Maddie & Bella Visit New York

Coffee Fest 2013

So off to Coffee Fest NYC it is!  We arrived late last night and didn’t get much sleep, so we are anxious for some good coffee this morning.  The actual Coffee Fest doesn’t start until tomorrow, so for now we are on or own for sight-seeing – and (more importantly) to explore the delicious roasts of Midtown Manhattan.

Sorry, but we’ll pass on the brewed coffee in the lobby.  Thanks for the free breakfast, but we’re in the mood for something a little more…home grown.

Our first stop is Culture Espresso on W. 38th.  Just southeast of Times Square and west of Fifth Avenue, this tiny gem truly has a classic espresso bar feel to it.  There’s only three tables and a window bar, but since most people seem to come, meet for a great coffee and be on with their day, I lucked into a seat just as my pourover was blooming.  Culture EspressoQuick side note here – the weather was great on the drive up, and just as I sit down to take my first sip of coffee, the snow has started coming down.  Let’s hope we don’t get the 3”-6” they are predicting.  I went with a delicious Indonesian single origin from Sight Glass, and told him to switch it to Here instead of To Go just as the seat opened up.  Not only was the coffee great, but they are also playing some great tunes.  Having trouble with the wi-fi, but the Dr. John (Locked Down – a great album produced by the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach) coming out of the classic wood speakers sounds fantastic.

Well, the snow was quick, only five minutes or so.  Off to do some more exploring.  Check back soon for updates!

UPDATE 3.7.13 4:13 pm

espressoAfter getting some personalized M&M’s with Maddie and Bella’s names on it in Times Square, we of course had to have a pastrami and corned beef sandwich.  And what goes better after that than some cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery.  Two, no six, no 12, baker’s dozen!  Feeling full, we don’t want to be sluggish…so how about an espresso?  How about Buongiorno Espresso?  Located near our hotel, just west of the Theater District in Hell’s Kitchen, it’s exactly what you would expect from a quaint espresso bar behind the port authority.  Hand written menu, two small tables, homemade baked goods…and great espresso.  Also right across the street just happens to be a pork butcher shop that looks almost like the one in the Sopranos opening credits.

Stay tuned…Oh and by the way…the snow has turned to a rain/snow mix.  But we’re hyped up on caffeine, so we’re powering through!

Coffee: Nutritious & Delicious

Designed by Nicci Brown

Designed by Nicci Brown

Okay, so coffee isn’t exactly a food group…although it sure seems like some days I’m consuming more coffee than anything else. If you’re like me, there is very little that can deter you from enjoying your morning cup of joe. Luckily, I bring good news on this topic…according to research, your morning blend is not only delicious but nutritious, too.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ spokesperson Joan Salge Blake, MS, RD, LDN, coffee provides many health benefits, including improving cognitive function (wake up that brain!). Additionally, recent evidence suggests that folks who drink coffee have lower incidences of type 2 diabetes, dementia, stroke, depression, and certain kinds of cancer.

Some of these protective effects are likely due to all the antioxidants found in coffee. In the body antioxidants work to fight “free radicals,” which are nasty, highly reactive little particles that wreak havoc on your body (your body produces them naturally as a byproduct of metabolism). Free radicals can damage DNA and speed up the aging process, and they have been linked to cancer – which is why there has been so much hype about these helpful antioxidants lately.

The “experts” can’t agree on how much coffee healthy adults should drink a day, but most recommendations are based on the amount of caffeine consumed per day. Try to stick between 200-300 mg per day, or about 12-18 oz. of brewed coffee. Additionally, back in 2010 the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists announced that 200 mg of caffeine per day (about 12 oz of coffee) does not seem to have any adverse effects on pregnant women or on their unborn babies. (Hooray!)

One thing that is for sure, though – 8 oz (1 cup) of plain brewed coffee only has 2 calories. Even if you prefer not to drink it black, adding plain skim milk (or even small amounts of cream or sugar) makes coffee a better alternative to energy drinks and pop. Just be careful – what was 2 calories can easily turn into 450 calories with the addition of whipped cream, flavored syrups, and chocolate sprinkles.

That’s all for today – hope you all have a joyful, caffeinated Tuesday! Happy sipping:)

Hope, Resilience, Miracles and Coffee

We’d like to introduce our good friend Nick Hall, founder of Graham’s Foundation, for today’s post to talk a little bit about our new partnership.  Come support Graham’s this Thursday, January 31st at the Power to Grow event in Toledo.  Take it away, Nick!

In 2009, my wife and I founded a non-profit to honor the son we lost to prematurity and the daughter who fought so hard to be with us today. We created Graham’s Foundation to comfort and empower parents of preemies with care packages and educational materials, and an active online community that gives these families a place to connect, share stories, and ask questions at birth, in the NICU, during the transition home, and in early childhood.

Even though our work now includes international outreach, and we have been amazingly lucky to collaborate with companies like Pampers, so much of what we do still relies on deepening our connection with the local community. For instance, we’re proud to say we help address the needs of parents of preemies at ProMedica Toledo Children’s Hospital and Mercy St. Vincent. And now we’re excited to have the support of Maddie & Bella Coffee Co., which has created the Graham’s Foundation Miracle Blend (available at Walt Churchill’s Market in Perrysburg this month and at our January 31 Power to Grow event in Toledo)!

Maddie and Bella Thank You

We couldn’t have asked for a better tagline on the blend. “Roasted with hope and care for those long nights in the NICU.” Maddie & Bella Coffee Co. gets it. The nights are long, as are the days when you’re coping with prematurity. It’s partnerships like this – coming from within the community, giving back to the community – that empower us to grow as an organization and to remind the moms and dads who rely on us that support is out there, often right next door.

Thank you Maddie & Bella and all of those that will be enjoying Graham’s Blend!

Nick Hall

nick@grahamsfoundation.org

Coffee in Cinema

Coffee itself is a huge part of American pop culture.  With the Academy Award nominations just released, it got us thinking about our favorite “Coffee in Cinema” moments.  Obviously there are too many to name, let us know in your comment what you thought we missed!  Here’s our top five….

5. Coffee and Cigarettes

Pretty tough to miss one that has coffee in the title, let alone The Gza and Rza.  If only ODB had a movie about lattes.  Anyway, add in a splash of Bill Murray and you’ve got our Number 5 coffee moment.

4. This is Maddie, requesting flyby.

Negative Ghost Rider, the pattern is full.  And we don’t want to spill our coffee.

3.  Who is Keyser Söze?

Agent Kujan drops his Kobayashi coffee cup after he realizes….[spoiler alert!]   It pains us to see coffee wasted like this, but here you go.  And like that….poof.  The coffee’s gone.

2.  $&#@ $@& Jimmy!  This’s some serious gourmet $#@!

Parental advisory here for explicit lyrics.  Honestly, Jimmy and Jules may have been satisfied with some freeze dried Taster’s Choice, but not Maddie and Bella.  Nothing lightens the mood after a long morning of killing dudes like a little french press.

1.  Coffee’s for Closers

Enough said.  Parental advisory here for explicit lyrics.

Honorable Mention: More Bill Murray – drinking coffee straight from the pot in Groundhog Day, Pacino and Deniro sitting down for a cup of joe in Heat, and the Chief of Malibu throwing his mug at the Dude.  So what did we miss?  What are your favorites?

fin.

Sincerely, Maddie & Bella

Bailey’s: A Fresh Spin on Coffee Cream

Good morning!

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Nicci, and I am a lover of coffee (in particular Maddie&Bella coffee, obviously). I also have a Bachelor’s degree in nutrition, and I am currently working on my Masters in nutrition at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. I will be posting here from time to time to talk about coffee from a nutritional perspective. For more about me, you can check me out here.

Now, onto a topic that hits close to my heart…coffee creamer. As a nutrition student for the past five years and a soon-to-be nutrition professional, coffee creamer has always been a love-hate relationship for me…as in, I LOVE coffee creamer, but I hate that I inevitably add at least ¼ of a cup of the good stuff to each cup of coffee, resulting in about 150 useless calories. (I say useless because, let’s face it…coffee creamer doesn’t add any nutritional benefits.)

I am most certainly NOT the calorie police. Never have been, never will be. My mantra is a cross between “Everything in moderation” and “Everything you eat should have some sort of nutritional benefit.”  The exception to the latter statement is coffee creamer…it’s just delicious.

Drinking coffee should be a pleasurable experience. Life’s too short to drink crappy coffee. I would drink it black, but it’s just not as pleasurable as drinking it with a splash of French Vanilla or a hint of Caramel Macchiato or a dash of Peppermint Mocha around the holidays.

(I know that it’s not as pleasant because, until a couple of weeks ago, I decided it was a better idea to drink my coffee with skim milk and a pinch of sugar. Talk about blehk…)

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Luckily, I have discovered a wonderful secret: Bailey’s Coffee Creamer. No, it doesn’t yet come in sugar free (although I understand that it’s been requested quite a bit on the consumer side), and no, I refuse to buy it in fat free, but here’s the great news: There’s no crap in it. Yeah, the first ingredient on the label is sugar, but what else does it say? Cream. Real cream!

What?!? Coffee creamer made with cream? Unheard of.

No, really. I’m not just being dramatic. It’s actually unheard of. Go grab your bottle of International Delight or Coffee Mate. International Delight is made with “palm oil” (nasty stuff, full of one of the worst kind of saturated fats) and Coffee Mate is still made with partially hydrogenated oils (even nastier stuff that contain trans fats).

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I’m not saying that Bailey’s is healthy…I’m simply saying it’s the far lesser of three evils. As part of an otherwise healthy diet, 2 tablespoons of Bailey’s French Vanilla is totally worth the 80 calories in my book.

If you would like to see the other labels for yourself, you can see International Delight here (sadly, International Delight does not show their ingredient list) and Coffee Mate here. (On their website, Coffee Mate boasts a new “Natural Bliss” line. Looks intriguing, but I haven’t seen it in stores yet…more on that after I investigate later!)

Please note that I’ve written this from an ingredient perspective, not a calorie perspective. Yes, Bailey’s is 5 calories higher per serving, but I still like it better because it’s made with real cream.

For more info on the flavors of Bailey’s, check out their website here: http://www.baileyscreamers.com/. You can peruse all the different flavors (they do differ a little bit calorically). I did try the “White Silk Spice” holiday flavor…I have no idea what White Silk Spice is supposed to taste like, but I wasn’t thrilled. Their caramel flavor gets top points, though!

I was asked once about Bailey’s Irish Cream for an extra “kick” to a friend’s morning coffee…I liked where his head was at (ha ha), so more about the wholly unhealthy alcoholic line of Bailey’s later ;)

Freshen that up for you, Hon?

It’s a saying that you hear at diners time and time again.  Your coffee is getting low, so Flo comes by and says, “Can I freshen that up for you?”  Which begs the question – are they really freshening it up by pouring most-likely-past-its-prime coffee?  What does “fresh” truly mean when discussing coffee?

Today, we wish to drop a tiny bit of percolating knowledge in your cup by exploring when coffee truly reaches it’s prime – and how shortly after that it should be tossed aside.  To begin, we aren’t talking about how long it should sit in a pot on a warmer (not long by the way – and don’t microwave it – reheating coffee is bad for the taste).  We’re talking about how long after the beans are roasted should they be ground and enjoyed in whatever manner you make yours in the morning.

We’re going to assume that if you’re reading this, you appreciate coffee enough to grind your own beans.  IF the beans are fresh, and we hope they are, try to get into the habit of only grinding what you brew.  It is our opinion that coffee is best within 2-3 days of grinding.  So that bag of pre-ground coffee you bought in the grocery store last week?  Chances are, it was past its prime before you even bought it.

We do everything we can to make sure our coffee is enjoyed within two to three weeks of roasting.  After that, the flavor begins to drop off.  If you aren’t drinking Maddie & Bella coffee, at least do yourself a favor and look for coffees that have enough pride in their product to put a “Roast Date” on the package.  If they care enough to do that, then they probably care enough to roast a quality bean.

Oh, and one more thing….NEVER PUT YOUR COFFEE IN THE FRIDGE OR FREEZER!  It’s a common misconception that this keeps it fresh.  In reality, it takes away from the flavor.  It is best to keep your coffee beans in a sealed, airtight container.  So, that’s it.  Until next time, Happy Brewing!

Sincerely, Maddie & Bella

Coffee For Thought

We’d like to just take a quick second to thank you and welcome you to our brand new blog for the Maddie & Bella Coffee Co.  We’ll be talking about coffee – how to make it, drink it, enjoy it…and all other things coffee….and who knows what else.

We hope you’ll subscribe, check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and maybe we’ll enhance your coffee drinking experience every once in a while.

And yes, we are Maddie and Bella…and we are dogs.  Sisters in fact, Australian Shepherds.  Our owners just happen to love us as much as they love coffee, so we became the faces of the company.  That’s us in the picture above!  More on that later.  For now, enjoy our new blog, but most importantly, enjoy your coffee!

Sincerely, Maddie & Bella