Emile Haddad Seattle: Something to Look Forward To in 2017

 

Welcome the New Year with the Best Coffees in the Country at the 2017 CoffeeCon

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CoffeeCon is a coffee festival celebrated in key coffee locales in the country, which of course includes Seattle. The festival is the brainchild of author Kevin Sinnott who wrote the book “The Art & Craft of Coffee.” CoffeeCon was first held in Warrenville, IL on February 25, 2012. Attracting thousands of consumers from all over the state, Kevin decided to hold another the following year, also in Warrenville. But by 2014, Kevin thought that other coffee lovers deserve to enjoy the festival as well, and so he brought it to Chicago; and then to LA. By 2015, NYC has become part of CoffeeCon.

CoffeeCon in Seattle for 2017 will be from January 28 to 29. The organizers have yet to release information on the exhibitors, events, classes, and speakers but I’m sure it will be a blast! How can you go wrong with a festival that lets you taste some of the best coffees in the country, try brewing equipment and gear, and learn all about coffee and how to make the perfect brew? For me, it’s one the best events to ever happen in Seattle, bar none.

The best part about CoffeeCon for me is the hands-on lessons you get to join to learn how to create the perfect brew at home. If you’re a barista wannabe, this event is for you! The ticket covers free samples of coffees from participating local and regional roasters—sample as much as you want! Isn’t that great?

I will update this post to give you details of the 2017 CoffeeCon in Seattle as soon as they become available so stay tuned!

Have you been to a CoffeeCon? How was your experience? Please do share it here with us! We’d love to hear all about it! You may reach me through this site. Looking forward to hearing from you!

 

 

Emile Haddad Seattle and Spiced Coffee for the Holidays

 

Coffee with a Twist for the Holidays

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The holidays are upon us and with it comes dinner parties and get-togethers to catch-up with friends and family. Apart from the usual eggnog, there are other beverages that you can whip up to make your gatherings even more special. Since I love coffee, I thought I’d share my go-to coffee concoction for whenever unexpected guests arrive; spiced coffee. When I first served it to my friends and family, I’m glad to say that they simply loved it! They lie it so much that they ask me to make it every time they visit—and not just during the holidays!

Spiced Coffee

This is an old recipe that I found on the Internet several years ago, and I love how the flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg blend so perfectly with the coffee! For this recipe, you will need about ¾ cup of chilled whipping cream, about a cup of freshly ground coffee (medium or mild roast is recommended), two teaspoons of ground cinnamon, 1 ½ tablespoons of powdered sugar, 5 teaspoons of ground cardamom, 1teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 tablespoon brandy, about a tablespoon of sugar, and 7 cups of water.

Now, when I first tried the recipe, I followed all the instructions to a T. But I found that the flavor of cardamom overpowered the cinnamon, so I reduced it to three teaspoons. I also prefer medium roast over mild. You can play with the recipe as well to come up with a taste that suits your preference. The important thing is you know all the basic ingredients.

How to make

First, take the chilled whipping cream and beat it with an electric mixer until you get soft peaks. And then add the powdered sugar and brandy and then beat to peaks with the mixer again. Take the coffee, ground cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar and place them all in your coffee filter. Mix gently with a spoon—just enough to see that they’ve blended well enough. Add the water to the coffee maker and start brewing.

Once brewed, pour the blend in coffee cups and top with a generous amount of whipped cream. Serve to your guests and enjoy!

Do you have a Christmas coffee recipe you wish to share? Please let us know; we’d love to try it!

 

 

Emile Haddad Seattle – Caffe Umbria: Artisan Coffee Worth Your While

 

Caffe Umbria, My Closest Link to Italian Espresso

Yes, I love Italian coffee, and there’s no better place to get it than Italy. But, we can’t just get up and leave anytime we want to because first, it’s expensive, and second, we’ve all got responsibilities to take care of. So the next best thing is to look for a way to get that Italian blend without traveling thousands of miles away from home.

For me, the closest thing to an authentic Italian espresso is at Caffe Umbria. This is a family-owned roaster, now being run by the third generation of the Bizzari family. Their single-origin coffees are crafted with precision, each one undergoing meticulous testing and tasting before being brought to the public. Their flagship store is actually here in Seattle, still standing strong on the site of the family’s very first café on Pioneer Square.

From expertly pulled espressos to pastries, Italian wines, and beer, this café offers more than your usual coffee shop. For a truly authentic Italian feel, the interiors were decorated in true Italian fashion: high ceiling, tiled floors, and pottery give you a sense of being in Italy especially when you look out the window and see views of the rest of the historic Pioneer Square. It’s like going back in time!

So yes, whenever I feel a strong craving for all things Italy, I make my way to Pioneer Square and enjoy a cup of strong espresso with Panini on the side.

Your coffee options include their famous signature blend, which is a medium-dark roast with notes of banana, molasses, and pecans. For medium-roast, try their Gusto Crema Blend. I have yet to try their 100% organic Terra Sana Blend, which has distinct notes of cocoa, but I hear it tastes just as good as the rest of the roaster’s offerings.

You’ll be sure to hear about the Terra Sana Blend from me once I’ve tried it so watch out for my review!

 

 

The Best of Seattle’s Local Roasters

 

Seattle’s Top Local Roasters

To my frequent readers, my latest posts may seem like I am digressing from my usual bland take on Seattle’s coffee choices; but in the spirit of fairness, I deemed it only appropriate to also mention some of the reasons why Seattle still remains on top of the list for coffee lovers in the country. Coffee, like wine, is all about its origins and how it’s made—and whether you like one type of brew over another is all relative. It’s a matter of personal taste. While I’ve been open about my coffee preferences, it doesn’t mean to say that my taste is the same as yours. For this post, I’d like to mention some of the best local roasters in Seattle.

1. Espresso Vivace. According to the Espress Vivace website, their goal is to “research, develop, and prepare caffe espresso as a new culinary art”. The roaster is a partnership between David Schomer and Geneva Sullivan. The roasteria creates its blends the Northern Italian way, which is why it’s on top of my list. I love Italian coffee! They travel the world in search of the mildest Arabica beans for their blends.

2. Caffe Vita. The founders are pioneers of the Farm Direct movement wherein they source their coffee beans directly from growers from various parts of the world whose focus is on sustainable practices. If you like your espresso dark with notes of nutty flavors and the sweetness of caramel, then this is the perfect place for you.

3. Lighthouse Roasters. Apart from its selection coffees, from espresso blend to their Ethiopian, Sumatran and Latin Arabica blend, the best part about visiting Lighthouse Roasters is watching the roasters just a few feet from your table and taking in the aroma wafting to the air. It’s a coffee lover’s paradise!

Kindly stay tuned for more local roasters that you should visit while in Seattle.

 

 

What Should You Brew Next?

 

Coffee Must-try Recommendations and More

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Hello, everyone! Are any of you about to run out of coffee beans and are currently looking for bean recommendations? Well, look no further! This blog update is specifically for you so you can check out what’s worth brewing these days.

This list is by no means complete. There are definitely more coffee beans out there which should be included in here but alas, too many coffee beans and too little time! What’s a coffee enthusiast to do? Why, take a survey, hand out recommendations, and ask others to do the same, of course! Enjoy brewing these coffee beans next!

Ethiopian Beriti – You can purchase a bag of this insanely savory coffee from Radio Roasters. Ethiopian coffees are known for their fruity and floral notes, and this one is no exception. Beriti is a micro region of Yirgacheffe. As you hold a cuppa in hand, you won’t be able to help imagining the locals harvesting these delicious coffee beans fresh for your sheer enjoyment.

El Salvador Metapán II – Before you look up anything else and find another coffee worthy of your interest, check out El Salvador Metapán II available at Repetition Coffee. This cuppa is like an early Christmas treat with a rich chocolatey goodness to it and fruity undertones. One would have never guessed that blackberry and candied lemon make a great combination.

Karnataka Blend – These coffee beans are from Blue Tokai and originate from India. While you may think that Indian coffee is mostly bold and spicy, the Karnataka Blend surprises; it is pleasantly chocolatey and nutty with just the slightest hint of sweetness. The holidays are just around the corner and this would make for the perfect cuppa on Christmas.

How about you? What are you drinking this morning? Please feel free to share what cup you’re enjoying at the moment and how you find it. It’s always great to hear and learn from others.

 

 

The Best of Seattle’s Local Roasters

 

Seattle’s Top Local Roasters

To my frequent readers, my latest posts may seem like I am digressing from my usual bland take on Seattle’s coffee choices; but in the spirit of fairness, I deemed it only appropriate to also mention some of the reasons why Seattle still remains on top of the list for coffee lovers in the country. Coffee, like wine, is all about its origins and how it’s made—and whether you like one type of brew over another is all relative. It’s a matter of personal taste. While I’ve been open about my coffee preferences, it doesn’t mean to say that my taste is the same as yours. For this post, I’d like to mention some of the best local roasters in Seattle.

1. Espresso Vivace. According to the Espress Vivace website, their goal is to “research, develop, and prepare caffe espresso as a new culinary art”. The roaster is a partnership between David Schomer and Geneva Sullivan. The roasteria creates its blends the Northern Italian way, which is why it’s on top of my list. I love Italian coffee! They travel the world in search of the mildest Arabica beans for their blends.

2. Caffe Vita. The founders are pioneers of the Farm Direct movement wherein they source their coffee beans directly from growers from various parts of the world whose focus is on sustainable practices. If you like your espresso dark with notes of nutty flavors and the sweetness of caramel, then this is the perfect place for you.

3. Lighthouse Roasters. Apart from its selection coffees, from espresso blend to their Ethiopian, Sumatran and Latin Arabica blend, the best part about visiting Lighthouse Roasters is watching the roasters just a few feet from your table and taking in the aroma wafting to the air. It’s a coffee lover’s paradise!

Kindly stay tuned for more local roasters that you should visit while in Seattle.

 

 

Emile Haddad Seattle on Tasting Coffee

 

Taste Coffee; Don’t Just Drink It

Ever wonder how we coffee enthusiasts first stumbled upon this addictive hobby? No pun intended on the caffeine there, but getting into coffee as a hobby has been, for the most part, a journey of self-discovery. The truth is; there are very few hard and fast rules to coffee. Sure, there may be cardinal rules here and there in its preparation but once you’ve mastered these, there shouldn’t be any sweating over the small stuff. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the basics, it’s all fun from that point onward.

So from being a casual coffee drinker, how does one make the leap to coffee as an art form; a craft requiring time, practice, and investment? First of all, casual coffee drinkers must understand that coffee isn’t merely something that you drink. Rather, it is something that is enjoyed and appreciated for its complex and varying tastes.

 

To understand this better, think of eating food vs. tasting food. With the former, sure, taste is regarded but it mostly comes as an afterthought. Taste in this sense may become generalized and described in broad, sweeping strokes. The latter on the other hand places all focus and attention on the tasting aspect. What is this specific taste? Can it be described fully in words? It is this context that coffee should be explored, appreciated, and celebrated.

In the same way how any coffee lover might wish another coffee lover to have a great day and enjoy their cuppa, you are also encouraged to enjoy your favorite brew without forgetting to taste its flavors. This means, drink slowly, drink it at an optimal temperature—somewhere between hot and drinkable—and drink to enjoy its flavors. The caffeine kick is just a bonus; it’s probably just there to make sure you never quit this hobby anyway. That’s another joke, if you missed it.

For your next cuppa, take time to enjoy and savor its taste!

Emile Haddad Seaettle on Coffee Trends: Nitrogen Coffee

 

 

Cold Brew, Nitro Coffee

Have you tried cold brew or nitro coffee? It’s a relatively old trend—and by old I mean a little over a year—that has captivated the taste buds of many coffee lovers, including myself. While it takes a little getting used to, cold brew does a good job of opening more ways to enjoy coffee.

If you haven’t heard about this budding trend yet, you may be wondering how is it different from your traditional iced coffee drinks. With a cold brew, you won’t be served with those little cubes of ice you’ve come to know and love. What you’ll be served is cold brew. It’s completely different; served with something you probably last came across when you were a teenager and studying chemistry—nitrogen.

We’ve seen nitrogen in our food before, in our desserts to be more specific. Nitrogen can freeze ice cream faster than anyone can say, “I scream for ice cream!” to the delight of little children. With coffee, nitrogen takes center stage once again, even taking a few cues from another popular beverage, craft beer. Served from pressurized kegs, nitro coffee resembles something you would expect from an establishment that doubles as a coffee house in the day and a pub at night.

If there’s one reason why nitro coffee seems to have gotten everyone’s attention since its public debut, one need not look far to see what its amped up caffeine content has done to drinkers. To be sure, if these coffee connoisseurs are not all that hooked yet with nitro coffee’s crisp and silky texture and foam tops, which slightly resemble champagne, you can be sure its caffeine will do them in.

Have you tried cold brew? If so, where did you have it? Please feel free to share your nitro coffee experience. I’m sure a lot of people still want to know whether it’s all what it’s cranked up to be.

 

 

Emile Haddad Seattle on Top 3 Coffee Shops in Seattle Coffee Lovers Should Try

 

Coffee Shops in Seattle: Top 3 Recommendations for First Time Guests

Seattle is teeming with coffee shops of various shapes and sizes. After all, it’s one of the most popular—if not the most popular—places for coffee in the United States. Sure, I’ve said it often enough that coffee in Seattle pales in comparison to Italian coffee; but, I’d like to point out that it does have its own share of good coffee.

Here are my top 3 recommended coffee spots in the area:

1. Royal Drummer. Barely a year old, the Royal Drummer has already gained a strong following among locals. The coffee shop actually takes after Australian coffee culture where cafes serve more as a place to socialize than to enjoy a strong, freshly brewed cup of joe; but this isn’t to say that they don’t have a good selection of coffee. The takeaway: full-course meals are available, making it a great place to dine and enjoy coffee at the same time.

2. Seattle Meowtropolitan. Cat cafes were all the rage last year, and Seattle was quick to join the trend. This is the only cat café in the area so you can expect long lines for walk-ins. I recommend that you make a reservation before heading to the café to avoid the long wait—if you wish to mingle with the cats. Otherwise, stay at the café section to enjoy your coffee and simply watch the cats through the glass panels.

3. La Marzocco Café. La Marozocco is a popular brand of handmade espresso and specialty coffee machines, crafted in Italy since 1927. The café has a special roaster-in-residence featured every month, and you can learn more about the manufacturer’s history at its adjoining showroom. If you’re a coffee lover and a history buff at the same time, you really shouldn’t miss visiting this café when you’re in Seattle.

Do you have a favorite coffee spot in Seattle? Please share it here with us! We’d love to check it out one of these days!

 

 

Emile Haddad Seattle ask, Can You Tell How Fresh Your Coffee Is?

 

The Nose Knows: Coffee Freshness

How do you know if you have a delicious cup of coffee before you? In my opinion, it’s not in the color or in the perfect ratio of milk and espresso. Before you can take a small sip even, I strongly believe your nose would have already clued you in about your cup of coffee.

As taste is heavily tied to smell, it should not come off as a wonder then why your taste buds will be unable to register all the notes and nuances of your coffee whenever you’re sick and unable to breathe through your nose properly. There’s more to aroma than being able to taste, after all. In terms of measuring freshness, aroma may be the only thing that’s available to our observation.

That invigorating aroma of coffee is not only what arouses our senses, but it’s actually also a great barometer for coffee quality and freshness. Without getting too scientific on what constitutes fresh coffee, let’s take a look first at the complex process of roasting.

When coffee beans are roasted, they let out a strong and distinct aroma as their flavor profile drastically changes. You may have heard purists talk about CO2 and the role it plays in espresso. With other coffee drinks, it isn’t any different. You can tell coffee has lost its freshness when it has lost its aroma. This loss of CO2 is also what alters coffee’s taste profile.

Normally, this “gassing” of coffee beans transpires over the course of a week. The diehard coffee lovers however, will not even entertain the idea of letting freshly roasted coffee stand for a week. To them, if you have to have the best, you must grind and brew it immediately.

Fortunately, coffee is growing as both an experiment and an opportunity to discover new ways to play around with it while learning about your preferences.

Happy brewing!