A Student Helping Students in Uganda

Maile Dorland, a 6th grade student at Pioneer Montessori School in Ketchum, ID, is helping kids half way around the globe. Ask her what she thinks about this, and she’ll reply a little surprised herself. As part of a school community service project, each student at the school is required to do something to help the community – whether that’s on a local, national, or international level.

Maile's School Beans on Bag
“I wanted to do something different than what my friends were doing,” says Maile. After a visit to a local coffee roasterie, Lizzy’s Fresh Coffee, the idea of doing some kind of project within the global coffee community came up, and she was inspired.

“Giving back to our community is important to us,” says Liz Roquet, owner of Lizzy’s Fresh Coffee. “Most often that includes our local community, but we also want to do what we can to give back to coffee growing regions around the world. When a student is inspired to do this kind of work, we’re excited to support it.”

Maile decided to create a special label for coffee, and with the proceeds from the sales, she’d donate money for school supplies to kids in Uganda at the Bukonzo Joint Coop. She worked together with Lizzy’s Fresh Coffee to put the project together, which included designing the label, and writing the text for the website. She also spent a morning at the Lizzy’s roasterie labeling and bagging coffee herself to sell in person at her school.

When asked about what impact she thinks the supplies will have, Maile says: “Education is important because it helps everyone to have a better life. It makes it easier to learn when you have the right supplies to help you do that.” Maile adds with a shy and proud smile, “I hope that that kids are happy and surprised.”

Maile’s School Beans Coffee can be purchased through mid-May, roasted fresh for nationwide shipping or local pickup at: http://www.lizzysfreshcoffee.com/maile-school-beans.html

Maile Dorland, a 6th Grader  at Pioneer Montessori School in Ketchum, ID

Maile Dorland, a 6th Grader at Pioneer Montessori School in Ketchum, ID

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Best of the Year Label Winners 2015

The winners are here!

You have voted, and the results are in for the 2015 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 2015. They were funny, beautiful, sweet and crazy.

No doubt we got a little smile from every one of them, but the best of the year is about picking the BEST of the BEST. We rallied our customers, and the photographers rallied their friends and family, and this is how 2015 has landed.

 TALENT

It’s a great day when you can hold onto the sun! Photo Julie Schumacher

BAD DOG

We’re guessing this little 4 legged witch really doesn’t care about riding a broom. Biscuits anyone? Photo Stacey Clark

BDAY

There’s not a day that goes by that shouldn’t be filled with cupcakes. Photo Julie Schumacher

EASY TIGER

Ready for ANYTHING. Truly. Sandra Rouse

SUNRISER

We can feel the sunshine starting to warm up the morning. Photo Christine Miles

SWINGER

We’ve always wondered if it’s possible to touch the clouds – and now we know the answer is YES! Photo Stacey Clark

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 to you, the crowned 2015 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 2015.

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 2016? 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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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
Coarse
French press, press pot

Drip Medium Standard electric drip coffee machines

Drip
Medium
Standard electric drip coffee machines

Pourover Medium-Fine Pour over manual cone filter

Pourover
Medium-Fine
Pour over manual cone filter

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

Espresso
Fine
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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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!

DSC_0159

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

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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:

Ingredients
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)

Directions:
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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Camping Coffee with the Aeropress

Aeropress Brewing

Ahh, the chirping birds, the clear blue skies, the mountain lake water…..and the FREEZING morning! Welcome to camping in the mountains!

My family and I went camping this weekend and I will tell you this: The only thing that could caox me out of my cozy sleeping bag at 8 a.m. was the promise of a hot and flavorful cup of coffee.

Normally we’re pretty much in love with our Hario pour over system when brewing camp-side, but this time we decided to take the Aeropress.

I wasn’t getting much excitement from the crowd on this one, since out in the woods, hours away from an alternate brew method, I was making a commitment to this coffee – whatever the outcome. It could be a deal making or breaking kind of morning that would set the mood for the rest of the day’s adventures.

Pour water...

Pour water…

I’m happy to report that the crowd gave it rave reviews. I’d definitely recommend the contraption for anyone’s camping outing, and here’s why:

1. The cool thing about this weird little pressurized coffee maker is that it brews a concentrated extraction. It’s easy to add hot milk for a wanna-be latte, or add hot water for the americano version of the same. If you just want to sip it straight up, there’s that option too. It’s nice that one device can please lots of different tastes.

Press to brew...
2. Each serving has to be brewed separately, but the cool thing is that set up and brew time is just 1 minute from start to finish. Pop out the used coffee “puck” and wipe down the press and you’re ready for the next brew.

Give it a stir...
3. Water needed is just 2 oz per serving, so there’s no waiting for 6 years for a quart of water to boil like is usual on a rinky-dink camping stove. Just be sure to keep the water HOT for each brew. Aeropress for some reason recommends really low brew temps, but I’d stick to the recommend a 195-205f standard brew temp for optimum extraction.

Helpful to know: Say you’re camping at elevation of 5000-7000 feet – your water will be hitting a boil at around 198-203. If you’re at sea level, let it boil at the usual 212 f and allow it to cool one minute before using to brew.

Bottom line: Aeropress wins the camping award for “most versatile” system and will definitely have the power to coax me out of my warm sleeping bag cocoon again on the next trip.That's a cup of coffee!

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The Matchmaker, 8 Tips for Finding Your Coffee Soul Mate

Lately I’ve been watching episodes of a newly discovered show for me called Millionaire Matchmaker. I’m not particularly proud of this, but I just can’t look away from the collection of over-tanned dudes with crazy white teeth attempting to make love connections with the wear-a-party-dress-everywhere-they-go girly girls.

I keep coming back to watch it again, though, because in between the ridiculous, and past the outward appearances, a fair percent of these love-hungry people really are very intelligent, diverse, and downright good people. I find myself cheering for the good guy, telling the smart got-it-all-together chick to move on, and wondering how this clearly lovable man hasn’t found a partner in life yet.

Sit tight, because I’m not about to talk endlessly about the Bravo network, but I totally relate to the challenge the matchmaker faces with each match she attempts to make for her love-hunting clients. When she begins her matchmaking, she always asks the client what they’re searching for in a mate, and they usually answer with a super broad reply like “I like brunettes”.

She grimaces, and then starts surgically extracting more information about their likes, dislikes, and past failures to reach some basic direction to the kind of mate she might find for them.

I totally get the job she has to do. I know I’m not a bedazzled L.A. matchmaker, but not unlike her job, I have to make sense out of the vague, and guide people to their love matches.

My reality TV show? The Coffee Bean Matchmaker – Going on nothing but “I like Colombian”, or “I like a dark roast”, then taking clients from an unsatisfied past with coffee into their newly evolved relationship with the bean.

Are you trying to find your coffee soul mate? Here are a few tips for you to help your matchmaker get you what you’re searching for the next time you visit your favorite coffee roaster.

1. Quality counts. Yep, if you’re searching for an intelligent, loving, athletic, and complex mate, you’re not likely going to find that person at your local Booze-n-Pole at 2 a.m. It’s certainly possible, but let’s agree – not likely. If you’re looking for quality coffee, start with a roaster that roasts quality product.

2. Coffees have endless profiles. Like people, no two coffees are identical. Saying “I like Colombian” is the equivalent of saying “I like Colombian women”. What’s more helpful? Talk about what you liked or disliked about the last Colombian you tried (coffee that is). Describe some of what you tasted, or how it tasted brewed in your French press. A little more information will help the roaster read between the lines.

3. Ask for help. Know that your roaster can send you home with a great coffee in hand, but you can still mess up the relationship big time by using a bad quality grinder, brewer, or random bad habit that will send you to divorce court before the second date. Ask your roaster for grinding, brewing and storing tips to help you score a home run.

4. Don’t assume. If you got dumped by your lady friend, and decided to date her sister in hopes that she’d be exactly the same person, you’re on the wrong track. Just like siblings, a coffee from the same growing region might offer similar qualities, but might not meet your expectations. Even the exact same coffee, from the exact same farmer, the next harvest season can taste different. Weather conditions, harvest timing, and coffee processing can all affect the final result.

5. You have the right to expect consistency. Yep, if you fall in love with her fun jokes, bright personality, and loving attention, you don’t want to wake up to bridezilla six months from now. Just the same, a coffee roaster’s blends, although constantly evolving with changing harvests or availability, should always land where expected in terms of what is delivered in your cup. A roaster producing signature blends will tweak them with careful tasting and testing to keep the similar experience on track over the seasons. A single origin from the same lot should stay consistent with each fresh batch during the limited months it’s available, but likely expect changes when the new harvest arrives the next year.

6. Get to know her background. I don’t believe that a person should be judged by her family, but the reality is that what goes on behind the scenes of a roasterie are things you can ask about. What is the roaster’s experience level? What kind of ongoing training do they do? What kind of roasting system is used? Is the roaster’s process certified organic? If you like what you’re sipping, then maybe none of this matters, but when wooing a new mate these things help paint a more complete picture about what can be expected as your relationship grows.

7. How old is she? Yes, it might be rude to ask a woman’s age, but if you wanna have some little ones running around your house in the coming years, you’ll probably want to know how that biological clock is doing. Coffee is no exception. Ask its age every time, and only go for the fresh stuff. It should be right there in front of you on the bag or roasterie bin. If it’s not, don’t date.

8. Finally, don’t be afraid to play the field. Those willing to try new things will often be rewarded most. Coffee origins, blends, and roast degrees will all contribute to the flavor in your cup, so try to find the coffee personality that makes you giggle most. This includes brew methods. Be open to drip, pour over, press or espresso if you have the chance to explore. Some will find their true love and form a committed relationship, while others may prefer switching it up all the time. Whatever your style, coffee is totally cool either way.

Most of all, have fun, and happy dating…uhh….errr….sipping.

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