Tag Archives: Coffee

Triangle Coffee Pros Head to Seattle to Compete in US Coffee Championships

USBC 2014 Header

This is a huge week for the US specialty coffee industry and of course the Triangle is right in the thick of it. Tim Jones of Jubala Village Coffee in Raleigh and Jonathan Bonchak of Counter Culture Coffee in Durham head to Seattle this week to compete among the nation’s best baristas and coffee professionals in the 2014 US Coffee Championships (USCC). Scott Conary, President of Carrboro Coffee and Chair of the SCAA Competitions Committee is will also be attending the USCC on the other side of the counter with the competition judges.

Tim is putting his skills to the test in the US Barista Championship, while Jonathan is competing in the US Brewers Cup. These two gentlemen have been working tirelessly over the past few months to prepare to go up against the nation’s best. Please join me in wishing them both good luck as they wrap up their final week of planning. If you would like to follow along this weekend the event will be streamed live online here starting on Thursday. You can also track the action via twitter coverage provided by @SprudgeLive. Visit the event website for the complete schedule of events.

Untitled

Tim Jones of Jubala Village Coffee

US Barista Championship Explained (From the Official Website)
“The United States Barista Championship (USBC) is a platform for baristas to enhance their espresso beverage making skills through an exciting and challenging competition. In 15 minutes, the barista must prepare and serve espressos, cappuccinos, and a personally designed signature beverage for four sensory judges; all while being assessed on their preparation abilities by two technical judges. The USBC is more than a competition; it’s a place to develop community and meet other coffee lovers from across the US. Throughout the year, baristas from all across the country compete in six regional competitions to qualify for this national event and the winner of the USBC will go on to represent the United States in the World Barista Championship.”

Jonathan Bonchak of Counter Culture Coffee

US Brewers Cup Explained (From the Official Website)
“The United States Brewers Cup is an exciting competition that highlights and celebrates the fine art of manual brewing. Competitors are judged in two rounds by skilled coffee tasters. The first round is a blind tasting, the competitors all brew the same coffee on their chosen manual deceives. Those who advance to the second round will brew and present their chosen coffee to the judges’ panel. The winner of the US Brewers Cup will represent the United States in the World Brewers Cup Championship.”

USBC 2014 1

USCC 2014

US Coffee Championships – Seattle, Washington April 24-27
To learn more about the US Coffee Championships visit their official website here: http://uscoffeechampionships.org

3 Comments

Filed under Coffee, Events

New Lunch Spot: Kiwi Cafe & Smoothies in Wakefield

Kiwi Cafe Raleigh 5

Seating at Kiwi Café & Smoothies

Every once in a while there is a place I have on my list to check out and for one reason or another I just takes me forever to make it there. This was the case with Kiwi Cafe & Smoothies located in Wakefield by the Rex Wellness Center and Harris Teeter off Falls of Neuse Road. A friend on twitter alerted me to their opening several months ago and I’ve had them on my radar for a while. A few weeks ago I finally had the chance to check them out for lunch. I’m really glad I finally checked them out because I’ve been looking for a new lunch spot and I was very impressed with their offerings.

Kiwi Cafe Raleigh 2

Kale and Apple Salad

Kiwi Café offers a wide range of salads, soups, sandwiches and smoothies. What really sets them apart is that the ingredients they use are in many cases non-gmo or organic. They also offer gluten free breads, pastries, and cookies which can be hard to find in this area. My wife ordered the Kale and Apple salad which included fresh kale, spinach, sliced apples, carrots, berries, goat cheese, pecans, with a honey lemon-lime dressing. The salad was very fresh and made for a great lunch.

Kiwi Cafe Raleigh 3

Smoked Turkey and Gruyere

I ordered the Smoked Turkey and Gruyere sandwich which is comprised of freshly sliced smoked turkey breast, gruyere, cranberries, arugula-spinach mix, pecans, basil aioli. My sandwich was delicious and I would definitely order it again. I think it is important to point out that I ordered my sandwich as a panini, but what I got I’d describe as a lightly toasted sandwich, not really a panini. Still it was quite good. I kind of wish it came with chips or a pickle but to be honest I could do with a few less chips in my life.

Kiwi Cafe Raleigh 4

Coffee Counter at Kiwi Cafe

Kiwi also has a full coffee bar offering a full range of coffee and espresso drinks. They use an organic coffee from a roaster out in Greensboro called Fortuna. While I find this coffee to be nice, I have to admit it would be even better to see them use one of Raleigh’s local roasters to keep with their stay “local” theme. They also offer a selection of fruit smoothies. I haven’t had a chance to try one yet, but plan to on my next visit.

Kiwi Cafe Raleigh 1

Kiwi Café & Smoothies in Wakefield

My wife and I both really enjoyed our meals and I definitely plan to go back for lunch again soon. It is nice to have a locally owned place to grab a healthy lunch and I definitely recommend giving them a try. Kiwi Café is open Monday through Friday 8am-6pm and Saturday 8am-4pm. They are closed on Sunday.

Kiwi Cafe’ & Smoothies

11211 Galleria Ave
Raleigh, NC 27614 (map)
website: http://www.kiwicafeandsmoothies.com
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kiwicafeandsmoothies
twitter: @kiwicaferaleigh

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Restaurant Reviews

Jubala Village Coffee Turns Three!

Jubala Village Coffee

It’s hard to believe but it has now been three years since Jubala Village Coffee first opened their doors in North Raleigh’s Lafayette Village. Jubala’s arrival back in 2011 set the gold standard for 3rd wave coffee in Raleigh and remains one of my favorite places to enjoy a great pour over coffee or espresso. I’ve learned so much about coffee as a customer there and have enjoyed watching them grow these past three years. I’m excited for them as they mark their 3rd anniversary and even more excited to hear that they will be offering some very special menu items this week to celebrate!

Untitled

I plan to stop by on Tuesday for the Birthday Cake Wafflegato! This is a twist on the traditional affogato (which means “drowned” in Italian). A typical affogato is a shot of espresso poured over a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Just add a small piece of waffle to the mix and you have yourself a “Wafflegato” – I can’t wait to try one!

Cortado

Over the years I’ve tried a lot of new drinks at Jubala, but my favorite drink by far is the cortado. Cortado means “cut” in Spanish. The drink is an espresso “cut” with milk. Typically in a 1:1 ratio of espresso and steamed milk served in a four ounce glass. Perfect for when you want something more than a macchiato but smaller than a latte.

Jubala Brew Bar

My favorite spot to sit at Jubala is the brew bar, right by the pour over station. Even when they are busy, the baristas always seem to find the time to share about the coffee they are brewing. I’ve learned so much about the Counter Culture Coffee they serve, the origins of their different coffee beans and the art of pour over brewing while sitting at this bar.

Iced Latte

So make sure you swing by Jubala this week wish them a happy birthday and try one of their special menu items. While you are there give a shout-out to barista and Jubala general manager Tim Jones. Tim is representing the Triangle in the US Barista Competition at the US Coffee Championships being held in Seattle this April. Go team Jubala!

Jubala Village Coffee
8450 Honeycutt Road – Raleigh, NC
website: http://www.jubalavillagecoffee.com
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JubalaVillageCoffee
twitter: @JubalaCoffee
instagram: @jubalacoffee

2 Comments

Filed under Coffee

Celebrate Pi Day “π” ~ 3.14

piebird

Photo courtesy PieBird

Friday March 14th is Pi Day.  Pi (Greek letter “π”) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, which is approximately 3.14159.

According to wikipedia “Pi Day has been observed in many ways, including eating pie, throwing pies and discussing the significance of the number π. Some schools hold competitions as to which student can recall Pi to the highest number of decimal places.”

While I don’t condone throwing pies, and I am not aware of any local challenges to recite Pi, there are some great places to get a slice of pie on Friday. Below are a few suggestions!

Pie Bird – Raleigh
Known for their sweet and savory pies, PieBird will be serving up dessert pie slices at a special $3.14 price all day long Friday.
http://piebirdraleigh.com

Sugarland Bakery – Chapel Hill & Raleigh
Will be featuring numerous pies and tarts to enjoy at both their Raleigh & Chapel Hill locations this Friday.
http://www.sugarlandchapelhill.com

Yellow Dog Bread – Raleigh
In addition to their great breads, pastries, and coffee, Yellow Dog will have yummy fruit hand pies for sale this Friday.
https://www.facebook.com/yellowdogbread

Scratch – Durham
Scratch is “the place” to get an awesome piece of pie in Durham. They not only have exquisite pastries and pies but also serve excellent Intelligentsia coffee and espresso. Slices of pie will be $3.14 this Friday!
http://www.piefantasy.com

Pie Pushers Pizza at Cocoa Cinnamon – Durham
Not interested in a sweet pie? Stop by Cocoa Cinnamon  Friday evening 4-10pm for “Pi Night”. The Pie Pushers Pizza truck will be parked outside the shop slinging slices of gourmet pizza pie. If you still want something sweet you can always find some excellent locally made baked goods in Cocoa Cinnamon’s pastry case!
http://piepushers.com & http://www.cocoacinnamon.com


2 Comments

Filed under Food

Weekend Picks! March 7-9th

Untitled

Friday March 7th

Coffee Cupping & “Sustainable Spring” Beekeeping Info Session
Counter Culture Coffee will be holding their weekly FREE coffee cupping at the training facility in Durham this Friday at 10am. The cuppings provide a great opportuntiy to learn more about the different flavors and profiles expressed by different coffee. The tasting is followed by a tour of the roastery. As an added bonus Counter Culture is kicking off their “Sustainable Spring” series and will have an iformation session about Beekeeping after the cupping and tour.
https://www.facebook.com/events/503795603064143/

Saturday March 8th

Public House at The Cookery in Durham
Belly Up to The Cookery’s bar for is their second Public House Night this Saturday from 6-11pm! Sympathy for the Deli is roasting a pig and providing delicious dinner, and Iced Cupcakes will be serving sweet treats! The Duke vs. UNC basketball game will be shown on a 15 foot HD big screen. Great beer, wine and cocktails for sale at the bar. FREE ENTRY.
https://www.facebook.com/events/727847107240580/

Sunday March 9th

Durham Food Truck Rodeo w/ PitchBlak Brass Band
The Spring Durham Food Truck Rodeo is this Sunday from 12-4pm. The rodeo will host over 40 Triangle Food Trucks. Local beer will also be available for sale. Musical Performance by PitchBlak Brass Band out of Brooklyn. The weather looks to be beautiful on Sunday and it is sure to be a great time. After the rodeo head down the street to two of my favorite spots: Cocoa Cinnamon for coffee and Fullsteam Brewery for more great beer!
http://durhamcentralpark.org/event/food-truck-rodeo-4/

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Weekend Picks