    Why don’t we list the barista that came up with that signature drink like they do at fancy bars?

Yelp, raining bird poop in Tulsa…

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Thank you to Podington Bear, for lending the track Gravy.

Strawberry Basil Lassi

The Strawberry Basil Lassi

We’ve been showing this recipe at recent trade shows like Coffee Fest and the SCAA as more than a ‘try our syrups’ but as a ‘come and have a little snack to settle your tummy.’ Trade shows are so hard because most people are really hungry. So my thought was to serve a treat that would help people get through the day.

What makes this drink/treat so good is using fresh basil. Did you know you can blend it right into the syrup and let it infuse? I had the idea when I was cold brewing some coffee one day and I also had some basil, then I thought ‘why haven’t I cold brewed these together???’ Of course this is just called an infusion. For the basil I use a handful (the amount that comes in a small package from a grocery store) and let it infuse for 4-8 hours. Then I strain it (with this cocktail strainer if on the go) back off into the bottle, then write “Basil” on it.

You don’t want to blend the basil too fine, because then the herb wont be strained all the way and produce a little extra mouth feel. You only want the flavor of the basil, not the actual basil to be in the syrup. Here I blend just for a few seconds.

Creating the Strawberry Basil Lassi recipe, part 1

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Here is basically how I make the drink.

Strawberry Basil Lassi, part 2

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Pouring from different heights and also pouring faster or slower will produce different layers. You can always stir it up completely, but I like to have it layer like the very top photo.

A little before and after shot.

Adding herbs & blending together to infuse flavors 👌🏻 I've been using these in sodas & yogurt recipes lately

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Another flavor that works is mango and mint.

Reversed Irish Coffee

This is my favorite recipe right now, this one is the most exciting to me.

 

Debuting the recipe here at Coffee Fest Anaheim on the last day of the trade show.

 

Reversed Irish Coffee Recipe:

  • 4 oz cold brew (concentrate)
  • 1 oz Jameson
  • Pour those into a pint glass filled with ice or chill in a freezer
  • Separately heat up to 150-160F
  • 2 oz half and half (or cream)
  • 1 oz DaVinci Gourmet Naturals Vanilla
  • Put these warmed ingredients into a small (small is essential) french press and agitate by plunging swiftly till textured
  • Pour chilled coffee and Jameson into a frozen 8 oz mug, straining the ice
  • Tilt the mug so the coffee is always near the lip/rim, then pour the warm cream on stop in the same fashion
  • Top with coffee grounds, serve

 

About the recipe, it was developed with the help of co-worker Jason Raines in 2015. We began working on it together for a “Guest Barista Night” I (LevI) was doing at Ben’s shop Rockford Roasting Co. We ended up not showing this recipe but showed the Strawberry Basil Lassi as the featured recipe instead.

This recipe is intended for a bar to use, in theory the bar could easily create this recipe by adding three tools to their setup:

  1. Cold brewer (I used the Toddy system)
  2. Kettle or way to quickly heat cream (I use an antique yellow one, but here is a suggestion that is easy to clean after use)
  3. Small french press (small is essential because this recipe uses just 3 oz of hot liquid, link)

Drink in action, notice the cold brew being sipped up and pulled from the bottom on the glass 👏🏼

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ACP 057: Levi Gets Interviewed Pt. 3

Episode 3 of 3, the in park interview. Above is a short video of me making the Reversed Irish Coffee recipe (no booze).

Please enjoy this recipe and if you menu it or make it for a party

Reversed Irish Coffee Recipe:

  • 4 oz cold brew (concentrate)
  • 1 oz Jameson
  • Pour those into a pint glass filled with ice or chill in a freezer
  • Separately heat up to 150-160F
  • 2 oz half and half (or cream)
  • 1 oz DaVinci Gourmet Naturals Vanilla
  • Put these warmed ingredients into a small (small is essential) french press and agitate by plunging swiftly till textured
  • Pour chilled coffee and Jameson into a frozen 8 oz mug, straining the ice
  • Tilt the mug so the coffee is always near the lip/rim, then pour the warm cream on stop in the same fashion
  • Top with coffee grounds, serve

Show notes:

Time 1:10 – Levi talks about the Reversed Irish Coffee recipe, his new favorite coffee cocktail.
Time 4:40 – “Where is the industry going with beverage recipes, to mocktails?” Talk a little about bottomless portafilters and the MAVAM espresso machine. Also the DaVinci Gourmet Iced Coffee syrup was mentioned for restaurants that don’t have an espresso machine.
Time 5:40 – There is no new origin or ingredients on the market, like the past the stories that spice traders would make up to keep from finding their spices. Barista Meets Barman presentation at 2016 TOTC, you have just one machine and one area to make things for coffee. For a bar there may be multiple bar stations.
Time 7:10  “What I like about going to a cool cafe is that I know I’m going to get a beverage from someone who loves beverages.” Baristas are being more and more serious and well studied on their craft.
Time 7:30 – “How do we come up with an idea for a new syrup?” is asked and Levi talks about challenges with that.
Time 8:10 – Booze Milkshake recipes you say? I’m in but it really is work, even though it sounds like a total dream.
Time 8:25Peach Chipotle coffee recipes? Peach Chipotle White Mocha? Sprite-Asada recipe? How are you thinking about recipes with coffee in them, do you have to use a whole 1-2 oz shot or do you use just a little espresso in your recipes? Have you tried an Espresso Tonic with just a little (0.25 oz) espresso in it? What are you assuming incorrectly about approaching coffee recipes? Why don’t you pull all of your ingredients out and look at what you have?
Time 10:30 – EOFire.com question “If you woke tomorrow in the same world but you knew no one, what would you do?” has helped me come to new ideas. Look at what you can create when you forget all of your assumptions about hurdles. As the book title says, “The Obstacle is the Way”
Time 12:25 – Fruit Loop Frappe “It looks like a clown went to art school”
Time 13:25 – Why not try to do that crazy business idea? What are you doing to up your game as a barista? That is where I met great people like Laila Ghambari. One of my coffee epiphanies came from just different dosing of espresso weight then tasting the difference.
Time 15:55 – “Super Natural” natural opportunities in life that you can turn into learning or opportunities. Laila taught us all the basics. Caffe Ladro in Seattle used a head Coffee Trainer, a manager at each cafe, then also a Coffee Educator to each of the 11 locations so each location has the same coffee experience.
Time 18:30 – Coffee books with bizarre recipes, trying all the recipes was really fun. Gilligan’s Island Latte, Marzipan Latte, making fun drinks like that.
Time 19:40 – Using the perfect brown bananas. Bananas actually are an easy and great analogy for learning about flavor, green/yellow/brown banana. Red Velvet Mocha recipe.
Time 21:10 – Do the weird unexpected twists, such as using dynamic texture or dynamic temperatures together. Chia seeds can be hydrated with Oregon Chai liquid and made into a Chia Chai Soda, Chia Chai Aperol Spritz recipe (I said it was carbonated but I think I spoke incorrectly there oops!).
Time 26:10 – The big take away of look what you can add to these businesses, be scrappy on how to start out, an make sure you properly evaluate your talent.

ACP 056: Levi Gets Interviewed Pt. 2

Some of the highlights from this podcast will include:

  • People are the biggest thing in your business, the right people bring in all the best opportunities.
  • Levi talks a little about oatmeal coffee? Yum or no?
  • How do you convince people to work in one area over another, such as the register over the espresso machine? Conflicts disguised as opportunity, a conflict brings up a topic that clearly needs to be addressed.
  • What its like to start a cafe, get married, and go back to school all at the same time. It’s very hard but it can be done if you focus and have support. On the flip side having a cafe during a divorce, how do you turn this around.
  • What its like to work from 4:30A to 6:30P to get your cafe up and running on its feet? Its better to have a more time to work ON your business rather than always be working IN your business.
  • What its like to attend and speak at a CoffeeFest.com event 6 times per year.

 

 

I ate this recipe for a summer, depending on taste you can add in raisins, maple syrup, or DaVinci Gourmet Naturals Vanilla syrup to sweeten it up.

OATMEAL COFFEE RECIPE

30g Bob’s Red Mill – 7 Grain Hot Cereal
10g Viva Labs Organic Maca Powder
0.2g Wild Oats Marketplace Organic Cinnamon
7g Plentiful Planet Organic Raw Pumpkin Seed Kernals
30g Crunchy Peanut Butter
15g (3 Tbsp) Dandy Blend
10g Kirkland Signature Organic Coconut Oil
280g (10 fl oz) hot water

Blend together!

 

Thanks to the Dirty Moogs for the killer background music

APC 055: Levi Gets Interviewed Pt. 1

I’m off to Coffee Fest Anaheim but wanted to post this ASAP! See ya’ll in California? =]

 

Topeca Coffee in Tulsa hangs photos of their coffee farm on their wall, then roasts it to be tasty

A photo posted by Levi Andersen (@audio_cafe) on

 

Thanks to Behance for my logo design.

Drinking Through Toronto

Off to Toronto! This planes paint is all scratched off — hope the seats aren’t held together with duck tape

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Happy and dehydrated ‘hello, eh’ from Toronto Ontario. This is my 4th trip to Canada, 2nd time to Toronto this year! What a crazy awesome career I have to actually be working in these cities, hard to believe they also pay me! I wanted to share the places I went to and talk about them just a little more. No I haven’t gone to every cafe in the city of course, and no not every bar either! ….but a guy can dream.

Toronto for a coffee festival, Anaheim next weekend for another coffee festival 🙈

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I’m a sucker for taking those cheesy-tourist-photos =]

First off, I should tell the story of where I stayed, 1 place was a CouchSurfing.com host, the other was a shady-hostel. ……more about those later….. That hostel place was so terrible……… Myyyy goodness it could be its own short video, yeah, that may have to be how I do it?

In somewhat chronological order (thanks Instagram for helping me remember!), here are the cafes that I checked out over my two trips to Toronto July and September of 2016. I flew in on a Saturday, giving me all day Sunday to explore one area in downtown.

First place I stopped by was definitely my favorite conversation, turns out I was served by the two owners which is always a blast for me. I love to see a happy healthy couple who are together following their passion, its not terribly uncommon either. I was chatting with them about the Toronto coffee culture and where I should go next. What is so great about visiting a new city is that I pick out a great cafe then ask them where I should go next, I can’t recall a time when this has steered me wrong.

 

Doughnuts topped with brownies you say???

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They also had some lovely pastries, I only indulged in one….. so far. After my one coffee Outpost suggested I head to Propeller Coffee.

I tried some of their house kombucha on tap because Outpost had me really fired up with caffeine after just one ‘flat white.’ A blessing and a curse. The space was great, its a huge space with great design and thought put into the space.

Digging this huge coffee growing mural map

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Who doesn’t love a little coffee map?

Love this photo: Toronto + Bill Nye + coffee + sunny day + bliss

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There’s a cafe called Extra Butter Coffee? Well yeah, that totally has to be my next stop! Of course, they were making the ‘bullet proof’ style coffee which I started seeing in spring of 2013, really taking full force in 2015. There are a few places doing butter in their coffee, usually coconut oil as well, personally I like it with cinnamon powder as well. I talked to the barista about a few riff ideas but either I was still zinging from espresso or he wasn’t into it – what ya gonna do?

“Ok, let’s talk cascara cherries sir” #NerdOutWithMe

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I spent a bit of time talking to the baristas at Reunion Island Coffee Bar, before running across the street to grab a slice of pizza…. make that two slices actually. The baristas were into the idea of sharing ideas and recipes. Now that it has been a couple of months I don’t remember precisely the ingredients that went into this drink, but it was something like a cascara (coffee cherry) soaked in a simple syrup with a little maple, then poured over tonic. I remember really enjoying it and chatting for a while about tonic in drinks. My thought is there needs to be less espresso in most recipes I see around the USA. I also talked about my own “Espresso Tonic” recipe that I was making in Dublin Ireland for the World of Coffee 2016 event. My main point was to use less espresso than you think you need, then try it again the next day with even less espresso.

Grabbed an iced hibiscus tea on tap

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Lit Espresso Bar, was doing some cool things. Mostly I want to point out their chalkboard sign, and the helpful graph they have that shows milk ratios for beverages. Its such a great graph to help people decide what to get or what they may like the most.

For that Sunday I was shot, I headed to a music festival on the beach and then crashed for the day. Picking up on Monday I headed to Kensington Market where I saw things like this and heard things like that. Eclectic area.

I was blown away by this idea. In August I played around with my own versions of chia meeting soda, how the dynamic textures combine to make one flavor experience. This one was a sort of lemonade soda flavor. Didn’t care toooooo much for the color of it.

Fun Toronto cafe menu

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That location was called Moonbean Coffee, its funny but I was only headed there because I heard they had a clean restroom, so glad I dropped by!

 

Nearly missed that one 🙄

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There I am nearly missing the plane to get back to Wisconsin! It happens sometimes, oops.

 

Then I was back from more in September 2016 for the Canadian Coffee and Tea Show. My co-worker Joey led a class called “Barista Meets Bartender” and I helped lead as well. These were drinks with coffee and booze in them. The really cool thing was Joey (the bartender) made drinks that a cafe can bring into their business if they have a limited liquor license (or just small storage), then I (the barista) focused on what can a bar do with just adding cold brew.

"BARIST MEETS BARTENDER" class just finished and one of us is buzzed and one is boozed 😉

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(No the caption below isn’t totally true – but it seemed so playful and fun I just had to)

Busy cafe, Toronto, natural light and caffeine bursting from everywhere

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Dineen, met two baristas from Australia here. I must say, the manager (oh no, I forgot her name!) may the most killer-dream-about-that-foam-latte for me. Gooooooodness it was good. I may or maaaaay have gone back again for a decaf latte, and again the next day, just saying.

This rad cafe has the best phone…..

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The whole space is gorgeous, so old-world and charming. Checkout the phone they have on the wall, yes, that is the phone, yes it does work….. Either its BRILLIANT or ridiculous (and that’s pretty much how I like to live my life).

I wouldn’t have stopped in Hot Black Coffee if not for the sign outside, but I am so glad I did. Look at these crazy creations, how have I not been using agar to turn liquids into gels? What an idea. It was super fun to suck through the straw.

NEO COFFEE BAR as you can see by my Instagram post, there was a lot to love about this space. I think the caption is enough for now.

Sipping a Coffee Soda in Toronto

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After hanging out in one cafe for a few hours and working on my emails I headed to Cafe de Melbourne, to change up the scenery. I love walking cafe to cafe, seeing a city from the streets, hearing the sounds and smelling the smells. Sometimes making friends along to way. This cafe is another one owned by a husband and wife, the husband originally from Portland Oregon and the wife from Australia. They moved to Toronto fairly recently and opened this location, living upstairs in the building. What a dream, right? If you visit you gotta check out the reclaimed hand washing water that is used to fill the toilet water – I had heard about these but hadn’t seen one yet!