Sunday, March 01, 2009

coffee fest chicago 2-23-09

Here are a few items we would have chosen
for our coffeehouse, if we still had it.
We would not have
used these items for tea,
as we were selling bulk tea and
making
it in a french press when asked.
Still, the quality of this product looked
good,
especially for on the run customers.


When we were choosing what kind of chocolate
we wanted for our mocha drinks, we were looking

for something dark, creamy, rich and european,
as
opposed to either grrr-delli or hersheys, which is
what
we were offered as choices. I checked out Mont Blanc
which was fairly new at the time, but then sampled
Guittards,
and we stuck with that.
I'm afraid, if still open,
we'd use this brand.
Delicious, rich and not overly sweet.

When it comes to flavors, sadly in our area, we had
to have a wide variety, and stayed with Torani.

I'm afraid, we'd lose them and go with this brand.

Not only is the variety much broader, which leaves a door
open for more flavors in the
Italian Soda dept in the
spring, summer and fall.

What flavors did we try?

A hint of Lavender. Rose. Vanilla.
And a very small amount, went a very long way,
which means of course a better
tasting drink
and the product would
stretch further since
you'd use less
per cup. Very good for all concerned.
And we'd never seen nor heard of
this company before.

What follows is a short video of our time in Chicago.
We always start
at New Tokyo.
While there
we had some Lemongrass tea in
a new product
similar to the coffee french press.
These were
being sold at the show to stores by 2 companies.
One for $9.99 per, and the other $14.99 per.

We are on the lookout to purchase a couple
once
they land in the stores. We were surprised
New Tokyo already had them. They did not have
them on our previous trip.

Intelligentsia is down the street and
next door
is a bookstore. Sadly, they have closed and
will
no longer be in business. The clerk runs his own
silk screening business and we hope to visit him next time around.

The gentleman at the show at the espresso
machine is from India and we last saw
him
at the SCAA show in SF in '99.
He uses
a robusta bean, as opposed to an arabica
and gets very nice dark, rich looking crema.
I didn't like
the flavor of it myself then,
and was surprised
he's still at it.
Although, there are many who are
adding
robusta beans to their arabica for
the
crema you can get from it.

For those who do not know,
if you click here and look at
Nov 23, you'll see a bit about
our busy-ness venture.

Coffee Fest is not the mother lode for
coffee, the SCAA is. And that one we hope
to visit, perhaps next year. This is small,
whereas the SCAA has players from all
around the world, a lot of coffee people
selling their beans, as opposed to products,
although new products are shown there also.






26 comments:

Auntie, aka cagny said...

OMG,
I've never seen coffee look so sexy as it does in that 1883 Technicial Sheet photo.
And pardon my ignorance, but where is New Tokyo?
Thanks for sharing.

runmotman said...

Looks like you had a great trip...
so, where was your coffee house?

Kurt said...

Love the video.

R.L. Bourges said...

Thanks for the virtual sushi, cm! :-)

Squirrel said...

i wish i could have gone to coffee fest.

Squirrel said...

great video-- I miss Little Tokyo in LA, now I have to get my tea fix in Mitsuwa in Edgewater, New Jersey ~ which is okay, but it's not a whole area like Little Tokyo.

Café P11 said...

I think you are ready for a new venture in the coffee world. Passion is all that it takes, and you already have it. Good luck!

subtorp77 said...

Surprising to find the coffee fest not so crowded, unless you got there early. New Tokyo looks like a fine place to just sit back and relax. Have your cuppa( love that brew pot )and listen to the melodious tunes. Of cours ,you just had to get in the sounds of the city. Nice contrast,there. I think of all the places round here, that would be ideal for a "busy-ness" like this...

Colette Amelia said...

looks like it was a great trip. Do you think you would start another coffee shop one day?

Is there a feasible way to make a living with a coffee shop... how come the chains can do it?

I was always told that I should have a coffee shop...and it just seemed like a good way to work very hard for dubious rewards.

I guess the whole thought of having a business where people are relaxing enjoying a cup of coffee maybe having a great conversation is very appealing.

tony said...

Especially,the video I like.Ummm 'can almost smell the coffee.Welcome Back.

ArtSparker said...

I've been unable thus far, despite two email communications, to get removed from PB. I just devoted a post to the situation, which will shortly be appearing there I imagine. How did you get him to take you off? I also sent a complaint to Google.

-Sign me desperate

Avid Reader said...

Am making a cup of tea right now.

Dot-Com said...

Looks like you had a good trip :-) The coffee in the pictures look so good - I could almost smell it! Ahhh, now I'm tempted to make a cuppa, but then I won't get any sleep tonight...

Ani said...

Was nice to read about your trip, and the place you once owned CM. Your place looked like one I would have loved to haunt. I am an avid/compulsive baker and tea drinker (altho I do have a passion for fine espresso, I brew my own). I hope, in the not too distant future, to have a small establishment to serve my baked goods and pots of tea (will have a coffee of the day for those that prefer it). There is a chance the small store beside my husband's German restaurant, http://thegermancafe.com/, will be closing and it would present the perfect 'marriage' for us. I could do my baking in the restaurant and not have to fit out the new space with ovens etc which is soooo expensive these days.

I had a selective book and fine art prints store in the mid 1980s thru the early '90s that I dearly loved but sold because I needed a life outside of the store. I couldn't bear to hire a manager and still have to worry over if they were managing my store the right way!

Owning one's own bizness is not for the faint of heart but it is most desirable if you like to follow your own drummer. If you can find the means and have lots of energy then go for it I say.

Best, Ani

e said...

Thanks for sharing CM, and Auntie is right when she says that coffee looks sexy!

Coffee Messiah said...

auntie: Chicago ; )

rmm: Wabash, between city hall and the bookstore.

kurt: Thanks and 4 xmas. Will listen in Dec ; )

rlb: It's most delicious and very fresh ; )

squirrel: The SCAA is better and if U R going to spend a bundle getting in, better to skip CF. Too bad about the T situation. At least you can get out of town.

CP11: We can see the economy is hitting everyone. Not a good time to have a business.

subT: We were an hour early to see the Latte Art competition. It was much more crowded when it opened and as we were leaving later in the day. Great city sounds, ya can't make them up ; )

colette: No more business 4 us. That's what we thought and it did happen, people getting together, but the concept took awhile for people to catch on. We were asked to have a drive-thru and that rankled us, as you could well imagine. Didn't of course.

tony: Hey, Thanks! ; )

artspark: C email ; )

ar: Tea is very good, isn't it!

dc: Thanks for stopping by!

ani: Your place looks nice. We'll have to stop by if we get to that area again. Best desserts I ever had were in Berlin and outlying areas. I know what you mean about hires. Even if we could have, we wouldn't. We had one guy come in asking for a job late in the afternoon, wearing shorts and a t shirt, and looked like he just woke up. Never came in before or after, nor had any interest. How can people hire uninterested people? Thanks for looking and sharing!

e: Funny how ads look so good, isn't it? !

mouse (aka kimy) said...

great account! and love being brought along with the vid. will definitely be checking out new tokyo next time i'm in chi-town! my last visit there i went to intelligentsia on the recommendation of a friend and loved the place - great atmosphere along with great beverages and i remember even getting a quick bite which was quite nice.

the shots from the convention center made it seem as if it wasn't too crazy in terms of crowds, or maybe it was just when you were filming. definitely looks like a fun time!

Anil P said...

I'm quite amazed at the range of coffee available. Just curious. Would gulping down one coffee variety dull the senses to fully experience another variety when taken back to back.

Or is this something that comes from practice?

Marianna said...

Thank you for the video! I hope the food and drinks tasted as good as they looked on screen!

take care
peace and love
xoxo

Coffee Messiah said...

kimy: it was an hour before it all started. By all written accounts, the draw was up from last time they had it there. And there were young people everywhere ; )

anil p: If your palate is in good order, you can tell the difference in flavors and varieties of beans.

marianna: Thanks for taking the time to look ; )

the editor., said...

Hi! C.M.,
I hope that you enjoyed your trip to Chicago and the Coffee Festival too!...Btw,The coffee shop Intelligentsia, was featured on the Food Channel.

Take Care!
Dcd ;)

epiphany summersaults said...

If you're looking to buy chocolate you should look at a little company, well big now, since Hershy bought it, but it's a side company in Ashland, OR, called Dagoba Organic Chocolate.

Arcadia said...

Thank you so much for sharing your trip and your experience with coffee.I also love the words of T.S.ELIOT.I think that each cup of coffee has her aroma,impressive and irresistible.
Visit my blog

Coffee Messiah said...

dcd: Not surprised, they are everywhere. Years back, we found out about them, because there was a story in the Food Section (wed) of the NYT ; )

Cheers!

epiphany: I know about the company, but did not know they made syrups too.

arcadia: Thanks for stopping by and will stop by your place soon.

N said...

a coffee fest! omigod. i want to be there too.

those pics are amazing.

Coffee Messiah said...

n: As I mentioned, this is OK, but the motherlode is the SCAA ; )

Everything and everyone worldwide is there ; )