Friday, January 30, 2015

Coffee heritage

Two weeks ago my Grandfather, Harry, passed away.  The reason I mention this on Caffe Bellezza's blog is because Caffe Bellezza wouldn't have come into existence without him.  He was one of a few people crazy enough to believe in our mission to bring specialty coffee to the people of the Triangle from a food truck!

Harry was a man that lived for a challenge.  When I told him I needed to get 10,000 watts of 240 v current through my little trailer to power our coffee equipment he chuckled and got right to work.  When I told him I wanted all of our counters to be custom made with wood from his farm in Charlotte he walked out to the kiln and helped me pick the best boards.

We sanded, planed, and glued together.  Although he had just been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, he did everything he possibly could to help me live my dream.

So here's to Harry Morris- a man who saw potential in the most unlikely of people and helped see our project through to the very end.

Thanks, Grandpa.  You will be missed.

Harry T. Morris

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Pourover- why so slow?

An element of coffee brewing that is near and dear to our hearts here at Caffe Bellezza is the pourover.  It's how we make our coffee at home.  It's simple in essence, yet takes a level of skill and precision that many baristas can appreciate and not all do well.  But every week we get at least one or two customers who go: "Why is this taking so long?"  and "Why would you introduce this brewing process into your mobile cafe?"

There's a few reasons why we do it, despite the fact that it takes longer than most people have been trained to wait.

First, there are problems associated with "batch brewing."  This is the process that allows customers to just come up and grab a quick cup.  Baristas have to brew the coffee ahead of time despite knowing how much coffee to make- so the result is often waste and a lack of freshness.  Coffee is precious!  The other problem is when you brew in a large batch, you miss out on the opportunity to tailor your brewing process based on the coffee itself.  Not all coffee is the same (we're talking size of bean, variety, species, density, roast level, processing method, WOW!)!  Yet in a batch brew, all coffees are treated the same (and abused the same!).  The biggest problem with batch brewing is the wrong expectations that it creates in our customers.  Coffee should not be cheap and ready whenever I want it.  It has taken many skilled hands months to grow, harvest, process, roast and brew- and acting like it's simply a warm version of a Red Bull is so sad!  Coffee should be savored and appreciated, respected and adored for all the love and effort that has been put into it.

Thank you to all of our talented farmers and roasters who have worked so hard to bring us the best coffees they can.  May we always treat coffee with the respect it deserves!  Try a pourover of our rotating single origins the next time you see our truck!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Homemade caramel!

With Father’s Day coming up this weekend, Tim and I started brainstorming a special drink. Tim thought it would be fun to feature a drink with caramel sauce in it, and I thought it would be fun to try making the caramel sauce myself. And also a little scary. So, I found a recipe with only four ingredients (simplicity is the best!) and jumped right in.

My first batch turned out great—it didn’t even turn into a gooey, burned, stuck-to-the-pan mess like I was a little afraid it would! Tim taste tested it, we tried it in some drinks, and decided the recipe was a success.

Since we’re featuring this caramel-y deliciousness at the Hunt Street Market tomorrow and at the Rodeo on Sunday, I made a second batch this afternoon, and I snapped some photos of the process! We can’t wait to serve this awesome drink, which we’re calling Daddy’s Day Delight! It combines our unique espresso, cold milk and caramel with ice and gets shaken until frothy.


Sugar warming up

Sugar at 350 degrees with butter and cream

Finished product: caramel masterpiece

TA-DA! Caramel!  Make sure to try it out in our new Daddy's Day Delight and after Father's Day we'll call it our Caramel Cocktail.

See you tomorrow!