For the Coffee Enthusiast | Holiday Gift Guide

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If you know me, then you know that one thing I’m completely unapologetic about is being a coffee…snob. That’s right, I said it. With a history of working next to talented baristas, experience in espresso training and a hell of a lot of tastings and cuppings to boot I know what I like my coffee to taste like and love to educate people on why it tastes that way.

I have a few friends who are adamant that coffee is “solely for caffeine.” While that is partially true (I mean it does have caffeine), coffee is so much more than that; it’s chemistry, it’s agriculture, it’s a combination of factors that come together to form this perfect combination of… I’ll stop.

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Regardless of how you drink your coffee, I’m willing to bet you have a coffee-loving friend who you are idealess on what to get for a gift this holiday season. BOY DO I HAVE A TREAT FOR YOU. I present to you… my the coffee lover’s holiday wishlist:

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Hario V60 kettle – Perfect for pour overs and making people feel like their coffee is going to be served with tasting notes of nuts, cocoa and pretentious eye brow raises.

• Falcon Enamelwear mug – Enamelwear for the city dweller who likes to trick people into thinking they spend a lot of time outdoors. (“Yeah I love to take this mug with me when I go camping…”)

• Joco travel mug – Eco friendly and clear so your coworkers know exactly how serious you are about brewing your coffee at home before coming to work. Why use that Keurig in the breakroom? That’s for coffee peasants.

• Hario v60 – I don’t have any jokes to make about this because I want one so badly. A V60 is a way to brew a single, clean tasting cup of coffee. Highly recommend. (Pro tip: To look like a real sucker, put one arm behind your back and use with the kettle from above).

• Capresso Infinity Burr Grinder – One of the best at home coffee grinders on the market; great for a variety of brew methods and for making your friends feel insecure about their at home coffee routines.

Mistobox – A coffee subscription is an awesome way to try different beans from different roasters and different regions of the world. Mistobox was my favorite one that I saw out there; they customize your monthly box specifically for you based on your preferences. Perfect for those friends that love to Instagram their coffee pouring action shots or well composed shots of them holding things. (RLTC pick!)

Acaia Coffee scale – The most unneccessary, neccessary coffee item you never knew you needed. The scale connects to your iphone/android via app and gives you all the info you could ever need. (I’m in lust.) Why would your friend need a coffee scale? Learn more here

**Coffee lovers do not include: people who brew dunkin donuts coffee in a coffee maker daily OR people who seem like coffee lovers because they have an “espresso yourself” print in their kitchen.

Speak to you soon!

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**couldn’t find image credit for the first one so sorrryyyy**

Cheers to the Weekend

promoPG1 PG7a PG6 PG7b PG5b PG8b PG9 PG3 PG10a PG12Feeling crazy isn’t so crazy after all, or that’s what I’ve learned in my first few months of being 23. Between balancing work obligations, a semi-social life and room for new ventures and Netflix binges…things get a little hectic. I think maybe I’m beginning to figure out the rhythm, though. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

Remember that it’s okay to not be working all the time. Having a job centered around emails and online business transactions is nearly impossible to get away from; that little red number on my screen depicting my unread emails viciously taunts me every time I try to ignore it. But you know what? A phone can be turned off for a little while. Business hours don’t have to be around the clock. Just because you’re your own boss doesn’t mean you have to be an unreasonable one. Give yourself a break. (Hint: It’s the weekend. Now is a good time).

Put reminders around of the things coming up that you are looking forward to or things you want to make happen. Seeing these will give you the gratification of knowing you’re working towards something. Also, put notes up about how great you are. (Future you will get a kick out of it when).

Figure out what organizational system works for you, or just figure out organization period. I’m a list maker. Give me a to do list and I will give you results. Other things I make lists for include: groceries, cleaning, restaurants to try and people I meant to call two weeks ago and forgot (I’m sorry.)

Last, but certainly not least, I’ve got three words for you: NEVER. ENDING. PANCAKES. Really it’s two words, but for the sake of drama I wanted to draw it out and give it the emphasis it deserves. There is a restaurant in Nashville called the Pfunky Griddle where you are given a table with a griddle on it and the options of french toast, pancakes, build-your-own omelettes and a variety of a la cart items.

After you make your decision, your server will return to the table with pitchers filled with your batter of choice. With the pancakes, you have a choice of white or whole grain batter and numerous topping options. I went for the whole grain with blueberries and bananas while my friend Mackenzie went white with strawberries and chocolate chips. Within a few minutes we had our griddle hot, buttered and ready for cooking.

The whole experience was really gratifying and definitely stands out from your normal breakfast place. Top that off with a hot cup of coffee, their sunny interior and a great conversation, and you’ve gotten your day started on exactly the right foot.

For more information on the Pfunky Griddle click here

 

Speak to you all soon!

 

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Spring Drink | Champagne Lemonade

FIRSTChampagne Lemonade-733It is finally the season of brunching on patios and spending the afternoons in sunrooms. Light drinks, like wines, sangrias, and spritzers, are typically what I lean towards on those kinds of days, and last summer my friend Lauren showed me a great recipe that is a winning combo of all of those things: Champagne Lemonade.

This recipe is super affordable, easy to throw together, and results in super refreshing and slightly carbonated sips all around.

You will need:
• Fruit of your choosing (We used lemons, strawberries, black, berries, and lime)
• Herbs of your choosing (Rosemary adds a great herbal flavor, but I’m also excited to try mint, basil, lavender, and ginger with this recipe)
• Lemonade (Newman’s Own Organic Virgin Lemonade is a great choice, there are no unexpected ingredients or processed sugars)
• Champagne (You can’t really go wrong on this part)

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Step One: 
Prepare your fruit: wash, slice, remove the seeds, etc. Combine and put aside.

TOAST

Step Two: 
Pop your Champagne! Now you feel like you’re celebrating.

Remember: Popping a bottle does not have to be a near death experience. First, carefully remove the cage from the cork (Note: The cork is not going to shoot out of the top without a little bit of effort on your part). Breathe, you’re halfway there. Grab a dishtowel and place on top of the cork, stand near the sink, tilt the bottle at a 45 degree angle, breathe once again and slowly remove the cork from the bottle. The cork will POP and it may startle you, but you probably won’t experience death by carbonation.

Just remember to go slow and to store your Champagne in a stationary place. The less you move it the less pressure that will build.

 

Step 3
Decide how much you want to make. Once you decide, you will need the final result to amount to around 2/3 Champagne and 1/3 Lemonade. If you want to make 6 cups worth, which is a good amount for a get together, then you will need to measure out 4 cups of champagne and 2 cups of lemonade. These numbers aren’t concrete–just mix and taste until it tastes delicious to you! (a little more champagne never hurts, right?)

 

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Step 4
Add the fruit you prepared to the mix, as well as your herbs, then, put it in the fridge and let it chill for an hour so; all of the flavors will begin to extract and mingle together. Right before your friends arrive get it out; this is so you look really prepared. T3Champagne Lemonade-730

Serve your drinks with an herb garnish, and maybe try to get some actual fruit in the glass as well. I can tell you already: your drink is going to be a hit.

 

Hope you guys enjoyed this!

 

Speak to you soon!

 

 

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*photos and graphics by Lauren Cunningham*