Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Jolt from the Past: Coffee Memories

By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet
A Historical Testimony
The coffee was boiling over a charcoal fire, and large slices of
bread and butter were piled one upon the other like deals in a lumber yard.
--Charles Dickens (1812-1870)(1)

Coffee in different forms treated my pre-teen, green taste buds. My budding imagination took me to foreign lands where coffee trees grow and flourish and people enjoy coffee sophisticated coffee drinks. I observed adults sip coffee spiked with alcohol and non-alcohol. It was intriguing to discover a new spin on the beverage that was forbidden for kids like me to drink.
After one dinner party at our home, my mother (coffee must have been the gift that gave her boundless energy) served slices of cheesecake paired with a dark colored coffee in small white porcelain cups. I asked her, “What is this dark stuff?” She answered, “Espresso. I drank it in a bistro in Paris.” Since her trip to Europe, when I was in the third grade, she came back home with coffee attitude.
Served in a 3-ounce demitasse (espresso cups) the beverage presentation looked cute like something in an Alice in Wonderland scene. I wanted to taste the strange, dark brew, but was timid. It looked like the coffee cup picture on the cover of a French menu that my mom brought home from her trip abroad to France, Spain, and Italy. Actually, the Italian-sounding “espresso” word (which I incorrectly pronounced “expresso”) originated in France since the late 1800s and was appreciated in Italy later.
So, I shut my eyes (like diving off a block into a cold pool at swim club) and sipped the dark mud. “This tastes awful,” I exclaimed. I was still a kid (like a coffee plant that had not fully matured), what did I know? I swapped my coffee for a bowl of coffee ice cream with chocolate syrup.
At the same time, during the 20th century, coffee roasters and retailers were also discovering what titillated the palate of Americans. Coffee company pioneers understood the demand for the caffeinated brew, from coffee breaks in the workplace to coffeehouses. They knew that coffee had a place both at work and play. And these findings have been embraced and are now expanding to buzz-worthy health news effect of coffee to the mainstream audience.

Some of the noteworthy coffee producers of the world made history in the 20th century and paved the way for the 21st century coffee companies on the West Coast, America and worldwide. Also, what is so interesting is that many of these groundbreaking pioneers are family generation run and have ties back to the 1900s.
By the mid 20th century, coffee was a staple beverage in the average American home and on the road. The popularity of cars and highways made traveling more common, and stopping at a coffee shop or diner for coffee and a bite to eat was a trend that became a mainstay.  As a kid growing up in the fifties, my parents ordered coffee at coffee shops before our lunch or dinner made its way to the table. And after the meal coffee was served, too.

When I began my exploration to discover who’s who in coffee companies I quickly learned that there was a ready-made list compiled of well-known top coffee brands much like there is for leading chocolate companies...
Excerpt from The Healing Powers of Coffee by Cal Orey

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Perk Up! Fall into the Coffee Lovers Contest

By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet

Foodie Blogroll Coffee Lovers Contest
(Click link above to enter!)

Savor Goodies from

The Healing Powers of Coffee
Two weeks left to sign up on Foodie Blogroll. Foodie? Blogger? Join the Website and enter for free! Take a look at the coffee perks you can win!

"We are proud to bring you this giveaway with our friend Cal Orey, author of the Healing Powers of series of book.
Cal would like to engage the FBR community to share and promote her latest book "The Healing Powers of Coffee"(Kensington Publishing Corp.) part of the successful Healing Powers book series
For this purpose, Cal is going to give away copies of her latest book "The Healing Powers of Coffee" to 4 lucky Foodie Blogroll members!
Also, winners will receive Miss Ellie's Delicious Gourmet Coffee and Miss Ellie's Cinnamon Walnut Coffee Cake.
A total of $65 worth of prizes!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

COFFEE: Lose Lbs. on the Skinny Beverage

C H A P T E R 
                                                                                           1 0

The Skinny Beverage 

By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet

Coffee is a beverage that puts one to sleep when not drank.
                           --Alphonse Allais, French writer, humorist (1854-1905)  

My college and coffee days came with semester breaks. During one period, I was living a carefree Bohemian lifestyle in HollywoodSouthern California. I worked at 24-hour coffee shops as a waitress. The work kept me and my dog fed and the rent paid--and kept unwanted pounds off.   One weekend I escaped L.A. with my roommate and canine companion for a beautifying desert mini vacation.
We left Los Angeles to Palm Springs--a desert haven to get sun, fun, and dump five pounds with ease. In the morning, I woke up to a 12-ounce cup of regular brew (no Double-Double with double sugar and double cream and No Whip). It gave me energy to pool hop, visiting one hotel pool to another. It even gave me the brainstorm to sneak my water-loving dog, a black Lab Stone Fox, into the cold water, too. During the afternoon I tasted my first cold coffee drink. I ordered it at a café for the rich.  One iced café mocha--and cold water to go for my pooch. Not only did the chocolaty coffee flavor and temperature of the sweet beverage cool me down but the caffeine gave me more physical energy and zapped hunger pangs so I could continue to play and swim, enjoying the long days of leisure. 
            These days, at Lake Tahoe, I get my morning wake up jolt from hot coffee--all kinds. It gives me motivation to stay active and keep balanced.  Teamed with the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle, coffee works to keep moving. It's the Mediterranean foods, the pools where I swim--and coffee in moderation--that keep me from looking like a middle-aged spayed feline. I feel more like a healthy coffee plant but nourishing myself. But eating right and drinking coffee to keep off unwanted pounds is nothing new.

            Since biblical times, the health conscious have turned to juice fasting for its body-cleansing and weight-loss benefits. Natural fruit and vegetables flush toxins from your body. And they flush away fat, too. What's more, coffee can speed up the weight loss.          
           Eating this way isn't just about paring pounds; it's about cleaning out your digestive system. You'll not only feel thinner, you'll also look positively thinner.

Enter The Coffee Diet... (A Healthful Mini-Fast) 
Lose Up to 5 lbs. or More in 2 Days
 Since the thirties on into the fifties, Hollywood dieters have turned to the slimming power of this wonder citrus—and coffee. The grapefruit’s status as the ideal diet food was born when researchers found evidence that it contains fat-dissolving compounds. Further elevating the fruit’s status in the world of weight loss: It’s low cal, fat-free, fiber-rich, vitamin-packed and satisfying... [Excerpt The Healing Powers of Coffee by Cal Orey: *Chapter 10 has the easy coffee diet that works more coffee weight loss information!]

Monday, September 10, 2012

DIY Espresso Bar for Java Junkies Only

The Espresso Bar
By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet

Most of the coffee recipes and drinks that are popular at coffee shops and cafes today are based on espresso from the Old World. Espresso is not a coffee roast—it’s the way coffee is made by shooting hot water through ground coffee to produce an intense, flavorful beverage.  An Eat, Pray, Love film image of an Italian espresso bar (I adore this scene, a place I'd love to be in the real world) shows a crowded bar-like atmosphere with people standing and ordering their cappuccino to mocha to the barista, much like a real bar. Here is an espresso bar from A to Z:
  • Caffe Americano - this drink transforms espresso into more of an American brewed coffee. Start with one shot of espresso and add hot water to make a full 6-8 ounce cup. This results in a smooth, diluted version of espresso coffee.
  • Caffe Latte – start with a single or double shot of espresso in a 10 to 12 ounce cup. Tilt the cup and pour about 8 to 10 ounces of steamed milk slowly down the side. This floats some of the espresso to the top causing a swirling appearance. Sprinkle with nutmeg or cinnamon to garnish. As a common variation, latte can be flavored with Italian syrups such as hazelnut.
  • Caffe Mocha – made by adding powdered or chocolate syrup to a shot of espresso and blended. Add steamed milk to the espresso and chocolate mixture and top with whipped cream.
  • Cappuccino – is made with 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk and 1/3 frothed milk. Powdered cocoa or cinnamon can be sprinkled on the top as a garnish. To layer the milk and espresso, it’s necessary to allow the frothed milk a moment to rest and separate.
  • Doppio – a double shot of espresso. Doppio means “double” in Italian. A double shot would be about twice that of a single shot, or 2 to 3 ounces of liquid.
  • Espresso Con Panna – similar to macchiato, but whipped cream is used in place of the foamed milk. “Con panna” means “with cream” in Italian.
  • Espresso Romano – a single shot of espresso served with a twist of lemon peel. Contrary to the name “Roman”, this is not an Italian tradition. The lemon peel garnish is actually a US invention.
  • Espresso Macchiato – starts with a shot of espresso and then a small amount of foamed milk is spooned over the shot. Macchiato means “marked” in Italian referring to the espresso being marked with a spot of foam.
  • Mochaccino – similar to café mocha, but top with peaked milk foam instead of whipped cream.
  • Ristretto – the short or ristretto is a basic espresso shot extracted to a volume of only ¾ ounce of liquid. This restricted pour magnifies the essence and intensity even more than a normal espresso being marked with a spot of foam.
  • Straight Shot – a single straight shot of espresso, without any other ingredients, about 1 to 1.5 ounces of liquid. Espresso, when made right, will have a rich layer of golden crema on the top… Be sure to drink the espresso right away—the crema will only lst about 2 minutes and then it will dissolve into the liquid.

(Source: Courtesy of Gourmet Coffee Zone.)

September is National Honey Month

The Writing Gourmet

Out in the Honey Bee Field: One Sweet Day
I didn't get to visit Tasmania or even go to Bakersfield. I passed on visiting honey shops state by state, across America, as one individual suggested I do. Nor did I fly, from bee farm to bee farm, around the world to meet beekeepers and their honey bees. Still, I did go out into the field like a forager bee, and it was my day to meet Italian and Russian honey bees face-to-face...
By 10 a.m., both Seth and Simon, my Brittanys, are dropped off at my vet's kennel for the day while I and my sibling set out on our way to Reno for a day of honey delights. My brother Bruce and I are driving from South Lake Tahoe. There aren't any beekeepers around the lake, probably due to the snow. I don't think the high altitude bothers honey bees.

Hidden Valley Honey
Like two disoriented honey bees, my sibling Bruce and I get lost in rural Reno. It is windy. My sinuses are pesky, complete with a headache and sniffles. At last, we arrive at beekeeper Chris Foster's home away from the feel of the city, and I feel a calm of country.
I am greeted by Chris Foster, one nature-friendly man who is a former director of molecular biology at a small firm. Nowadays, the scientist gone beekeeper and his wife, Karen, are busy living working with their prized possessions: honey bees. In the house, I am also welcomed by a German wirehair, a sporting dog that puts me at ease. Everywhere I look there are reminders that I'm visiting a beekeeper. Bee books, fresh fruit, and jars of honey are all over. Chris tells me that his alfalfa from the Nevadan desert area produces a thick honey that doesn't spoil.
The beekeeper on a mission to expand his 60 colonies to more than 200 explains to me that he usually extracts honey twice a year. Fascinated by the bee-to-honey process, I cannot help but be distracted by the living room window. Outdoors I see a large backyard with bees warming freely around supers (the white boxes bees live in). A constant movement and buzzing outside in the one-acre backyard has grabbed my attention.
I see bees flying hither and thither. I thought they'd all be tucked away in a hive. Funny, though, the dog isn't bothered by the insects-and neither am I. Chris insists honey bees are gentle creatures. I believe him. I'm beginning to sense that this day is not going to be a chilling Killer Bees! Or Swarmed sci-fi film sequel. Instead, I'm feeling a sense of calm like Lily Owens, a character who finds solace in the world of beekeeping in the film The Secret Life of Bees.
The night before, I watched the movie Outbreak (Kevin Spacey's protective gear tears and he's infected with a deadly virus). So, I figure, Why wear a bee veil? A bee could crawl up my jeans and sting me if it wanted to do it. I think, I didn't wear flowery perfume or bright colors like a flower. They'll ignore me. My brother passes on going outside. (He doesn't like scary movies or honey bees.)
I follow Chris outside. I walk amid the bees. I have entered Beeworld. I secretly wish that I, too, could nurture workers and drones-and queens. That's when he asked me to come face-to-face with his 25 new queens ... but hey, I think, I am doing fine. No stings yet. Why push the envelope? I do not peek inside the containers of buzzing honey bees.
Back inside the house, we chat about local beekeepers. I am given taper candles, lip balm, and a jar of fresh local honey-with promise for helping my sinuses and allergies. Chris tells me that a lot of the honey he sells at the farmers' market is to people who buy the alfalfa honey to stave off allergies. I want to believe the honey bees that didn't sting me will be my saviors.
Bruce and I pick up the Brittanys, and by six o clock we are back home in South Lake Tahoe. When I walk up to the doorstep I see a big cardboard box with the label "Magnolia Honey." I feel like a bee entering her hive. Outside my kitchen window I admire the splash of yellow wildflowers. And like a preserving worker bee I find the perfect wildflower honey recipe to take me abroad.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Smell the Coffee! Coffee Lovers Amazing Contest

By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet

Coffee Lovers Giveaway Contest by Foodie Blogroll

 Meet the Woman 
Who Has Her Line of Coffee

            For Miss Ellie (Sisters Ellie Glidewell, left, and Emmie Thomas founded in 2008., a family-owned coffee retailer based in Fort Smith), coffee is the perfect way to pursue several of her passions while assuring that you get the smoothest cup of coffee available. When her step father, Bill McClure wanted her to be part of his gourmet coffee business——Miss Ellie said, “Sure, but I want to do it the right way, a way where the benefit gets spread around. Oh, and may have my own line of coffee?”
            Miss Ellie has her line of coffee, and the next thing she wanted was direct involvement in choosing the blends that would bear her name. As with everything she does, she is demanding and meticulous in the selection process, working closely with her roaster, traveling to out-of-the places, testing, tasting, sitting a spell and reflecting on it.
            “In the morning you want a good cup of coffee to get you going and in a good mood to run out the door,” she says. “The coffees I choose for Miss Ellie’s will definitely do that.”
            Then there was the business itself. See, Miss Ellie does not believe in ravaging the environment or misusing people. It is probably in the way she was brought up. Raised to do well and do right, she wanted those principles reflected throughout the entire Company. She found the perfect way to do this, through, an organization that helps coffee-farming families improve the quality of their lives.
            “This isn’t about just roasting a bunch of coffee and seeing who want to buy it,” Miss Ellie adds. “I drink my product. I am my own best customer. I hate horrible coffee. I am not going to let anything get to my customers that I don’t absolutely love. My name’s on the bag, and where I come from, you have pride in your good name.”
            Ellie Glidewell is a managing partner of She graduated from the University of Arkansas, Fort Smith, and loved teaching school before deciding to have a coffee name after her. 
Coffee History: The wholesale coffee products company began with the love of coffee. As the story goes, it is family-run business. As a retailer for coffee goods, this online company has everything a coffee lover could want, from a wide variety of coffee brands, types, coffee equipment, and so much more. The quality of products is standout and the following is strong.
Healing Powers:  When a box of goods was delivered to me, I was greeted with a coffee grinder, a must-have for getting the freshest cup of java. Premium roasts, from organic and fair trade coffee to a bag of flavored dark chocolate mint coffee were my new coffee friend. Fresh, organic, fair trade—these are some of the things that make coffee drinking a healthful thing to do.
My Fave Coffees:  A cup of organic medium roast coffee was the first organic coffee I have tasted. It’s a feeling you get when you eat organic produce that feels healthy. I can’t say it tasted different than a non-organic cup of coffee but the thought behind it is the same reason why I drink organic milk.
(Excerpt: The Healing Powers of Coffee: A Complete Guide to Nature's Surprising Superfood) 

Monday, September 3, 2012

September 6 is National Coffee Ice Cream Day

 The Power of Coffee
By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet 

Ah! How sweet coffee tastes! Lovelier than a thousand kisses, sweeter far than 

muscatel wine! 
                                                --J.S. Bach, Coffee Cantata(1)

More than a half a century ago, I was born in a Brazilian villa sitting upon a lush green coffee tree plantation. My mother and father were third generation migrant coffee roasters. So, I grew up in an atmosphere of a tropical delight. Playing amid the magic of coffee trees with white flowers, red berries, and green beans to cups of java was part of my Coffee World. My father Jack, from Italy, was a hard worker out in the field overseeing the coffee workers; and my mother Patricia with Spanish roots ran a charming coffee café.  That is my fantasy.
In the real world as a little girl (with a big imagination) I didn't live in Brazil, nor was I raised surrounded by coffee trees (actually an evergreen shrub or plant). Back in the fifties, I was born in a suburban neighborhood in San Jose, California--a place where coffee was bought in a can at the store and percolated in an electric coffee pot.  My life as I knew it simple amid houses with white picket fences, sidewalks, and planted shrubs and flowers. It came with two parents--my father was Scottish, my mother Irish Catholic, two siblings, a dog and cat, and the music of the ice cream man and milk bottles delivered on our doorstep. In our there was a European-style round table, wall oven, dishwasher, and salmon-colored countertops. I was familiar with the aluminum coffee pot--a constant in my parents' world. It created a strong, familiar coffee aroma wafting into my bedroom seven days a week, including Sundays, the day I went to church.
One fall day, during the priest's sermon, I, a seven year old kid, was desperately trying to stay awake. My mother whispered, "Sit up" and nudged my arm. The words "ice cream" was my mantra to help pass the grueling prayers in Latin.  After Holy Communion we were released and my mom treated me and my siblings to a local ice cream parlor. 
She ordered a large cup of hot, black coffee (not the kind she served to our priest when he came to dinner). My first coffee experience was in the form of ice cream. Since it was a flavor for grown ups, I felt like I was entering the land of forbidden fruit. The cold, creamy coffee ice cream was bittersweet. The flavor intrigued me. My taste buds didn't love it in my mind I liked it. This event began a Sunday ritual. I was hooked on coffee ice cream (maybe it was the caffeine) that ignited my journey into the land of coffee.
These days, coffee has a place in my grown up life as I know it. I wasn't raised on a coffee plantation, but coffee did have a way of permeating its way into my run-of-the-mill life in the suburbia--a place where it looked perfect but it was a place I yearned to escape to an exciting world.  And I got a taste of coffee and its healing powers throughout the years of growing up and blossoming like a young coffee plant with potential to branch out and away from its farm.
Today, I sit here in my mountain cabin, like a coffee tree in a high mountain elevation, and I feel the spirit of the fruitful plant as I work on The Healing Powers of Coffee. My kitchen is chock-full of coffees--all kinds--as I scrutinize each one like they are new, exotic fish in an aquarium. I am discovering the powers of coffee, and a world I've called Coffee World that I want to share with you.

--The Healing Powers of Coffee: Nature's Surprising Superfood (Nice discount!)