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Thanksgiving - Life in the coffee time-tunnel · 12 October 2014 by colin newell

Past and Present - Dave Reimer at Cafe RomaIt was a seasonably hot August of 1968 as I walked down East 6th Avenue, Vancouver, towards Commercial Drive.

This was my first trip off of Vancouver Island and my first trip on the fairly new B.C. Ferries.

Picture – Regular contributor to my website – Dave Reimer at the 2005 version of Cafe Roma.

My anglophone mother, who grew up in a multicultural enclave in Montreal, Quebec and spoke 3 languages, including conversational Italian, had brought me over to Vancouver for the weekend to visit the Pacific National Exhibition and see a piece of the big city.

Turning onto Commercial Drive and on this sunny Saturday afternoon, my cousin, Dennis and I walked down wide sidewalks past Italian deli’s, corner grocers and bustling cafes.

As now, the street had a life of its own. From a child’s perspective, everything seemed brighter, louder, busier and decidedly more fragrant. From a kid from small town Victoria, I might as well have been on another planet.

The aroma of strong coffee, cured ham and fresh fruit drifted over the concrete beneath my feet. I stopped for a moment in front of a busy cafe. It seemed to be packed with men, young, old, mostly old men entangled in a random circle of loud conversation and broad hand gestures. They spoke Italian, a language my Montreal raised mother used with me when she was displeased with my behavior.

A young couple caught my eye. They seemed disconnected from this humming umbilical of community.

A gal, likely in her mid-twenties, wore a canary yellow sun-dress and her male friend a wool suit. The suit seems softened by a few years worth of wear and somewhat sticky considering that it was a hotter than usual summer. Between his sips of strong looking coffee from an impossibly small cup and her demurely drawing from something that looked like a milkshake, they talked in a musical banter – words only they appeared to understand.

My cousin grabbed my shoulder and pulled me along. I can see the couple nodding and laughing. The ladies hair moves up and down held in place by a daisy-yellow hair broach. Now we are walking again and he steered me into a green grocers hardly a door away from the Cafe. I had 90 cents in my pocket and in 1968, that is a lot of money. I bought a chocolate bar, a butter-finger as I recall, some pixie-sticks, fizzy candy in a paper tube and a cola.

We exited the store and turned left towards the Cafe again.

The Cafe is buzzing louder as we strode towards my cousins avenue. The table where the young couple sat was now empty save for a cup and a glass. I spot them exiting onto the boulevard, hand in hand, her dress burning a permanent image into my mind, the itchy smell of his suit offering contrast. They vanish into a pulsating hive of urban humanity – a Saturday morning blend of shoppers, smokers, the odd smattering of fashionably clad hipsters and one wide-eyed child – me.

I look in the cafe window again flashing forward to the presemt. I stand outside of Caffe Roma on Commercial Drive and time has stood still just for me. My reflection in the window looks alternately young and slightly older.

Clouds pass by offering a broad selection of flattering light. CoffeeCrew contributing member Dave watches me for a moment before holding the door.

“Colin, let’s get some coffee…” he says.

The smells and sounds of the the Cafe and the street envelope me like an old gloved hand. For a moment I hold in my palm the paper tubes of fizzy candy and a half-eaten chocolate bar. Dave asks again, “What are you going to have, dude?”

I order my usual when I am in a cafe for the first time – double espresso and a snack. In this case, they have very tasty looking apple turnovers. I get one.

The intensity of the Italian coffee and the tangy sweetness of the pastry are the perfect match. As I sip the beverage and feel the caffeine perking within me, I can almost hear the whispered conversations of the young lovers from so long ago at a nearby table. Where are they now? Have the years been kind? Most likely, their grandchildren are half-grown up, much as I was in 1968. I think about my marriage, now almost 2 decades in length, and how in places like these, time just stands still.

In the final moments before we leave for our next stop on the drive, the owner pops by to gather up our spent cups. I tell him the coffee is fabulous. His expression is priceless and without words – a combination of ‘of course it is son…’ and ‘I have a cafe to run today…’

As we step onto the still vibrant sidewalk of Commercial Drive, two ten year old boys approach on skate boards. One sails past me like a low flying seagull.

The other swishes to a stop and is immediately hypnotized by the activity in the cafe, the noise, the smells, the starling chatter of the old men.

The cycle continues season by season, year by year through the generations. We are thankful for our memories and the time we have ahead of us. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

While in Vancouver, you can visit The Drive – Do so. You will be glad you did.

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Daylight Mind coffee flies Alaska from Kona Hawaii · 2 September 2014 by colin newell

Daylight Mind Coffee in Alaska Airlines

Starting October 2014, Kona, Hawaii-based Daylight Mind Coffee Company will supply locally sourced, tropically inspired desserts on all Alaska Airlines flights departing from Kona, Hawaii

Kona, Hawaii September 2, 2014 —Island Thyme Gourmet, caterers to Alaska Airlines, introduces a new line of desserts from Daylight Mind Coffee Company, a Kona artisan coffee roaster.

We are thrilled to partner with a local company that creates the quality of desserts we want to serve on Alaska Airlines,” says Clare Bobo, owner of Island Thyme Gourmet based in Hawaii.

Daylight Mind’s locally sourced desserts will tempt Alaska Airlines’ first-class passengers and complement Island Thyme Gourmet’s meals. Desserts include their award-winning Kona Coffee Espresso Opera Cake, a gluten-free, flourless, chocolate sponge cake with coffee buttercream and dark chocolate ganache, and a Sacher cake, made with local Macadamia nuts, chocolate butter cream, raspberry marmalade and ganache.

Fodor’s Travel and The Huffington Post list Daylight Mind Coffee Company as one of America’s 25 Best Coffee Shops. Located on the Kona waterfront, this company includes a farm-to-table restaurant, bakery, coffee roastery, coffee school, event space and a coffee house.

Nowhere else on earth can you find a business that teaches you about growing coffee, trains you to taste that coffee, feeds you a meal that incorporates that same coffee, and then offers you an ocean-side seat to a spectacular sunset while drinking that coffee,” says Shawn Steiman, co-owner of Daylight Mind. Steiman, who has a Ph.D. in coffee science, is the author of The Hawai‘i Coffee Book (Watermark Press, 2008), and co-editor of Coffee: A Comprehensive Guide to the Bean, the Beverage, and the Industry (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013). Daylight Mind Coffee Company’s Founder and CEO, Colin Finn, has extensive expertise in designing and operating coffee houses and restaurants in numerous countries, most recently in Australia.

Alaska Airlines offers the lowest fares from the West Coast to the Hawaiian Islands. The carrier has 30 weekly, peak-season flight to Kona from Anchorage, Alaska, Seattle, Washington, Portland, Oregon; and Oakland and San Jose, California.

And from yours truly: I know: In 8 consecutive years flying to Kona, Hawaii in the Winter time, Alaska has been the number one choice of the CoffeeCrew.com team.

About Daylight Mind Coffee Company

Daylight Mind, open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, takes its name from the literal translation of the Hawaiian word for enlightenment, na‘auao. By weaving a love of scientific exploration together with a deep respect for the wisdom and depth of its Hawaiian roots, Daylight Mind is the place to learn more about the art of all things coffee.

For information on Daylight Mind Coffee Company, visit us online at www.DaylightMind.com or in person at 75-5770 Ali’i Drive, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

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Book Launch - Food Artisans of Vancouver Island & the Gulf Islands · 31 March 2014 by colin newell

Don Genova Book Launch at the Hudson

Andrea and I are going to a book launch at the Victoria Public Market at The Hudson on Thursday, April 24th —
and I thought it would be a great opportunity to coordinate an evening out of sampling food and drink in an open and friendly environment — and throw in a book launch for good measure.

As it happens, CBC Food Matters host and food journalist Don Genova is launching his first book,
Food Artisans of Vancouver Island & the Gulf Islands. This evening event will feature Don talking about his book with
a vast array of special guests — bearing food and drink.

We have attended cooking classes with Don as well as various food history and food security events -
Don is a very well informed food guy – and he is genuinely engaging on one of the subjects we love the most: Food!

Since this is something that most of us can relate to, what better opportunity than to get a few faces from the Victoria together to explore the market and sample some of the fare that will be provided as part of this ticketed event?

In attendance, showcasing their culinary and brewed expertise:

Organic Fair Sodas of Cobble Hill
Dad’s West Coast Awesome Sauces – Hot sauces of Lake Cowichan
Cowichan Pasta – pasta – Shawnigan Lake
Golda’s Pesto, Mill Bay
Tree Island Yogurt – Courtenay
Venturi-Schulze Vinegars and Wines – Cobble Hill
Sea Cider – Cider, Saanich
Merridale Estate Cidery – ciders and spirits (and anything else they make there) – Cobble Hill
The Creamery at Cheese Pointe Farm – cheeses – Cowichan Bay
David Mincey and his wife Paige – Chocolate and Canning – Victoria (see below for more info)
Spinnakers, Victoria, will be sampling vinegar, beers, and shrubs (a drinking vinegar)
Perk up with Drumroaster Coffee, Cobble Hill, serving espressos and macchiatos made from their special Don Genova Roast

Chef and foraging expert Bill Jones will demo some recipes from his new cookbook, The Deerholme Foraging Book.
http://www.deerholme.com/

David Mincey will be talking about Chocolate. http://victoriapublicmarket.com/preservation-foods-chocolate-project-at-the-hudson/
All this is included in the price of admission – $50 for a couple / $35 for singles and 1 signed copy of Don’s book is included.

Bonus – Early bird ticket buyers (first 50) will receive a specially-labeled Bean-to-Bar chocolate bar from Organic Fair! Be sure to select early bird option on the event ticket site if you see that it is still available!


The Ticket event link for the Don Genova book launch is here

Additional vendors of the market in attendance will be:
Ravenstone Farm – Local Artisan Meats, with special guest Cory Pelan of the Whole Beast Salumeria
Salt Spring Island Cheese
Silk Road Tea
Cowichan Bay Seafood
The Spice Trader – (Vancouver Island Salt Company)

A bit more about Don Genova:

Don Genova is a Cobble Hill-based award-winning freelance journalist specializing in food and travel. He also teaches cooking classes, and courses in food and travel writing and sustainable gastronomy. His stories on radio, television, in print and on the web share the fascinating backgrounds of farmers and food artisans passionate about what they raise, grow and produce.
His latest radio column with CBC Victoria is called ‘Food Matters’, and delves into the world of sustainable eating in British Columbia. His first book, Food Artisans of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, was published in April 2014 by TouchWood Editions.

Don earned a Masters of Food Culture from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy in 2007. He also holds a Bachelor of Environmental Science from the University of Waterloo and is an Honours Graduate of the Humber College Radio Broadcasting Program.

MC at the event will be CBC’s own Jo-Ann Roberts! Join us, it will be fun!


The Ticket event link for the Don Genova book launch is here
Colin Newell is a Victoria area resident, and long time writer on the subject of food, adults beverages and coffee culture – he website Coffeecrew.com has been online since 1996.

Daylight Mind Coffee Kona Hawaii launches coffee school · 21 January 2014 by colin newell

Dr. Shawn Steiman, Chief Science Office at Daylight Mind Coffee – is proud to announce the first sessions of the Coffee School component of this new coffee business in the heart of Kona, Hawaii.

Daylight Mind Coffee Company School

A quote from their About section: “The idea for Daylight Mind was born in the head of one person. However, as new partners joined the party, the challenge of integrating each new personality and vision for the company grew in complexity. Establishing and sticking to an identity, generating a name, and developing a logo has been a rewarding process for us, even when challenging. We value our identity as a company and we’ve found a way to express the passion that drives all of us. We want to share the insight that led us to our name with you.

Daylight Mind News Release PDF

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Grinder for sale · 10 December 2013 by colin newell

Baratza Vario for sale
My colleague and friend – Katie Zalazar e-mail ktzalazar@gmail.com – is selling her near new Baratza Vario grinder – ideally in the Vancouver or Victoria area.

In her words…

Hey there readers! -

I have a Baratza Vario grinder that I am looking to sell. I won it in a competition but have hardly used it at all. I would love to sell locally in Victoria or Vancouver (or on the island).

I’m wondering if you know of anyone who might be interested in buying a used (all cleaned up!) grinder. As you know it retails for about $470, so I’m looking to sell it for about $400. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated! Note my e-mail above. Thanks!

Colin here – there you have it – help a gal out and get a great grinder in the process!

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Talking coffee on CKNW with Gord MacDonald · 5 August 2013 by colin newell

Listen to the Podcast |


Talking coffee on 980 CKNW

We were talking coffee with Gord MacDonald from CKNW – 980 from Vancouver — with some really good questions.

This podcast (interview) is around 11 minutes long – so strap yourself in.

I average around 20 radio, TV or newspaper interviews annually and this was one of the better ones – a lot of these radio hosts are affable, enthusiastic and well read before they undertake an interview – honored to chat on the subject of my passion. Coffee. Love it.

Podcast – If you cannot see the audio player above, click here for the mp3 download.

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