Browsing Tag

coffee

The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet Laura Cabrera

January 12, 2016

Laura Cabrera | UncommonGoodsLaura Cabrera, Recruiter

My hometown is…
Brooklyn, NY; however, I reside in Queens, NY.

I’m inspired by…
A mother’s strength, when they have a child battling cancer.

If I could learn to do one thing perfectly, it would be…
Making lasagna.

My guilty pleasure is…
Cheese of any kind, and coffee.

Within the next 10 years, I hope to be…
Able to volunteer a chunk of my time at any children’s hospital and help parents, children, and siblings get through their tough days.

If my 6th grade teacher could see me now, he or she would say…
“Your English has improved, and do you remember the preposition song?”

My favorite food of all time is…
That’s a hard question…because I like food.

An uncommon fact about me…
I’m an identical twin.

The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet Rebekah Krikke

October 22, 2015

RebekahKrikke

Rebekah Krikke, Assistant Production Manager, Product Development

My hometown…
A hybrid of central Illinois and Kobe, Japan.

I’m inspired by…
Long walks, new perspectives, gratitude, and the color orange.

What I love about Product Development is…
Seeing a product take form as it moves from concept to reality.

When I’m not at work, I’m usually….
Exploring random neighborhoods in New York, relaxing at home with my husband, or being “productive” at a local coffee shop.

My favorite place to bring out-of-towners is…
Brooklyn Bridge Park.

I’m most looking forward to _______ this summer.
Going to my first Indian Wedding in Bangkok.

An uncommon fact about me is….
I studied Japanese tea ceremony for a few years in high school. I love green tea, so much so that my family named our Boston Terrier “Matcha.”

If I could put my desk anywhere in the world it would be…
An ocean view office where you can hear the waves from your desk and go on occasional swim breaks for inspiration.

My favorite uncommon good is…
Our Personalized New York City subway signs.

Maker Stories

This Just In-spiration: Meet Kimberly Hadlock

September 7, 2015

Our makers never fail to motivate us, encourage our creativity, and fill us with inspiration. So, when a new design enters our assortment, we’re always excited to learn more about the people behind the product.

What gets an artist going and keeps them creating is certainly worth sharing, and every great connection starts with a simple introduction. Meet Kimberly Hadlock, maker of the Coffee Lover and Edible Flower Lollipop Sets.

PicMonkey Collage

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I always kind of have been. When I was little I would design jewelry on rubber bands, going around door to door. I studied music from an early age along with dance. Later came photography. I have always had something going that requires design & creativity.

salted caramel

What was the most exciting thing about becoming a professional artist?
Seeing my ideas reach thousands of people. Having a simple idea of a flavor profile enter my mind, calibrating till I think I have it just right. Then releasing it to the world. Knowing that my hard work is paying off and people are enjoying what I do.

1341 (3)

What does your typical day in the kitchen look like?
Up at 6am and packing up the car with my supplies for the day. Heading off to whatever share kitchen I am using for that day. I work solid for 5-6 hours making orders, then play with flavors for about 30 min. Package everything up and head back to my office where I will set and design custom labels for our wedding / corporate orders for 3-4 hours. The last 6 hours I will either tweet the website, or photography. Head off to bed then in 6 hours do it all over again.

herb shot

Is there a trinket, talisman, or other inspirational object you keep near? If so, what is it and what does it mean to you?
Huh. Never really thought about it. Does coffee count? It can be inspirational and keeps me going.

Imagine you just showed your work to a kindergartner for the first time. What do you think they would say?
give me give me give me

birthday cake lollie

What quote or mantra keeps you motivated?
Wisdom begins in wonder – Socrates : If you had said to me 5 years ago that I would be making lollipops for a living I would have laughed. One Christmas holiday I wondered how to make lollipops for a Christmas gift. I played around a bit to figure some things out. My friends loved them, suggested I start a shop. I have never looked back.

izzie lollipops 111

What are your most essential tools?
My mind. All the recipes are up there. I have never written any of them down.

PicMonkey Collage

Gift Guides

It’s Coffee Time: 8 Uncommon Facts About the World’s Favorite Bean

June 23, 2015

Summer is a telling time for coffee drinkers; the heat naturally flushes out the untrustworthy fair-weather “It’s too hot for coffee” types from their ruse and lets us know who we can really trust. I started drinking coffee as a kid – funny given a popular myth regarding the discovery of the bean’s stimulating properties. Coffee originates from Ethiopia, allegedly first noticed by a goat herder named Kaldi whose goats began acting jumpy after eating several wild coffee cherries. The bean has since grown to become an essential part of global food culture – the second most widely traded commodity after crude oil – and the basis of millions of people’s livelihoods (and others’ mornings).

In honor of one of the world’s favorite beverages, we’ve compiled 8 coffee facts about our favorite gifts that will have coffee lovers buzzing no matter how they take it.

Coffee Cold Brew Gift Set

1.) Cooler than you think: It’s never too hot for coffee, but for those who are after a refreshing and revitalizing afternoon drink, cold brew is for you! Plus, cold brew coffee may actually be more flavorful! When coffee grounds are exposed to hot water, acidic oils are extruded that don’t dissolve at lower temperatures. This gives coffee its bitter kick, but masks some of the fruity, aromatic flavor retained by cold brew. Check out our gift lab to see the Cold Brew Set in action!

 

 

The Coffee Towel

2.) Mornings on tap: Here in North America, one third of tap water used for drinking is used to brew coffee! Soak up a little extra with this towel – perfect to hang nearby your coffee station to dry mugs between mornings.

 

 

 

Coffee Explorer Set

3.) Sadly, you can’t wear the Coffee Belt: Though the most coffee is consumed by the global north, coffee can only be grown in a region straddling the equator known as the ‘Coffee Belt’ (or Bean Belt). The Coffee Explorer Set takes you on a tour of the belt with four varieties from Ethiopia, Brazil, Colombia, and Honduras without having to board an airplane. That could get expensive quickly; the only U.S. state in which coffee can be successfully grown for commercial purposes is Hawaii, which explains why backyard bean growing hasn’t quite taken off.

 

  

 

Coffee Liqueur Making Kit

4.) Before on-plane temperature control: This DIY take on coffee liqueur promises a different kind of buzz than your morning cup of Joe. Coffee Liqueur’s distant, freckle-faced cousin, Irish coffee, was conceived in the 1940s by the head chef at now-Shannon International Airport to warm American passengers on cold winter flights. When asked if they were being served Brazilian coffee, the chef labeled it ‘Irish Coffee.’

 

 

Le Café Personalized Art

5.) Stimulating more than your mornings: Turn your kitchen or dining room into your own café – maybe you’ll spark an important intellectual movement! European coffee houses, precursor to modern cafés, are often credited with helping to spark the Enlightenment in the 17th and 18th centuries for their role as public places for discussion. Plus, coffee benefits short term memory recall!

 

 

Ceramic Greek Coffee Cup

6.) Classic CoffΣΣ: Immortalized in ceramic, the classic Greek motif coffee cup is an iconic symbol of the New York City morning rush. Makes a perfect gift for a coffee loving New Yorker, who drinks (on average) close to a whopping seven times more coffee than inhabitants of other major cities!

 

 

Café Collection Soaps Set

7.) Caffeine Vaccine: With these soaps active in the shower and caffeine active in the bloodstream, you’ll be extra safe from unwanted microbes! Long credited speculatively with antiseptic properties, a 2011 study indicated that caffeine may be more effective than ampicillin at inhibiting bacteria like staphylococcus, salmonella and E. coli.

 

 

Espresso Pop Chart

8.) Who needs unions when the boss has a bean machine?: Depicting 23 different kinds of espresso, the Pop Chart serves as an aesthetic reference for any espresso lover! Just don’t spend too much time staring at it with mouth-watering daydreams of bold, Italian goodness – espresso was first invented in the early 1900s as a means to decrease the time laborers took on their coffee breaks. Get back to work!

 

 

Gift Guides

Gift Lab: How to Stay Cool & Caffeinated with Cold Brew Coffee

May 15, 2015

Abi tests the Cold Brew Coffee Set

Product: Coffee Cold Brew Gift Set

Hypothesis:
Iced coffee is one of my favorite morning treats, so I was super excited to try out the Cold Brew Coffee Gift Set (and drink the coffee in the morning at work). I hypothesized that this set would be a great alternative to spending money at coffee shops.

Research:

The set includes instructions, which I followed to the best of my ability. I am rather impatient, so there were parts that I was tempted to skip, but I stayed faithful to the directions throughout.

Experiment: 
I began by boiling the filter (the instructions say to boil the filter before its first use, to pre-shrink it) in water for 10 minutes. The instructions say that filters “will continue to shrink slightly for the next few uses and will produce the best quality brew from then on.” I don’t have any proof of this yet, but I look forward to tasting all the future cold brew coffee batches to see if taste improves over time.

Boiling the Filter

The provided recipe says to use 2 cups of freshly ground coffee of your choice (the kit comes with two cups ready to go for your first batch).

Coffee Beans

I added the coffee to the fabric filter and “bloomed” the grounds, as per the directions. In this case, to bloom the grounds means to wet them thoroughly and let them stand for 60 seconds.

Grounds

I twisted the neck of the filter, as tightly as I could, and wrapped the tie string around the neck a few times, then slipped the neck of the filter through the glass ring (which is attached to/hanging from the filter bag).

Tightening Filter

Then I inserted the filter into the jar and filled the jar with cold water.

Cold Brew Coffee In The Works!

Luckily I did this at the end of the day in the office, because it takes 12-16 hours to cold brew in the fridge till it’s ready. The next morning, I would get to sample my first batch of cold brew!

Conclusion: 
Fresh Coffee | UncommonGoods

Ta da! I opened the fridge to find some actual cold brewed coffee. It looked pretty good, smelled delightful, and was also tasty. I did feel that it was a little weak, though. I removed the filter, dumped the grounds into the compost bin, washed the filter out, and set it out to dry until I made my next batch.

Finished Coffee

The kit comes with a pouring device that fits inside the lid, which works quite nicely for pouring the coffee once its done.

Drinking Cold Brew Coffee

People don’t naturally look at a camera when they are drinking coffee, but I wanted to show you that I was trying the coffee I just made, and allow you to fully see the expression on my face while I first tasted it. I look pretty strange, but I assure you, the coffee tasted good and I was excited to be trying it out.

Yumzies! |Delicious Iced Coffee with Coconut Milk
Here I am, showing off the final product, in my favorite glass, complete with almond/coconut milk. So yummy!

In case you are wondering (and you really might be curious about this), I do not add sugar to my coffee, unless it tastes completely awful. I did not even consider adding sugar to this batch. I found it very yummy (though, like I said, I would have liked it to be a bit more concentrated).

During my next trial, I filled the filter as much as possible (this was probably almost 3 cups of coffee grounds). It was delicious but quite strong. I think two and half cups is probably the ideal amount of coffee grounds that should be used for this cold brew coffee (at least for it to be just right for me). I’m excited to use the Coffee Cold Brew Set this summer to beat the heat in a very delicious way!

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