Which home brewing method is right for you?
With so many different options today, the choice can seem daunting. Each home brewing process offers distinct advantages for different types of coffee drinkers. Whether you are exploring new possibilities, looking for an upgrade, or want to brush up on your coffee knowledge, let us walk you through the basics! Different brewing methods offer different results; some provide more control, while others offer convenience. Some are more suited for black coffee connoisseurs, and others offer various beverage choices with the click of a button.
First, let's talk about Home Espresso Machines. Espresso machines, first invented in Italy in 1884 became a staple in cafes throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, and are now widely available for home purchase. Smaller and more user-friendly options are appropriate for home use. Espresso machines usually break down into three categories: manual, semi-automatic, and automatic. Most home espresso machines are semi-automatic, meaning you grind the coffee, load the portafilter, tamp, and press a button to start the shot. These machines give you a variety of control that can customize your espresso. Automatic machines are basically the same, but only require you to press the button once to start the process. With a home espresso machine, you can make beverages such as cappuccinos, lattes, and americanos. Although mastering this method takes time and practice, it allows you to experiment with coffee in new ways.
Then there are Pod and Capsule Machines. If you still want to enjoy an espresso-style coffee experience but prefer more convenience, a pod or capsule machine might suit your needs.
These coffee machines offer easy preparation and minimal maintenance. Another bonus is the variety you can enjoy, such as brewing individual cups of coffee to accommodate any palate. Using these machines is simple: you insert a pod into the machine, press a button, and receive extracted coffee in seconds. With several presets to choose from, you can still customize your coffee to a certain extent, and with these machines' growing popularity, more coffee options are becoming available. If you haven't already, make sure to check out our unique selection of pods available at www.lolacc.com.
For those who enjoy a less intense brew than espresso, Filter Machines and Batch Brewers are excellent choices. They offer a completely different type of coffee, are easy to use, and can provide a large amount of coffee in a short amount of time. Batch brewing is excellent for families that drink a lot of coffee because you can brew a whole pot at once and keep it warm for some time. Although this brewing process can sometimes take up to five minutes to extract, the longer brew time will also bring out the more complex and delicate flavor while offering a lighter and cleaner coffee than espresso. Filter- and batch-brewed coffee makes an excellent choice for those who prefer black coffee.
Using a batch brewer is simple. Add water to the tank, grind your coffee, and place it into a filter in the brewing chamber. After that, you typically press a button to start the brew.
However, using a predetermined coffee and water ratio will help you bring out the best characteristics in the coffee. While ratios vary from machine to machine, a coffee-water ratio of around 1:16 is often recommended.
Manual brewing methods, such as pour-over filter coffee and full immersion brewers, require more skill and technique but can unlock different cup profiles. Pour-over brewing extracts crisp, clear notes, more tea-like textures, and generally less acidity.
You will most likely need more equipment to successfully brew coffee manually, including a scale, a good grinder, and possibly a pouring kettle. These brewing methods offer different flavor profiles, and some people enjoy the intimate, manual process.
No matter how you choose to brew at home, we have you covered for all your coffee and tea needs at Lola Savannah!
Recycled Coffee Ground Clothing
For the last few years, innovative companies have been finding new ways of creating textiles to transition the fashion industry to a greener future. Plastic bottles, pineapple leaves, seaweed, and yes, even used coffee grounds are being transformed into functional, eco-friendly clothing items. From jackets to activewear, this trend has many benefits, and not just for the environment.
The coffee grounds used to create the yarn are taken and recycled from some of the world's largest coffee vendors, like Starbucks. This process gives a second life to coffee grounds that would have otherwise ended up in the trash, and the clothing created can be composted at the end of their life, giving it a circular lifestyle.
To create these garments, coffee grounds are processed in a low-temperature, high-pressured environment and made into yarn; this is then woven into a naturally high-tech fabric. The combination offers excellent natural anti-odor qualities, in addition to UV ray protection and quick drying time. It is naturally anti-bacterial and dries 200 times faster than cotton.
This innovative way to create textiles will surely delight coffee enthusiasts worldwide while also eliminating waste globally for a better, brighter future!
"Witch’s Brew" imitation cold brew coffee
We’ve decided to share an imitation version of cold brew for Halloween that you can prepare with your favorite Lola Savannah coffee!
For this recipe, you’ll need an ice cube tray, vanilla extract or flavor of choice, sweetener of your choosing, and of course, Lola Savannah coffee.
Begin by preparing your coffee in your preferred brewing method, then let sit to chill till completely cooled. Add coffee to a large Pyrex measuring cup to add your flavoring and sweetener. This is the part where you can get creative and customize your coffee to your liking by adding vanilla extract, a creamer of choice, condensed milk, sugar, stevia, simple syrup, cinnamon, caramel, or even chocolate! Mix up this mixture to your liking, whether you prefer a strong coffee drink or something sweet to sip on, then fill the ice cube trays and carefully place in the freezer.
After the coffee has frozen, remove coffee ice cubes from the tray and add it to a glass. Serve with your choice of chilled coffee or with your choice of milk or creamer. As the ice cubes melt, your drink will transform into a magical, tasty, caffeinated treat! Enjoy and Happy Halloween!
Is decaf tea and coffee bad for you?
Love your morning coffee or tea, but want to cut down on caffeine? Then decaffeinated varieties might seem like the perfect choice – especially if you regularly experience negative side effects after consuming caffeine, such as insomnia or feelings of anxiety.
But just how is caffeine extracted from your favourite hot beverages? And is decaf coffee or tea bad for you?
Indian Monsoon Malabar Coffee
In a previous post, we discussed coffee bean production worldwide and how a region's elevation affects different coffee profiles. Today we will cover a unique method of cultivating coffee that produces Monsoon Malabar coffee beans.
"Monsooned" Malabar is a process unique to India, in which harvested coffee beans are exposed to monsoon rain and winds for three to four months. These environmental changes cause the beans to swell and lose some of their acidity, which produces a beautiful flavor profile with a neutral pH balance.
This coffee is protected under India's "Geographical Indications of Goods Act" and is made exclusively in India on the Malabar Coast, near Karnataka and Kerala. This process dates back to the British Raj (when Britain ruled India, 1858-1947.)
When coffee beans were being transported by sea from India to Europe, the sea's winds and the humidity caused the coffee to ripen from fresh green to an aged pale yellow during the months-long sea voyage. During the monsoon season, the journey would take almost six months to sail around the Cape of Good Hope at the southern end of Africa. The coffee beans during this time changed in size, texture, appearance, and taste.
As modern transportation took root and the journey's length got shorter, the beans were better protected from weathering. However, the Europeans receiving these beans were displeased with coffee beans' shipments, which now lacked the same depth and character the weathered beans had developed.
This led to the invention of an alternative process to replicate the conditions from the sea voyage. They recreated this weathering process along the coastal belt of southwest India during the monsoon months. This new method created the same characteristic changes to the coffee beans and the same distinct flavor profile the Europeans had grown to love.
This unique blend is now created in India from June through September, where selected beans are placed in well-ventilated warehouses and exposed to moisture and monsoon winds for 12 to 16 weeks. This process involves careful sorting, repeated spreading, and raking to produce significantly larger, gold pale-colored coffee beans.
The result is a heavy-bodied, savory blend with a chocolatey aroma and notes of spice appreciated worldwide.
At Lola Savannah we always have some Monsoon Malabar in stock, and we invite you to try this special treat!
Coffee Coffee Cake
As the weather cools down, we start preparing ourselves for sweater weather, cozy nights, and holiday treats. What better time than now to share this savory take on a coffee cake made with real coffee! Get creative using your favorite Lola Savannah coffee blends to customize this coffee cake with your favorite flavors.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hr
¾ Cups pecans or walnuts
¾ Cups of sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 ⅓ Cups All-Purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ cups buttermilk
¾ cups strong brewed coffee, cooled
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 ½ stick (12 tablespoons) unsalted soft butter
1 ¾ Cups sugar
3 large eggs
For Glaze (Optional)
¼ Cup strong brewed coffee
2 ½ cups sifted powdered sugar
Gather your ingredients and brew your favorite Lola Savannah coffee with your preferred brewing method. Allow for the coffee to cool down, till cold.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, prepare the streusel by finely chopping the nuts, or use a food processor. Mix nuts with the cinnamon and sugar then set aside for later use.
In a medium-sized bowl, mix all the liquid ingredients.
In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. Dry ingredients include flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Mix the batter by using a stand mixer or a hand mixer. Begin by beating the butter and sugar together until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing in between each one.
Next, we will slowly incorporate the dry ingredient mix and the wet ingredient mix into the creamed butter. Add each step, then mix well until combined thoroughly.
– Add 1/3 of your dry ingredients to the creamed butter
– Add 1/2 your liquid
– Add 1/3 of your dry ingredients
– Add the rest of your liquid
– Lastly, add the rest of your dry ingredients and combine them.
Use a bundt cake, or 9x13" baking dish and lightly butter and flour the pan for easy removal after baking. Pour HALF of your batter into the prepared pan, level out, then add a layer of streusel mix.
Pour the rest of your batter over the streusel, and level out once more.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes; baking time can vary by 10-15 minutes. To ensure baking is complete, stick a skewer or fork into the cake, remove from oven when the skewer comes out clean. Allow cooling for ten minutes.
To remove the cake from the pan, slide a knife around the pan's edges to loosen the cake from sides. Flip the pan over onto a plate; this should come out quickly and easily.
For the glaze, combine the remaining brewed coffee with sifted powdered sugar until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Be sure that the cake is cool before glazing; we recommend 45 minutes to an hour. Drizzle coffee cake with glaze and allow to dry. Slice up and serve!
Coffee: Cultivating Change
This blog post features an inspiring story of positive change and how communities can come together over coffee.
Coffee has been an essential crop in Rwanda for centuries, but men predominantly governed this business. Traditionally, women managed the household and took care of the children while the men worked the coffee farms and handled business affairs. After the genocide in 1994, one of the darkest periods in their history, Rwanda is rebuilding its economy and its civil society by fostering community through Co-Ops of Women in the coffee industry.
After the genocide, women across the country found themselves in similar positions. Many of the country's men had been killed or imprisoned or had fled, leaving the fields untended, and coffee farms languished. The women left behind took on new duties and responsibilities, learning to grow and sell coffee to support their families.
When the women came together, they realized they could sell their coffee at higher rates collectively rather than individually. The women involved in these co-ops increase their earnings four-fold, and some have set up emergency funds accessible to co-op members in need.
These Co-Ops have helped empower women to take up a new place in society. These newly minted businesswomen are coming together, healing, and finding support after facing so much loss. One co-op named Hingakawa, which translates to "Let's Grow Coffee," consists of both Hutu and Tutsi, who have made "poverty their mutual enemy rather than each other" and aim to heal through leadership.
Chances are that if you've had a cup of coffee today, no matter where in the world it comes from, it was planted, picked, delivered, and/or harvested by a woman. Rwanda’s new women coffee farmers and business people have embraced equality and community in a time of need to rebuild their society and unite them when they needed it most. May they be an inspiration to all of us!
Coffee Drinks 101
In our last blog, we discussed the differences between coffee bean species and the variety of flavors. Now, let's look into the realm of coffee drinks and the different beverages created with coffee. Knowing the differences in how these drinks are prepared can help you explore and find your favorite coffee experience.
Espresso is a concentrated coffee usually served in shots; it is bittersweet and originated in Italy. These shots are enjoyed on their own or within other favorite coffee drinks.
Cortado is an equal mix of espresso and steamed milk. This blend creates a yin-yang effect and cuts down on the espresso's acidity.
Latte is a shot of espresso with steamed milk then topped with a touch of foam. This coffee drink is the most popular and can be served with a flavor shot to create custom blends. Think Pumpkin Spice Latte.
Cappuccino is similar to a Latte; only it has more foam than steamed milk. It is commonly sprinkled with cinnamon or cocoa powder and can also be made with cream, and have shots of flavor blended in.
Americano is an attractive choice for those who enjoy a more robust flavor similar to black coffee. Here an espresso shot is diluted by adding hot water.
Red Eye, named after midnight flights, is sure to help wake you up. This drink is created by adding a shot of espresso to a hot cup of coffee.
Cafe Au Lait is French and directly translates to "Coffee with Milk." This coffee drink is a classic and is an excellent option for coffee minimalist.
Affogato, a unique Italian treat, is served by pouring shots of espresso over ice cream.
For adults only, Irish coffee consists of black coffee, whiskey, sugar, and topped whipped cream—an excellent option for an after-dinner drink for guests.
Whether you prefer cream and sugar or a more traditional robust coffee drink, there is always room to explore different flavors and blends. As always, we are here to help and welcome you to find your perfect cup with Lola Savannah!
Types of Coffee
Coffee plays an undeniable role in our lives. Whether you’re an avid coffee connoisseur or you enjoy just the occasional cup, coffee has been widely appreciated since the 15th century and isn't going anywhere soon. So, where does this plant grow, and what makes it so unique? Today we’re sharing the basic breakdown of different species of coffee and where they are cultivated around the world.
Coffee is a shrub native to sub-Saharan Africa—now widely grown worldwide, primarily around the tropic belt that surrounds the equator. Referred to as the "Coffee Belt," these mountainous regions extend 30 degrees north and south of the equator and produce the world's most extraordinary coffees. In addition, high elevations provide the most ideal growing conditions for coffee trees. Lush volcanic soil and elevations over 1200m prolong bean development and enhance acidity and flowering. Africa, Indonesia, and Latin American benefit from these microclimates and represent the bulk of coffee growing regions.
There are several different coffee beans types, the four most popular being Arabica, Robusta, Liberia, and Excelsa. The beans most commonly roasted for consumption in the United States are Arabica and Robusta, the latter being more popular in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Here are a few keynote differences when it comes to these coffee beans.
Arabica has a sweeter, more delicate flavor and tends to be less acidic. These beans come from high elevations above sea level, with lots of rainfall. Brazil, known for its lush rainforests, is the foremost exporter of Arabica beans and represents 60-70% of the coffee produced globally.
Robusta is known for its robust flavor profile. Robusta coffees have higher levels of caffeine, which help this species grow because caffeine acts as a natural insect repellent. These trees are also very tolerant of being grown in many different altitudes and climates. Robusta coffee beans have a reputation for tasting burnt or rubbery. It is a popular choice where strong coffee is a cultural norm.
Liberica coffee beans are rarer, grown in such particular climates that production is too scarce to reach a global market. These beans are said to have an aroma that resembles fruit and flowers and has a "woody" taste.
Excelsa, a member of the Liberica family, is a very distinct variety. It is grown in Southeast Asia and represents the smallest fraction of the world's coffee production. This coffee bean has a tart, fruity flavor with a unique profile that has attributes of both light and dark coffees.
When it comes to finding your perfect blend, consider how you like to consume your coffee. Arabica is excellent for those who prefer a light coffee without having to add cream or sugar. If you prefer iced coffees or adding your favorite flavorings, Robusta's strong profile may be a better choice.
Explore the different options, and you will see for yourself that there's something for everyone in the coffee world! And if you have any questions,
we’re here to help!
Tips for the perfect cup of coffee:
Find yourself making more coffee at home these days? There’s more than one way to brew a great cup of coffee. Whether you prefer to use the drip method, a pour-over contraption, or a French press, we want you to get the most out of your favorite blends. Here are some pro tips to help you brew your best cup of joe at home!
- Store coffee in an airtight container, in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to preserve fresh coffee beans/grinds.
- Use fresh filtered water. Tap water can contain minerals, fluoride, and salts that can add unwanted flavors to your coffee.
- Do not use boiling hot water when brewing your coffee. Water boils at 212°F/100 °C, slightly above the recommended 200 °F/93 °C for brewing.
- If you’re using a coffee press, time your extraction. If you don’t brew long enough, your coffee can come out tasting sour; if you wait too long, your coffee can taste bitter and chalky. Four minutes is the recommended brew time for a coffee press.
- Lastly, clean your coffee making tools every day! Oils can build up in your grinder, so make sure to clean your grinder after each use and thoroughly wash your method of extraction (pour-over, drip, press, etc.). No need for soap, just make sure everything is clean of coffee grinds.
Whether you’re making a cup of coffee for yourself in the morning or entertaining with guests, we want to make sure each cup is as good as the last. Cheers!
Looking for fun ways to enjoy your favorite Lola Savannah coffee blends? With the summer heat in full effect we thought we’d share a refreshing coffee treat you can recreate at home.
Granita is a semi-frozen treat made with sugar, water and various flavorings that was first invented in Sicily. This popular Italian treat is simple to create with coffee and can be a tasty remedy for summer fatigue.
- Begin with 3 cups, strong brewed Lola Savannah Coffee and combine with 3/4 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract till sugar has dissolved.
- Pour mixture into a 9 X 13 inch pan and place in the freezer. The mixture will begin to look slushy after an hour, “rake” the mixture with a dinner fork to break up the crystals then place back in the freezer. Repeat this process, every 30 minutes until the mixture appears granular in appearance and is completely frozen.
- If you prefer a smoother texture, place the mixture in a bowl and vigorously stir with a fork till you achieve a uniform texture (about 30 seconds) then freeze for another 30 minutes, or until it is firm enough to scoop.
- Serve granita and top with fresh whipped cream or creamer of choice!
The variations are endless with this recipe, customize your own granita with one of our signature flavored blends or add a splash of Coffee Liquor, Irish Cream or Kahlua for a caffeinated adult beverage! Cheers!