How Baristas Get Coffee Shop Quality Coffee at Home

Have you ever wondered how to craft the perfect cup of coffee at home? I know I have, but whenever I try my coffee machine seems to have other plans and leaves me with a mediocre cup of caffeinated brown water.  If your coffee making skills are anything like mine then you may want to check out this Business Insider article.  In this article, a barista spills the beans on what kind of product you can buy for your home that is affordable, but can also make coffee shop worthy coffee.  While reading this article I discovered that there are so many ways to brew coffee and I have no clue what any of them mean, so let’s talk about a few…

Espresso

Espresso is made by pushing hot water through a layer of compacted ground coffee.  Espresso is very concentrated and known for low volume of drink it contains.

Drip Coffee

The most popular preparing method in North America.  This method involves pouring hot water over ground coffee beans and straining it with a paper filter.  The more expensive the coffee machine you use, the higher quality of coffee is made.

French Press

In this technique, hot water is poured over coffee grinds and is left to steep for a few minutes.  After steeping is over the filter is pressed down to separate the grinds.  French press coffee is a medium brew and is less dense then drip.

Moka Pot

A Moka pot is a device that uses steam pressure to push water through coffee grinds like the espresso method, but with lower pressure.  The coffee that comes from a moka pot is dense and bold, but has less aromatic oils than espresso.

Cold Brew

This method involves steeping coffee grinds for extended periods of time then straining it and serving it cold

Aeropress

Aeropress is a manual coffee maker.  The two-step process to brew your coffee involves a few minutes of steeping followed by pushing the brew through the coffee grounds under pressure to extract more caffeine.

Alcoholic Coffee, the Newest Trend in the Coffee World

I’m sure you’ve all heard of Iced coffee, lattes, macchiato, flavored coffees, and even coffee ice cream, but have you ever heard of coffee beer?  That’s right, I said it, beer brewed with coffee beans is the latest trend in the coffee world.

While adding a cup of espresso to a stout isn’t unheard of, beer brewers around the country are taking the coffee and beer mashup to a new level.

Samples of this coffee beer were debuted at this year’s Global Specialty Coffee Expo, an annual trade show held in Washington State and put on by the Specialty Coffee Association.  The expo offers classes and samples for skilled baristas and the general public alike.  They also hold a U.S. Barista Championship, where contestants have 15 minutes to prepare and serve a variety of beverages to six judges.  This year marks the first year where people can purchase a $50 ticket to attend the expo and watch the barista’s in action.

According to an article posted by the Seattle Times, beers brewed with coffee are generally darker beers like porters and stouts, but coffee experts are furthering their coffee beer brewing by creating lighter beers like golden ales and IPA’s.

How is this done you ask? The Georgetown Brewing company create the cold brew coffee first then blends it with the beer right before they carbonate it.

As if the coffee and beer brewing news wasn’t already groundbreaking to me, I soon discovered that coffee wine is a thing too.  Now they’re speaking my language.

A company named Friends Fun Wine came out with a beverage that contains 6% alcohol and came in two flavors: Cabernet Coffee Espresso and Chardonnay Coffee Cappuccino.  On the companies Facebook page, they introduce the product as, “It’s a coffee illusion. It’s a wine revolution. It’s coffee. It’s wine. It’s the first Coffee Wine.”

While the thought of mixing coffee and wine might make some people gag, critics have reviewed the product as rich and tasteful, almost like a dessert. Other companies got wind of the coffee wine product and now its hitting the market hot and people everywhere want to sip on a cup of coffee wine.

Unicorn Frappuccino Creates Nutritionist Buzz

If you don’t live under a rock then I think it’s safe to say that most people are aware of Starbuck’s new Unicorn Frappuccino. The new neon pink and electric blue drink is selling out fast and the social media hype is not lacking.  No, this is not a drink made out of magical fairy dust and unicorn tears, but it is made out of a whole lot of sugar.

Just like all of their other drinks, Starbucks has the ingredients to their Unicorn frappes easily ready online for those who want to know.  A medium Unicorn Frappe has 59 grams of sugar, 16 grams of fat, and 410 calories.  While this drink is aesthetically pleasing, according to a Yahoo article dietitians aren’t too pleased with the “nutritional value” of the drink and believe that it can harm your health.  The dietitian then goes into explain that having a sugary, high- calorie drink like the Unicorn Frappe every once in a while, is OK, it just shouldn’t be a habit.

With a new generation of health-conscious consumers, food places, including coffee shops, are trying to have healthier options.

Here are some healthy things you can try:

Starbucks Iced Black Tea Lemonade- this fruity drink is refreshing and only contains 100 calories for a small.

Wawa Vanilla Chai- For the tea drinkers out there, this drink contains 170 calories for a small.

Starbucks Caffé Mocha-  If you’re in the mood for something sweet, but don’t want to splurge on all your calories, the Caffé Mocha contains 170 calories and 2 grams of fat for a small.

Dunkin Donuts Unsweetened Iced Tea- This cold drink only contains 5 calories for a medium, but if you’re not ready for the unsweetened side of iced tea you can ask for half sweetened, which cuts sugar and calories in half.

Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino Light- this Frappuccino tastes just like the original version, but with way less calories and fat.  The “Light Caramel Frappe” has 100 calories and 0 grams of fat for a small.

Dunkin Donuts Hot Latte with Skim Milk and Sugar- Some people need a hot beverage to get them moving in the morning, this drink contains 200 calories for a medium.

Wawa Caramel Latte- This sweet drink only contains 130 calories for a small.

Clear Coffee, the Newest Weapon in the Fight for White Teeth

A coffee in the morning can make getting to work or class a little easier.  A coffee in the afternoon can make the work day more bearable.  A coffee on the way home can make rush hour traffic a little less brutal, but what’s always in the back of my mind while I’m sipping on my cup full of caffeine? My teeth.

In the U.S., 100 million people drink coffee a day. Over half those people have their first cup within an hour of waking up.

Just like most acidic foods coffee can, over time, erode tooth enamel and eventually cause tooth decay, but a timelier issue is that coffee stains teeth.

In today’s world of beauty, a nice set of pearly white teeth is almost a must have, that’s why a company named “CLR CFF” made, you guessed it, clear coffee. In an article written by Cosmopolitan they say that CLR CFF was invented by two brother in the U.K. The brothers say that the coffee is made with Arabica coffee beans by “methods which have never been used before.”

CLR CFF is said to have a bold potent taste similar to the dark coffee we all love and can be found in Whole Foods grocery stores.

If you’re not willing to make the switch to this new drink and want to maintain a healthier smile here are some tips:

Reduce the amount of daily coffee intake- This solution is pretty straightforward but can help your oral health in the long-run.  Zagat released results from an annual coffee study that stated most American adults have 2.1 cups of coffee a day, and it increases with age.

Wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth after drinking coffee-  While you should brush your teeth after consuming coffee, dental experts advise coffee lovers that brushing teeth immediately after drinking coffee can force the acid deeper into your teeth.

Use a straw- A simple solution to the teeth stain dilemma.  A large bag of straws generally costs around $8, by keeping some at home, some in your car, and some at work, using a straw to avoid coffee stained teeth could become a habit.

Keep up with dental visits- White teeth doesn’t measure your oral health.  Keep up with dental visits to make sure your gums and teeth are in tip-top shape.

With Coffee Prices Growing Worldwide, Here’s Where to Get Cheap Coffee Around Baltimore

As I wait in line at my local Starbucks with my dad on our weekly coffee date, he can’t help but comment on the drink prices of the ever-so-popular coffeehouse chain.

For as long as I can remember my dad has always compared Starbucks prices to those of their cheaper priced competitors such as Dunkin Donuts and Wawa, but he was stunned when I took him to The Filling Station, an independently owned coffee shop located in Sparks, Maryland, where the prices are cheap and the drinks are quality.

In recent news coffee prices have spiked in a variety of different cities and towns and the competition to gain coffee customers has been intense, with chains around the country offering impressive deals on coffee beverages. In other news, Conde Nast Traveler released an article about how the city of Rome, who’s known for having low coffee prices, will now be raising the prices of their coffee due to high demand and a growing economy.

Most independently owned coffee shops are known for having novelty prices, but here are some Baltimore shops where you can get a bang for your buck!

1.) The Filling Station: Located in Sparks, Maryland, the Filling Station not only offers coffee, but they also have food and pastries. The walls are decorated with work from local artists that customers can buy and the outside sitting area is used for the live music nights they host in the summer.

http://www.thefillingstationcoffee.com

2.) Order and Chaos: Located in Baltimore City, their slogan is “A creative cup of coffee.” The slogan came about because the small coffee shop features a large glass window connecting to Planit advertising agency. Through the glass, you can see the creative minds of Planit at work and maybe find a little inspiration of your own.

http://orderchaoscoffee.com/#intro

3.) Spro Coffee: Located in Hampden, Spro Coffee started out in a public library in Towson, Maryland.  What makes Spro unique is that they offer a variety of different coffees from a variety of different roasters and then brew those coffees in the roasters preferred method.  These brew methods include: vacuum pot, pour over, French press and more.

https://sprocoffee.com/blogs/locations/39557124-spro-hampden

4.) Daily Grind: Located in Fells Point, Daily Grind prides themselves on being the “funky” coffee shop of Baltimore. With the constantly changing walls being filled with local art work, the daily grind is a Fells Point staple.

http://www.fellsgrind.com/Drink_HotCold.aspx

5.) Zeke’s Coffee: Located in Baltimore, Zeke’s coffee is all about a fresh, honest cup of coffee.  They accomplish this cleaner tasting coffee by brewing it in small 30 pound batches as opposed to the standard 150 pound batches.  You can also catch Zeke’s coffee at the Baltimore Farmers Market & Bazar.

http://www.zekescoffee.com

Organization Magazine Analysis- The Aglaia

Organization Magazine Analysis

The Aglaia (Phi Mu)

 

The Aglaia is a quarterly publication published by the Phi Mu Fraternity.  Its audience consists of current Phi Mu members and Phi Mu alumnae, meaning the readers are generally women.  The audience is college educated or higher because in order to join the Fraternity you need to be in college.  Sororities and fraternities are typically costly so the average Aglaia reader is middle to upper class.  All of the pictures in the publication are of women who are or were members of Phi Mu, so it’s obvious what audience they’re catering to.  Most of the ads are sorority apparel and jewelry.

The magazine’s specific purpose is to inform members of Phi Mu what’s happening at their national headquarters and at chapters around the country. The colors are vibrant and the pages are full of pictures and other content. It showcases current chapters and members in the beginning, which is then followed by clothing and jewelry ads.  After the ads is the alumnae section.  It’s different from other magazines because it’s specifically for the sisters of Phi Mu and no other magazine caters to only them.

The “PinkInk” section starts the magazine with snippets of tweets fun facts and pictures representing what’s new and trending in the Phi Mu world.  The magazine features philanthropy events that members participated in around the country and news about how the event was helpful.  They also have article reviews on conventions held for Phi Mu and awards won by different chapters.  There is a section talks about how to support the Phi Mu Foundation in order to build a better future for Phi Mu’s across the country.  There are testimonies about how being part of the Fraternity has changed the lives of the sisters for the better. A spotlight section is made to showcase chapters that have been doing a good job.  Alumnae Pride is a section in the magazine that puts a spotlight on successful Phi Mu’s that can inspire current members. One of the sections is dedicated to members who passed away since the last issue was published.

Phi Mu fraternity owns this magazine along with a phi mu blog.  The blog consists of a history section, a “vibrant voices” section, “The New View” section, and an “All Things Mu” section.  The staff consists of eight regulars.  The jobs include director of communications/editor, communications and marketing specialist, communications and marketing coordinator, executive director, editorial committee, design team, and a contributing writer.  The photographs are credited to Convention Photography and GreekYearbook.

The magazine consists of 40 pages.  Out of the 40 pages, 26 of them are advertisements meaning there are 1.5 ads for every editorial piece.  The ads are all clumped in the middle of the magazine other then one at the very end of the magazine, and they are all for Phi Mu merchandise.

The Magazine is made for a niche audience and the editorial content matches that.  It’s specifically for members of the fraternity and all of the content is based on that, from philanthropy events, to conventions, to outstanding chapters, this magazine covers it.  The magazine really focuses on service and helping the less fortunate, which the editor mentions in her opening statement.  Most of the articles are about the good Phi Mu does around the country.

The first thing I noticed about the magazine was that it was predominately pink, which is not only one of Phi Mu’s colors, but usually a color that represents women.  Since it is a women’s magazine that seems fitting. All of the colors used in the magazine are vibrant and bright. It also catches the reader’s eye with a lot of vivid photographs and little blurbs.  They include easy-to-read charts and lists, which usually draws people in.  The ads and pictures have a variety of women who are different in size and race, which bring about the sisterhood aspect of the fraternity and their stance that no sister will get left behind.

Online Magazine Analysis- Refinery29

Online-only magazine analysis

Refinery29

 

Refinery29 magazine reaches a large number of global readers each month. From January 20, 2017 to February 28, 2017, Refinery29’s website had 27.2 million global visits and 41.4 million global views.   Female’s predominately viewed this site with 83% of readers being female. People ages 18-34 are the primary user of Refinery29. The ads on this site are primarily beauty product advertisements, which cater more toward young females. The main household income for refinery29 readers is $0-50k, but they also have a wide readership with people that make $50-100k. The readers generally have a college education or higher (quantcast.com).

 

Refinery29’s purpose is to “help people discover and refine their personal style.” They started out with a $5,000 investment and a small apartment and grew to a worldwide publication. Refinery29 has everything from “runway trends and beauty DIYs to dating disaster stories and news and politics” (Refinery29.com). Contributors from all over the world add to Refinery29’s unique style. On their website they said they wanted to make Refinery29 the number one destination for stylish, intelligent women who crave thought provoking conversation around limitless ideas. Refinery29 “provides its audience with the inspiration and tools to discover and pursue a more independent, stylish, and informed life through a variety of lifestyle stories, original video programming, and social, shareable content across all platforms” (Refinery29.com). They pride themselves on being a free-spirited and accepting atmosphere of their workspace.

 

This magazine emphasizes that they’re geared toward women. Most of the content is intended for female audiences such as beauty tips, relationship stories, and politics that could affect a woman’s everyday life. They organize their online publication by putting “Today’s Top Picks” at the top of the feed and then follow it with other content like videos.

 

Refinery29 Inc. owns the online magazine. Four people founded the magazine in a small New York City apartment in 2011 and they now have nearly 400 employees and offices worldwide. Refinery29 has started magazines in the UK and Germany. They are featured on Snapchat everyday with new content.

 

Refinery29’s design matches it’s audience by using vivid pictures with bold headlines. Some of the pictures are controversial, which makes it intriguing for some viewers. Another thing they do is use a diverse group of women to represent their content. They have real women pose for their story cover photos. One of their most current headlines says, “Tourists Are Avoiding NYC Because Of Trump.” This type of headline is current and new and is a pressing issue for many people today, especially women.

 

By dividing their online publication into different sections, Refinery29 makes it easier for readers to find specifically what they’re looking for. They separate their content into eight sections, “Video”, “Fashion”, “Beauty”, “Living”, “Health”, “Entertainment”, “Tech” and “News”. These sections make it much easier for readers to navigate through the site, unlike print magazines, readers do not have to search the table of context to find what they are looking for. Each section has a plethora of articles for readers to choose from, even archived stories from earlier dates. Print magazines usually do not have articles pertaining to every subject because of space constraints. Refinery29 has a video section, which print magazines cannot offer, for more visual people. By having an online magazine they have more room for more content and pictures. In Snapchat’s “featured” section, Refinery29 has its own “story” that changes every 24 hours with new content. About 3.5 million people view Snapchat’s “discover” page a day, giving Refinery29 extra exposure (digiday.com). After each of the daily features the Snapchat story ends with, ’”Visit Refinery29 for more,” bringing more traffic to the site.