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Kick starting a new cup of coffee - on the net · 24.10.14 by colin newell

Bruvelo Kickstarter Project

Have you ever noticed the dramatic difference between the delicious coffee you get at a fine coffeehouse and the mediocre coffee you often drink at home when you don’t pay attention to all the critical details?

Click on the photo for the big view!

Amazing coffee is the result when fresh roasted beans are brewed to perfection, with keen attention paid to every step – water quality, grinding, measuring, blooming, heating and steeping… and if you have any energy left over, you get to enjoy the fruits of your effort.

Me, I do it all by hand. I measure the water and the beans and I grind the coffee precisely to fit the method that I am using. But what if there was a coffee machine that would force me to think less about the details and let me concentrate on the great taste of my java jolt?

Inspired by the timeless tradition of handcrafted coffee and modeled after the skills of a well-trained barista, Bruvelo was built to be simple, smart, and to do one thing – extremely well.

Whether you want to easily brew an amazing cup of coffee with a push of a button or want complete control over every detail, Bruvelo will allow you to enjoy fine, handcrafted, pour-over coffee in the comfort of your own home.

But wait! There is more! The Bruvelo is WiFi enabled and you can access it from your smart phone – saving and setting all your favorite preferences – so that great cup of mud is ready to greet you at your door.

So says this exciting new kickstarter project that you can check out over here.


Colin Newell is a long time Victoria resident and coffee expert – when he is not out looking for a better coffee experience, he is looking for better coffee for you!

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Daylight Mind Coffee Kona Hawaii launches coffee school · 21.01.14 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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Talking Rockin and Roasting Coffee with Joey Kramer of Aerosmith · 28.06.13 by colin newell

Podcast –

Joey Kramer of Rockin and Roastin Coffee!

We spoke this morning with a man who is very passionate about the coffee bean – and so much so he has decided to do it right… for himself, for the consuming public and the farmers who grow it – and beyond!

And with 40 plus years, under his belt, with the band Aerosmith – a demanding full time job all its own, a very youthful Joey Kramer has managed to visualize, develop, and market a potentially winning concept.

Chatting with Joey today, I quickly realized that he is a team player – not only with his band of brothers but also with all the mechanisms and machinations that make for a successful venture into the fairly cluttered and confusing coffee marketplace. Because, as Joey pointed out, a lot about coffee is in the education and in the awareness.

Years of touring into every nook and cranny of this Rock and Roll hungry planet left Joey with the sense that he needed a better and more accessible cup of coffee. For Mister Kramer, an avid coffee drinker since his early days, his daily caffeine rituals were often interrupted by simply bad coffee in some unexpected places. The only solution (knowing full well what a great cup of coffee tasted like) was to have some part in producing his own personal great cup of coffee… a cup of coffee he could enjoy on the road, at home, and a product he could share with the rest of the World.

The idea for Rockin and Roastin coffee was born.

And, he added, you cannot do it all yourself. He has a great coffee team – and like the boys in the band, everyone has to pull their weight and find their strengths. If you are going to do it right, you need the right people. And with the full schedule of the touring cavalcade that is Aerosmith, he was not always able to get to all the farms and see all the stages of production – that said, he has been hands on on testing, sampling, testing and brewing his trio of great coffees – at this point he has picked 3 of the World’s most beloved origin beans; Ethiopian, Guatemalan and Sumatra coffee – three classics.

Joey and I talked about the importance of understanding the “value chain” of coffee, its path from farm to cup, the delicate nature of the coffee plants and their caretakers – the farmers who also need to receive a fair compensation for their work. Joey Kramer has done his homework – he knows the value of shade grown and organic coffees – being friendly to the environment, growing coffee in a sustainable way and not harming anything in the process.

Joey admits, “I drink a lot of coffee. Particularly during the creative stages with the band… composing arrangements for new songs…” Coffee is creative fuel, and for Joey Kramer, there is clearly a lot of coffee in his music. I found him exceedingly passionate and easy to talk to.

My next task will be to try some of this bean – and if you want to check them out, I encourage you to head on over to their colorful website

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

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2012 Easter Tofino return to food coffee life and love · 9.04.12 by colin newell

Tofitian Cafe Internet bar - TofinoAndrea and I have been popping into Tofino since the 90’s – we were married there – at the Middle Beach Lodge… and have been eating and drinking everything ever since.

Many things can be said about Tofino: Wild west coast getaway for storm watching… food lovers paradise (largely true)… Rainforest enclave resistant to over development (most definitely)…

What cannot be said about Tofino and the neighboring area is this: It is a coffee destination. And yes, I know, one cannot say that about many places in Canada – One does not expect leading edge coffee in places like Hinton, Alberta or Gravelhurst, Saskatchewan, but one is always pleased when great coffee appears in out of the way places. My supposition is this: Tofino should have great coffee. It needs to have great coffee. Great coffee belongs here.

But on some level, it seems, the community resists change and it rejects trends that, on the outside, would not appear to potentially harm the spirit of the community.

The food marketplace of Tofino is on an upwards spiral in terms of ingenuity and creativity as outlined here in an earlier blog.

How is the coffee doing circa 2012 first quarter?

Well. It has not changed much. There are no Discovery Coffee’s, Habit’s or Cafe Fantastico’s in Tofino. There is no Stick in the Mud in Tofino. There could be and the potential is so great, the opportunity so palpable and right now. If I did not have a day job and I was a little braver, I would drop what I was doing and dive right in.

Few communities are more ripe for a “great cafe” – like the ones we take for granted in Victoria, Sooke, Cobble Hill, Nanaimo, Vancouver, Seattle, etc… than Tofino, British Columbia.

Now do not get me wrong – I have a soft spot for the present and the future – and the future is somewhere where great Tofino coffee exists – because it is not in the here and now. At present, there are cafes and kiosks that attempt to break that greatness barrier – it just has not happened yet. Sure, by all means call out your favorite places and claim that they are dope. I have been there… and they are not.

This weekend it was at the advice of Anya of Discovery Coffee that I swoop into The Tofitian to check out their espresso shots from the Cimbali espresso machine. Out of the gate I ordered a single. It was served at the bottom of a 8 fluid ounce cup… in the form of a 3 1/2 fluid ounce shot. Observation: If you have espresso on the menu (and you are charging $2 for a single shot, serve a single in a 2 fluid ounce espresso cup.)

The shot was fairly balanced but not brewed at the ideal temperature – and, at it turns out was Lavazza espresso – containing around 15% Robusta. Cool shot. Easy to drink but dull as a butter knife. But wait, The Tofitian serves Discovery Coffee – or so I thought – looking around, I did not see it mentioned anywhere.

I asked “Do you serve Discovery Coffee?”
Barista reply: “It’s an option…” (A very pleasant and informed barista BTW)

I ordered a shot of DISCO, a single… because that is why I was there.
This time, another 2+ fluid ounce shot into a 8 fluid ounce cup. Brewed cool and served tepid. Drat.

Here is the thing: I did not see the words “Discovery Coffee” anywhere in the Tofitian – or “Lavazza served here…” I guess I must have missed the secret handshake or something.

Verdict: The espresso machine at the Tofitian needs to be tweaked, calibrated or moderized. Espresso cups need to be purchased. Labeling needs to be fine tuned.

The Tofitian feels a bit like a shack – it is associated with a Surf wear store that is in a different building in a cluster of rag tag buildings that feel somewhat itinerant. Kind of harsh but that is the deal. The parking lot is rough pot filled gravel – would it be outrageous to pave it to level it some?

Once again, I leave Tofino after an awesome weekend confused, befuddled and frustrated. I ask: Can one deploy a great cafe in a place like Tofino? Yes – but it is not going to be a kiosk or cart. It is going to be a newer building with some environmental controls. There is so much going on here – so much potential – so little of it realized. But there is the future.

Do not take my word for it – jump in with your voice. Hey – people are hitting Tofino constantly – I would love to hear their opinion – and your opinion.

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2012 Picture report from Hawaii number 4 · 14.01.12 by colin newell

A subtle reminder that there are great places on the planet – peaceful, surrounded by a vast ocean, seemingly insulated from the rigors of daily life… at least for a few weeks of the year.

Photo below: The balcony at the Hale Kona Kai – Kona, Hawaii.

View from the balcony at the Hale Kona Kai

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