Archives for category: Intelligentsia

I still love coffee and I am still here!
I have been working as the Manager at my cafe now since May and it is busy.
I still have conversations about coffee all the time and drink coffee and think about coffee related things and then say to myself “I need to blog about that” but then I am tired.
I know – How am I tried with all this coffee consumption, you may wonder, but it is possible!
So – In an effort to cling on to my last hopes that anyone still reads my blog or thinks I care about it at all I am making you a little round-up of coffee things I have been excited about lately.
Here we go…

1. Parlour coffee and their tumblr.  I love looking at the photos on there!

2. Two if By Seas new location in Halifax! And the new website, which you can view here!

3.My new tamper from Reg Barber, thanks to Anna, who I have mentioned here and here. THANKS ANNA!!!! I would really recommend to any Baristi to try out as many tamps as you can and see what you like!! I realized that I really prefer a flat bottom tamper as opposed to a c-flat tamper! Who knew! I haven’t really done any research into what is “better”, this is just my personal preference! I find it more comfortable for some reason and way easier to have a consistent tamp. It’s all the little things that count… (incase you are interested this is the one I have!)

4. The new Ritual Kaliluni Peaberry from Kenya! Holy cow! Today Dan and I went to Two If By Sea to enjoy a Birthday espresso or two (Yay! It’s my Birthday!) and Zane asked us to try some of this truly amazing coffee they just got in! It tastes like Red Raspberry leaf tea and Oolong and its super juicy and refreshing!!!!! Go try it!

Coffee & Me.

5. Intelligentsia’s Black Cat Analog Espresso that Emma (who is a Barista at the Smiling Goat!) gave me for my Birthday. Dan made us stove-top espresso with it this morning and it was delish and SO chocolaty (anything chocolate is good in my books). I also love the shout out to Baristi on the bag, ” Full-bodied and well-rounded, this blend produces consistently sweet and chocolaty espressos that are a joy for the barista to calibrate and integrate perfectly with milk”. Yeah!!!

In other news, I am thinking about making some changes around the blog (one of the reasons for the long absence…  I have been doing a lot of thinking!) so you can look out for that in hopefully the next couple weeks!! I am glad to be back and feeling extra excited about coffee!

Cheers,

-Ceilidh

Recently my bff Anna moved to Toronto. This was a pretty sad affair for me, as you can imagine.
But, now she works in a pretty rad cafe called Te Aro and sends me awesome things in the mail like delicious coffees.
Recently she sent me a 1/4 lb of a Colombian (roasted by Te-Aro) that is the Cup Of Excellence 2011 winner. It cost me $20.oo (I actually haven’t paid her back yet…. Hey! That’s what friends are for!) when all the shipping and handling from there to here was said and done. It’s kinda a lot of money for ANYONE to spend on coffee….But it’s good, really good! I tried it as a pour over and am planning to share the rest with Dan tomorrow morning in the French Press… the rest of it has been shared with my coffee loving co-workers!
I am including a little chart from Te Aro on the tasting notes, as they can say it all way more eloquently then I ever could…

"The coffee" (I felt like you needed to see how small the bag is!!!)

Here’s the thing though. For me there are tonnes of coffees that are at a normal price point that I can get right here in Halifax, and they  are great! I love drinking the single origins from Just Us! I LOVE all of the Phil & Sebastian from Two If By Sea,  I love grabbing a bag of  49th Parallel from Steve-O-Reno’s (also, Have you checked out there website recently?!), And that I can get Intelligentsia at the Smiling Goat. PLUS we have amazing coffee being roasted right here in our own back yards (pretty much) at places like Java Blend. So as nice as it is to have a little experiment with coffee so expensive that actually drinking it is kinda scary, it will definitely stay that way for me, an experiment (….’Cause it could get pretty addictive and expensive if I don’t give myself these rules right now)!
Thanks to Anna (and Te Aro) for making to possible for me to taste this amazing coffee!!

Cheers,

-Ceilidh

I decided to stop in at The Smiling Goat Espresso Bar today while my laundry was going through the wash at the Laundromat.
It was a beautiful sunny day today and sitting in the window at the Smiling Goat seemed like an awesome thing to do while I waited the 25 minutes for my laundry.

I love the menu at Smiling goat, today I grabbed a photo of it so you can see it in all of its glory.

The Menu.

It’s so comprehensive and I love the featured drink section.
I was going to order a single Macchiato but upon seeing that the featured espresso I wanted to try was only pulled in double shots I decided to get a single Macchiato and a single espresso (this may be my new favourite thing to order). I tried the Ethiopia Ardi Natural which is a single origin that is provided to the Smiling Goat by Java Blend. It was great, a nice looking shot and an even nicer looking macchiato. I found the espresso to be a little to citrusy for my taste ( I find that a citrus flavour can really overwhelm the rest of the taste for me, I have never liked very citrusy coffee- from my first cup of Yirgacheffe, which I tried in my very first cupping, onward!). I really loved the Macc though, Smiling Goat always uses organic milk in there drinks and I personally think you can really taste a difference, I wish more shops around here had this option, it just tastes more whole and delicious to me!

Yummy Macchiato and Espresso in the sun.

I also grabbed a bag of the classic Intelligentsia Black Cat in an 8Oz bag- which I have decided is the cutest bag of coffee ever. So small and adorable.I am excited to try it at home! And to top it all off I had a really nice chat with the Barista at the Smiling Goat this afternoon, Hi Justin!

The little bag of Black Cat.

Last night I helped out with some training at Just Us! with my co-worker (and Barista extraordinaire) Liz. We got to sample some of the new single origin coffees that will be available at Just Us! in the upcoming weeks on both the siphon and the AeroPress. Then we watched this amazing video.

Cheers!

-Ceilidh

Four days of our recent vacation were spent in the lovely Vancouver, BC, with Dan’s brother  Nick and his partner Cristina- I was nervous to spend time in such a big city (Halifax is small!) but turns out, I actually kinda loved it (it also helps that Nick and Cristina are rad!). I had a huge list of coffee shops I wanted to visit that I had compiled with lots of help from my friend Marc, I didn’t make it to them all but here is a list of the places I did make it to and what I thought about them.

Day One:

Caffe Artigiano–  This place was a little weird for my taste- it seemed super fancy but commercial. They had a huge menu of drinks that I had never heard of on top of your standards. The cashier gal was a little snarky but it was a busy spot and that’s what happens when you are on cash sometimes. The Barista defiantly knew what was up and made us 3 beautiful macchiatos (one for me, Dan and Nick). It says on the website that the baristas here are ‘…award winning baristas specialize in coffee art, creating a unique rosetta, tulip or heart atop of each cappuccino and latte served…’. They had some interesting info posted near the espresso machine about how the machine is specially designed for Vancouver and the water there (or something… I actually can’t remember but at the time it was interesting and now I can’t find anything on the website about this!!!), or they used special water that they brought from somewhere else?! Who knows! The espresso tasted very, very citrusy- The most citrus tasting coffee I have ever had. I didn’t love it but I am glad I got stop in and try it as it was unlike any espresso I had ever tasted!

Day Two:

Kafka’s– I had heard great things about Kafka’s before going here and it did not disappoint- I had the best cappuccino ever here!! I loved it there and I am really sad we didn’t go back again as we had planned on. I truly recommend this place- The baristi were friendly and were eager to talk about coffee when I told them I was visiting from NS. It turned out the Barista who had made our drinks is from Cape Breton! Nice looking place, awesome espresso, they do pour overs and siphons, have a super simple menu and yummy baked goods, locally made art on the walls and Baristi who clearly love what they do. They also specialize in tea! What more could you want???

Day Three:

Elysian Coffee– Elysian, Elysian… You stole my heart. I loved this spot. First- it is small and intimate, which is always great. We went here on a nice sunny day (only the second day I had worn short sleeves outside so far this spring) and we sat on the patio and  sipped our Cappuccinos. The Baristas here were really sweet and they were all super babely and dressed oh-so-well which is always a bonus. The guy who made my drink actually happened to be from NS too! Awesome! And they new of a few of the coffee shops in Halifax (Just Us! and TIBS). He also remade my drink because he wasn’t satisfied with (I think) his art on the first one, which is great.  They serve Intelligentsia here and have sparkling water on tap! AMAZING. Seriously- Amazing. I now dream of having this in my own cafe one day. I was also sad I didn’t make it back here again but, a girl can only drink so much coffee! They also used a Synesso espresso machine which I have  a big place for in my heart… they are a dream to work on.

Bump & Grind– We had the best Macchiatos here. The experience wasn’t as memorable as Elysian (the sun! the cute people!) or Kafkas (the massive tables! The guy working on his art in the corner!) but my Macchiato was seriously good. The guy working got what he was doing  and was very calm and quiet in a really nice sort of way. I also picked up a copy of 33 Cups Of  Coffee here which I am pretty excited about (but have yet to use it!!!). The also had a perfect bar to stand up and enjoy your drinks at… I thought it was a nice addition for those who are having something like an espresso and are not going to sit down. I will defiantly be going back here next time I am in Van.

Day Four:

JJ Bean– I was pretty stoked to try out JJ Bean, I had tried a few of there coffees before (some one I work with had brought some back from Van a few months ago) and was pretty struck by it. Dan and I both ordered Cappuccinos (surprise, surprise!) which were made pretty effciantly considering how busy it was in there. I loved the aesthetic here (it was the commercial and E 6th Ave. location) lots of wood and open space, great windows and a cute looking patio. We also grabbed a bag of single origin coffee (The Boquete Classico from Chiriqui, Panama. Tasting Notes- Creamy, Sweet, Concord grape & Almond). You get a free espresso when you buy a bag of coffee so that was a nice bonus (we are JUST getting around to drinking this coffee now… I’ll let you know how it is!) All in all JJ did not dissapoint and had everything it takes to make a cafe awesome. The staff were great too!

Prado– I think I could have loved Prado…. The interior was beautiful, white walls, wood, metal, a black bathroom (what IS it with black bathrooms these days…. Elysian had black bathrooms too, and a few other places we ate at while we were on the west coast. Anyways, I love this trend!), huge windows, babely baristas, a white espresso machine that was a beaut! But, the service kinda got me… the girls working there just weren’t that nice. I forgot to tip so after my drink  (macchiato) I went back up to tip and I wasn’t acknowledged at all by either of the girls who were standing right in front of me…. There was no line up, nothing, they were just talking. Maybe I am too sensitive but customer service is so important to me and can make or break my experience. After that I didn’t even bother looking to see what kind of beans they used….. Sorry Prado! Our drinks were totally good and I clearly liked the ambiance, Plus there was a really cute dog waiting for it’s owner outside… I would give it a try again in hopes that I would receive better customer service!

Our coffee experience in Vancouver was GREAT…. It has really inspired me in so many ways and opened my eyes up a lot to what some of the best cafes are up too. The coffee culture out here on the East coast is just starting to take off it seems and I am so excited to see where it is going to go!

Cheers,

-Ceilidh

Tonight my co-worker Anna and I decided to go try Smiling Goat Organic Espresso bar here in Halifax.

Anna!

We were having a giggle fest in a state of fatigue after a long day at work (where we were getting used to our new surroundings, which I talked a it a bit about in my last post). Somewhere along the line we decided drinking more coffee was a good idea…. hmmm ( a few hours later and I have crashed hard and plan to eat hard boiled eggs and watch Flashdance!). Neither Anna and I had been there before so it seemed like it would be a good outing.

At the Smiling Goat you can choose between a few different options for what kind of espresso you want your drink to be made out of- which is a pretty cool idea, we both tried the Black Cat Classic from Intelligentsia because neither of us had tried any Intelligentsia before either. They use organic milk as there standard which I love, and obviously all of the coffee is also organic as well as all (most?) being fair trade. Which are also really important factors to me when selecting a place to grab a coffee. They also had ‘featured drinks’ which included a Flat White and a Cafe Romano (espresso with lemon zest) among a few others, I thought this was a cool idea and would defiantly encourage people to try something new and delicious.

So Anna and I both got a double capp made with the Black Cat Classic beans!

They were great, really yummy, the espresso was awesome (Anna said it tasted really nutty to her, which sent us into more fits of laughter) and they looked pretty. The only thing that stopped me from loving these babes was the $5.05 price tag. To me that is way to expensive for a Cappuccino, what barista can ever afford that (ha ha ha)?! Seriously- it was a treat and something I probably won’t be drinking again anytime soon based on price alone, but I still really do recommend Smiling Goat Espresso Bar for a treat.

Cheers,

-Ceilidh

PS Read about what the name ‘Smiling Goat’ is all about here.