Meet Nine Lives Cat Cafe

If you are interested in my blog, I am sure that you are a coffee lover or tea lover. But are you also a cat lover? Do you want to drink coffee or tea while playing with lovely cats? Here is a good news to both coffee lovers and cat lovers, Nine Lives Cat Cafe comes to Indianapolis.

Nine Lives Cat Cafe is the first cat cafe in Indiana, which was opened on Jan.18, 2017. Here, you can interact with different kinds of cats, including active, timid, and quiet cats, while enjoying your coffee time. All of cats are from the Humane Society of Indianapolis, ranging from 1 years old to 13 years old. And these cats are adoptable for customers. In order to let customers have their favorite cats, the Human Society’s feline program manager Abigail Anders selected adaptable and friendly cats, which won’t be thrown off by the change in environment, to Nine Lives Cat Cafe.

In addition, Nine Lives’ staff have been trained by the Human Society to watch for signs of stress, injury or sickness. And some staff are always in the room with customers to help keep everyone safe.

As a coffee house, Nine Lives emphasizes local producers. According to a news report from Indystar, “Pastries come from Whisk Bakery  and Ezra’s Enlightened Cafe, while coffee comes from Brick House Coffee Roasters. Tea blends are from Nelson’s, including a custom blend featuring mint, blackberry, and catnip”. Some people may worry about cat hair in your coffee and tea drinks. In fact, the drinks are all prepared in a separated area. If you don’t care about these cat hairs, you can take your drinks into the cat room.

Since this cat cafe is really popular, I recommend you to make a reservation in their official website. And there will be $5 cover charge for an hour of time with the cats.

Location:1315 Shelby St#1, Indianapolis, IN 46203.

What is the Best Partner of Coffee?

What would you have when drinking coffee? A piece of bread, a salad, or a dessert? Different people may choose different food to make a best pair for their brunch or afternoon tea. Last Monday, I did a short interview with one of my classmates named Regina Kim, who comes from South Korea, about what she would choose when drinking coffee. Since she is a fan of desserts, she recommended the pair of coffee and dessert to me.

Regina thought Americano and cakes would be a perfect pair to her. “Especially for Americano coffee, which doesn’t have a lot of sweetness in it, so you need a sweet dessert to balance it”, said Regina. Since desserts have lots of categories, some of them are sweet, while others may not have lots of sugar in it, Regina recommended cakes with cream to me. She said cream cakes usually have more sweetness, which would be the best for Americano.

There are lots of cakes with cream in the dessert’s world. Here I recommend cupcakes for you because they are easily accessible in coffee houses.

I also asked Regina where she usually goes for these sweet desserts. And she recommended the Star City Cafe, which I introduced in one of my blog posts several days ago. Regina continued saying, “They have a really big cookie. It is almost like a muffin size but they sell as a cookie. It has really rich icing. I never tastes a great icing then they have because the icing is really sweet, so I thought it is not an icing, it is a whole another sugar on top of the cookie. And their coffee is always great”.

I think it is really smart for Star City cafe to sell sweet desserts and coffee together because the pair of desserts and coffee would balance the bitterness and sweetness. This is also the reason why Regina said Americano and cream cakes would be her first choice. Next time when you drink coffee, just try a cup of Americano and a cream cake such as a cupcake to feel the balance of your meal.

Caffeinated

Next week is Spring Break, I will go to Chicago to celebrate my 22 birthday with my friends. So I will not update my blog next week. But don’t be sad, I am going to introduce to you a movie so that you can watch it during the Spring Break.

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  • Name: Caffeinated
  • Release Date: July 14th, 2015
  • Duration: 1hr 20min
  • Directors: Hanh Nguyen, Vishal Solanki
  • Writers: Hanh Nguyen, Vishal Solanki
  • Genre: Documentary

“Every cup of coffee has a story”, says the poster for this coffee movie called Caffeinated. Directors Hanh Nguyen and Vishal Solanki took more than four years to capture those stories and make them into a 80-minute-long documentary. In order to learn about coffee deeper and find more stories behind coffee, directors took more than 160 interviews with coffee professionals from all over the world, ranging from coffee farmers, roasters to machine manufacturers.

The movie begins with a profile on the natural history of the coffee plant. It traces its origins to East Africa and the eventual expansion of cultivation to India, Central and South America, Asia and other highland tropical regions. A film reviewer named Eric Monder said in Film Journal, “Nguyen and Solanki dutifully cover how diverse groups connect powerfully to the drink”. Indeed, this movie shows that coffee has been integral to so many different cultures. Directors expressd these integration through people and their stories.

As a coffee lover, I like this movie because it shows something that behind a cup of coffee. Directors use lots of real scenes to show how coffee plants are grown, how they are roasted, and how they are made for customers around the world. If you are a coffee lover, it will be worthy to watch it.

Here is a gallery for some plots of Caffeinated.

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Do You Love Chinese Tea? (Cont.)

White Tea

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White tea derives its name from the distinctive white-colored appearance of the dry tea. Also, some people may say white tea got its name from the tradition of poor Chinese offering plain boiled water to guests. If they had no tea in the water, they would call it “white tea”. It belongs to the category of slightly fermented tea and is mainly produced in Fujian province. Tea farmers would select uncured buds and young leaves and put them into the minimal processing so that they are kept closer to their natural state.

When drinking it, you will taste its freshness, gentleness without any feeling of stimulation. Well-known brands of white tea are Bai Hao Yinzhen (upper left), Bai Mu Dan (upper right), Gong Mei (lower left) and Shou Mei (lower right).

Yellow Tea

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Yellow tea belongs to the category of slightly fermented tea. It is produced by allowing damp tea leaves to dry naturally, which results in its characteristics of yellow leaves with yellow infusion. Yellow tea is also used to describe the high-quality tea that was served to the emperors, as yellow was the traditional imperial color.

The taste of yellow tea is more rich and thick. In addition to the Chinese, fewer foreigners would drink it. Representatives include Junshan Yinzhen (left), Huoshan Huangya (middle), and Anhui Huangda (right).

Pu’er Tea

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Pu’er tea, originating from Yunnan Province, has an ancient history of over 2,000 years. Pu’er tea was listed as a geographical indication product by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine on August 5, 2008. It belongs to the category of post-fermented tea that can be made from green, oolong or black tea. The infusion has a brownish red color and its flavor is rich and mellow.

Pu’er tea is one of the most bitterest tea in the world. If you don’t like sweet tea, Pu’er would be your best choice. There are two distinct types of Pu’er tea: sheng Pu’er (the raw Pu’er) and shu Pu’er (the ripened Pu’er).

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After reading my post, would you begin to love Chinese tea? I suggest you try all these six types of tea when having chance. But it will be difficult for you to find high-quality tea in the United States, you’d better visit China and try local Chinese tea.

Do You Love Chinese Tea?

When I was preparing for this blog post, I found that there are so many types of Chinese tea. Since China is one of the origins of tea, each kind of tea has a long story. Today, I select six famous types of Chinese tea and give you a brief introduction about them.

Green Tea

Chinese green tea is the oldest and most popular type of tea; it has been enjoyed by Chinese for several thousand years. Green tea belongs to the category of unfermented tea, which goes through the pan-firing process right after the leaves have been plucked. This process enables the leaves to keep their original color and retain their naturally occurring antioxidants. According to recent research, green tea can help reduce the risk of cancer and slow down the aging process.

When drinking it, the fragrant taste of the tea will stand out with a little bit bitterness. Representatives include Biluochun from Jiangsu (left),Dragon Well (Longjing) from Zhejiang (middle), and Huangshan Maofeng from Anhui Province (right).

Black Tea

black tea

Black tea is the second largest category of Chinese tea, which is known as “red tea” in China. It belongs to the category of fully fermented tea. It is made from the new shoots of tea leaves, which are wilted, rolled, fermented, and dried. The resulting infusion yields a rich aromatic flavor.

Black tea will be more bitter than green tea. Younger generational prefer to add sugar or milk into black tea to make it have better taste. Representatives include Qimen Hong from Anhui, Dian Hong from Yunnan, Chuan Hong from Sichuan and Hu Hong from Hunan Province.

Oolong Tea

oolong tea

Oolong tea is a specialty from southeastern China, originating from provinces of Fujian, Guangdong and Taiwan. It belongs to the category of partially fermented tea, and thus falls between green tea and black tea. Oolong tea is mainly controlled by the pan-firing procedure. The bright yellowish infusion has a fresh rich flavor and a long-lasting aromatic aftertaste.

Since it combines the characteristics of green tea and black tea, oolong tea has the both the fresh taste of green tea and the rich taste of black tea. Representatives are Tieguanyin from Fujian (right) and Donding oolong tea from Taiwan (left).

Check back tomorrow and I will update the last three types of Chinese tea.

Meet Another World of Coffee: Latte Art

Around the 1980s, when latte art first took to popularity in the coffee houses around the world, only the upper echelon of barista could make art in their coffee drinks. Nowadays, it has become a hallmark of quality coffee houses in the world.

Latte art begins with two things: the espresso shot and perfectly steamed milk.ccc_milk_espresso

Then barista will pour steamed milk into the espresso shot, resulting in a pattern or design on the surface of latte.

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Although it may look easy to make a latte art, barista needs to practice for many times in order to make a perfect one. In addition, they should also have creative brains to produce different and unique latte art in order to attract more customers.

Next, I will introduce to you some basic categories of latte art.

Free Pour Latte Art

Free pour latte art involves the pouring of milk straight from a jug into a cup of espresso. While the milk is flowing into the cup, a combination of wrist and hand movements are used to bend and shape the way the milk flows into the coffee. The results will be like the ones below:

Etching Latte Art

If free pour art requires technical skills, etching latte art requires true artistic talent. It is the practice of drawing on a coffee with a thin rod, such as a toothpick, in order to create images in the coffee.

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Barista who skilled in etching can create anything from human faces to anime characters. Even any details of the portraits will not be ignored in etching latte art. Some represented art:

3D Latte Art

As the name implies, this kind of latte art has 3D effects instead of 2D. Here, I must introduce to you a Japanese latte artist, Kazuki Yamamoto. He is the person took coffee art to an impressive new level. When other latte artists around the world are creating flat images on foam, this 26-year-old specializes is building actual 3D foam sculptures. Here is a slideshow of Kazuki Yamamoto’s masterpieces.

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Community Coffee Company: 5.1 Million Cups of Coffee for US Military

According to Tea & Coffee Trade Journal, Community Coffee Company reached a new milestone in 2016. They shipped more than 5.1 million cups of Community coffee to active-duty military personnel through its Military Match program.

What Is Community Coffee?

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According to Community Coffee Company’s official website, the great-grandfather of Matt Saurage, who is the fourth generation owner, discovered the secret of making special coffee in 1919. Then Saurage’s great-grandfather named it “Community Coffee” in order to appreciate for his community of friends and the customers he served.

Four generations later, their passion is never changed. “From the moment our beans are planted to the moment our coffee is served, we are inspired”, Community Coffee Company says. They still select, roast and perfect great-tasting blends for coffee lovers in the United States.

What Is Military Match Program?

Over a decade ago, Community Coffee Company started a program called Military Match program to support US troops. When customers placing orders of grounds and K-Cup pods, they will double the orders for free and send the extra coffee to men and women who are serving the US military abroad. “Then, they can enjoy the tast of home wherever they are”, Community Coffee Company says.

You can learn more about this program in this video: Community Coffee : Military Match Program.

What Is Their Current Achievements?

Like I have already talked about at the very beginning of this post, they have shipped 5.1 million cups of coffee to US military. In addition, Jodi Conachen, the spokersperson for Community Coffee Company, said, “We include personal, handwritten notes from our employees and customers in the Military Match gift box to show those who are serving our country that we are grateful for their service and sacrifice.” Now, more than 2.2 million men and women who are serving in the US military can enjoy the coffee from this program.

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How Can You Participate?

Customers can order their favorite blends with a variety of sizes, formats and flavors in Community Coffee Company’s official website. In addition, they encourage ordering at least 30 business days ahead of desired arrival date for some overseas destinations.

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Personally speaking, this program is awesome. Since American soldiers sacrifice a lot in order to protect their home, other citizens usually don’t have chance to say thanks to their heros. Through this program, people can use a more practical way to appreciate these soldiers. On the other hand, American soldiers can feel the warmth from home by drinking hometown coffee.

This Military Match program is still operating, join them soon and send your greetings to US military.

 

A “Star” in Lafayette

When saying “a ‘star’ in Lafayette”, what will you think of? For me, the Star City Coffee & Ale House will come to my mind. It is a combination of coffee house, restaurant and pub, which was opened in January 2013 and located in 210 Main Street, Lafayette.

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outside

 

According to Star City Coffee & Ale House’s official website, Star City’s name is derived from Lafayette’s nickname in the mid 1800’s as the “Star City of the West”.

Walking inside, it is not a very big and bright place. Instead, Star City Coffee & Ale House creates a quiet, comfortable and relaxing atmosphere for customers. It is a really great place for people to do readings, meet with old friends, or date with significant others.

 

Looking at the wall, there are lots of decorations helping create the relaxing atmosphere, graffiti, posters, wooden shelves are included.

I did a short interview with one of the customers named Mary, she said she usually comes to this perfect place. When she has work to do, this place will help her engage in her work; when she doesn’t have work, she may choose a book from book shelf to spend a whole afternoon. She also mentioned that, “All of decorations on the wall can reflect that this coffee house has their own culture. If their walls are empty, I will feel boring.”

Since this was my first time to visit Star City & Ale House, I tried one of their black tea called Chinese Breakfast. One of the staffs told me the tea leaves they used were selected carefully. In addition, their coffee are direct trade coffee from specialty roasters across the United States. They are always proud of their coffee and tea’s good quality.

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In addition to the coffee and tea. They also have a separated area for offering beer and wine. Furthermore, they are offering some food and desserts to accompany with drinks.

Now, if I ask you again what is the “star” in Lafayette, what would you say? Star City Coffee & Ale House in the Star City of the West will offer you a new place to enjoy the life.

More photos of Star City Coffee & Ale House

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Can Coffee Kill You?

Can coffee kill you? The answer is yes.

According to Warrior Coffee’s official website, if you drink 80-100 cups (23 litres) in a short session, 10-13 grams of caffeine will be accumulated in your body. Too much caffeine in your body can lead to death. But before you reach this point, you will be killed by drinking too much liquid. Even drinking 23 litres of water can kill you.

Further more, the Mayo Clinic states that consuming more than 500-600 mg of caffeine a day may lead to insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, stomach upset, fast heartbeat, or muscle tremors. One of these diseases can disrupt your daily life.

However, the negative effects of consuming coffee vary from person to person. If a person has anxiety disorder, smoking habits, or alcohol addiction, the negative effects of caffeine would be compounded. In addition, the effects also depend on people’s weight. Here I use a caffeine calculator to show you how much coffee may kill me depend on my weight (115 pounds). And you can also use this calculator to find out your lethal does.

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Coffee has lots of benefits for human body. But drinking too much will harm your health and even lead to death. So controlling your quantity of consuming coffee is the key point to your health.