Handy Reference Guide for Grinding Coffee

If you’re into having great coffee at home, you are probably already buying high quality coffee fresh from the roaster. The challenge with coffee, though, is that you have to do some work yourself to make sure all that great taste ends up in your coffee cup. It’s surprisingly easy to get it wrong and end up with a not-so-fabulous situation.

The quality and consistency of your grind has the biggest impact on the flavor that ends up in your cup at home, so choosing the correct type of grinder is step one.

What’s the difference in taste & quality between Burr and Blade grinders?

Blade grinders chop up the coffee, leaving you with “boulders and dust”. The grind is inconsistent, so the flavor can be way off in your cup, and inconsistent from day to day.

Burr grinders create a consistent, repeatable, and adjustable grind, helping you get the most flavor in your cup today, and every day.

Once you have your hands on a quality burr grinder, it’s time to dial in your settings for the type of brewing you’re doing. Basically, you’re looking for fine ground for short brew cycles (like espresso machines), medium ground for longer brew cycles (like drip machines), and more coarse for immersion brewing (like a French press).

Always grind right before brewing, and only grind what you need each time. The minute you grind your coffee, you want to capture all that released aroma and flavor!

Use the pictures below to dial in your grind level. Once you’re in the right grind zone, you can adjust the grind coarser or finer to really dial in the flavor of the coffee you’re brewing.

TIP: Do the pinch test. The finer the grind, the more coffee will hold a ridge shape when pinched with thumb and pointer. See pinch reference at the top of each example:

French Press Coarse French press, press pot

French Press
French press, press pot

Drip Medium Standard electric drip coffee machines

Standard electric drip coffee machines

Pourover Medium-Fine Pour over manual cone filter

Pour over manual cone filter

Espresso Fine Lower end home espresso machines using lower pressure & stovetop espresso

Lower end home espresso machines using lower pressure & stovetop espresso

Espresso Superfine For high end espresso machine extracting at 9 bar

Espresso Superfine
For high end espresso machine extracting at 9 bar

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2014 Best of the Year Label Winners!

Drum roll please…..

You have voted, and the results are in for the 2014 Best of the Year coffee labels at Lizzy’s Fresh Coffee. Let’s be honest–it was hard to pick from this stack of 66 great shots of 2014. They were funny, cool, colorful and crazy. No doubt we got a little smile from every one of them. The time must come, though, when we all get to decide on the pics we think are the BEST of the BEST. We rallied our customers, and the photographers rallied their friends and family, and this is how 2014 has landed.

Julie Schumacher Amelia, OH

Julie Schumacher
Amelia, OH
Crushing a few categories this year, Julie Schumacher takes Talent to a new level. This underwater tower of humans had us all holding our breath!

Dobie Farragher Fair Haven, NJ

Dobie Farragher
Fair Haven, NJ
No doubt Dobie Farragher got wet on this photo shoot. All we know is that wherever this rope-swing lives, we want to come play!

Holly Smith Gainesville, VA

Holly Smith
Gainesville, VA
Holly Smith knows how to snap pictures at Sunrise for sure, so it’s no surprise that she had your favorite Sunriser snapshot of the year. Beautiful!

Julie Schumacher Amelia OH

Julie Schumacher
Amelia OH
We’re not here to judge. Some of our friendships are stranger than this on that Julie Schumacher got on film.

Julie Schumacher Amelia, OH

Julie Schumacher
Amelia, OH
Julie Schumacher Must have had the super sneaky approach and long lens catching this birthday moment. Totally adorable!

Karen Gale Webberville, MI

Karen Gale
Webberville, MI
Karen Gale‘s Bad Dog shows some impressive restraint. You have to wonder how this picture would have looked if it was a bacon muffin.

We are sending our heartfelt thanks to all these amazing photographers for playing with us here at Lizzy’s. You make what we do so much fun! Now as the crowned 2014 winners, you’ll be enjoying a sweet Lizzy’s gift box with all 6 winning coffees inside, plus a Lizzy’s mug and a couple other surprises. All the rest of us get to enjoy YOUR pictures for one more month since you’ll all be featured again for the month of December 2014.

Please help us in sending all these great picture making people a big OH-YEAH, WAY to GO, YOU ROCK!!!!

Feeling like you want to play in 2015? You can! Enter your snapshots for chance to be featured on the Lizzy’s Fresh Coffee label, and enjoy a free month of coffee. Check out all the details and enter now: www.lizzysfreshcoffee.com/coffee-label-photo-contest

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Meet the All-Stars

Firing up the roaster early in the morning, pouring shots at the espresso bar, sipping endless supplies of incredible coffees – these are some of our favorite things we do here on the job at Lizzy’s. This is all pretty awesome, but there’s one day we look forward to most each month, and that’s the day we pick the winning snapshots that will grace the coffee labels for the new month.

We receive dozens of photo submissions every month from all over the country, and open each file with excitement. Some shots are hilarious, some are curious, and some are just plain beautiful. It’s such a treat to be on the receiving end of all these amazing snapshots!

We’ve featured over 400 images on our coffee labels over the years from photographers all over the country and even the world. We love it when there’s a perfect connection between your pictures, and the fun of our brand. A small group of 4 have shared their pics more than any others, and between them, have been featured on our coffee labels several times a year since we opened in 2008.

They’re pretty much rock stars to us, and we want to introduce them to you. They’re talented, creative, and beyond awesome. Let us introduce you to our Photography All-Stars!

Well, when it's true.

Well, when it’s true.



Sandra Rouse from Colorado Springs, CO:
Sandra is an animal rescue photographer whose pooch pics are downright excellent. There’s one dog, a Long Haired Chihuahua who has graced our Bad Dog label many times.
“His name is Luka,” Sandra says. “He is a seven year old long haired Chihuahua and a Facebook personality with over ten thousand fans. He happens to be the most patient creature I have ever worked with.”

Sandra has submitted photography featuring other dogs including Dakota, which she describes as “Luka’s sweetheart.” It’s good to know that all the fame hasn’t gone to Luka’s head, and he is still a down to earth pooch who makes time for his sweetheart, Dakota.

I had nothing to do with that!

I had nothing to do with that!



Minta Thomson from Glendale, AZ
“I always have a camera with me. It may be to capture a spontaneous moment or to visually note something for a future creation,” says Minta.
Minta often sends us super creative pictures using props or toy models, and we always wonder how she comes up these ideas. “The key is to write it all down because in doing so I free my mind from the burden of remembering, and open it up for more creativity,” Minta says.

She also tells us that she uses her planner to record articles to read, books to find, websites to visit, inspirational photo shoots, locations scouted, quotes, and magazines pages among many other things. Now we understand where October’s zombie pumpkin head came from!

Get off my porch!

Get off my porch!

I love corn season

I love corn season

Meet Joe Wicks of Grand Island, NE:
Joe describes himself as “a hobbyist with the camera.” His close-up wildlife shots are totally irresistible, but they seem so challenging to caputure. Joe explains, “Capturing great moments is what I strive for.”
Joe says he doesn’t think he has the best photographic technique, but he does have a knack for studying the animals and their body language to be able to anticipate what they will do next. “Patience and preparedness are two qualities a photographer needs, and a good eye for composition helps turn a nice shot into a really cool one.” It’s apparent that Joe forms a relationship with each of his creatures because their personalities shine through in his pictures every time.

What - this is what I always wear to the beach

What – this is what I always wear to the beach

Pure Talent

Pure Talent

Tara Reifenheiser of Rye, NY
Tara has a super camera-friendly son named Noah who has appeared on our labels over the years. It’s pretty obvious to us that Tara and her son have a great time snapping shots together, and make a great team of photographer and model. We asked Noah how he feels about being in the spotlight. He says “I like the spotlight very much!” He adds, “Some photos on the coffee labels are embarrassing, like when the lollipop got stuck to my face when I was napping in the car.” Overall, his favorite photos are the shots of him and his loyal Beagle Floppy.

What inspires them to enter their pictures in the label contest?
They all agree that the freshly roasted coffee itself is a fantastic reward. Minta adds that she enjoys the reward of being recognized for the mini stories she’s able to create to fit the coffee label names. Tara loves competition, so she says winning is a joy for her. Joe also points out, “The bragging rights, of course!”

In November, be ready for our “Best of the Year” voting. Everyone can vote for their favorite snapshots of 2014 to be crowned the Best Photo of the Year. Each winner will be crowned 2014’s BEST, and be featured again during the month of December. Gift boxes, and bragging rights will be plentiful, and we’ll even have some prizes to hand-out for a few lucky voters helping to select the winners.

Do you feel inspired to enter your snapshots in the Lizzy’s Fresh Coffee label contest? CLICK HERE to pop over to our website and learn more.

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Picking Great Milk for Coffee Drinks

The milk you pick should compliment your coffee, not take it hostage.

Many don’t think twice about the milk that goes into the cappuccino or latte at home or in a café. We just pick a fat level that we think is right, and maybe take a moment to consider if we’d like organic or not.

Choosing milk like this is like picking Miss USA before hearing the answer to her pageant question. We all know that she’s pretty – she looks good in a bikini, and can walk in impossibly high heels (most days).

But the reality is that when she opens her mouth we’ll either be impressed by her sharp knowledge of the effects of global warming on the polar bear population, or we’ll go down in a swirl of pain while she explains in spits and spurts that getting “education better” will help the “problem” at hand. Sigh, we still love ya girl.

The milk you pick should compliment your coffee, not take it hostage

So what’s the deal with milk, and what can I tell you about picking the right jug to “getting your coffee drinks better”?

1. Love the fat! That’s right – choose whole milk. Miss USA might be on a crazy diet to squeeze into a sub-zero, but last I checked, regular humans require a health mix of protein, carbohydrates and fat in their diets. The fat in the milk is what makes it creamy and silky. Latte art is easy and slippery to create, and the taste and texture of the milk can’t compare. An 8 oz latte with whole milk at 3.5% has just 2 more grams of fat and 18 more calories that its 2% counterpart. Make a small cup and enjoy it fully.

2. Watch out for too much moo. When milk is heated up it changes in flavor dramatically. Lots of milks out there, especially in the organic category, can taste a little to “farmy”. Of course we’re drinking the feed of calves, and that might be a nice taste to them. For a coffee drink, extra farmy milk can come off pungeant and sour, and totally make your coffee stink like sweaty toes. Don’t blame the coffee – steam your milk and taste it first. You should have a sweet flavor, which will marry with your coffee discreetly instead of taking it hostage.

3. Get pasteurized and homogenized. Sounds like a new proposition on the ballet, but it’s simply describes changes that have been applied to the raw product. Pasteurizing comes in many combinations of heat and time affecting how the milk performs and tastes. Over years of steaming and pouring, I’ve found that pasteurized is my choice over ultra-pasteurized for texture and taste in the cup. Homogenization disperses the fat evenly through the liquid. Don’t have that, and you’re buying ‘cream on top’ product and you will get varying fat content in your steaming pitcher depending on how well or not-well you shook your jug. In a café environment this can lead to inconsistency as the barista gets busy or lazy.

DSC_0284The bottom line, of course, is to follow YOUR taste, diet, budget, & personal sustainability policy. At the end of the day, you’re the one sipping the cup, and since you’re not aiming for the Miss Milk Tiara, we won’t judge.

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Latte Art: How to Make a Festive Pointsettia

It’s fun to make festive latte art! This is one of the EASIEST designs that will bring big WOWs (believe it – we often teach this to our beginning barista students). Take a peek at the step by step and make your holidays sparkle! Try it yourself….Here’s how:

Learn more great stuff about coffee on our website any time: Grab more coffee tips

Pour a simple monk's head into the center of your espresso shots (you can even get away with pouring a blob).

Pour a simple monk’s head into the center of your espresso shots (you can even get away with pouring a blob).

With the last bit of foam in the pitcher, draw a circle around the circle you poured. This doesn't have to be perfect!

With the last bit of foam in the pitcher, draw a circle around the circle you poured. This doesn’t have to be perfect!

With chocolate syrup, draw a circle on the outer edge of the outer milk circle. (We make our chocolate syrup with about 3 T of hot water and about 10 T of our hot cocoa mix.)

With chocolate syrup, draw a circle on the outer edge of the outer milk circle. (We make our chocolate syrup with about 3 T of hot water and about 10 T of our hot cocoa mix.)

Make another chocolate circle around your poured circle.

Make another chocolate circle around your poured circle.

With a toothpick, start at the outer edge of the cup, dragging it trough the sauce and milk circles to the center. Stop there, and do this 8 times, spacing evenly. Wipe toothpick between each stripe.

With a toothpick, start at the outer edge of the cup, dragging it trough the sauce and milk circles to the center. Stop there, and do this 8 times, spacing evenly. Wipe toothpick between each stripe.

Now draw from the CENTER to the edge of the cup 8 more times, splitting the difference between your first lines..

Now draw from the CENTER to the edge of the cup 8 more times, splitting the difference between your first lines..

Place a little chocolate dot in the middle and you've done it!

Place a little chocolate dot in the middle and you’ve done it!


Share with someone special (we won’t judge if you’re just gonna start sipping it yourself…)

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Best of the Year Coffee Label Winners 2013

We can’t believe another year has passed here at Lizzy’s, and we’ve enjoyed another batch of killer snapshots gracing our coffee “covers”.

At the end of every year, we ask you to vote for your favorite snapshots of the year, and here are your winners! Every month of the year we look forward to the photos our customers send in – they range from amazing to silly, and everything in between. The best of them always tell a story, leaving us wondering “what was really happening that minute in time?”

All of the winners, plus 3 random voters (that’s 3 of you!) will enjoy a Best of the Year gift box, including a 2 oz sampler of each coffee & label, a porcelain mug, and a few other treats.

Talent by Sandra Rouse

Talent by Sandra Rouse

Swinger by Anthony Garcia

Swinger by Anthony Garcia

Sunriser by Monique Lavoie

Sunriser by Monique Lavoie

Easy Tiger by Becca Friedman

Easy Tiger by Becca Friedman

B*day by Melissa Briggs

B*day by Melissa Briggs

Bad Dog by Minta Thomson

Bad Dog by Minta Thomson

Be part of the fun! Enter your own snapshots for a chance to be featured on one of our signature coffees in 2014: Enter Your Own Photo Now

Or, purchase a 12 oz bag of your favorite winner’s coffee on our website: www.lizzysfreshcoffee.com

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She Did it!

Owner and Head Roaster, Liz Roquet at the controls

Owner and Head Roaster, Liz Roquet at the controls

Liz Roquet, Owner and Head Roaster at Lizzy’s Fresh Coffee has achieved the Roaster’s Guild Level 1 Roaster Certification.

According to the Roaster’s Guild program outline, the Roasters Guild’s Roaster Certificate Program recognizes specialty roasters who achieve a high degree of skill and excellence in roasting. Roasters Guild educational courses focus on a variety of topics and issues relevant to today’s marketplace and business demands. Course subjects range from the practical (identifying defects, plant safety, green coffee processing) to the scientific (sensory science, heat transfer & thermodynamics, particle size analysis).

“It’s been a wonderful 4 years of coarse work, tests, and even a trip to origin in Colombia to achieve this certification, and is a reflection of my deep commitment to becoming and staying educated in the world of coffee,” says Roquet. She goes on to add, “I’m constantly working to become better and learn more about my craft so that our customers can enjoy the best possible product we can produce. It’s all about making our customer smile when they’re enjoying a cup of our coffee.”

Roquet continues to build her expertise in coffee, and plans to continue to pursue more coarse work at the 2014 Special Coffee Association event to be held in Seattle, WA. As of this press release, she is one of only 36 roasters achieving certification in this program thus far.

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Lizzy’s Snickerdoodle Coffee Cookies

Lizzy's Coffee Snickerdoodle Cookie Recipe

Lizzy’s Coffee Snickerdoodle Cookie Recipe

What a perfect thing to do on a fall day – bake! These kicked up snickerdoodles were inspired by one of our customers, Katrina Harmon. The addition of coffee to the sugar and cinnamon coating is a perfect update to this cookie you probably loved as a kid. The recipe is quick and easy to make, and they disappear quickly!

Makes 24-30 cookies:

For Cookies:
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
For Coating:
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 Tablespoons fresh, finely ground coffee (we picked our “Sunriser” blend)

Preheat oven to 375°F.
Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in large bowl, mix to combine, then set aside. In electric mixing bowl, combine butter, sugar and eggs, and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Once mixed, add mixed dry ingredients to butter mixture in 3rds, mixing each time on low speed to incorporate.

Mix coating sugar, cinnamon, and finely ground coffee (espresso grind) in medium bowl.

Using a small 1-1.5” ice cream scoop, scoop one cookie at a time, dropping into the sugar, cinnamon, coffee coating mixture. Gently roll each cookie to coat all sides, then place on ungreased, lined cookie sheet. Be sure to space in between cookies to allow room for expansion while baking, about 8 per tray. (You will need about 3 trays total for full recipe.)

Bake approximately 12 mins until light golden brown.

We hope you enjoy!

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Coffee Roaster in Heart of Idaho Fires

Lizzy’s Fresh Coffee Redefining a “Smoky Roast”

Current fires raging in Idaho around the small resort towns of Hailey, Ketchum and Sun Valley have residents and businesses on high alert.

The “Beaver Creek” Fire has now burned over 100,000 acres, and is only 8% contained. Today, 1150 firefighters continue battling the very erratic blazes with 10 helicopters, 8 bulldozers, and hand crews working 24 hours.

Attack helicopters raining on the fire's parade.  Photo:  John Koth

Attack helicopters raining on the fire’s parade. Photo: John Koth

Lizzy’s Fresh Coffee, a specialty coffee roaster located in Ketchum has been under pre-evacuation status since Friday, but has been able run roasting production today, Monday.

“When we first received pre-evacuation orders on Friday it was a bit of a shock,” says Liz Roquet, owner of Lizzy’s Fresh Coffee. “Anticipating that mandatory evacuation may follow shortly, we quickly shut down operations, including all of our roasting and coffee equipment, packing up important computers, and leaving the roastery behind.”

Lizzy's in Ketchum, ID

Lizzy’s in Ketchum, ID

Although 2200 homes have been evacuated, the city of Ketchum has remained in pre-evacuation status, meaning that people are able to stay in their homes and businesses, but should be prepared to leave immediately should evacuation be required.

Roquet explains, “We’re making sure to take care of our customers, including consumers and cafés locally and across the country, and staying safe and aware should we need to shut down and leave again. The good news is that we had great practice in evacuation on Friday, and feel confident in our ability to move quickly and depart in an urgent and safe manner should we need to”.

Fire blazing west of Hailey, ID.  Photo:  John Koth

Fire blazing west of Hailey, ID. Photo: John Koth

Lizzy’s uses a Diedrich IR-12 roaster and catalytic oxidizer, so they aren’t adding additional concern to air quality problems already existing from the smoke of the fire.

Roquet and her family spent the weekend keeping their eyes on the fire at their home in nearby Hailey. “We have many friends who were evacuated from their homes”, says Roquet, “so we had our home espresso machine going full tilt on Saturday and Sunday for anyone who stopped by in need of some caffeinated comfort and a good fire viewing perch.”

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