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.
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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

Neroli Salon in Milwaukee: My Lash and Nail Experience

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Disclosure: I received complimentary service in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.

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Let’s admit, we all need some pampering and time to ourselves, away from work, family, even our significant others. And what better place to go to in times like these than a beauty salon, especially an Aveda one?

It’s been two weeks since I received the services at the salon. Yes, a part of me procrastinated, but another part of me wanted to actually see how long the nails and lashes are going to last. And I have to tell you, I am more than impressed! I only lost a few lashes, and my nails are not chipped at all. Grown out, but no one is really looking that closely.

I will start with lashes! I had lash extensions once before (you can read about it here), so I knew what to expect. My esthetician Elise was the sweetest! She is the one who actually made this whole experience happen! Turns out she knows one of my blogger friends Kaitlyn and she sent her my way! Lesson 1: Make friends and stay in touch with people! 

I spent 2 hours relaxing and chatting with Elise while she was doing my lashes, and the 2 hours flew by in no time. I shared with her how stressed out I’ve been lately, and how much I was looking forward to the service. We both agreed that her job is not just about making someone’s lashes longer, but rather making that person happy.

Hands down my lashes make me feel prettier, happier, and more confident than ever. Additional bonus – when you cry – your mascara won’t run, because you don’t have to wear any. Lesson 2: It’s okay to be emotional (especially when Mercury is in retrograde! Anyone else feel my pain?)

Since having my lashes done 2 weeks ago, I’ve only started touching up with mascara in the outer corners of my eyes this week. I think one of the most popular questions I get asked about lash extensions is how long they last me. And it honestly depends on the person. I know this is a cop-out answer, but everyone’s lash cycle is different. It’s like hair. Lashes fall out. And if you don’t make a wish and blow them away, then you are not keeping track of them. Lesson 3: Dream often. But if you are seriously thinking about getting lash extensions, try to pay attention to how often you lose your natural lashes, that should be an indicator of how long the extensions will last you.

I love my extensions for a few reasons: I wake up looking ready. There is absolutely no mascara that can help me achieve the same (or even a similar) result. I can still sleep on my stomach and somehow get away with it!

If you are thinking about getting extensions, I highly recommend doing it at Neroli in Third Ward with Elise! From effortless casual conversation to fanning the fumes out of your eyes, she is your girl and she will make sure you leave looking and feeling like a million bucks!

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My manicure experience was as amazing as my lashes. And I think a big part of it was really hitting it off with my estheticians. Lisa did my nails, and that girl is a riot. We talked for 2 hours as she was doing my nails and even after, as she was walking me through some of her favorite Aveda skincare while making me samples. How thoughtful is that? There are a few products I definitely have to go back for, like the Tulasāra Wedding Overnight Masque.

Lisa was very helpful when it came to picking out the design. I wanted something simple that would go well with everything. So when she suggested a reverse french manicure that included a nude, I was all in!

I have never gotten this many compliments on my nails before.

And to make it all better for you my Milwaukee friends, Lisa has been working on some unique Milwaukee nail art that I can’t wait to get done! The amount of effort and drive this girl puts into her work combined with the creativity is so inspiring, it’s literally helping me write this post!

Thanks to Lisa, I am not only loving my nails, but have a few beauty products to write reviews on for you!

Thank you so much to Neroli Salon and Spa for providing me with these complimentary services! I will definitely be coming back. Please follow Elise and Lisa on Instagram, the preferred choice of social media these days.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions you may have! I will gladly answer those 🙂

 

Popsugar must have box – January 2017

Disclosure: POPSUGAR sent me this Must Have Box to try #sponsored #ad

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I have been loving Popsugar Must Have boxes lately! Their contents is stellar! And the January box is no exception. This box includes a Goldfaden MD peel for the beauty products/skin care addict. This peel alone costs $84, while the entire box is only $4o! A must-have subscription box indeed – you read it here first 🙂 You can save an additional $5 off your first box by using code SHOP5.

The Russian in me is incredibly happy about the Peppermint Tea from Dean and Deluca! I can’t wait to drink it.

Who can say no to a scented candle? I go through about 3 a month! Here is to Glade!

The Manduka yoga mat towel and Daily Concepts Hair Wrap are so perfect for the gym rat like me. The mat is actually the reason I am considering trying hot yoga.

As far as the Happy Notes go, I can’t wait to share them with my co-workers. Wouldn’t you want to come to work on a Monday and see a happy message on your screen? I know I would!

But the calendar is hands down my favorite, and the best part – you can use it as note cards! I will definitely be utilizing it this year.

 

Make sure to try the PopSugar Must have box if you haven’t already. And do take advantage of the $5 discount, you won’t regret it. Get your box here.

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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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?

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!

Prana #7daystretch

   
    
 Pants: Prana | Hoodie: American Eagle | Shoes: New Balance | Hat: Target 

Having spent all summer interning, I had very few opportunities to take time off and do something fun. I remember last summer being full of road trips and adventures, and I’m kind of sad I missed out on that this year. But this summer was full of trips to the beach, walks around the lakes and hang outs with friends. And while I’m not as adventurous as my husband, who went on a hiking trip up north, I like to stick to the regional trails, I might just have to end this summer with a trip to a place I’ve never been before. And now I have my new Prana pants to do it in! 

Whole30 Week 1 Recap

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Last week we started Whole30. I’ve never heard of this diet until my friend Kate mentioned it during the 4th of July parade. I was immediately intrigued and decided to jump on the bandwagon. We were originally shooting for August, but last Sunday she texted me and said that we should start on Monday. So we did.

Sam and I have toyed with the idea of going paleo in the past, but something stopped us. Whole30 seemed less strict to me, and it allows potatoes!

My first step was to go to Whole30.com, print out the shopping list, throw all of our cheese in the freezer, and tell Sam what we were going to do for the next month. My next step was to go on Pinterest and look up the recipes. We started two boards that you can check out here and here. Pinterest can be an incredibly helpful tool, but make sure you read the recipe carefully, because it may not be whole30, even if it says it is.

I am off to Costco this morning to do some quick shopping before work, and I will share some shopping tips in the next week’s recap, but I thought I’d share a couple of my favorite recipes from last week.

Tuna Craisins Salad

1 can tuna in water

1/3 cup craisins

1 tbsp lemon juice

Mix well and enjoy!

Baked Chicken with Brussels Sprouts and Radishes

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  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup brussels sprouts halved
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup radishes halved
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 8 ounces spinach
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pan.
  3. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  4. Add to pan and brown on both sides; about 5 minutes on each side.
  5. Remove from pan and set in the baking dish, leaving oil in pan.
  6. Add brussels sprouts, onions, carrots, radishes and garlic to the pan.
  7. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally,.
  8. Add chopped garlic and spinach; continue to cook for 1 minute.
  9. Remove from heat, set on top of chicken in the baking dish, add broth.
  10. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.

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Enjoy!