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Vermont Coffee Scene and Barista things

By Bold Apps

Vermont Coffee Scene and Barista things

Tyler and I made our way to Vermont last weekend to take part in a couple of our favorite things, coffee and snowboarding.  This all came about because I (Tina) felt removed from our business.  I have a full time job outside of KAHA while I’m also in charge of our social media, newsletters, and blogs (most of the time).  Being pregnant, my brain just does not work like it use to and so I felt like I became a little out of the loop with our message and all things coffee and really just useless.  So what do you do when you feel out of alignment? You seek it. 

 

We booked a barista course at the Coffee Lab International in VT and decided that would be a great short course that I could do to gain more knowledge and add another element to our business.  And Tyler thought it would be a great opportunity for him to finally go snowboarding (since he’s already a superb barista).  :)

 

The Barista course at the School of Coffee is 2 days roughly 8 hours each day and goes into detail on everything that affects the ultimate cup of coffee.  From the way your customer is greeted to milk quality to the latte art, we went over it all and had heaps of hands on experience.  The course is an SCA certification at an additional cost as well. 

 

After consulting with the trainer he presented us with a fantastic idea – that we should offer barista training to our partners and eventually as a course.  Hey, why not?! Tyler and I are happy to announce that starting April 2019 we are adding a barista training as part of an incentive to restaurants and cafes whether you carry our coffee or not.  We’re still working out the details, as we want to make it custom to each café or restaurant depending on their equipment and desired revenue goals.  The profit margin on coffee is pretty substantial, especially when you offer more than just a drip coffee, you have the right training and offer a consistently good product.  Hey, it's worth a chat, right?  As of right now this is by appointment only and inquiries can be sent to Tyler@kahacoffee.com.  

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Goal Digging: Tips for taking it one day at a time

By kahacoffee Admin

Goal Digging: Tips for taking it one day at a time

This past week I wrote a little post about being patient with the process of getting to your ultimate goal.  Whatever goal you’re after, whether it be anything from career to health and beyond, our current atmosphere is one of little patience when it comes to reaching for that finish line.  We see our goal, we may or may not know what steps to take to get there but we want it all to happen ASAP or within a certain timeline.  Except, here’s the thing: life happens! Unforeseen situations/issues/opportunities arise and that shit can throw us off track.  Good or bad we have to be flexible and patient, always willing to pivot whenever we set out to reach our objective.   Easier said than done, aye? Here’s a few tips for when you’re frustrated AF (because we all experience it) and need a little reminder to bring it back in and continue chipping away one day at a time.

 

  1. Break down into actionable steps/mini milestones – I don’t know what it is about having a list and slowly but surely ticking everything off as you achieve it but damn, it’s satisfying. That list my be never ending as things pop up all the time but just having a plan set out in front of you helps tremendously.
  2. Ask for help or hire it if you can – Do some research and find someone who has done what you want to do. You probably won’t hear back from Bill Gates but there are other people (maybe start locally to you) who would most likely be more than willing to have a conversation with you or answer questions via email.  If you can’t think of anyone, ask a friend/relative/coworker/stranger if they know someone.  Six degrees of separation is for realllll.  
  3. Celebrate ALL mini milestones achieved – Did the laundry today? Treat yoself! Secured funding for a project? Treat yoself! Got your first client? Treat yoself! Acknowledging your accomplishments is a great form of self-care. Creating and harnessing memories of achievement significantly helps you through obstacles or times of self-doubt as then you can draw on those memories to remind yourself how far you’ve come and what you can attain when you put your mind to something.
  4. Stay in your lane – oh lawd, this one’s a doozy! In our current world, social media reigns supreme.  At any given time you log on to facebook, Instagram etc some influencer or wanna be influencer (Hi, it me!) who may or may not be in your industry is just totally nailing it.  Their feed looks on point, they post regularly but not too much, they’re getting awards and they are just so darn perfect that you obviously suck and could never be like them. Wamp wamp wamp. Spirit diminishes; dreams are put off, all because Super Fun Coffee Roasters is (seemingly) crushing it.  Well, News Flash my darlings – everything is not what it seems.  I know from personal experiences, going to cafes that look amazing online but their coffee is yuck, meeting influencers who online seem warm and fuzzy but in person are cold and guarded – it. ain’t. real. Get off social, use it as a tool for business or a way to communicate with friends and nothing more.  Another thing, these people or businesses you admire on social are not you and THAT is your secret weapon.  Blue Ocean Strategy is a great read for anyone in business who thinks it’s all been done before (because a lot of it has).
  5. Gratitude lists – So much to say about practicing gratitude I don’t know where to begin.  When you list what you are grateful for everyday, your world shifts. Don’t believe me? Try it.  You see and appreciate little moments and things as the greatest blessings and even though you may not have the car/house/income/body of your dreams you’ve got xyz.  A roof over your head.  Your health. A partner. A dog. A cat. Your children. Food. Great Medical care.  Clean water.  I use to think it was annoying when I’d be complaining and people would mention all these things I had to be grateful for BUT it’s the truth.  The car/house/income, it’s only going to amplify the person you already are – so if you think you don’t have enough right now wait til you have all that and still aren’t happy. Happiness is a habit anyone can cultivate, start with being grateful as much as possible.

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Rhode Island coffee tour part 1

By Bold Apps

Rhode Island coffee tour part 1

Booked a last minute trip to Rhode Island just for the hell of it last week and were lucky enough to stay at the Renaissance Providence Downtown Hotel.  Tina works for Starwood Hotels and Resorts and gets sick discounts on rooms and this was the first time we were able to take advantage.  We only stayed a night and unfortunately booked right in time for New England’s first big snow storm but hey, it was a great excuse to make it a café and eating focused getaway.  We had one dry, albeit cold day to walk around and explore Providence so naturally what did we do first?  

New Harvest was on our list but we were kind of walking around aimlessly when we caught that distinct coffee smell and saw a group of hipsters walking out a random side door.  Being the curious and adventurous couple that we are we decided to check out said side door - that looked absolutely nothing like it would lead to a café - but alas, it did.  Psyched, because our first coffee experience in Providence was disappointing (not going to mention the café name bc I’m not a dick) but we kind of knew New Harvest would perform! And it did!  Had a great cappuccino and the location is pretty cool, located inside a revived Arcade building filled with other small businesses ranging from vintage boutiques to salons and restaurants – Trust, it’s worth a visit!

Bolt Coffee we had been to before and not only loved the coffee but the atmosphere in The Dean Hotel is swanky, hip and relaxing all at the same time.  Casey and Kristin were on the bar and were so so kind to us – serving up not only great coffee but conversation as well.  Casey offered to introduce us to their Roaster, Justin and we look forward to that in our near future.  I also have to add that their donuts, by Knead Doughnuts (also owned by Bolt) were fantastic and just the perfect companion to a warm cup on a cold day.

The Duck and Bunny was recommended to us for brunch, which is exactly what we were in the mood for en-route home, in a snowstorm.  The google pictures of the restaurant food and coffee were the deal sealers.  We both indulged in Eggs-bun-a-duck and a cortado, which wasn’t on the menu but the barista whipped up a perfect one anyway :) Highly recommend this place! 

Learned (yet again) a valuable lesson during this trip, that social media can fool you.  I cannot stress this enough, if you’re looking for places to go, look at pictures that previous visitors have taken (google or yelp are good research tools) – those pictures are what you want to go by, not only the restaurants/cafes instagram feed! I hate being a debbie downer but I hate paying for a bad coffee or meal more :) ! 

Bonus* Dinner at Al Forno – holy shit. Just do it, so good. They make their own ice cream so be sure you save room for dessert! *** No pictures, ate everything too fast

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Puerto Rico Coffee Tour

By Bold Apps

Puerto Rico Coffee Tour
If you follow us on Social Media you already know we were in Puerto Rico for the holidays and got the opportunity to tour a few coffee farms.  With its rich history, pristine beaches, vibrant culture and all but lethal rum punches, what’s not to love about Puerto Rico?  It’s one of our favorite places to visit and after falling upon an account on Instagram (@collective_prospective) we had one more reason to love it even more: coffee!  Collective_perspective turned us on to the evolving specialty coffee industry of Puerto Rico and the efforts of recovery and improvement in agriculture on the island post Hurricane Maria.  We had planned on visiting Rincon for the holidays and made sure to carve out time to visit Sandra Farms and a couple other surrounding coffee farms.  And holy shnikey, that was one bumpy and windy drive I don’t regret!  The mountains of Puerto Rico, far removed from the bustling tourist hubs, is pristine, aromatic, a bit chilly at times, and full out relaxing.  En route to Sandra Farms a familiar smell wafted into the car and, I know what you’re thinking, and no it wasn’t from the rice and beans, it was coffee roasting!  Further down the road we fell up our first coffee farm:

 

Hacienda Tres Angeles

 We thought it was just a café but were delighted to find not only a café but a roastery, processing center, and farm – it was a full farm to cup operation! Eeeek!  Parking the giant jeep we were driving was a bit of a challenge but we managed to squeeze in between a couple vehicles, hopped out and curiously poked around the property.  Our noses led us right to the café where a roast was just about to drop.  We ordered a coffee and took a seat on the large deck overlooking the farm. Ahhh, bliss.

Sandra Farms

The highlight and reason we made the trip to the mountains was Sandra Farms.  Having been in touch with @Collective_Perspective about our trip he graciously set us up on a coffee tour.  We were met by Israel, the owner of the farm and escorted up a small hill to his home where Sandra, Israel’s wife was finishing up another tour.  Israel fixed us a couple of coffees and we settled in to listen to Sandra.  She discussed the history of the once famous Puerto Rican coffee industry and where it’s heading as well as what led Israel and Sandra together, the Peace Corps – cool!  Carmelo, who was very informative, led our tour of the grounds.  He graciously translated in English, as well as Spanish for the 15+ tour participants.  We were taken around the property viewing various plants, reviewing the damage from hurricane maria, as well as checking out their roasting and processing facilities. 

Hacienda Pomarrosa

We had planned to stay at Sandra Farms accommodations called Green Haven but they were booked which drove us to find somewhere nearby to stay.  Luckily we were able to stay at another nearby coffee farm, Hacienda Pomarrosa.  Having sustained a lot of damage to their crop during the hurricane, it was hardly evident upon our arrival; the lush gardens and immaculately manicured property were a gorgeous sight.  We stayed in one of five villas, villa geisha, overlooking the south side of the island and surrounded by rich greenery.  Breakfast was served in the morning and we had a lovely chat with the owners, Eva and Kurt.  I was most amazed to find out that their wooden villas were unharmed by the hurricane, Kurt is German and built everything himself – albeit one roof didn’t make it, I was still stunned! 

All of the farms we visited offer day tours and are a mere 2 hours drive from San Juan, and well worth the trip!

 

Also, on a side note, our 2 favorites for coffee in Rincon were Cafe2go (order a Tamboo coffee), and Friend's cafe (cappuccino) xx

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Five gift ideas under $100

By Tyler Workman

Five gift ideas under $100
Five gift ideas under $100

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Upper West Side Cafe Crawl

By Bold Apps

Upper West Side Cafe Crawl

It’s no secret to those that know us that we like to travel. We met while traveling and we tend to prioritize travel over almost everything when it comes to where we spend our money.  So when we found out Tina’s sister was going to be flying into NYC from Doha to sing at Carnegie Hall we couldn’t miss it.  Our first thought was to consult our NYC Coffee Guidebook and map out some spots to hit. 

Now, we were there during Thanksgiving and the weather was clear but oh so freezing well, technically, it was below freezing.  Negative 6 degrees Celsius is not the kind of weather you want to be hoofing around NYC (or anywhere) in.  Which means we didn’t make it to as many cafes as we would have liked, however, we did hunt down a couple near us that were superb and one we stumbled upon on our way to Times Square. 

 

1: Birch @ 884 9th Ave

A teeny tiny hole in the wall café serving up a great cortado and mocha (what we had).  I loved the size of this place with just enough room for 4 people to sit and a few more to stand in line for their order.

 

2: Rex @ 864 10th Ave

A little bit bigger than a hole in the wall AND it serves breakfast sandwiches.  Rex was just up the ave from us so we frequented this café quite a bit.  Killer flat whites and yummy sandwiches, what’s not to love?

 

3: Ground Central @ 888 8th  Ave

This place instantly caught my eye from across the street and even though I was 2 coffees deep already, I had to try it.  Coffee was on point but almost more noteworthy was the coconut donut I had, holy hell, it was 3 things D-LIC-IOUS!

 

 

Like I said, we didn’t get a chance to wonder around like we normally would have.  We were traveling with Tina’s family, making that 7 of us to coordinate and make happy.  We walked the highline and ate at some amazing restaurants, (Shout out to, Cha Pa's, Piacere, and Victor's cafe) although I hear the best restaurants are in Queens and the Bronx because Manhattan has ridiculous rent prices – not surprisingly.  We’d love to hear about your favorite coffee spots or restaurants (we love to eat) in NYC, drop a comment below so we can check them out next time we’re in town.  

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Put a little Pep in your Holiday step

By Bold Apps

Put a little Pep in your Holiday step

We’ve worked with a few foodies since we opened that have taken our coffee and infused it with their specialties, from Beer to cheese to steak and essential oils, the versatility of this magical fruit is seemingly endless.  Here are a few ideas, variations on classics, and new recipes that’ll be sure to add a little buzz to your holiday staples. 

 

  • Turkey Coffee Rub – tell tryptophan it can take a hike and give your turkey a little coffee spike!

https://abc.go.com/shows/the-chew/recipes/thanksgiving-mario-batali-coffee-beans-turkey

 

 

  • Cold brew stout “milkshake” – A little twist on a Southie classic.  1 part cold brew coffee, 1 part stout beer of choice, ½ ounce vanilla vodka

         Be careful with these, they’ll creep up on you! For more inspo, visit:

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/pitch-dark-coffee-stout-2268730

 

  • Brownies on crack – Who doesn’t love a good ooey gooey brownie?!  Toss a little coffee in the mix and you’ve got a stellar twist on an old favorite.

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/228863/extra-caffeinated-brownies/

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Cafe hopping around the world

By Bold Apps

Cafe hopping around the world

New Zealand

Welp, I could fill an entire encyclopedia with my favorite cafes in New Zealand bc they are everywhere and the majority do a knock out job at coffee and food, it’s a huge part of our culture.  It’s more common to meet a friend out for a coffee than it is to meet up at a bar. I won’t go through all my favorite NZ cafes cos like, I just don’t have time ok?! For now let me focus on my favorite cafes in Kerikeri, a smallish town in the far north of New Zealand and the place I call home.  

The best attributes, in my opinion, about Kiwi café’s are

  1. Indoor/outdoor seating as our weather is quite temperate year round
  2. Ordering food is easy as, you order at a counter and pay ahead of time then you’re given a number to take to a table with you and your order is brought to you by an employee of the café and then once you’re done, you can just leave! What a concept!
  3. Oh, and the food and coffee are on point, obviously.

My favs in Kerikeri (or Kezza as I affectionately call it) are:

  • The Rusty Tractor -  @therustytractorcafe on IG –
  • The village café -
  • Wharepuke – the most beautiful magical place, I feel like it’s closed down though, can someone confirm?
  • Honey House cafe – located on a historic site in NZ – beautiful walk to rainbow falls just over the bridge

Spain

We met in Spain and bonded over many a café con leche so this country holds a special place in our hearts.  This past April we were able to travel back to Spain to hike a little more of the walk we met on. We love to hunt out the best cafes while traveling, and in Spain there is no shortage. Naturally, on one of our longer layovers in Madrid we discovered, Toma café and with the help of an international plan and GPS we found it easily, and instantly knew it was what we were looking for.  Great coffee may have also had a stereotypical millennial meal of avocado toast as well, so yum. Check them out on IG @tomacafe


Puerto Rico

Ahh, magical Puerto Rico.  If you’ve been to the island you know it’s something special, and if you know Tina you know it’s her favorite place to be.  We’ve been lucky enough to visit a couple times since moving to the states and our last visit was a coffee treat! We stayed in San Juan, a quick easy 3.5-4ish hour flight from Boston, and found heaps of café’s that all served great coffee.  We were lucky enough to have had a friend of a friend who knew the owner of Cuatro Sombras, I’m so sorry I forget his name, but he gave us a tour of his café and barista school and even let Tyler play around on his Slayer espresso machine.  PR has a growing coffee industry and an already present café culture, I see big things happening for the island.


Our fav San Juan, PR cafes:


Café con ce

Cuatros Sombras

Don Ruiz

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