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I have decided to no longer blog here. I needed a break from talking/thinking about coffee a lot.

If you’d like, you can follow me on my new blogging adventure at North of Cogswell, a blog about living in Halifax, NS.

Cheers & Thanks for reading.

-Ceilidh

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Cheers,

-Ceilidh

I’d like to let you all know that the winner for this bag of 49th Parallel coffee was comment number four (using random.org) which read:

Anna

I love coffee because it introduced me to my best friend forever! xo Happy Birthday Barista babe!!

Thanks to everyone who commented and to Zane at Two If By Sea for donating the coffee.

Cheers,

-Ceilidh

Last week was a long week…
Thankfully on Friday Liz pulled the MOST amazing shot of espresso I have ever had the pleasure to have tasted.
She took one sip of it said “Wow!” with a look of shock on her face and immediately handed it to me.
It was perfect, the best shot I have tasted to date. The most amazing part to me was that when I smelled it, I smelled fresh and perfectly ripe blackberries, upon tasting It had amazing body and the taste of blackberries (perfect ones!) was there just like in the aroma and it was all… so … Perfect (Okay, Sorry I am clearly smitten by this shot of espresso and I am not very good at using my flavour-wheel words when I get excited!). I looked at Liz and probably said “Holy Shit! Liz! Did you taste that… It’s! It’s! Berries!!! Currents??? Blackberrys! Berries…. WOW! Thats BY FAR the best shot of espresso you have ever made. Thank you so much for sharing it with me. Holy Shit” ( and if thats not what I said, thats what I was thinking…).

I can’t stop thinking about it (I am sure Liz can’t either). Seriously it was good.

Different people have different takes on what a God Shot is, some have a very technical explanation some have a very simple one.
You can read about God Shots here at cofffeegeek.com and here and lot’s of other places too!
I like to think that a God shot is something that is different for everyone and something that is going to be explained differently by everyone (…kinda like God), it’s personal.

The shot Liz pulled on Friday was, no doubt, a God Shot.

Looking forward to having some more tasty espresso in the future but this shot could be hard to top (it helps that it was made by one of my favourite Baristas too!)! I’d be really curious to hear about any of your experiences with really good shots of espresso you’ve had, tell me about it! In the meantime I’ll be over here dreaming…..

Cheers (& Happy Monday!),

-Ceilidh

…I broke my camera over Canada weekend, so until it get’s fixed it may be a little quite around here.
Bummer.
In the mean time….

You can read more about this here. I love how it looks and can imagine a concrete espresso machine looking so good in a cafe (how well it functions? Unknown).

And how beautiful is this wooden pour over stand?

Wood and porcelain are an all time favourite combination for me. You can find all the details on this stand here.

I am also searching for suggestions for good cafes to hit up in Toronto when I am there next month, any ideas??

Happy Wednesday!

Cheers,

-Ceilidh

We received our newest single origin coffees last week at Just Us!. We now have 4 in total, an Ethiopian Harar (delicious darker roast), a Peruvian called Twelve Apostles (named after the 12 farmers who work at the co-operative, its a medium-light roast), the two newer ones are Crocodile Island a medium roast whose beans are from East Timor, and the Sierra Nevada which is a Colombian and a lighter roast (which is also my new favourite)!

The new single origins.

 

The pour over area.

If you come in to try our single origin coffees they will be prepared via the pour over method, which I think is the easiest way to brew a seriously good cup of coffee. It can also be a really simple way to get into coffee more, even just your appreciation for coffee. I really recommend trying a pour over, If made correctly  I guarantee that it will taste so much better then regular drip coffee. And, you’ll love it!

Cheers,

-Ceilidh

I found something interesting today called The Coffee Experiment.
Basically it is the blog of a young woman who is travelling around the world, trying coffee everywhere she goes and writing about the ritual of it all.

Here is a little video about her experiment.

It really got me thinking, what are peoples connections to coffee all about? I talked about my relationship to coffee here, in my very first post but I realize it has changed a lot for me recently.
For me it begin’s with a connection I have with my family and coffee, moving on to my love of actually getting my hands covered in grinds, watching that espresso pour or that pour over drip, smelling an intoxicating smell and enjoying, so deeply, that first sip. It’s the fact that all my senses are involved while making and enjoying a cup of coffee. It’s those rituals (I have a few), that make it so special and the fact that everyone has them. Mine include- enjoying a press pot at home over a delicious breakfast (which is always lovingly made by Dan), another more common ritual is going into work and always making sure I have time to pour myself a cup of coffee when I get there and really savouring that first sip, starting my day right (or how awesome it feels when a co-worker makes your favourite drink for you first thing in the morning). And then there is going out to my favourite cafes, either alone, with my Love or with a good friend, having someone who loves what they are doing prepare you something they are proud of and then relaxing into your drink, being able to savour it. Then there is the ritual of making coffee for others which is a whole other thing unto itself, I don’t only mean making coffee at work, but at home or at a friends house to. The act of preparing something and giving it to someone else. Something you love. Something that connects us.

I’d love to hear what your relationship to coffee is like so please, feel free to leave me a comment!

Cheers!

-Ceilidh

This past week I (re)found 2  halifax coffee blogs.
We’ve got espressosnob and siphonsnob, both which are updated very often.

If you want some more info on coffee in Halifax and want to look at some great photos of the city- check them out!

I also have been drinking a lot of espresso this week, thanks to my co-worker Liz, who is always giving me shots and who will have a babely barista interview soon!! I also received a great compliment on a shot I pulled today, which is always so good! Plus- the weather has been awesome and it still smells so good outside.

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

I have talked about my favourite coffee shop in Nelson BC, called Oso Negro, I had originally planned to do a big post on them but, I have to say when I was there 3 weeks ago it let me down! I still think the coffee is great but, to be honest, the specialty drinks are not being made how they should be. I tried to order a cappuccino , twice, and it was just…. not good ( wrong proportions, really dry, the barista was confused at what I ordered etc, etc,)! Regardless, I went there pretty much everyday I was in town and drank americanos. I also brought back bags of their coffee for myself and some friends AND I love the ambiance and the style of the cafe. It is beautiful, all wood and metal, with the best patio you you can imagine ( it is unexplainably amazing!), and they have awesome baked goods (seriously good muffins!)! If you are ever in Nelson it is well worth the stop, but if you are expecting traditional style drinks, that’s not what you will get ( If there are any die-hard Oso fans reading this… I am not trying to offend anyone- this is just my personal opinion).

BUT- A new cafe has opened up in Nelson called John Ward Fine Coffee, unfortunately  I didn’t stop in there till our last day in Nelson. My good friend Marnie ( who works there) was awesome and took some photos for me on her handy- dandy iphone so I could share them here (remember, our camera went dead on day 2 of our vaca and we had forgotten our changer!!!!). This coffee shop is located on a busy corner of Baker St., in Nelson, with a cute little patio that had adorable flower boxes all along the side. The ambiance inside is great with a kind of sleek mid century feel which I love! There is great art on the walls and cute mis matched chairs and tables, I loved the bare bulbs hanging from the ceiling- such a good look!

The light fixture in the top right corner of this photo was made by one of the staff!

The espresso wasn’t the best I have ever tasted ( they use Origins Coffee) but it was good and they have a small menu and know how to make each drink! Finally I got my capp that I had been waiting for my whole vacation in Nelson!!!!

capp!

 And a few more photos, the menu board with the cute little menu and the condiment stand which I will also describe as cute! All in all a great little new coffee shop that I encourage those who live in Nelson to check out! Another really awesome thing was that the 3 gals who were working that day were sisters ( their Mom opened the cafe)!!!!
Cheers!!! And thanks to Marnie for the photos!
-Ceilidh