For several months now, we’ve been hard at work behind the scenes on a very special new product- our own coffee! It has been a very involved process, and I thought it might be fun to share a little about our journey into coffee roasting.
Not too far from our home is our favorite local coffee shop and roaster, Carytown Coffee. When they are roasting beans, the smell wafts onto the main road for everyone to enjoy as we drive by. When Ryan and I decided to develop our own blend, they were naturally our first choice. We started with single origin beans, and set to work on months of experimentation to find the blend and roast that we liked best. Our favorite ended up being a dark blend of French and Italian roasts.
After we finalized the details for our blend, and created our packaging (compostable bags with special earth-friendly linings), our friends at Carytown Coffee roasted our beans and after months of work, we had our very own coffee blend! But we didn’t stop there. After having so much fun with the process, we took the leap and purchased our very own coffee bean roaster and a selection of green coffee beans. The first roast we made was a small batch of our premium dark blend, so that we could list it in our Etsy shop (our Carytown Coffee roasts are available in our own online shop). But since then, we’ve been experimenting with lots of different beans, times, and temperatures. It’s the tastiest science experiment ever, and the kitchen smells amazing all day long! We are planning on an organic medium roast for our second release, but are open to suggestions and requests. Feel free to email us if you have a favorite bean, region, or roast that you’d like to see us make.
Ryan and I like to do a light detox every January (I posted about past ones here and here, and about the yoga class that almost ended all my resolutions here). If you don’t feel like clicking, basically we just cut out meat, alcohol, dairy, and junk from our diets and amp up our work outs a bit for a week or two. Enough to say we did something, but never enough to really feel much different. This year we went bigger.
We decided to complete the full three weeks of the Clean program. I was sold on this cleanse over others based on a few things:
- You get to eat. No juice fasts for me please, thanks.
I noticed a healthy dose of Western medical information mixed in. My father’s a surgeon and I have great respect for modern medicine. I needed a cleanse that fell somewhere between, “Take some Rx liver medication and call me in the morning”, and, “Let’s cleanse our Chakras today!!!”.
Gwyneth said it works. Say what you will, girl looks amazing.
We took the easy route and downloaded the ebook to my phone for the cleanse info (which was good because it was 75% testimonial stories and only about 25% pertinent facts), and purchased the hard copy of the cookbook that accompanies the cleanse.
Pretty much, if it’s in here, you can eat it. There are a few non-cleanse recipes, but they are well marked. So we embarked on three weeks of no wine, no coffee, no gluten, no sugar, no dairy and only 1 solid meal a day. Yeah, breakfast is a smoothie and dinner is a pureed soup. I thought it was going to be impossible, but it is really incredibly easy. The big lunch meals from the cook book all taste like spa food and are so good that I don’t miss the 100’s of ingredients I’m not allowed to use. In fact, there is only one single solitary thing that is difficult. Coffee. I want my coffee!!!!!!!
That’s where the chai comes in. I’ve always liked it, but usually as a latte from Starbucks with all sorts of sugar and dairy additives that I can’t have now. After about a week of no coffee, every cell in my body was begging for it. We had a morning meeting that required celebration (more on that in a few weeks), so I decided to cheat and get a small cup. Heaven. So while caffeine is definitely on the NO list with the Cleanse Program, I’ve found that the minimal amount of caffeine in a cup of brewed chai is just enough to perk me up without getting jittery. If I didn’t have it I might just quit the cleanse altogether, so it’s actually a good thing that I’m cheating a little…right? That’s what I’m telling myself anyway.
Yup, just call me Smoothie Queen. My New Year’s Eve started with a bright green vegetable smoothie. The “I’ve eaten my body weight in cheese and wine this month” detox/cleanse doesn’t begin until tomorrow, but I thought I would test out one of the recipes today. It tasted…healthy.
I offered some to the kids, and they both jumped at the chance (I think they assumed I’d added fruit to the mix). Lilly tried first, then slowly backed away in horror. She didn’t make a sound, which could have saved Nate. He, not seeing her face, took a swig of my kale-watercress-beet mixture. What Lilly expressed with silent disgust, Nate expressed by immediately throwing up on the kitchen floor. Ryan declined a taste, but with three weeks of my smoothie concoctions in our future, I’m sure he’ll get his turn.
Note to self: add a little fruit to the smoothies.