How to Brew a Chemex the Cartel Coffee Way

Categories: Chow Bella, Grind

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Zaida Dedolph
Jenny Vaughn adds coffee to the Chemex.

A Chemex is a way of brewing coffee that is one part art, one part science, two parts swank. The hand-blown glass brewer was invented in the early 1940s by a chemist who wanted to create a method for making coffee that was both sleek and effective. At first glance, you might think this was a flower vase.

But the Chemex's thick paper filter and Jessica Rabbit-esque figure are designed to brew a clean, articulate cup of coffee. In recent years, specialty coffee folk have rediscovered this beautiful brewer. Its functional beauty has allowed it to stand the test of time; it serves as a visual representation of transparency and cleanliness of both cafe and coffee.

Bonus story: legend has it that Dr. Peter Schlumbohm, the likely mad scientist slash total baller who invented the device, drove a Cadillac with a little gold Chemex hood ornament.


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Nom de Plume Ain't Afraid-a No Ghost (Roast)

Categories: Chow Bella, Grind

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Zaida Dedolph
Nom de Plume's current single origin offerings.

Don't worry: No actual ghosts are harmed in the process of "ghost roasting." The term refers to Nom de Plume Roasters' low-overhead business model. Rather than making the (cough, cough, crazy expensive) choice to open their own roasting operation, NdP rents roasting time from other local facilities. Most recently, they've been firing up their own selections at Press Coffee's Roastery.

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Cuppings at Press Coffee Roasters: a Fantastic Introduction to Coffee Fundamentals

Categories: Grind

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Zaida Dedolph
Press owner Steve Kraus and Roaster Nanda Ibanez clean up after a successful cupping.

I remember, distinctly, the first coffee I ever tasted. At that point, I'd probably drunk a thousand cups of coffee and made about a million more than that for other people. But the first one I ever really tasted was from Ethiopia. It was reminiscent of warm blueberry syrup, delectably sweet, clean, and malty. Prior to that extra special cup, coffee was the bitter black stuff that made all that fur poke out from my dad's collar. It was something you drank because you had to, not because it was particularly enjoyable.

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How to Order Coffee Without Sounding Like a Tool

Categories: Chow Bella, Grind

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Zaida Dedolph
Cortado? Macchiato? Learning the language can be a huge barrier to new coffee drinkers.

I worked in the specialty coffee world for almost a decade before retiring to the blogosphere. If there's one thing I learned during that time, it's that there is a massive language barrier between cafes and coffee drinkers. As with any other industry, coffee comes with its own vocabulary of terms -- many of which have been modified or mangled as the industry itself has changed. Here's a brief introduction for the bewildered.

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I Drank Something Called "Dank-Dank" at Songbird Coffee and It Was Even Awesomer Than It Sounds

Categories: Chow Bella, Grind


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Zaida Dedolph
The Dank-Dank; fun to say, fun to drink.

For this week's Grind column, I decided to walk into a coffee shop I had never been to, ask for a recommendation, and review it. This was clearly the best decision I have ever made, because it led me to discover the Dank-Dank (pronounced Daynk-Uh-Daynk). This secret off-menu gem is a Songbird Coffee original that is sure to delight coffee snobs and novices alike.


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4 Metro Phoenix Espresso Blends to Try -- and 1 to Avoid

Categories: Grind

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Scott Schiller/ Flickr
Perfect espresso extraction can be hard to come by.

Espresso may very well be the tequila of the coffee world. To some, the word alone evokes memories of late nights in college spent guzzling bitter, amber liquid, not for the flavor, but certainly for its desired effects. To others, appreciating the drink is a mark of sophistication. Despite the small proportions of the beverage itself, espresso plays an enormous role in the coffee world.

I would argue that espresso is a lens through which all other elements of the coffee industry (including green coffee quality, service standards, proficiency in roasting, and skill in preparation) are magnified. Here is an introduction to four fantastic espresso blends available at your favorite Phoenix area cafes -- and one that you should go ahead and pass on, forever.


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Espresso and Tonic Might Be The Refreshing Iced Coffee Drink You've Been Waiting For

Categories: Grind

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Heather Hoch
This could be the iced coffee drink for you, if you can handle its flavor.
On the everlasting quest to switch up my iced coffee routine, a friend recommended that I try tonic and espresso. As a fan of gin and tonic and a fan of black coffee, it seemed like a good option for me. However, its intense, unique flavor definitely isn't for everyone.

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Silent Flight Coffee Now Delivers Cold Brew Valleywide

Categories: Grind

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Silent Flight Coffee
You don't have to live in Tempe to get Silent Flight Coffee.
Just when you were beginning to feel left out, Silent Flight Coffee announced that it will expand services to deliver coffee Valley wide. Co-owner and roaster Perry Czopp says the all-inclusive delivery radius is due, in part, to high demand for Silent Flight cold brew since the beginning of this week.

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Two New Tempe Coffee Delivery Services Promise Cold Brew on Your Doorstep

Categories: Grind

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Silent Flight
Cold brew delivered to your door-- if you live in downtown Tempe, at least.
Although coffee delivery has picked up in other cities, it wasn't until just recently that the Valley received its first two options right around the same time. Both offer subscription-based coffee services -- specifically, growlers or 500 ml thermoses of cold brew -- in the Tempe area, limited to the 85281 zip code. If you live in the area, that's good news for you because you can sign up for Silent Flight or Mutual Goods cold brew delivery service, depending on which you like better.

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Demi Coffee Brings Experimentation and Local Flair Back to Phoenix Coffee

Categories: Grind

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Heather Hoch
These drinks from Demi Coffee might look experimental-- and they are.
A lot of coffee shops in town seem poised to become chains, and that's fine. If you're doing it right and you've got your coffee game on lock, why not expand. However, over at Demi Coffee, the brand new spot that took over for Mud Dauber off 16th Street north of McDowell Road, it's more about trying new things than it is getting everything picture perfect, and, you know what, it's pretty fun to join them at ground level.

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