Happy National Coffee Day and my Cupping Experience at Cameron’s Coffee

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Cameron’s Coffee. All opinions are my own.
happy-national-coffee-dayhappy-national-coffee-day

National Coffee Day is one of my favorite days of all! This year I am especially excited to be celebrating it in partnership with Cameron’s Coffee. Cameron’s Coffee is a Wisconsin founded and now Twin Cities based company that focuses on delivering the best coffee to those of us who enjoy making coffee at home and getting it tasting just right.

When I was in Minneapolis earlier this month, I got a chance to visit Cameron’s Coffee offices and be a part of the cupping experience they arrange for all of their new employees to learn more about coffee. I can only compare this experience to wine tasting, but better. The real purpose of cupping is to taste the different coffees and make sure they are up to our standards, as well as look for any imperfections or irregularities in the batch.

happy-national-coffee-day

Below is a detailed description of my experience, and while it can get pretty technical, I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves coffee. I also learned that I have absolutely no talent when it comes to defining coffee flavors.

The best part of the experience was meeting Patrick, Cameron’s Roastmaster, who walked me through the cupping experience. We cupped 4 flavors total:

  • Mexico – light
  • Brazil – sugary
  • Colombian – solid, balanced, sweet
  • Sumatra – earthy, big bodied

And while I am letting you know what each blend is supposed to taste like, I went into this completely unknowing what was going to happen.

Cupping happens around a table which resembles a huge lazy susan, that way you can spin the table and don’t have to walk around. There were 12 ceramic cups (you can also use tempered glass), 3 for each coffee flavor. All cups must be identical in measurements and come from the same manufacturer. You will also need a cupping spoon, which is a special kind of spoon with a large bowl. It works best if the spoon is silver or silver plated.

happy-national-coffee-day

To get a little bit more into details all beans are roasted within 24hours of the cupping, and can rest for 6-8 hours. Samples are ground immediately before cupping and grinds are coarser than what is normally used for paper drip. And finally, a few important numbers you should know: the coffee to water ratio for a cupping is 8.25 gm to 150 ml.

The cupping process step by step:

  • First, you smell the ground sample
  • Then you add water to the coffee sample, the water should be freshly drawn and approximate 200 degrees F
  • Make sure to let the coffee steep for 4 min
  • Ensure the coffee is plenty cooled off before drinking, you don’t want to burn your tongue or mouth and ruin your palate for the day
  • Once the coffee is cooled off break the crust that forms on the surface by lightly pressing with the spoon (no more than 3 times), get your nose up to the cup so you can smell the aroma after the coffee is broken
  • Remove the rest of the stuff that doesn’t go to the bottom after breaking
  • Let cool for a few more minutes, usually 8 to 12.
  • Tasting the coffee, using a spoon with a large bowl. Fill the bowl of the spoon, slurp the coffee while aspirating the coffee to cover your entire palate.  Then either drink the coffee or spit it out. Rinse your spoon and repeat at next cup. This was my favorite part, because I got to slurp in an office environment J

Should you ever get an opportunity to participate in cupping, here are a few tips for you:

  • Before you cup, try your best not to eat anything or drink anything potent. You don’t want to already affect your senses before trying coffee.
  • It’s also best if you don’t wear any perfume!
  • Cameron’s Coffee CEO even suggested smelling your own skin in between smelling in each coffee so your “palate gets cleansed”

Make sure to follow Cameron’s Coffee on social media Instagram, FacebookTwitter and stay tuned for some upcoming holiday giveaways! Love my Cameron’s Coffee mug and Tee? These are going to be available on the website soon!happy-national-coffee-day

This post includes photos by Say Hello, Story

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Cameron’s Coffee Perfect Summer Cold Brew Recipe

Dsiclosure: This post is sponsored by Cameron’s Coffee. All opinions are my own.
Cold Brew Recipe Camerons CoffeeCold Brew Recipe Camerons Coffee

Cold Brew Recipe Camerons Coffee

Cold Brew Recipe Camerons Coffee

I love coffee in all shapes and forms, but in the summertime cold brew is my favorite. I remember first learning about it through a Facebook post that one of my artsy friends did. He made it sound like an incredibly complicated process like at home beer brewing. So, for a couple of years I simply ordered my cold brew at local coffee shops and carried on. Thanks to my collaboration with Cameron’s Coffee I learned that I can make my very own delicious cold brew at home. There is a very handy blog post on their website with detailed instructions that are simple and easy to follow.

You can make cold brew using a French press, any glass container, or a mason jar. I chose to go with a mason jar just because I have a lot of those in my kitchen and they do look cool in the photos. There is also a cold brew system that you can purchase like this one.

For my coldbrew I used 8 oz of Roastmaster’s Blend, 8 oz of water and 1 tsp of spices. Now spices are optional, but I wanted to play around with some flavors. This specific spice mix includes ginger, cinnamon, star anise and nutmeg. I combined all the above in a mason jar and left in my fridge overnight. It’s best to let your coffee to sit for at least 12 hours. Then I ran it through a coffee filter, added some ice and milk and stayed caffeinated for the rest of the day.

If you like your coffee strong, then you can go ahead and drink the cold brew as is, or mix it with water, 50/50 is usually a pretty good ration. Since I add ice and milk, I tend not to, but that’s again up to you.

I hope you enjoyed this post and it encourages you to try making your own cold brew at home! Please make sure to share with me if you do.

I highly recommend following Cameron’s Coffee on social media as well! They are always posting helpful tips and share their coffee knowledge.

Cameron’s coffe Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. Check them out and give them a like or a follow 🙂

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Cameron’s Coffee Keto Brownies Recipe

keto-brownies-recipe

keto-brownies-recipe

keto-brownies-recipe

keto-brownies-recipe

July has been an amazing month full of celebrations and festivities. It started off with a 4 day weekend for the 4th of July, then my Birthday, and finally my friend’s bridal shower. If you know me, you know I have the biggest sweet tooth out there, so I wanted to share one of my favorite brownie recipes, which of course includes Cameron’s Coffee. Because who wouldn’t want a caffeine boost in addition to a sugar rush? I also wanted to share something that was healthy and was a part of my keto diet.

If you’ve never heard of Keto diet before, it’s a low carb diet where the body produces ketones in the liver to be used as energy. I’ve been on and off this diet for a couple months now, and have to say, it would’ve been a lot harder had it not allowed coffee J I will be using Highlander Grog Cameron’s Coffee, which has become my favorite blend.

But let’s move on to the brownie recipe:

You are going to need:

  • 5 cups of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup ground coffee – Highlander Grog by Cameron’s Coffee
  • 1/2 cup stevia or erythritol
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup coconut flour
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small sauce pan, melt coconut oil over medium heat. Add the ground coffee, stir in, and remove from heat.
  3. Add the stevia or other sweetener of your choice, vanilla, sea salt, and both the eggs and egg yolk, to the oil. Whisk thoroughly to combine. Add the cocoa powder and flour, then stir until just combined.
  4. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with moist crumbs, but no wet batter. Leave for an extra 5 minutes if you are baking in the skillet. Let cool to room temperature on a rack, then slice and serve.

Cameron’s Coffee Brand Collaboration Announcement

Dsiclosure: This post is sponsored by Cameron’s Coffee. All opinions are my own. camerons-coffee camerons-coffee camerons-coffee camerons-coffee
When I think about coffee, I remember the time when I became especially fascinated with it. It was 2007 and I was in Croatia. I traveled from Moscow to Zagreb and from there by train to Split, then by car to Zadar to find that Mediterranean peace and quiet that I’d never experienced before. Croatians loved their coffee and drank it hot even on a 100-degree summer day. To blend in with the locals I did the same.

Years have passed since that European vacation, but my love for coffee remains strong.  I am so excited to announce my new collaboration with Cameron’s Coffee. It’s a yearlong partnership and I can’t wait to share how I’m enjoying the Always Smooth, Never Bitter coffee, feature giveaways of my favorite blends, create new recipes, and provide beauty tips.

I know for a lot of people one year may seem like a lot, and some of you are maybe thinking you can’t live without your daily trip to that favorite coffee shop down the block. But allow me to explain why I love brewing at home.

I have always enjoyed making my own coffee, partially because the lingering smell of it fills my apartment kitchen every morning, partially because I have always loved being a home maker. As a lot of you know, I can’t start my day without it. So, when Cameron’s Coffee reached out and asked me if I would be interested in partnering, I was so excited.

Cameron’s Coffee started out in Wisconsin. The founder couldn’t find any good coffee to brew at home within a 100-mile radius, so he started his own company. They use the top 10% of Specialty Grade Arabica beans and have a lot of great products to choose from. I am especially loving the Breakfast Blend at home and the BetterBrew Eco Pods at work.

I am incredibly excited to take you on this coffee journey with me! Make sure to follow me and Cameron’s Coffee on social media to get the latest coffee news.

Cameron’s Coffee Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest.

 

3 day soup + juice jus by julie cleanse: day 2 diary

3-day-soup-and-juice-cleane

Happy day 2 of the soup and juice cleanse to me. I am already feeling lighter and skinnier. The left over soup and juice from yesterday are safely stored in my freezer for next week just in case you were wondering.

Today was half day at work for me, so I only packed two juices and one soup. I have time to drink only one, but I go through two cups of coffee. What can I say? I love my caffeine.

I leave work around 12.30 to go home and eat before my dentist appointment at 2. You know they say a watched pot never boils? Maybe it doesn’t boil, but it surely heats up my soup. I inhale that Red Lentil (140 calories) I am in such a rush!

I walk to my appointment and it feels so good to be outside, the mid-winter meltdown is in full swing and I can’t complain.

3-day-juice-and-soup-cleanse

I get back home around 3.15 and head to out apartment gym. I usually go to the WAC Downtown, or the Kohl’s location, but today I just need a quick 30 minutes on the elliptical. I do the hill climb preset for a little over 30 minutes.

I am back home by 4, because Sarah is coming over to knit. We are working on Irish hiking scarves, as well as pussy cat hats for the Women’s March in Madison this Saturday.

irish hiking scarf

Soon Kaitlyn joins us, and as we are watching How I Met Your Mother, I decide to make some Mac and Cheese for the girls and for Sam when he comes home 🙂 As they are enjoying their food, I make myself a cup of Detox Broth (50 calories). That soup is hands down my favorite. I don’t know if it’s the mushrooms, or the spices, but I could eat it everyday. It reminds me of a mushroom and barley soup my grandma used to make when I lived in Russia.

Once again I have a soup and a juice left over. Tomorrow will be interesting, I am going to Chicago to comp shop for work. I will let you know if I come up with any good ways of being on a cleanse while on the go!

Fitbit stats – 13,331 steps

Make sure to check out 2017 Plan For a Happy & Healthy Body on JusByJulie.com. You can sign up for email updates, browse other people’s resolutions, and even get a checklist to help you stay on the healthy track!

3 DAY SOUP + JUICE JUS by JULIE CLEANSE: Day 1 Diary

jus-by-julie-soup-and-juice-cleanse-day-1

Today I started my second cleanse. Why do you ask? Wasn’t the first time enough? Well, let me tell you, this time it’s different. This time I am on a soup and juice cleanse. I am a huge soup fan, I grew up in Russia eating soup for lunch almost every day. I remember my grandma making a big pot of soup over the weekend and it would last us all week. That’s why when I got an opportunity to try this soup and juice cleanse I couldn’t say no.

Before I go into the details of my 1st day of cleansing (please make sure you follow my Insta story for updates throughout the day) I want to let you know that there is a cool and healthy 2017 Plan For a Happy & Healthy Body on JusByJulie.com. You can sign up for email updates, browse other people’s resolutions, and even get a checklist (you know you want to) to help you stay on the healthy track! I got mine already 🙂

This day started early, my husband works out of Chicago one day a week, and today was the day. He takes an early morning train out of Milwaukee, which means our alarm clock starts going off around 4.30 am. I drive Sam to the train around 5.30, and stop at my neighborhood Starbucks on the way home to get a venti coffee. Coffee is normally allowed on the cleanse, just black, no cream or sugar. I don’t have a problem with that, I just need to stay awake.

I leave for work at 7 am. Around 8.30 I drink my first juice – Sweet Spin (140 calories). Work was busy today, and I didn’t get to eat my first soup till noon. However I manage to finish my coffee and drink about 3 bottles of water. My rule of thumb after finishing a juice is refilling the bottle with water, and drinking that. Needless to say I peed on the hour every hour.

jus-by-julie-soup-and-juice-cleanse-day-1

I finally have my Split Pea Soup, and it turns out to be way more filling than expected, while containing only 140 calories.

I save my Pomegranate Juice for 3 pm, it is hands down my favorite juice of all. The spicy kick and whopping 90 calories make it a perfect afternoon pick me upper.

After that the rest of my day is full of more meetings and emails. I don’t leave the office till 6.30 pm, heading to the train station to pick up Sam.

We get home around 7.15 pm, and while my husband enjoys a couple slices of homemade pizza, I heat up my Carrot Ginger Soup (120 calories).

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And here I am not writing this post, working through yet another bottle of water. I am feeling great. I wish I would’ve made it to Zumba, but oh well. My fitbit reads 8100 steps, and I am going to try my hardest to make it to 10k before I go to sleep!

I saved Butternut Squash Soup and Chia Berry Juice in my freezer for a rainy day.

So, how was your day?

Whole 30 Chia Seed Pudding Recipe

Happy Friday friends! I am nearing the end of week 1 on Whole 30. As some of you remember I’ve done it once before, and I felt like the beginning of 2017 was a perfect time! I wanted to share my new favorite breakfast with you today.

Let’s be honest here – Chia Seed puddings are trendy. You see them all over Instagram, Pinterest and other social media outlets. I think more people photograph them than actually eat the said pudding.

For me, however, this mason jar contained, berry topped and Instagram filtered breakfast has become a saving grace. I never eat breakfast, my mom never ate breakfast, I never saw my grandma eat breakfast, which could be attributed to the fact that she woke up hours before everyone else to do whatever grandmas do before the sun rise. So imagine me actually eating breakfast now! I hope you are as excited about it as I am.

The below recipe allows me to make 2 servings, making it a double win 😉

You will need: 

1 cup frozen berries, I usually by mine at Costco

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

4 tbs chia seeds, I buy 2 lbs bag from Costco

1 banana, but if you don’t have one, don’t fear, it will still work out and thicken

Add some spices for a flavor kick, like vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, or ginger.

Place everything in a blender, I use a Nutri Bullet – another recent obsession of mine 🙂 Then evenly divide the mix between 2 mason jars, and place in the fridge overnight. In the morning, once the pudding is ready to eat, I top it with some fresh berries and enjoy, which I hope you will too 🙂

Do you have a favorite breakfast food? Do tell!

 

Jus by Julie Experience and Aftermath

Jus by Julie

Jus by Julie

I would like to start this post by saying that starting this Jus by Julie cleanse was my own personal decision, this is not a sponsored post, I paid for everything and all opinions are my own.

Okay now that we got this out of the way, let’s talk about the cleanse. Juice cleanses are popular, there are cold press juicers, then there are centrifugal juicers. The first ones are healthier and extract the most vitamins and nutrients which makes them pricey, the second ones are cheaper, making them more affordable. The juicer I have at home was a $30 score from the Target Basement in Minneapolis.

I went with Jus by Julie partially because I knew a few people who did it, and partially because it’s  based out of Brooklyn. (If you don’t know this about me, I am forever and always in love with New York City.) I paid $120 for my 3 day cleanse, which included 18 juices and 12 energy/booster shots.

The juices were different from what I expected. A lot of them included rice milk, and some seemed more like smoothies to me. The booster shots were interesting, some I could take like a shot, some I had to add to 16 oz of water, because drinking them up without diluting them was impossible.

In addition to the juices the cleanse allows you 1-2 cups of tea or coffee a day, plus some steamed vegetables and egg whites. I didn’t actually eat anything because I wasn’t hungry. The juices are incredibly filling and with the amount of water I tried to drink in between, I felt like I couldn’t consume any more food.

Before I started the cleanse I seriously thought I was going bombard social media with complaints of how hungry and miserable I was. However that didn’t happen. Nor did I really have any desire to eat. By the end of day 3 I just wanted the cleanse to be over with, because looking in the mirror at my face was terrifying, my cheekbones started showing even more than they normally do, and to myself I looked sick.

I didn’t lose any weight (I started at 124 and finished at 124), which I personally think was due to the high amount of sugar that the juices contained (at least 16 grams per juice). I felt sick and bloated by the end of day 3. And to be honest, I don’t think this juice cleansed me of anything, but rather messed up my digestion.

Now that it’s been a couple weeks I finally feel like my body has been restored back to normal. I was disappointed in this program. Next time I do a cleanse, I will definitely look more closely into the nutrition that is in the juices.

 

Green Tea Smoothie Recipe

green tea smoothie recipe

green tea smoothie recipe

green tea smoothie recipe

This is my favorite smoothie, I drink that at least once a day. I hope you like the recipe as much as I do!

1 cup frozen spinach

1 cup frozen fruit

16 oz green tea – 4 oz strong green tea mixed with 12 oz water (you can change the tea to water ratio to taste)

1 tbsp protein powder (I use Lean 1 or Orgain)

1 tsp vegetable powder blend (I use Green Vitae Essence)

Blend and enjoy!

TAZO® Chai Latte K-Cup® pods #SweetMeetsSpicy

Disclosure: “This post was sponsored by Starbucks as part of an Influencer Activation. I received compensation and complimentary products to facilitate my review.”

TAZO Chai Latte K-Cup Pods #sweetmeetsspicy

TAZO Chai Latte K-Cup Pods #sweetmeetsspicy TAZO Chai Latte K-Cup Pods #sweetmeetsspicy TAZO Chai Latte K-Cup Pods #sweetmeetsspicy

Being done with one of the most difficult semesters of my college life feels incredible. I am definitely enjoying this time I get to spend at home, reflecting and preparing myself for the next stage of my life. The ability to spend a lot of time at home is also something I am going to cherish, since Sam and I are getting ready to sell our house. We’ve learned a lot being home owners, living here, and now leaving here.

Another perk of being on a short spring/summer vacation is reading. I went to the library and checked out some books that I could read for fun, that weren’t textbooks, that weren’t mandatory, these are the books I can truly enjoy.

And finally, I’ve been able to enjoy cooking, baking, and making all sorts of treats for myself and my loved ones. My latest obsession is the new TAZO® Chai Latte. There’s something about that rich and creamy taste with every sip providing a spicy and sweet escape. And the best part about the new TAZO® Chai Latte K-Cup® pods is that you can explore a world of flavor from the comfort of your home. Growing up in Russia, tea has always been a big part of my life, especially black Indian tea, which probably partially explains my obsession with this product.

TAZO® Chai Latte combines the flavors of sweet cinnamon, fragrant cardamom, and spicy ginger. There is a perfect amount of sweetness and spice, with spice coming in at the end for a much needed kick. Needless to say this drink contains a perfect amount of caffeine, which makes this drink my new morning favorite.

NEW TAZO® Chai Latte K-Cup® pods are made from milk, tea leaves and spices. Brewing the drink is a two step process, you start by adding a powdered mix, which is basically a sweetened dairy blend, to the cup before you brew. Then brew the K-Cup® pod as usual, stir and enjoy!

TAZO Chai Latte K-Cup Pods #sweetmeetsspicy TAZO Chai Latte K-Cup Pods #sweetmeetsspicy

TAZO Chai Latte K-Cup Pods #sweetmeetsspicy

And finally, I wanted to make sure to share that TAZO® has partnered with New York Times Bestselling author and host Padma Lakshmi to celebrate the release of the new K-Cup® pods. Tea and chai have always been a part of Padma Lakshmi’s life and family heritage and she is excited to celebrate the flavors of chai with TAZO®. In addition, she has also developed recipes that pair perfectly with a cup of chai and you can find them by visiting TAZO.com/chai/pairings. To learn more about this collaboration visit TAZO.com/chai!

Follow TAZO® on social media:
TAZO® Facebook
TAZO® Twitter
TAZO® Pinterest
TAZO® Instagram

Find where to buy TAZO® Chai Latte K-Cup® pods here.