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Potatoes, Leaf Rust, and other coffee tidbits

2013 April 12
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by Ryan

Okay all, time to put your ed-you-mah-kay-shun hats on for this post. I have some things I want to talk about…

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On Sundays

2013 April 3
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by Ryan

So, as we have been advertising, we were planning on starting Sunday Brunch service this Sunday, the seventh. After much deliberation, we have decided to hold off on Sundays for the time being.

Why?

Easy. We’re not ready.

If you’ve been in recently, you’ll know that we’re stretched to the limit on staffing levels versus guest counts. This is a good problem, but one that we need to fix before adding an additional shift to the week.

We have people in here and are in the process of training them, but that takes time. And we would rather not have issues where we try to push the limits of our staff just to deliver a less-than-great experience for you.

So bear with us a little while longer for Sundays. We will be opening back up soon, but we want to make sure all the kinks are out of the system before we do.

Thanks for your understanding!

 

Jigsaw Puzzle

2013 March 7
by Ryan

Imagine, if you will, a jigsaw puzzle that you are assembling…

puzzleAll is going well. You have all the edges figured out and you’re inching towards completion. Piece after piece, night after night, you work on your creation.

Then you are down to the last four pieces. Right smack dab in the center of the puzzle.

And they’re not there. Anywhere. At all.

Now what? You have friends coming over to check out your puzzle. You know all you’ll hear is

How come you don’t have the puzzle done? You’re so close!

Frustration abounds. Both on your side and on your friends’ side.

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Changing locations!

2013 January 30
by Ryan

So it’s that time. That bittersweet time where we move our store.

Our new store is just about ready for us, but we need to take over some of the equipment and furnishings from our current store.

We will close our current store Saturday, February 9

Give us a week to get everything situated in our new digs across the street, and we should open our doors on Monday, February 18. (Barring any other evilness from the county, that is…)

In the meantime, to keep your caffeine intake high, the gang at the Post Office is going to keep coffee pots and bagged coffee available. We may be able to sneak some pastries over there on occasion!

Thank you in advance for your patience during the transition, and we hope you will enjoy our new home as much as we will.

Oh, PS: anyone with trailers wanna help us move our stuff? 🙂 Sunday the 10th is the big day!

The coffee scene in COS

2012 November 12
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by Ryan

So I’ve noticed a trend here in our fair metropolis. One I can fully get behind.

We are starting to see some SERIOUS coffee bars enter the scene. Yeah, I should be freaking about the additional competition, but I’m not. See, there’s competition and then there’s the drive to better your surroundings. Both can go hand in hand.

If you go to Denver, which is right on the cusp of being another Portland when it comes to the coffee scene, and ask any of the baristas about the coffee in Colorado Springs, you’ll hear an answer like this:

What? There’s good coffee in Colorado Springs?!? No way!

I can say with authority that this sentiment needs to change — now.

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On Gluten Free and the Bakery

2012 July 2
by Ryan

So while perusing our friendly neighborhood Internet, I came across a review of our store:

When I asked for gluten free bread they said they didn’t have enough room to offer it. How much space does a loaf of bread take in the freezer?

I would like to clarify some things about this statement and our decision to not offer gluten free items.

First, let me just say that freezer space really isn’t the issue. While we are tight on freezer space, we do not place our breads into a freezer–ever. Our breads are hand-created each and every day from scratch. Since there are no preservatives used in the baking process here, freezer or not, our breads will stale. And we’re not selling you that. At most, we have 1 1/2 days worth of bread to serve. Because, yes, even in the refrigerator, the bread will stale faster than we can use it if we make more than that amount.

But let’s get to the heart of the matter: the size of our bakery.

Our bakery

This is our bakery. No, not one side of our bakery, not one room of our bakery, our bakery. This is it. One 20 quart mixer, one oven under the prep table that’s smaller than a lot of your kitchen ovens, and storage. Sure, there’s a refrigerator and a freezer just out of frame, but that’s it.

In order to brag about scratch-made Gluten Free Breads and pastries, we need a lot more space. Everything that touches flour cannot be used to properly make Gluten Free items. Because of our “we will only carry baked goods we create” policy here, there is simply no way for us to not cross-contaminate a Gluten Free item.

As an aside, this size limitation is also why we’re always limited in pastry offerings: not only is this little oven the baking oven, all of our kitchen’s prep items (potatoes, bacon, chicken, etc.) come out of this oven, too. Our oven goes on at 4 in the morning, and it’s usually after 2 in the afternoon before it’s turned off.

And that’s just the bakery. Our kitchen, which is fully visible from the dining room, does not have the space or equipment to fully separate the Gluten Free from the non-GF items.

Do we want to offer Gluten Free breads and pastries? Of course. Will we in our new store? Absolutely.

Until we are in the new store, we ask that you understand that we are doing what we can with the space we have (which we have fully outgrown), and we are unwilling to make anyone sick because of accidental ingestion of glutens when their system cannot handle it.

We will happily steer you away from our baked goods and towards menu items that are gluten free by design. Please don’t hesitate to ask.

The Worst Kept Secret in Black Forest

2012 May 24
by Ryan

Well, as all of you who visit us frequently know, we’re pretty crunched for space. From seating to roasting to baking, we’re pushing every last square foot of space out of our very cramped environs and every usable minute off our equipment.

We’re tired of it. Just the way you are, I’d wager.

So, without further ado, may we present…

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Brewing at home

2012 April 10
by Ryan

So this weekend, while rocking a pourover bar at the Denver Urban Homesteading Indoor Farmers Market  (you know we’re up in Denver on the weekends? Right? Right?), I heard multiple people say that they really love the coffee but…

I don’t like to make it at home because it never tastes the same as when you make it!

“Hmmm,” I thought, “This sounds like a blog post in the making!”

Simply put, every coffee we carry here can–and does– taste just as good at home as when you get it in our store or at the market. The trick? A little more patience and tools on your part. Not break-the-bank, I’m-not-gonna-do-all-this-for-a-damn-cuppa tools, just a little tweak to your morning ritual…

  1. Run by your favorite retailer of choice and pick up a small gram scale. They’re usually found in the kitchen trinket aisle. WHY? Every coffee we have has various weights. Just eyeballing the amount used or judging by tablespoonful will not give you an accurate weight of the coffee–and knowing the weight of the coffee is half the battle. You’re already scooping the coffee out of the shiny red bag, right? This is not that big of an extra step. I promise.
  2. Next up, get yourself a good burr grinder. I’ve beaten this topic to death in other blog posts. Just remember: we only grind our coffee right before we brew it. WHY? Ground coffee stales very, very quickly.
  3. Next up: the weights of what you need to brew a good cuppa: For each ounce in your cup (typical coffee mugs you find in your kitchen are about 10 ounces), you want double that in grams of coffee. Example: 10 oz mug = 20 g coffee. Yes, this means that your Mr. Coffee machine really can’t handle anything over the 10 “cup” level or you’ll have a mess on your hands. For water, the Specialty Coffee Association of America recommends 17 grams water to 1 gram coffee. I think that number leads to a watery cup, however. I recommend a 16:1 ratio. Example: 10 oz mug = 20 g coffee = 320 g water. (Remember: 1 mL water=1g water!) WHY? Coffee is a soluble organic. It takes just the right amount of water to extract the solids necessary to bring out the best in your cup. Too much water: a watery cup. Too little water: a bitter, sour cup. Like your coffee weak? Follow these steps then add more hot water after the brew process to keep the correct flavors happy!
  4. Now you have to brew it. Here’s where the fun begins. Photo courtesy http://photokatje.com. Thanks again, Kat!Your Mr. Coffee, Keurig, or whatnot will brew fine. You just have to make sure the water is hot enough. If you want to get snazzy, which we recommend for best flavor, you can pick up various   sundry  pourover  devices from many places. WHY? Individual attention to your coffee will lead to a happier cup. Simple as that.
  5. Oh, and the most important part? Good coffee, roasted fresh. Nothing over 14 days off roast. Only buy what you can drink in a week.

Is it a lot of steps? Yes.

Will you get a great tasting coffee at home? Absolutely.

Is it still easier to wander up to the Forest (or Denver on Saturdays) and have us make it for you? Depends if you believe in what this webcomic is saying…

Stay caffeinated everybody!

4 Year Anniversary Time!

2012 March 3
by Ryan

Can you believe it? We’re almost 4!

Mmmmm.... cake.

Those of you that have been around for the other anniversary specials know what that means:

  • $2 Cinnamon Rolls
  • $2 Mochas
  • $1 Lattes*

We will celebrate turning 4 this Saturday, March 10!

And, we have the Weilands of Mass Destruction rocking their bluegrass that morning, too!

So you’ll get some amazing music, amazing cinnamon rolls, and amazing coffee at an amazing price.

When should we expect you?

*Please be nice to the people behind you in line and limit yourself to two drinks and two rolls per adult. Thanks!

And, from the bottom of all our hearts, THANK YOU for four wonderful years of serving Black Forest!

Do you Know Your Joe?

2012 February 23
by Ryan

In the food world right now, there’s a serious  push towards the farm-to-table concept. You get all the information about the farm in which your meal was created. You know when the greens for your salad was harvested, where the cow your steak came from was raised and on what feed, and every other random tidbit of information that the chef can find.

So why is it not like that in the coffee world? Heck, even the wine world is getting specific with vineyard, grape varietals, and the like.

Yet us here in the coffee world are supposedly stuck in the “Here’s some Colombian. What more do you need?” mode.

No more.

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