The Art and Science of Chemex

The Art and Science of Chemex

When the sun rises and it’s time to brew a fresh cup, coffee drinkers probably don’t think of themselves as artistic chemists. But that became true for chemex users back in 1941 when a German chemist named Peter J. Schlumbohm Ph.D. (pronouncing his last name might require some caffeine) used the basic design and function of laboratory funnels and flasks to invent the chemex, a laboratory grade drip coffeemaker. Since then, chemex has been recognized for its excellent design by museums like the Smithsonian, the Corning Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and is known as one of the most elegant brewing methods in the world. Chemex calls for basic coffee-making ingredients: hot water, filter paper, and, of course, coffee. But unlike your average “joe” machine, chemex allows you to have direct control over the body and flavor of your cup. It offers a more hands-on brewing experience than other brewing methods, allowing you to personally escort the coffee from grinds to gold. That’s sort of what chemex-brewed coffee looks and tastes like: liquid gold. Smooth and thin, it reminds one of our baristas of tea, which is good news if you’re an adventurous tea drinker taking baby steps towards coffee. Chemex can seem intimidating if you’re unfamiliar with the process, but don’t let its fancy name fool you into thinking it’s rocket science. Doing it with a friend or having a barista walk you through the steps might boost your confidence. You can brew more than one cup if you want (measurements will vary), but chemex works best if you’re making one or two...
Pour Over Coffee at Home – Kalita Wave

Pour Over Coffee at Home – Kalita Wave

At Seeds Coffee, we use a variety of brew methods ranging from the pour-over and Chemex to the Aeropress. A lot of times we have customers come in and ask us how they can utilize the pour-over method at home. Here is a look at how to make pour-over coffee at home using a Kalita Wave (which you can purchase from our shop). Step One:  Grind 23 grams of coffee for one cup with a medium grind. Prepare 345 grams of 205 degree water (alternatively you can heat the water until it starts to boil, remove it from the heat, and let it sit for 30 seconds). Step Two: Pre-wet the Kalita Wave filter, which is specifically designed to maximize even water distribution across the grounds cialis vendre. Step Three: Pour the grinded coffee into the filter. Then, pour a thin-layer of water evenly across all of the grounds. It is best to use a goose-neck kettle (like a Bonavita Kettle). Let it sit 20 – 30 seconds. Step Four: Pour the remainder of the water in a spiral motion from the center out, evenly covering the grounds and pushing them into a flat bed at the bottom of the dripper. Step Five: Enjoy the aroma and taste! Come by our shop at 174 Oxmoor Road and learn more about brewing Seeds coffee from your...
The Unbalanced Coffee World: How a Mismanaged Resource Can Lead to Opportunity

The Unbalanced Coffee World: How a Mismanaged Resource Can Lead to Opportunity

It’s jaw-dropping and downright painful to recognize that a $100 billion worldwide coffee industry is choking the life out of itself. Recently, at the 2014 Specialty Coffee Association of America annual event, I learned that 25 out of 30 of the poorest countries in the world are coffee-producing countries. How could this be? In an industry with arguably the second-most traded resource in the world, how is it that such poverty exists at its root level? The coffee industry is as imbalanced as a NFL linebacker and my two-year-old daughter on a see-saw together. Seriously, can we at least stop for a minute from sipping our perfectly-made cappuccinos and selling our $20 bags of specialty coffee and recognize the colossal problem with the origins of the seeds we can’t live without? A Minute Goes By While We Sip On Our $4 Coffee Flip-flop the scenario to the coffee producer in Burundi (where Seeds Coffee just bought some green coffee from last week), which happens to be the second-poorest country in the world. What do you think this farmer thinks about the $100 billion industry? I can’t imagine the reaction of a Burundi farmer hearing that less than a pound of coffee (which he probably received less than $2 for) just pocketed our retail shop $42 or so. Not to mention that ninety percent of the effort spent to make this coffee available was done by the farmer, not the coffee shop, not the barista. It took our greatly-skilled baristas around four minutes to grind and extract the right amount of coffee soluble of this precious resource. But back at...
It’s More Than Coffee: The Forgotten Beauty of SCAA 2014

It’s More Than Coffee: The Forgotten Beauty of SCAA 2014

Ahhh… There we were, riding up the escalator at the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s annual event, awaiting new flavors and cutting-edge gadgets. Everyone was decked out in sleek button downs, slightly rolled up above the ankle jeans, perfectly un-groomed facial hair, and sleeve tattoos so fresh you could smell the anti-infection ointment. One could feel the trendiness…I mean excitement in the air! We walked a little further. The show floor was filled with thousands of things that I would love to blow my money on. All of the top coffee personalities were in attendance. From coffee roasters, to the sleek espresso machines, and weird contraptions with coffee traveling around in clear tubes that nobody understands what they do, this event had it all. I’m poking fun, but all of these things (for the most part) are enjoyable and useful. It is just that sometimes the wrong things steal the true beauty. I can get sideways and giddy over a new brewing scale and my mind can be blown by a $20,000 espresso machine, but those things still leave me empty. I mean, they will just build another scale and manufacture better espresso machines as this is the way that innovation works. Despite all of the flashy things that will be outdated by this time next year, there are some things that you can’t replace — something – or better yet someone – that makes the event worth attending. It’s your friend from Guatemala who happens to grow the coffee roasted and served at your cafe. Nobody really knows who he is, and he doesn’t get awkward, uncontrollable hugs...
COFFEE GIZMO: Artisanal Coffee – Brewseful App

COFFEE GIZMO: Artisanal Coffee – Brewseful App

 H ow about a new coffee gizmo that you don’t have to pay for (well, if you already have an iPhone)? Kevin Zweerwink gives you one in Brewseful; a simple timer app for brewing artisanal coffee now available for free on the Apple App Store. [vimeo id=”92414341″ align=”center” mode=”normal”] Brewseful’s app interface gives coffee enthusiasts a minimal and simple timer to easily keep track of their brewing times. You can add events partway through the brew time, calculate water:grounds ratios, and save custom brew timers to use again later. The app’s user interface is designed with a stark black and white contrast with large numbers, clear alert sounds and a green progress indicator, all of which make it easy to keep your attention on your coffee. This new app gives you a gizmo that’s FREE (AWESOME) and takes up no additional space on your countertops or in your bags. Brewseful lets you specify your preferred coffee-to-water ratio, cup size and even coarseness of the grind and save these as presets. This allows you to have a go-to for Chemex brewing that’s completely different from your setting for pour-over — each of which can be further fine-tuned to take the particulars of various roasts and blends into account. Giving even more control, Brewseful’s handy “event” sliders indicate when the pouring begins and ends, when to stir and finally, when it’s ready to enjoy, promising a perfectly customized cup every time cialis canada. You can take your artisanal brewing to the next level now by downloading the app here on the iTunes store for free. Fine tune timing & add custom...
Kopi Luwak Coffee: One Day Only at Seeds!

Kopi Luwak Coffee: One Day Only at Seeds!

Did you know that some of the best (or at least most expensive) coffee in the world comes from this little critter? This little guy (or possibly gal) is an Asian Palm Civet, which is also often called a toddy cat. Typically, they weigh anywhere between 4 and 11 pounds and are omnivores by nature. Someone (Indonesian farmers), somehow – for whatever reason – discovered that when the toddy cat eats coffee berries, digests them, and then excretes them, that the coffee produced from these berries is simply amazing. During the digestive process, enzymes trickles into the coffee bean providing an enhanced flavor as well as aroma. The result is a less bitter tasting coffee that many have come to love. In fact, this coffee is so famous, that it has its own name – Kopi Luwak. Luwak is the Indonesian name for Asian Palm Civets cialis vente en france. On the one-year birthday of the opening of the café component of Seeds Coffee, we will be selling a limited quantity of Kopi Luwak! All proceeds from Kopi Luwak coffee sales will go toward purchasing teapots for the café from Eugene Sailor Studios, which is a Birmingham-based business that creates handmade pottery and woodworking. Joel Shaw, the owner of Eugene Sailor Studios, will be using the proceeds from the Seeds teapot purchase to aide in his efforts to adopt a child from Ethopia. Head to Seeds (174 Oxmoor Road) on Monday, April 14 to enjoy a cup of Kopi Luwak for $5 per cup (while supplies...
The Coffee Flavor Wheel by Counter Culture

The Coffee Flavor Wheel by Counter Culture

Many avid wine drinkers are well aware of wine aroma wheels. With a few quick sniffs, you can often pin down the wine’s aromas into one of the many categories, using the wheel to work your way outward. In fact, there are even aroma wheels for different wine varieties ranging from Chardonnay and Nebbiolo to Pinot Noir and Carmenere. Below is a picture of one of the wheels that Aromaster recommends for a companion to wine tasting. Did you know that a staggering 83% of adults in the United States drink coffee? When you break the numbers down it comes down to around three cups of coffee per day, which is 587 million cups. That, my friends, is a lot of coffee. Despite the large number of coffee consumers within the country, a small percentage of them know about the flavor wheel for coffee. For the last eighteen years, those who have utilized a flavor wheel have turned to the Specialty Coffee Association of America. Now, however, Counter Culture Coffee has their own version of the wheel, which is displayed below. Like the wine wheel, you can utilize a coffee flavor wheel in conjunction with coffee tasting in order to better appreciate the complexity of the beverage. With that being said, this new wheel by Counter Culture Coffee is actually designed to be as intuitive and easy-to-use as possible by roasters (and avid coffee drinkers). Timothy Hill, Buyer and Quality Control Manager for the company, is adamant that they would like your honest feedback, including any criticisms of the wheel so that Counter Culture Coffee can work to make...
The Seeds Coffee Roasting Process

The Seeds Coffee Roasting Process

At Seeds, everything essentially starts and stops with the coffee roasting process acheter cialis. In fact, we have found that to be true with most coffee shops that do their own roasting. How you roast ultimately determines the environment of your café, including everything from your customers to the style and décor of your shop. Why? Because roasting your own coffee gives you control over the beans you choose and the flavors you want out of your coffee. This reflects the vision and mission of your shop. Seeds’ Roasting Process At Seeds, our focus is on high-quality, unique beans and amazing stories. When you get coffee from us, you can rest assured that it comes with an amazing story and/or supports coffee farmers from around the world that are providing beans of excellent (often award-winning) quality. For example, our Sumatra beans are unique because not only are the beans high-quality, but they also come with an amazing story. We roast and sell this coffee because by doing so we are supporting Gospel-centered farmers and their mission of spreading the Gospel. Also, our Guatemala coffee comes from a farmer that has award-winning coffee beans and is widely known in his home country. The Medium Roast Coffee drinkers always have an opinion of how they like their coffee. Some people will prefer the darkest roast possible, while others will prefer a medium or light roast. At Seeds, we choose a roast that makes the most sense for that specific coffee bean. Typically, we fall in the “medium roast” category – for those familiar with the roasting process, we mostly use a...
Latte Art: A Brief History

Latte Art: A Brief History

If you have been to Seeds Coffee Co. and you have ordered a latte, then you have been in the presence of latte art (even if you may not have known the “technical” term). Latte art is created when you pour steamed milk (that is a specific temperature and consistency) into a shot of espresso to create a design in the coffee.  The picture shows an example of one possible result of the process (with much practice and a specific technique, of course). This, my friends, is latte art. The Origin of Latte Art The specific origin of latte art is debated with many people citing its origin back to Italy; however, most people believe that latte art in some form or fashion has been around for a while – developing at different times in different cultures. When it comes to its strong presence in coffee culture today, we can attribute the development to a man named David Schomer who popularized latte art in the United States in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Today, there is even a World of Latte Art Championship competition where people from across the world compete for the best creations. This does not take into consideration the many local competitions across the world. Looking for Birmingham Coffee Art? Visit Seeds Coffee Co.  If you are in search of a Birmingham, AL coffee shop that emphasizes coffee art, then come to Seeds Coffee Co. From hearts and rosettas to the famous dragon (see picture to the right), we are dedicated to spreading the Gospel, building community, and sharing our knowledge of coffee where every...
Seeds Coffee Helps Take “Fair Trade” To a New Level

Seeds Coffee Helps Take “Fair Trade” To a New Level

Over the last few years, there has been a push for this thing called “fair trade generic cialis express.” In short, fair trade helps to provide fair prices to producers who are primarily in developing countries. With this incredible initiative, these producers are receiving higher wages – allas a result of the fair trade process. Fair trade is definitely an initiative worth supporting and has brought much-needed awareness to the issue of producers from developing countries being underpaid. However, what if we could do more—provide even higher wages for these producers? At Seeds Coffee Co., we strive to do just that – to work directly with coffee farmers to provide them higher wages, even higher than what fair trade offers. By developing relationships with these farmers and providing higher incentives for higher-quality coffee, companies like Seeds Coffee Co. and Thrive Farmers (an Atlanta-based company that we currently get half of our coffee from) are able to provide higher payment and therefore a higher chance of sustainability for these producers. With this model, coffee farmers are receiving higher wages and consumers are obtaining higher quality coffee. Coffee is a Medium for the Gospel At Seeds, our mission is far more than just about providing high-quality coffee and fair wages to coffee famers – we are committed to community and to developing lasting relationships. When you walk into Seeds, our goal is for you to feel like you belong and you are part of what we are doing – that you are valued. We view coffee as a medium for the Gospel. Everyone loves coffee and in developing countries, coffee plays a major...