They're called hipsters and these days they can be found in just about any major metropolitan area. You can spot them by their tattoos, skinny jeans, and v-neck shirts. They make up a cultural phenomenon that seems to be an amalgamation of at least half a dozen styles from generations past. They are a clique of artists, they have a fascination with all things retro, and they love coffee shops. It's almost as if Andy Warhol was assembling his legions from beyond the grave. Any world class city has its enclaves that draw in untold numbers of young artistic dreamers. In Chicago its called Logan Square.
Caffeine overload! Joonbug’s still got the caffeine jitters from attending the 8th Annual Coffee & Tea Festival NYC. We practically traveled the world of cocoa farms and tea plantations. The event was held at the 69th Regiment armory and was jam packed with 60 exhibitors from everywhere, Puerto Rico, India, China, and Africa to name a few. Some non-coffee and tea companies also made an appearance.
Here are the top three unique coffee and tea products Joonbug came across:
- ULIV Java, which makes coffee infused with herbs and teas. The company started when Mary realized that even though she didn’t like green tea, it didn’t mean she couldn’t get the health benefits. She approached her nutritionist friend, Kathleen, and together they created ULIV brand for people who don’t like herbal teas but still want to get its health benefits. ULIVE Lean is one of the products that is blended with herbs known for helping weight loss, increasing metabolism, and burning fat. Check it out, We bought a bag and have been drinking it every morning!
- Stella Artois, infused their beer with tea… ummmm amazing, the tea flavor was subtle but we enjoyed it nonetheless. You probably have to have an affinity for tea to enjoy this product. Since iced teas are such a great drink for a hot day, combine that with beer, and you have a bangin’ summer beverage to drink on a rooftop, balcony, or during those Hampton’s weekend trips with your friends.
- Press Tea, always makes their tea fresh and is pressed like coffee. They were sampling products that will be sold at their store opening this May in the West Village. You can check out a video of how they make the tea on their Facebook. They also make their own cream that is sometimes used to top off your drink. I say always get the cream on top!
When most people think about Haiti they unfortunately think of the devastating earthquake that rocked the island nation and the political and social unrest that seems to have plagued the island throughout its history. Many don’t know that at one time, Haiti was at the forefront of coffee production, before the title was taken by Brazilian coffee producers. Haitain coffee, revered around the globe as some of the best coffee in the world, is currently not represented by any of the consumer brands that coffee drinkers would find at their local market or coffee shop—until now.
Sweetleaf Williamsburg opened back in May after the success of its sister location in Long Island City --a bean lover's staple since 2008.
The new Sweetleaf is located on the corner of Kent Avenue and North 6th Street, a fine location for people to stroll down, window shop, pick up a coffee and then head down to the water. If they want a coffee to stay, the interior of Sweetleaf is quite spacious and relaxing. They have decorated this café with antiques, such as aged scales and fans, along with old doors used to support many of the wooden structures, like the counters and tables. Customers can relax in one of the lounge chairs, small tables or stools set up on counters. If they have not carried their own reading material, Sweetleaf provides a basket full of magazines and newspapers they can access.
Ice cubes are a necessity for the summer heat. They are the darlings that keep our drinks (and food) cold. So why not dress up your iced beverages with fancy iced cubes? Here are 4 cool ides to take your ice cubes from boring to beautiful. Best of all, these ideas can be mimicked with just about any edible item!
Brighten up your summer cocktails with beautiful flower ice cubes. Use edible flowers, such as orchids, nasturtiums, pansies, and snapdragons and layer flowers in large ice trays. For the most clear ice cubes, boil your water first, let it cool and then pour into trays.
The majority of coffee drinkers can’t function properly until they have their morning cup of Joe and many more of us have a hard time passing up happy hour with our friends after a long, often coffee-fueled, work day. The Coffee Cocktail Mash Up competition combines both of these beloved liquid commodities with an extra shot of competition. The Coffee Cocktail Mash Up pairs up a barista and a bartender to mix a caffeinated cocktail that will then be judged on its flavor, balance, concept, and presentation. The judge’s panel includes Robert Simonson of the New York Times, Mari Uyehara of Time Out New York, Kara Newman of Wine Enthusiast, Shawn Kelly of Pernod Richard, and Mike White of Shotzombie.com
Situated next to the Long Island Railroad Station in Queens’ Kew Gardens neighborhood, Odradeks Coffee is a relaxing little café that offers both basic and unique options. This spot has been in business since November 2011, and is open seven days a week. A diverse crowd frequents this coffee house, such as commuters, meeting-goers, locals, artists and writers. As Odradeks is next to the LIRR station, they post a convenient dry-erase board that informs customers of the next train going into New York City’s Pennsylvania Station.
Matt Marks knows how important coffee is to everyone, and he’s striving to roast and serve the best there is. The co-owner/partner of Forty Weight Coffee Roasters and Forty Weight Cafe describes coffee as his dream and something he believes in. The pride he and co-owner Andrew Ballard have in their product is present everywhere in this young company.
Forty Weight Coffee is available at stores across New York, and at Forty Weight Cafe in Park Slope. It can also be purchased on the Forty Weight website.
We had the opportunity to talk to Matt about his business. Here's what he had to say about being a true coffee connoisseur!
How did Forty Weight Cafe get started?
Forty Weight Cafe is the flagship of parent company Forty Weight Coffee Roasters, which was my best friend and roastmaster, Andrew Ballard's dream come to fruition. Andrew and I became co-owners/partners in 2010. His expertise and our dedication to artisanal roasting is evident in every cup we serve and every bag we sell.
Discussions about the cafe started in March, 2011 and we finally opened in November. It was a long and windy road indeed.
What’s your role at the cafe?
As owner and general manager I am responsible for virtually everything. From selecting and ordering coffee and espresso to purchasing new springs for our port-a-filters, I have my hands and head constantly full.
What are some challenges you face in the coffee market?
Once you get to the upper echelon of the specialty coffee world with the likes of Stumptpown, Counter Culture, Intelligista, and Handsome Coffee Roasters, it's a real challenge to stand out in a group that is doing such amazing things. These companies have a lot more resources than we do, which they wisely focus on marketing and shine. Once you get to a certain level in specialty coffee, everybody is producing amazing stuff. With everybody producing amazing stuff, marketing and shine can go a long way in getting your coffee into a customers hands. I mean I'm not complaining, good on these companies for acquiring the dollars to do this, but this is probably the biggest challenge our poor little grassroots company faces.
As girls, it takes time and effort to keep our look fresh and with all of the treatments and products we use, it can get costly. Instead of going to the spa once a month to achieve perfect skin, why not try doing it at home? We’ve found a few great DIY masks that will give you sexy skin while saving you some extra time and money! Try them and tweak them to fit your facial preferences!
1) The Banana Face Mask
This mask is designed for all skin types and will leave your complexion with a healthy glow. You'll need half a banana, a tablespoon of orange juice and a tablespoon of honey.
After two successful years in Williamsburg, Blue Bottle Coffee Company has expanded to Manhattan across from Chelsea Market. Inspired by the first central European coffee house to open its doors in sixteenth-century Vienna Blue Bottle aims to bring coffee away from the mocha choca latte ya yas of the coffee industry giants and back to its origins, as well, coffee.
Blue Bottle Café opened their doors February 18th in the former loading dock of the Milk Building on West 15th Street. The two floor café offers everything that Blue Bottle has made its name representing. The first floor coffee bar has a La Marzocco Strada espresso machine as well as Blue Bottle-designed drip bar. The drip bar features a filter pour-over method to brew patron’s coffee to order. Blue Bottle prefers to use flannel in their pour-over brews rather than hemp or the usual paper coffee filters found in your office’s coffee maker. Enjoy a variety of seasonal Single Origin brews as well as a rotating selection of house blends.