Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Coffee Virgin

Bobby loses his coffee virginity for The Stovetop Baristas

Caffeine addiction is prevalent on college campuses

Bobby Waddle had never had coffee. Until today. In fact, Waddle said he never had a need for coffee, which sets him apart on a college campus.

A study done by Loyola University found that four out of five college students consume caffeine on a daily basis to wake up for early morning classes or stay up late to finish school work. Senior Rachel Gillespie is one of those university students at Bowling Green who considers herself a “caffeine addict.”

“I have caffeine at least twice a day,” Gillespie said. “Tea has caffeine in it, and I have that at least once a day.”

Gillespie said she feels as though she has built up a tolerance to caffeine and that it no longer helps her stay awake. She said the only time she remembers really feeling the effects of caffeine was when she drank a 5-Hour Energy in order to make the drive back home to Cincinnati. Gillespie also keeps espresso shots in her pantry to add to her coffee to give her an extra kick in the morning.

When a tolerance begins to build is when an addiction can start, no matter what source the caffeine is contained in, and could have the potential for serious health risks.

Risks of caffeine addiction

For someone who is addicted to caffeine, possible side effects of a caffeine withdrawal could range from headaches and fatigue to irritability and difficulty concentrating. According to an article by U.S. News and World Report, most people experience mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms that usually set in 12-24 hours after abstaining from caffeine.

"People are hesitant to think of it as a drug of addiction because it doesn't have a lot of the health and adverse social consequences associated with our classic drugs of addiction, yet the basic mechanisms by which it hooks people are very much like our classic drugs of addiction," said Roland Griffiths, a professor in the departments of psychiatry and neuroscience at Johns Hopkins, in the article.

Some students still don't have a need for caffeine

While coffee is often a caffeine quick fix for college students, Waddle isn’t completely alone on campus with his disregard for the beverage. Paul Dalsky is also not fond of coffee, and said he never usually consumes caffeine in any beverage.

“I don’t drink coffee, I don’t like tea and my favorite pops don’t have caffeine,” Dalsky said.

Dalsky said he is wakes up best the mornings when he has to walk to the Student Recreation Center for his 8:30 weight lifting class, and other than that he doesn’t see a need to do anything extra to keep himself awake.

“Once I’m up, I’m up,” Dalsky said. “And once I’m tired, I’m done for.”

Now that Waddle has joined the ranks of college students who have had at least one cup of coffee, he doesn’t think his life will be any different and he certainly doesn’t think he’ll be looking to coffee to keep him awake during finals week.

“Doesn’t feel any different to have had coffee than it did before,” Waddle said.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Coffee and . . . the iPad?

Image from Apartment Therapy: The Kitchn
While browsing the latest coffee news I came across an interesting new release to the coffee world - a coffee iPad application. The Intelligentsia Coffee iPad (or iPhone, whichever you prefer) application allows users to learn new coffee brewing methods, it provides a brewing timer, it details different coffee grinds and blends and also gives updates on all the latest from the Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea Company - just to name a few of its capabilities.

Now, I'm not that up on the cutting edge of technology - meaning that I am not an owner of an iPad. Or an iPhone. But this app looks pretty sweet for those of you who do have one of those fancy Apple gadgets. I would love to have a little personal coffee guide helping me with brewing and blending. And just think of all the things the Stovetop Baristas could explore with such a guide . . .

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Coffee Pot Rock

Here's a little coffee buzz for you, below is Coffee Pot Rock in Arizona.
A coffee enthusiasts favorite natural wonder.



You can even get Coffee Pot Rock on your coffee mug.


Friday, December 3, 2010

The "Beauty" of Coffee

coffee WavesImage by Omar_MK via Flickr

For the Stovetop Baristas we can’t imagine starting our day without a cup of coffee, but that perfect cup of coffee in the morning can also beauty aid. Yes, coffee yet again proves to be more irreplaceable in our lives.
Thanks to Care2, this post will be about how coffee can “clean, exfoliate dead-looking skin, give hair a warm glow and shine, and more.”       
So before you brew that last cup of coffee see what else those grounds can do for you.
Deodorize with Coffee Grounds: “Coffee grounds will get rid of the oniony, garlicky, or fishy smells that cooking leaves often behind on our hands: just rub a handful of used grounds all over your hands and then rinse with warm water. You can also fill a muslin bag with used grounds to deodorize yourself all over in the bath or shower.”
I've seen people do this to their hands, it totally works.
Coffee Hair Glow Recipe:
”This recipe smells divine and it really works: you’ll have more lustrous hair after just one application.”
“Make a strong brew (espresso if possible) and allow to cool until only warm, not hot. Apply the coffee to dry hair and allow to remain on for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water.”
Exfoliating and Firming Perk-Up Facial:
”This will gently firm and tone your skin, minimizing pores and sloughing off dead skin so the fresh new skin underneath is revealed. Those with dry skin will want to follow the facial with a moisturizer.”
Mix 1/4 cup used coffee grounds and one egg white, combining well. Massage gently onto face, then allow to dry. Rinse off with warm water.
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Make-at-Home: Roast Your Own Coffee Beans

I consider my dad to be somewhat of an expert on coffee. He roasts his own beans and keeps a notebook of the different roasts and the roasting times - it almost strikes me as an art form. So, when it came time for the Stovetop Baristas to do a video post I thought, who better to help me out?

While I was home over Thanksgiving break I asked my dad if we could do a how-to video with him on roasting coffee beans. He agreed, but then he had an idea - why not do a video on roasting coffee beans in a hot air popper? Because, after all, we are the Stovetop Baristas and we're all about creating coffee without the fancy machines. Great call, Dad. So here is our video on roasting coffee beans in a hot air popper!

(As a note, when roasting coffee beans don't forget you have to start with the green, unroasted beans! You can order them online or check a coffee store near you.)

Just in case anyone was wondering, the coffee beans turned out great. I had some lovely  homemade coffee in my apartment a couple days later! Special thanks to where I found the basic instructions!

-- Alissa and Becky

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Starbucks VIA . . . not bad

CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 29:  Starbucks VIA Ready B...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
There has been a sample pack of Starbucks VIA in my pantry for quite some time. And this morning, I decided it was time to break it out - I needed that morning coffee kick and I overslept my alarm, therefore this was the perfect solution.

These instant coffee packs are exactly like the lemonade/iced tea/Gatorade packs you can add to a bottle of water so you don't have to drink just plain water. You simply dump this little pack of coffee into a mug, heat up eight ounces of water and add that in! It doesn't get much simpler.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Like Coffee? Try some tea.

Tea of different fermentation: From left to ri...Image via Wikipedia

Putting tea on our blog may be a mistake. 
We love coffee and thinking about drinking tea seems like cheating on the boyfriend you've been dating since high school. Some will say "go out with different guys, see what else is out there." But we know what is out there, and we are passionately in love with what we have. 
The purpose of this post is two-fold: to give our non-coffee drinking readers a taste goodness and to give some options if your current coffee relationship is on the rocks. 
Sometimes it only takes one date with a new cup and you remember why you liked the old one. 

Here are comparable coffees to tea. 
Thank you I Need Coffee!

Espresso - Imperial Gunpowder: tightly rolled full-potency green tea leaves explode with a complex flavor spectrum.Lapsang Souchong - a smoky tea that has a wonderful leather smell.

Kenyan, Zimbabwe, Ethiopian -Earl Grey:  a rich body (usually a Darjeeling base) with a penetrating taste and oil of bergamot.

Guatemalan, Sulawesi- Keemun (fancy or Lion Mountain): a deep, mellow black China tea.

Tanzania Peaberry, Ethiopian Sidamo- Assam (Goldentip, or extra fancy): a full-bodied malty tea.

Puerto Rican Yauco Selecto, Papua New Guinea- Formosa Oolong: pleasant smooth aftertaste
China Gui Hua -black tea with pieces of dried kwei flowers.

Sumatran- Jasmine blossom (fancy or Yin Hao) - Green tea: with a floral scent and a pleasant aftertaste, Ti Kwan Yin - a fruity, oolong tea.

Brazilian, Kona- China Rose Petal: black tea with dried roses added.

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Oh, Coffee Information

I just discovered the coolest book ever. It's called The Visual Miscellaneum and it is filled with a myriad of info graphics.  It's so informative. The Author also of has a blog The Visual Miscellaneum, so check it out.

I want to put this coffee graphic on my wall as a constant reminder of how to make good coffee. I love it how well explained the graphics are, you could be your own Stovetop Barista.

The best part is that the pronunciations are underneath each cup, so scary hipster coffee shops can't judge when you pull out your Italian accent.



Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Coffee Straight from Guatemala

Every summer for the past five or six years my roommate travels to Guatemala with a group of people from her church. They work with orphanages down there, and she actually sponsors one of the girls herself. I absolutely love hearing her talk about her trips there (she loves it so much) and seeing her pictures, and the other day I fell in love with something else about her trips - the coffee.

The other day was one of those typical winter days in Northwest Ohio - gray, windy and plenty cold. In other words, it was the perfect weather for a mug of coffee. I offered to pull out the Folgers in my cupboard, but she offered something better - coffee she had brought back from Guatemala. Thank goodness she offered.

The coffee had a deliciously rich flavor and it was extremely smooth. It was a little bolder than I thought it would be, but it was a pleasant surprise. For some reason it struck me as the perfect winter coffee - the bold richness was warming and helped get rid of those winter doldrums. It was also a great coffee to give me that kick I needed to get through the day, I was most definitely awake when my mug was empty.

My roommate better be careful, she's going to spoil me with her great coffee taste.


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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Make-at-Home "Snowflake Lattes"

The weather in Bowling Green has been pretty typical of Ohio lately - it's 64 degrees one minute, and 45 the next. So with the onset of cold weather and winter, we have been dying to make peppermint mochas because what better to welcome one of the more brutal seasons with?

We decided to consult our handy "I love coffee!" book, and discovered a recipe for a "Snowflake Latte." We made it in our kitchen as per usual so we could share it with you here. We hope it warms up your day (or night) as much as it did ours . . .

What you'll need:
-Vanilla-flavored syrup
-Peppermint-flavored syrup (or peppermint extract and sugar, we'll get into that later)
-A strong pot of coffee
-A stovetop and some pots (of course!)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The New Starbucks Experience

Starbucks logoImage via Wikipedia

The Starbucks Experience is going to the Web.

In early October Starbucks launched The Starbucks Digital Network, a new way to enhance patrons’ visit to the coffee shop. The network will offer exclusive access to music, videos, coffee news and other multimedia, according the Starbucks website.
Since 1971, when the Starbucks Coffee Company was founded it has been “committed to ethically sourcing and roasting the highest quality coffee in the world” and to abiding by the “Starbucks Experience,” which the company believes goes hand-in-hand with providing a good cup of coffee.

News with your coffee
The Starbucks Digital Network, in partnership with Yahoo! will “hand-picked premium news, entertainment and lifestyle content along with local insights and events, the Starbucks Digital Network,  is powered by free Wi-Fi and available only in Starbucks stores.” The network will be compatible with all Wi-Fi enabled laptops, iPads or smart phones, according to the Starbucks website.

What Starbucks has to say
"Our customers are the inspiration for the Starbucks Digital Network. They’ve told us they want to be the first to know what’s happening in their neighborhoods and around the globe, to have an easy way to discover new music, great books and important films and find ways to be more involved in their communities. And they’re connecting with the brand digitally in numerous ways,” said Stephen Gillett,
Starbucks executive vice president, chief information officer and Digital Ventures general manager in a press release. “These points combined with our passion for creating a unique customer experience, our heritage of recommending culturally-relevant works and focus on giving back to the community, led us to create this new, one-of-a-kind, localized content experience with Yahoo!.”

What the Customer thinks 
Katey Yinger of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, said she goes to Starbucks for the atmosphere.
“It ‘s a great place to relax, get a good cup of coffee and get stuff done,” she said.  “It has a great atmosphere for that.”
Yinger said the introduction of the Starbucks Network, in her opinion is a “smart move for Starbucks.”

“Starbucks is already known for things like their music … and people like it” she said. “So why not give special access to people in their [shops]. It’s good for business and probably good for the artists.”
One of the main reasons Yinger goes to Starbucks, she said, is because she knows she will always get a good cup of coffee and that the employees will be “very pro-customer.”

“For people who really like coffee, and I do, I know I will always get what I want, there a no surprises,” she said. “And when I don’t, they’ll make again … they take care of the customers and I know I’m getting good coffee.”

Yinger also said along with the new network, she is excited about other experiments Starbucks is trying, like selling wine and a shop in Seattle.
 “It’s all very interesting,” she said.  “I think it will really develop their image and maybe people will think differently about Starbucks … they’ll get more people in the door.”

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Friday, November 5, 2010

Fair Trade Coffee Aids Guatemala

Fair Trade Certified Mark (USA & Canada)Image via Wikipedia
Bowling Green State University senior Michelle Erford has  traveled to Guatemala with her church for the past five summers. In that time she has been able to see firsthand how important coffee is as a crop to Guatemala.

"There are a ton of coffee farms in Guatemala, and it's a high export," Erford said. "They are very proud of their coffee because it's grown by the volcanoes."

With that importance, the Fair Trade movement has begun to have an effect on the Guatemalan coffee growers.

Fair Trade Certification

To have a product become Fair Trade certified, the importer must pay a minimum price of $1.26 a pound, according to Global Exchange, an advocacy group based in San Francisco that promotes human rights and social, environmental and economic justice worldwide. By requiring a minimum price per pound at that amount, the Fair Trade certification is ensuring that the small coffee farmers trying to make a living can do just that.

In Guatemala, a large number of coffee producers are small farms that produce small quantities of coffee while the smaller number of large farms produce the larger share of coffee in the country. This imbalance makes it hard for the small Guatemalan farmers to stay afloat and many have had to abandon their farms and move to the cities or another country to make a small living.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

How Ellen likes her men, and her coffee . . .

Yesterday I was perusing Twitter when I noticed a tweet Ellen DeGeneres sent out . . .

 Ellen DeGeneres I like my coffee like I like my men. Shirtless. 

She included a link at the end of the tweet, which I of course clicked on because I mean, who wouldn't, right? I took the link out of the copied tweet I pasted above, so that I could put the video the link sent me to right here:  (enjoy!)

You’re watching You’ve Got Ellen DeGeneres. See the Web's top videos on AOL Video

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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ten things Coffee Can Cure

Roasted coffee beans, the world's primary sour...Image via Wikipedia
  I love coffee. But beyond my deep need for a cup of java, I believe coffee can cure some ailments.  

"If you are the kind staying away from doctors even when ill for fear of swallowing bitter pills, here is something hot: they might just start offering you a steaming cup of coffee instead."

"Did you know that two to four cups of fresh coffee every day can bring down the incidence of colon cancer by 25 per cent and Parkinson’s disease by 50 to 80 percent? Or that it can help reduce an asthma attack if you cannot get medication immediately? These are some of the results of studies done by Mayo Clinic, Harvard School of Public Health and Institute for Coffee Studies in Vanderbilt.
The Coffee Board of India is now planning a seminar. Domestic consumption is seen as a growth driver for the survival of the industry, which has been hit in export markets by global oversupply."

Here are links to what coffee can cure. Go ahead, try one. 

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Coffee Shop Review: Donkey (Athens, Ohio)

It's Halloween weekend, and I am in Athens, Ohio to spend the weekend with one of my oldest and dearest friends. So I thought - well, why not blog about a delightful little coffee shop down south? This way you will have a couple coffee shops across the state to visit, if you so desire.

The very first time I went to visit my friend at Ohio University, she told me she had been dying to take me to a place called Donkey. I had no idea what this was going to entail, but since she was so excited I was, too.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Coffee Makes Great Art

By this time, you all know we really like coffee.
Beyond what we put in our mugs, coffee can be great medium for art.

Many artists use it instead of paint. Check out these Coffee Creations.


Or some make it in the mug.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Make-at-Home Irish Coffee

Our make-at-home posts have been all about rescuing you from those mid-week doldrums. We didn't want to stop now. Although, while our first make-at-home was comforting (pumpkin spice lattes) and the second was all about a burst of energy (chocolate-covered coffee beans), we thought we'd kick it up another notch. So to cure this week's case of the blahs why not try some Irish coffee?

We found the steps online here, and they even organized it into a nice little picture slide show which we loved. So let's get started!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Best Coffee in BG?

This past weekend was parents' weekend, and my parents and I hit up Kermit's on South Main Street for breakfast Sunday morning. We love Kermit's - they have great food and great service - but here are two things we forgot about Kermit's . . .

1.They're cash only.
2. Their advertised 'best coffee in BG' is not, in our opinion, the best cup of joe in town.

My dad remedied the first problem by running next door to the ATM, but the second problem was one we could not avoid - because we had already ordered coffee before I remembered this and also because we were craving that morning kick to get us going.

My dad and I agreed it isn't the best cup of coffee in Bowling Green, and we also agreed on where that cup of coffee can be found - Grounds for Thought, the one place my dad wanted to go to, and one of the places we didn't get to.

Grounds for Thought (located on South Main Street as well) is a coffee shop and roasts their own beans, too. (Are you noticing a trend in my favorite coffee shops?) My dad and I not only love their coffee, but we also love that Grounds doubles as a used bookstore (there are few things my dad loves more than coffee and used books - by a few, I mean probably just my mom, my sister and I).

The atmosphere is everything you would want from a college town coffee shop - it's medium-sized, cozy, with records and books everywhere. It's the perfect study place, and one of my personal favorites.

I love their hot chocolates, I love their specialty lattes, I love their doughnuts and I have recently discovered I love their sandwiches - yep, they serve lunch, too. Oh, and did I mention the ice cream?

If you ever find yourself in Bowling Green, this is a must-visit. I promise you won't leave disappointed.

-- Alissa

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Coffee Stains

stan, stains, dirtImage via Wikipedia
I spill coffee in my bed.
I won’t lie about it. I like to read in bed in the morning and need that cup of coffee with me.
Occasionally, I’ll just sit the cup on the mattress and well you can only guess what happens next.
But it’s not just in my bed, it’s on my clothes, on other people's clothes and of course, “The Great Coffee Spill of 2009” when I tripped over my roommate's exercise ball and threw coffee across our room.
Needless to say, I’ve become a pro at getting coffee stains out of fabric.
So for all you clumsy coffee drinkers out there, her ya go.

My three rules of getting out a coffee stains:
1. Never Wipe! Always dab or blott, so you don’t scrub the coffee into the fabric.
2. Hot water first! If the stain is fresh enough it might even come right out with a little hot water.
3. Don’t panic. You'll just spill more coffee.

Before tackling a stain, take a minute to read the label (on the fabric, not the coffee). See if there is any specific attention you should direct toward your fabric.
I only know this because I ruined a T-shirt due to a coffee stain and a bad removal process.
For most coffee stains on fabric like clothing, furniture, SHEETS and carpet, you want to start with a paper towel, dabbing the stain to remove as much of the liquid as possible. Then, in a bowl, mix one-part white vinegar and two-parts warm water. Use a paper towel, blotting the stain with mixture.
Then if possible, throw it in the washing machine.
If that still doesn’t work, try the dry cleaner; they saved a brides maid dress for me three summers ago.
But if all else fails, you have to embrace the stain. Cover it up with a sweater or look at it lovingly remembering that great cup of coffee you were drinking.

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bad Coffee

As the Stovetop Baristas, we are always looking for the best cup of coffee. And while we know where all the hot places are, sometimes the need for caffeine forces you to make some epic coffee mistakes.
At times I find myself with the desperate need for coffee in the worst places. Now, I don’t want to sounds like a coffee snob but there are some places out there with awful coffee.
So I thought it might be nice to the take the usual places for quick coffee fixes and help you make the choice a little better.

McDonalds: B-
Good enough to choke down but a bit shallow in flavor.

Burger King: C+
The flavors not bad but pretty weak. 

Tim Horton: C-
Their coffee is so strong that it burns, even when it’s not that hot.

Arby’s: D-
Not even close to good. If you’re just looking for a hot drink, flavors not a factor, then it’s perfect for you.

Wendy’s: C-
This is coffee made for the masses. Like drinking brown water … but it’s only 50 cents.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Coffee Cup Art

You know how much we love design. And clearly, you know how much we love coffee (hopefully). So it should be pretty obvious why we thought this to-go coffee cup was adorable and something we want to have. We can't resist combining good design and good coffee, it makes every day better (even Mondays).

I went to visit my little sister at Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA for a couple of days over fall break and that's where I found this adorable to-go cup in her dining hall. It was a good thing she suggested I grab some coffee before I left to head home, and a good thing that I thought to listen to her for once. When I got home though and went to take a picture of the cup, I discovered it didn't just have one quote on it . . .

What an adorable and refreshing way to start your day! Ever since I made the drive from Erie back to Akron, I've been thinking about how I can get them in my day-to-day life . . .

I'm thinking about seeing if Bowling Green could switch to these pick-me-up cups in their dining halls - I would definitely stop to get coffee on campus if they came in those. Or perhaps I'll just purchase them for me and my roommates to keep in our cupboards. I would almost wake up early to make them all coffee and put them in these cups . . . almost.

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Make-at-Home Cappuccinos

Continuing in our make-at-home series, this week we tackled cappuccinos. And we put together a nice, little slideshow to walk you through making them yourself . . . You're welcome.

--Becky and Alissa

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Coffee Shop Review: The Nervous Dog (Akron, Ohio)

Since I went home this weekend, I thought it would be fitting to review a coffee shop my friends and I frequent often in Akron - The Nervous Dog.

Located at 1530 West Market Street in Akron, the 'Dog' (as we sometimes refer to it as) is situated right outside of downtown Akron - the perfect meeting place for most of us (most meaning everyone but me who doesn't actually live in Akron). It's also right by Highland Square, which is a pretty artsy neighborhood outside downtown. What I'm trying to say is, it's a great neighborhood and a great neighborhood coffee shop.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Coffee Pods?

My parents made an investment last year in one of those new coffee makers that make one cup at a time. Now being a coffee purest, I was pretty against the idea but complied for the sheer reason I got their old coffee pot (you know, a normal one).
But over the last year the contraption has really grown on me.
For those people who like their coffee quick and strong this type of coffee maker is for you.
There are also a variety of different flavors to choose from. (And even some non-coffee options like tea and hot chocolate, but clearly this isn't the platform discuss such things.)
The real draw back of the machine is the price of the pods, costing anywhere from $1 to $4 a CUP!!
That's too rich for my blood. So I guess it will just be something I enjoy when I visit my parents.

But for those who can afford the convenience and coffee strength, check it out:


Friday, October 8, 2010

World's Best Coffee

Every morning, we like to think that the coffee we make will reach this status.

What a good day!


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Make-at-Home Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans

We found another cure for those dreary days when getting out of bed seems impossible, or you need that midday pick-me-up: chocolate covered coffee beans. Not only are they quick and easy to make, they taste delicious and give you a little extra boost. And we're all about that.

So let's get started . . .

First, you have to create a double boiler on your stovetop. We used a pot filled with water and placed a bowl on top. Once you have that set up, pour some chocolate chips into the bowl or top part of your boiler. You can use as many chocolate chips as you'd like, but we found out it doesn't take too many.

Monday, October 4, 2010

"I thought you might like some coffee . . ."

We absolutely love when coffee enters other areas of our lives, especially pop culture. What would 'Friends' be without the Central Perk?

Coffee also led to a funny scene in the movie 'Airplane,' and we posted it below for your enjoyment. It's 25 seconds of adorable and hilarious all rolled into one . . .


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Cleaning Your Coffee Pot

New coffee makerImage by scriptingnews via Flickr

We’re pretty enthusiastic about coffee, especially about making good coffee. The first step to a good cup of java is a “well-oiled” coffee machine.
When you make multiple cups a day, you can really take a toll on your coffee maker.
So we advise a monthly cleaning. You’ll be really surprised to see what a nice cleaning will wash away and how much better your coffee will taste.

What you’ll need: water, vinegar and the shear ambition to make the best cup of coffee.

Step 1: Pour the vinegar into the water reservoir of your coffee pot. You want to fill it at least half way full with the vinegar and then fill it the rest of the way with cold water.
Step 2: Remove the filter basket, rinse it and wipe it out with a paper towel. Then put a filter in the basket and place it back in the coffee maker.
Step 3: Run the coffee maker as usual, then turn it off and let it sit for about ten minutes.
Step 4: Empty the used vinegar and then repeat the cleaning process one more time with a new filter, fresh vinegar and cold water.
Step 5: After letting it sit for another ten minutes, fill the coffee maker with plain water and run it again.
Repeat the cycle with cold water until vinegar taste/smell is gone.

After your coffee pot has been successfully cleaned. Make yourself a cup of joe. We guarantee it will taste GREAT!

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Your Coffee Soundtrack

We love a good soundtrack, so we thought - well hey, why not make a coffee soundtrack? So we did.

Here is our list of songs that mention coffee, have coffee in the title - you get the picture. Turn them on, turn them up and get brewing!

(Just to get you started, we included a video of the 'Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop' song by Landon Pigg, and every song title is actually a link to a YouTube video for that song - enjoy!)

1. Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop by Landon Pigg (Who doesn't want to fall in love at a coffee shop?)
2. You're So Vain by Carly Simon (Staring into your coffee is apparently similar to reading tea leaves)
3. One More Cup of Coffee by The White Stripes (We love grabbing some coffee for the road)
4. Two Beds and a Coffee Machine by Savage Garden (Coffee gets us through days like this, too)
5. Meet Virginia by Train (We also drink our coffee at midnight)
6. A Cup of Coffee by Johnny Cash (Coffee with friends is the best, coffee with Johnny Cash would be awesome)
7. Intergalactic by the Beastie Boys ('I like my sugar with coffee and cream' = brilliant)
8. The Coffee Song by Frank Sinatra (He's classic, just like we like our coffee)
9. Coffee Shop by Red Hot Chili Peppers (We would meet them at a coffee shop to dance)
10. Run-Around by Blues Traveler (We like coffee and tea, too!)
11. Starfish and Coffee by Prince (What an intriguing combination)
12. The Coffee Song by Cream (We seem to love love stories at coffee shops)


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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Make-at-Home Pumpkin Spice Lattes

We love fall. The sweaters, the scarves, the leaves - it's a lovely season. What we don't love about fall though is those cold, dreary days that, in Bowling Green, are often accompanied by rain. But we have the perfect cure for those days that make you want to stay in bed - pumpkin spice lattes. It's one of our favorites at Starbucks, so we thought we would research ways to make it ourselves, Stovetop Baristas style.

We found a recipe online, which you can also find here. It was really simple to use and what's better, the extra ingredients we didn't have on hand (pumpkin pie filling, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract and whipped cream) only ran us about $10. Plus, if you don't want to spend the money on pumpkin pie spice you can substitute with cinnamon.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Grab a mug, save a tree!

Paper cupImage via Wikipedia
Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of coffee making, we thought we should start with the vessel.
While the coffee you put in your mug is very important, the Stovetop Baristas are as environmentally conscious as we are caffeine addicted. (You have to be when you’re drinking more than two cups of coffee a day). 
An investment in a reusable coffee mug will not only allow you to take your brewed beverages on the road but it will save some trees.
The U.S. on average uses about 16 million paper cups a year. Coffee’s biggest conglomerate Starbucks started a “green” coffee movement when in 2006 they found that their corporation was contributing to 2.3 billion of those cups. 
Visit the Starbucks action website:
There you can make a pledge to commit to the use of reusable mugs. If you’re still not sold on the notion, you can find out what your impact on the environment is by grabbing that cup of java in a paper cup.
If the Stovetop Baristas didn’t use reusable mugs we would contribute to the death 28 trees over the next 50 years. That’s not cool beans.

Some coffee shops are even making their cups more eco-friendly. Check out the mugs here at some of the UK coffee shops.
 The article reads
"When I asked the five major chains about their recycling policies, Eat wouldn't give any information. Starbucks said: "We're aiming to make our cups recyclable by 2015." Its salad containers are biodegradable and its sandwich containers, being a sandwich themselves of paper and film, are only recyclable once they're ripped apart. You don't see many people doing that."
So hop of the bandwagon, reusable mugs are all the rage and you can find them just about anywhere. 

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Coffee and Design

Not only are we big fans of coffee, we're also pretty big fans of design. So imagine our delight when we stumbled upon this little gem . . .

(I found this through StumbleUpon, on the Plaid Creative website.)

A brilliantly, well-designed guide to your 'perfect pour'! I almost want to print this out to keep on me at all times. And you can bet, we will be working our way through these coffee creations. You can also bet we will let you know how that goes.


The Simpler, the Better

I won't lie to you - if I have the money in my wallet to choose between a normal cup of coffee and a pumpkin spice latte, the pumpkin spice latte will win every time. But when it comes to brewing my own coffee in my apartment, the easiest and simplest way to brew wins.

This is my coffee maker.

It used to be my dad's forever ago and when I went to college, he gave it to me. It's been my best friend ever since.

There really can't be a simpler way to make coffee. You measure the water in the pot, pour it into the back, measure the grounds into a filter in the basket and plug it in. Bam. A few minutes later you have coffee.

I know I could get a more modern coffee maker. One that would make more than four cups at a time. Or one with a timer so I could have coffee already brewed when I wake up in the mornings. But I love this coffee maker. I love its simplicity. I love the loud brewing noises that gurgle out of it when it's plugged in.

It's all about the senses with coffee - the noises, the smells - so I think with coffee, as with most things in life, the simpler, the better.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Welcome Coffee Lovers

A photo of a cup of coffee.Image via Wikipedia

Imagine your perfect cup of coffee. Its warmth … its flavor … its aroma.
Now imagine the blog form of that cup of coffee — welcome to our coffee blog.
We’re the Stovetop Baristas and we’re here to take our love for coffee to the Web.
We’re currently located in Bowling Green, Ohio, where we’re running our victory lap as seniors at Bowling Green State University.
As college students we know the power of caffeine and the necessity of a good cup of joe.
So at the heart of this blog you’ll find that we’re just two coffee lovers who want to experiment with what makes coffee so great and what kills our buzz. We want to learn it all. Like how to brew it, cook with it, decorate it, where it comes from and everything in between.
Coffee is our indomitable passion and we want to share it with you.

We like our coffee like we like our men— dark and hot.
No bells, no whistles just a cup of joe. You won’t see any triple venti, two-pump vanilla, soy, extra foam, caramel macchiatos here. We love coffee just how it is and want to chat to you about it.
So grab your favorite coffee mug and stay tuned.

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