The Coffee Brew App!

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Okay, it has been a long time since I have posted on here. My sincerest of apologies. But seriously, I forgot my login, and have been busy.

I promise to post more frequently.

Today I am going to review a product. It is The Coffee Brew App! I am going to try to be unbiased, but it will be hard since I created it.

This is a great FREE app for people to download and use. It has detailed instructions, high quality videos, and timers for the different brew methods. There are a few glitches though. If you hit the timer more then once, it goes exponentially faster. It is also not formatted to go to landscape mode and only works in portrait mode. But overall, it is a great app with some really great videos and instructions.

The free version has 4 different brewing methods, an Aeropress, Chemex, French Press, and V60. There currently isn’t a paid version, but I know that that is in the works.

Be sure to leave a comment and rate the app to let me know what you think. Thanks. You can get the app Here

 

 

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Cold Brew vs. Ice Brew

So I know I have been absent from this blog for a few weeks now. Truth be told I have been super duper busy and I forgot my login and was too lazy to spend the 10 minutes figuring it out. But alas I am back.

A couple of posts ago I posted and reviewed probably the cheapest and most used cold brew system the Toddy. You can read that review here.

Today I came across this blog post about cold brew vs. ice brew. It has some interesting points. I personally like both but lately have been making iced brewed coffee.

What are your thoughts on this issue?

Keep an eye out for a review of Octane Westside coming very soon!

Rev Coffee

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I’m back! Sorry for the lack of activity. I have been super duper swamped with my full time gig. But today I am reviewing a GREAT coffee shop in Rev Coffee.

I first heard about Rev through the grapevine and was told that I must try it out. Needless to say that I was not disappointed. The owner Nick was extremely friendly as well as the head roaster Daniel and community coordinator Aajay. But lots of shops have friendly people, lets get down to the nitty gritty.

Equipment – A

Espresso Machine: They have a two group head Nouva Simonelli Aureli. It is a beautiful machine and it pulls great shots.

Grinders: They also have two Mazzer Luigi which is becoming the standard to coffee shops that I am reviewing. No doubt that Mazzer is the standard when it comes to professional grade grinders.

Coffee – B+

They roast their own coffee here at Rev and it’s pretty good. Not gonna lie. Unlike Land of A 1000 Hills, they don’t have a relationship with the farmers though and they get their beans from Cafe Imports. They do however have a excellent roaster in Daniel that really seems to know his stuff so it seems to all balance out.

Baristas – A+ 

No doubt that the baristas here are top notch! Daniel was actually a judge at the SERBC and is heading to Portland to be a judge at the USBC in Portland, OR. Not a bad barista to have on your team to say the least. Quality coffee and milk drinks with consistent art. All and all very good and knowledgable baristas.

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Location/Feel – A-

Once you get inside you feel like you have stepped into a converted garage….wait that is probably what happens. Rev has a perfect blend of sleek and cozy. They have done a fantastic job of making the place feel cozy and welcoming but at the same time not neglecting cleanliness. The only knock here is that the location of the shop is kinda next to nothing except for car places. I am hardly in that area of town but I do find myself making a trip out there if I am remotely close, so that has to be a testament to how great the shop is. They have ample parking, wifi, and lots of activities that go on. In fact tomorrow April 14 is their RevFest. If I didn’t have to work for my other job I would definitely be there. On Wednesdays they also have open mic night. Below are their hours:

M-F: 6am-10pm

S-S: 8am-8pm

Bar – n/a

Food/other – A+

They make a majority of their food in house. The pastries and whatnot they get from 3rd party sources. I tried their cuban sandwich and it was delicious. What I liked even more was that everything seemed to be reasonably priced unlike a lot of other coffee shops. They get their chai and tea from the Republic of Tea. They also have lots of brewing equipment on sale as well.

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Overall – A to A+

Rev coffee is a great coffee shop. It has charm, good food, great coffee, and knowledgable and skilled baristas. What more could you ask for in a coffee shop. No doubt if this shop was closer to me I would be there a lot more than I currently am. I highly recommend you taking the trip out to Smyrna to try it out.

Toddy Review

Well spring is officially here! With the warm weather I have decided to bring you a review on the Toddy!

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For those of you that don’t know a Toddy is a cold brew system mostly known for its ease in making iced coffee drinks. To be completely honest here, I almost didn’t buy one because I have had absolutely delicious coffee from a Toddy as well as bitter, foul, and sour cups of coffee from a Toddy. So to be honest I wasn’t too sure, but none the less with spring here and warm weather the drive for iced coffee lured me in and I took the plunge.

When you open up the Toddy you are greeted with a glass pitcher, lid, rubber stopper, two Toddy filters, a plastic container, a handle (why the two are separate stumps me), and a small instruction booklet.

If you follow the instructions it gives you a nice smooth, flavorful cup of coffee. What’s great and a lot of people don’t realize this is that it also makes hot coffee, instead of coring over ice pour it over hot water similar to an americano! Below are some pros and cons for the Toddy!

Pros

ease of use, it really isn’t too hard to make a good cup of coffee from the Toddy, just follow the instructions

You can refrigerate the coffee concentrate for up to two weeks and it will stay fresh.

Makes great iced coffee as well as hot.

Flavorful without the bitterness

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Cons

takes 12 hours to brew (not too bad if you remember to do it overnight, but it’s not something that you can be like “I want a Toddy” and go make it, it requires some planning and thought)

Uses a lot of coffee (I use a full 12 oz bag per batch)

If you forget to change the filter out after around 10 brews the coffee will become bitter and sour. Which is the thing that I think a lot of coffee shops forget to do!Image

So all and all I love my Toddy, it’s ease of use, and how great the coffee tastes as well as the variations you can do with the concentrate once you have it brewed. That’s all for today!

You can purchase a Toddy at your local coffee shop, William Sonoma, and this great invention called the World Wide Web! The going price is around $35

What are your thoughts on the Toddy? Or share your favorite Toddy recipe below!

Condesa Coffee, Cafe and Espresso Bar

Right off of Freedom Parkway, near the heart of downtown, in the Old Fourth Ward district is Condesa Coffee. This is a great coffee shop with some great baristas that serves some serious coffee.

Equipment – A+

Espresso Machine: La Marzocco GB/5

Grinders: Mazzer Luigi Super Jolly

The more and more I see the La Marzocco GB/5 the more and more I fall in love with it. Everything to the way it pulls shots, steams milk, and even the decorative details on the corners of the machine. This is a quality machine and more coffee shops could do themselves a favor in getting one of these bad boys.

Coffee – A

When Condesa first opened they served Intelligentsia coffee which is fantastic. Then they started serving both Intelligentsia and Counter Culture Coffee. Now they are strictly serving Counter Culture Coffee. Although I am a little disappointed that I can’t get my Intelligentsia fix here anymore, I can’t be too upset with Counter Culture either. Good coffee with good baristas that know how to make it.

Baristas – A+

All of the baristas here that I know of definitely have the chops to be a top notch barista. Most are vest wearing hipsters, but let’s be honest, when we see that it just confirms that our cup of coffee is going to be excellent. With various manual brew methods and espresso drinks available here, it is extremely important that you get a barista that knows what they are doing and with one taste of your drink of choice you will know that it was prepared correctly. They recently won the Krupps Best Brew Award as well.

Location/Feel – A-

Being right off of Freedom Parkway and Boulevard and about a block or two from Highland Avenue, Condesa is right in the heart of the Atlanta hipster scene. Also with Georgia State and downtown being just around the corner, you get a nice mix of college students, professionals, and well we will just call them trendy people. The shop itself has a very clean industrial feel to it, and there is a patio seating area on the street side sidewalk and beside it. The only knock here is that it is kinda secluded from other shops and things. You have to want to go here, you aren’t just going to stumble across it. There is usually a parking space to be found on the street. Their hours are:

Weekdays – 7AM to 7PM

Saturday – 8AM to 8PM

Sunday – 8AM to 7PM

Bar – N/A

Food/Other – A+

They use a lot of local, fresh ingredients here and they also make their own chocolate and vanilla. Once again, the food is a little on the pricey side in my opinion, but that seems to be the MO for coffee shops. The owner has done a good job with the menu and by supporting other local businesses with their offerings.

The tea is Intelligentsia tea, and I believe they serve Cabbagetown Chai. Pastries come from third party sources.

Another great thing is that they are very bike friendly. They are part of the Atlanta Bike Guild and if you ride your bike there you can get 10% off. Pretty sweet!

Overall – A to A+

Although Condesa is one of the new kids on the block in that they are still a relatively new shop, they have quickly established themselves as one of the best in town. With knowledgeable baristas, solid equipment, great coffee, and a good vibe, they are one of my favorite spots to hang out at or get some work done in that area. A must try if you are in the neighborhood!

Vacation

Hey everyone! I just wanted to let you know that I am leaving today to head to NYC for a week. When I get back, I will have a great new review of a fairly new coffee shop. Any guesses on what shop it is?

I will also be sure to check out as many shops as I can in NYC while I am there.  Speaking of NYC and coffee if anyone has an iPhone and are heading to NYC for business and/or leisure be sure to download the app “NYC Best Coffee” it is a great app that will give you a list of all the specialty coffee shops in the city. It will also give you information like the shop’s hours, the coffee they use, machines, and grinders. Plus it will give you directions. All in all it is a great app. I don’t go to NYC without it.

What coffee apps do you use?

Dancing Goats Coffee Bar, Decatur

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Right on the outskirts of downtown Decatur is Dancing Goats Coffee Bar. On any given day that you show up, this coffee shop is bound to be bustling with coffee laymen and enthusiast alike. Sleek and clean, this is an ideal place to come and get some work done, enjoy a fantastic cup of coffee, or just hang out with friends.

Equipment – A+

Espresso Machine – La Marzocco GB/5

Grinders – Mazzer Super Jolly and Mazzer Major

Top of the line equipment here. The Espresso machine is quite a beauty. It pulls fantastic shots, and steams milk perfectly. Of course, you can’t go wrong with Mazzer grinders either. Both are stepless to allow for fine tuning of the grind. When you take a look behind bar, you not only see fantastic state of the art equipment, but you also find it to be clean and well maintained. You know that the equipment is not going to waste here.

Coffee – A

Dancing Goats uses Batdorf and Bronson Coffee which is based out of Olympia Washington. Batdorf and Bronson have been in business since 1986 and have quickly made a name for themselves in the coffee world. They use certified fair trade, shade grown coffee and with one taste you will be hooked. They are also environmentally friendly and continuously try to lower their environmental footprint by using renewable sources of energy.

Baristas – A+

The baristas here definitely know what they are doing. All of the baristas working bar are able to pour fantastic latte art (even in macchiatos) and have tremendous coffee knowledge. The drinks I ordered were smooth and excellent and quite tasty. Not only that, the baristas are very friendly and they will even take the time to learn your name if you are a regular.

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Location/Feel – A

Downtown Decatur is one of the hippest places of Atlanta, and Dancing Goats is right there in the thick of it all. They have ample parking around the shop and a small outdoor sitting area in front on the street side of the shop. Inside the shop is very modern, sleek, and clean. They have lots of places to sit with comfortable couches and chairs. I am usually more of a fan of cozy shops, but this place really pulls off the sleek and clean vibe. They have local artwork hanging on the walls, and they have a lot of merchandise that you can purchase from mugs and tumblers, to coffee brewing equipment.

Mon – Fri 6:30am – 7pm

Sat – Sun 7am – 7pm

On Fridays at 1pm they also have a free cupping which is a great experience if you have never been to a cupping before.

Bar – N/A

Food/Other – B+

They get their pastries from third party sources. They have a wide selection of Mighty Leaf Teas and use Sattwa chai which is quite tasty. Try the locally made donuts!

Overall – A to A+

No surprise here, but this shop is one of the best in Atlanta! With experienced friendly baristas, a great location and vibe, and quality coffee, you can’t go wrong here. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite coffee shops in the city, and if you are to visit I have no doubt you will fall in love with this place as well. I highly recommend Dancing Goats Coffee Bar!