August 16, 2017

DoubleShot podcast and blog

DoubleShot podcast and blog
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I've been thinking a lot about running lately. As you may know, running has played a big part in my life. Perhaps not front-and-center, but behind everything I have done, there was a lot of running. It's what I do to escape and to think and to work things out and to de-stress. It's simple and painful and refreshing and adventurous, and I love it. I ran the morning my dad died. I ran the day my cat died. And I hope I'm able to run until the day I die. What does that have to do with coffee? Everything. I didn't learn about coffee just by working with coffee. It's been through a myriad of experiences that I've come to understand coffee and business and myself (still working on that).
I wrote a blog about coffee and running and shooting stars. You can read it here: 
https://www.doubleshotcoffee.com/blogs/doubleshot/shooting-stars-and-running-shoes-1
I also sat down and recorded another episode of my podcast, AA Cafe. In Episode 103, I interviewed documentary filmmaker and DoubleShot regular, Kyle Bell. Kyle is a Creek Indian and shoots a lot of inspiring video about Native Americans. Check it out on Apple PodcastsOr check it out here: http://www.aacafe.org/2017/08/episode-103-kyle-bell.html

Lastly, I wanted to let you know that Savoy Restaurant is now open Sundays from 6a to 2p. Savoy serves DoubleShot Coffee and is legendary for making all their food from scratch. You can now get breakfast any time of day there, which I'd say is a good call. If you usually drive downtown to the DoubleShot on Sundays, disregard this information. You can still get their delicious made-from-scratch cinnamon rolls here at the DoubleShot.

Drink more coffee.
Your roastmaster,

Brian
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August 04, 2017

Periodic DoubleShot News

Periodic DoubleShot News
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The Tulsa weather forecast is looking amazingly nice for this time of year. But it’s still summer and sometimes a cold coffee is the only thing that will hit the spot, especially as an afternoon pick-me-up.

If you’ve seen us pull a pour of our chilled nitro coffee and been reminded of a cool, creamy Guinness, there’s good reason. Here’s our frontman, Andrew, explaining what makes our nitro iced coffee so delicious:

“Nitro iced coffee is made using our coffee concentrate that we make in-house by using a 24-hour extraction method. We dilute the coffee concentrate and keg it up to be served on tap using nitrogen, similar to how certain beers are served, like Guinness or Murphy's Stout.

“The nitro iced coffee is interesting because of the way the nitrogen affects the flavor and texture. It adds a big, creamy feel due to the fine bubbles created by the nitrogen infusion, as well as a frothy head. It tastes as good as it looks! There even seems to be a small degree of added sweetness. We use a stronger ratio of coffee-to-water for nitro iced coffee than we do regular iced coffee too, so there's a caffeine bonus there. Nitro tends to be super chocolatey and smooth. I think our original iced coffee has more of a crisp texture to it, than the big, full-bodied character that nitro has.

“It's a nice option for someone who wants a chilled drink to sip on for a while, as well as a chilled drink that isn't made with dairy. We serve it without ice, so it doesn't dilute over time.

“Right now, we are serving our Panama Hartmann Natural on nitro and throughout the weekend. It has an added fruited character on the nose that intermingles with the chocolate tones. It gives me the impression of a chocolate-covered cherry.”


 

Fellow travelers: Bring us your soap

If you’re like me and have a mess of hotel soaps and shampoos to show for your travels this summer, we have a way to put that stuff to good use.


Youth Services of Tulsa, which helps at-risk and homeless youth and their families, needs travel-sized toiletries.

I’d like to collect as many items as we can for them over the next couple of weeks. Just bring in your unopened travel toiletries and put them in our collection box. We will make sure they get to the people that need them.

 

Coffee Q&A

Lastly, we’ve got more coffee Q&A to share. Usually when we’re talking about coffee deliciousness, we focus on all the complexities of aroma. But what about other aspects that affect how we enjoy a particular cup, like acidity and balance? Here’s some more from my Q&A with Kelly Brown:
(Don't like to read? Click here to listen to the audio) 

Q. When people talk about ‘balance’ in a cup of coffee, what are they talking about?

Brian: It depends on if you’re talking about a consumer or coffee-tasting expert, probably. The specific ‘balance’ word in the coffee industry is talking about how the acidity of coffee and the body of coffee relate to one another. If one is really high and one is really low, that coffee is  out of balance. To a consumer, I don’t think those things are as important or known about. I think when people talk about balance in coffee they’re talking more about smoothness and drinkability.

Q. Is acidity something I can taste?

Brian: It’s a sensation when you drink coffee. It’s not the same as acidy, as in you say, ‘I can’t drink this coffee because it makes my stomach hurt.’ That comes from acid as well but it’s usually from a different type of coffee, Robusta, which is really low-grown cheap coffee.  It’s in diners, cheap grocery-store coffee. Acidity that we are looking for that’s desirable in coffee is a brightness. So one of the main things I noticed when I first started roasting coffee was that I could take a drink of coffee and the coffee would seem to just explode in my mouth. It felt like it was alive. It’s different than when you drink milk and it has no acidity. It’s very flat. Coffee that is really good can have a great acidity and it just feels vibrant.

 Q. Sometimes when I’m drinking your Yirgacheffe I taste something that I would identify as lemon sparkles.

Brian: Yeah? (laughs)

Q. What do you think that is?

Brian: I think it’s a combination of aromatics and acidity. All these things work together.

 Q. What about ‘body’ in coffee?

People like to talk about body sometimes in coffee. People will come in and say ‘I like a full-bodied coffee.’ Body to me is a tricky thing. If I drink two coffees side-by-side, I can tell you which one has a heavier body. And I’m an experienced enough coffee cupper, which is a taster, that I can tell you what the body of a coffee is by itself. But the general consumer, I think, has a very difficult time discerning whether it’s a heavy-bodied or light-bodied coffee because it’s such a minute detail in the overall cup characteristic. I think they’re confusing body with how strong the coffee is brewed or how dark the coffee is roasted. I think sometimes when people say ‘I want a full-bodied coffee’ they really just want, for lack of better word, ‘strong’ coffee.

 Q. Do some people sometimes confuse so-called ‘strong’ coffee with flavor?  Like they might say that coffee is too strong meaning they’re getting a lot of flavor?

Brian: I’m not really sure that’s a thing. I think sometimes people are not really used to brewing the coffee correctly. Most restaurants skimp on the amount of coffee that they use when they brew coffee in order to save money or just because they don’t know better. Roasters who sell them coffee will tell them you only need to use half as much of my coffee, so a lot of restaurants will brew really weak over-extracted coffee. It tastes terrible but people have become so accustomed to drinking weak, bad coffee that when they taste coffee that’s actually brewed with the proper ratio it tastes a lot stronger than what they’re used to.

Q. What coffees do you serve at the DoubleShot that you would call full-bodied coffees?

Brian: Like I said,  I don’t really talk about that so much for the customer because I don’t think it’s actually what they are looking for in the coffee. But if somebody asked me for a full-body coffee I would probably steer them toward our Sumatra. The reality of the Sumatra is that it is a full-bodied coffee but the thing about it is that it’s extremely aromatic. So if I grind Sumatra, you can smell it from across the room. It has such a punchy aromatic to it that people think it’s big.


Do you have a question about coffee? Let us know. We'll sit down, drink some coffee and have a little Q&A.

Your roastmaster,
Brian

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July 21, 2017

A DoubleShot Q&A

A DoubleShot Q&A
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We’re starting a new occasional feature with this week’s newsletter. It’s a Q & A in which I drink coffee with someone and answer questions they have about that coffee and other coffee-related topics.

This week, longtime regular Kelly Brown and I sat down and drank a pourover of our new Nepal coffee and talked about taste. Coffee is one of the most complex flavor and aromatic compounds on the planet, way more complex than even wine. So even a simple question like ‘What do you taste?’ can get tricky fast. But it’s a good question and one that a lot of people want to ask but don’t.

So let us know if you have a coffee-related topic you would like to discuss and we’ll sit down over a cup of coffee and talk. You can catch the audio of this discussion at:  http://tinyurl.com/y7khkmoh

 

Q: (slurping) Okay, so Brian, tell me about this coffee we’re drinking.

Brian: It’s from Nepal. (slurping)

Q: Where in Nepal?

Brian: I don’t know. I’ve never been to Nepal. It’s from the center of the country near the Himalayan mountains.

Q: So when you drink this coffee, what do you taste?

Brian: I taste bitter (slurp). But not very bitter (slurp); some sweetness. Were you asking for the taste that I taste on my tongue?

Q: Yes, uh … are you tasting someplace else?

Brian: Well, taste and aromas are different.

Q: Okay, explain that to me because I just don’t get it.

Brian: Tastes are simple feelings on the tongue – sensations like sour, sweet, salty, umami, bitter. Everything else that you taste specifically like strawberries (slurp), or in this case, cocoa (slurp, smack), peach.  Those are aromatics. When you drink something like this out of a cup, it goes up through your nose and you smell aromatics and then there’s also a retro nasal aroma you get when you swallow the coffee.

Q: So when you talk about tasting notes in coffee are you actually talking not about taste but about aroma?

Brian: Yes. When I make the notes for the coffee, I try to pick out the prominent aromatics that are coming out of the coffee so people can know what to expect to experience when they drink it.

Q: Does everyone taste the same thing in a coffee?

Brian: No. Chemistry is tricky in that probably when you taste a peach or some cocoa it tastes different to you than it does to me. When we’re talking about aromatics in coffee being equivalent to those, it’s not those things being in the coffee at all. It’s a combination of amino acids and other chemicals that make up these aromatics. And so the way you sense them and the way I sense them are going to be different.  It’s possible that we’re going to experience the coffee differently. I think, in general, I can say that  a lot of people experience the same thing or similar things. I may say, ‘This tastes like orange,’ and you may say, ‘Well, it  tastes more like orange rind or lemon.’  But I think that there are some general areas that are stimulated in our brains that we sense as a type of aromatic.

Q: What can roasting do or not do for a coffee? Like if somebody doesn’t know what they’re doing, what can go wrong with the aromatics?

Brian: Everything. Roasting is such a touchy thing that I may bring a coffee up to 415 degrees but 416 degrees tastes dramatically different.  Or 414 degrees tastes dramatically  different – to me. And so that’s a quarter of a percent change in the end result of the coffee, but the results are dramatic. So you can imagine how using a different type of roaster or a different roasting process or a different roast curve can change the outcome of what the coffee is. I think that everybody has their own style of roasting coffee and I have my own style that I like and that I’ve developed over 20 years. And it lends itself towards certain coffees and those are the ones I enjoy drinking.

Q: Tell me about the first cup of coffee you ever had and what it tasted like.

Brian: The very first cup of coffee?

Q: Yeah. The first taste of coffee you ever had.

Brian: I’m sure it was Folgers or Maxwell House or something.

Q: Where was it?

Brian: I was a little child. I don’t know how old I was. Five or something? I would walk around the table after dinner and my grandpa or somebody else would give me the last sip of their coffee because it had cooled down. So I’d walk around the table and drink the last sip of everyone’s coffee.

Q: Do you remember what it was like to go from thinking what coffee tasted like,  which was _ I think a lot of us our first taste was something like Folgers _ to learning what coffee could taste like; what you serve here?

Brian: Do I remember it? Yes.  Dramatically. It was very vivid. It was the first time I roasted coffee really. I mean, there are these incremental experiences that I had throughout my coffee education. Like I bought a burr grinder, and I made a French press and then I went, ‘Wow, so you have to have a burr grinder in order to make good French press coffee. Now I understand why French press coffee can be good.’ There are a lot of these. But the main one that influenced me was the first time I roasted coffee at my house. I’m sure it was terrible, but it was the first time I ever had coffee that wasn’t stale. The experience of roasting the coffee and then putting it straight into the grinder and brewing it and drinking that coffee as fresh as anyone who has ever drunk coffee, just changed my life. Really. It was just an explosion of flavors in my mouth that I had never known existed in coffee.

Q: Getting back to this Nepal coffee we’re drinking _ Oh, you just finished yours _ what is so special about it?

Brian: It is grown in a place that is outside the tropics. All of the coffees that I have ever known of are grown between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn and high in the mountains. This coffee is grown outside of the tropics which is unheard of really. When I found out that Nepal was growing coffee, I assumed that  it was going to be terrible. Generally if something is grown where it’s not supposed to be grown, it’s not good. But I was really curious because I have always been fascinated by Nepal and want to go to Nepal and so I started scouring the Internet trying to find a good coffee from Nepal. And I came across  this one and they sent me samples and I cupped it and was shocked. Like I said, I did not expect the coffee to be good at all and it actually is outstanding. And the problem after that was that there is no one importing coffee from Nepal in the United States. So I had to go through all the hoops of importing the coffee myself and taking the risk of getting something that I didn’t expect. But it worked out. 
I’m excited because it’s a new origin for us and an outstanding one and I think that people should come in and experience it and see that coffee can be so interesting and and have different flavors. This is mostly a Bourbon variety.  But the fact that it was grown in a place that is not typical for Bourbons to be grown, or for any coffee to be grown, influenced the taste of the cup to bring out some things I’ve never had. I love it.

Q: Does it take practice drinking to coffee to start recognizing all these different aromas?

Brian: Yes. That’s one of the reasons I think that you should pay attention to the tasting notes I put on the coffee. I think if you read what may be experienced in the coffee and then pay attention while you’re drinking the coffee you’ll start to find those notes in the cup and then you can start making your own determinations, like ‘maybe this tastes a little bit like grapefruit.’ It’s fun to pull out things like that. It’s fun to look at the nuances of an object and find interesting things you didn’t expect.

Q: So if I taste things in the coffee that you don’t, that’s okay?

Brian: It’s okay with me. You may be wrong, but …

I’m just kidding!

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July 11, 2017

DoubleShot BIG news

DoubleShot BIG news
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Watch the video announcement - this is big news

Wow. 
Thank you to everyone who turned out this morning to hear me talk about the next phase of the DoubleShot. What a fantastic show of support for our little company. I am encouraged and excited about the future.

I put a kettle of water on the stove and measured out 33 grams of our featured coffee of the week into a V60 filter. I poured the coffee beans into my new Comandante hand grinder. And I started turning the handle in circles as the water temperature coasted toward 200 degrees. The feeling of this experience flooded my mind with thoughts and emotions. This coffee I selected from my cupping table and spent time learning to roast, now being sheared into perfect particles by meticulously manufactured burrs turned by my own hand, is taking its final journey... (read the latest DoubleShot blog)

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July 10, 2017

DoubleShot Announcement Reminder

DoubleShot Announcement Reminder
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Just a quick reminder to skip out on work for a few minutes and be at the DoubleShot Tuesday morning at 830a to hear the big news.

We want you to be here when it all goes down.

More information will be posted on our social media and the DoubleShot website.
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July 05, 2017

DoubleShot Big Announcement

DoubleShot Big Announcement
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BIG ANNOUNCEMENT

I will be interrupting business on Tuesday, July 11 at 830a to make an announcement. This is one of those moments in the history of the DoubleShot that you don't want to miss. Be here.

NEW COFFEE

This coming Tuesday we will also be releasing a new coffee. A very exciting new coffee from a new origin. From a place you didn't even know grew coffee. Excellent coffee. Coffee you'll only find at the DoubleShot. 
You will want to be here on Tuesday.
This is AA Café.
With each episode, I feel like we get better at this. At least I hope so. In the most recent episode of our podcast, AA Café #102, my cohost, Mark Brown, and I talk about pressure. It's the next variable in the series to uncover what each of the coffee brewing parameters really mean. One of our regulars, Michael Royce sits down to explain the technical aspects of pressure and what it means in his profession. Listen here.
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June 28, 2017

DoubleShot Independence

DoubleShot Independence
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Independence Day is next week. This is a very meaningful holiday at the DoubleShot. We celebrate the independence of this amazing country, as well as the independence of DoubleShot Coffee Company and our own individual personal liberties. I posted the DoubleShot icon above of the indian with a gas mask because I think on this day of victory for the unity of the republic, you must consider the age-old, god-given independence of our tribes. Living in Oklahoma, it's particularly interesting to contrast what we have with what we've taken away. Let's ALL be Native Americans this July 4.
Thank you to everyone who voted in our survey of what hours we should be open on Tuesday. I felt that the DoubleShot staff somehow voted more than once to be SHUT, but there were enough of you wanting us to be open that we are excited to demonstrate our independence by serving coffee. Therefore, this Tuesday, July 4, we will be 
OPEN 8a-3p
Holiday hours.

This is a popular time of year to travel, vacation, camp, road trip, and lay by the pool. Whatever you're doing, we have the perfect companion. Pick up a 375ml or 750ml pouch of our house-made coffee concentrate. Making coffee is easy. Use 2 parts coffee to one part water. Make it hot or cold. What a refreshing and simple treat. Available in-store and online.
I have an announcement to make.
This is the biggest announcement I've ever had to make in the history of the DoubleShot. I'll be interrupting our morning flow on Tuesday, July 11 at 830a to break the news. Be here.
If you usually come in earlier or later, be here at 830a. You're not going to want to miss this. See you soon.

Your roastmaster,
Brian
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June 22, 2017

Periodic DoubleShot News

Periodic DoubleShot News
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Tulsa Triathlon

I remember my first triathlon. I was in my early 20s and I signed up for an indoor triathlon at St. John. The race was run in waves, starting with a short pool swim, transitioning to a stationary bicycle, and ending with a run around their short indoor track. I was so nervous that I called my friend Chris Willis, who was a pro triathlete from my hometown, and I asked her a thousand questions. She told me to practice the transitions in my living room, to relax and not worry, and to have fun. So that’s what I did. And it was fun. And I think I did pretty well in that race. This was my first contact with triathlon in Tulsa and the local club, TAT.

This weekend is a big deal for area triathletes. The Tulsa Triathlon is taking place on Saturday and Sunday. They have expanded from the original “olympic” distance, to include shorter and longer distance races, as well as a kids race. As a sponsor of our local club, we want to wish the members of Tulsa Area Triathletes good luck this weekend. Several members of our Sunday cycling crew will be competing!

If you want to go out and cheer for the racers, or maybe you’re interested in getting involved in triathlon yourself, head out to Birch Lake near Barnsdall, Oklahoma and enjoy the excitement. Read more about the races here: http://tatraceseries.com/tat-tulsa-triathlon.html#myPage

This is one of the coolest items we've sold here (besides the delicious coffees). 
A couple of years ago, dissatisfied with all the hand grinders on the market, I started designing my own. I worked with a friend who drew up all the designs in 3D so I could print a working model. Time passed and more urgent matters prevailed until the whole idea faded into bits of 0's and 1's.
Then this past April, Andrew and I flew to Seattle for the Specialty Coffee Association annual conference. There we were on the hunt for new, amazing products. And we found this:
The
Comandante C40 Nitro Blade hand grinder. It is made in Germany, if that tells you anything. I took one home for camping and travel, but I've found myself using it every morning instead of my electric grinder, the Baratza Virtuoso. Read more about it on our website: https://www.doubleshotcoffee.com/products/comandante-c40-nitro-blade-grinder
Independence Day is just around the corner. If you know the DoubleShot, you know that we honor our independence. We also want to know what you want. So tell us what you think.

What hours should the DoubleShot be open on the 4th of July?
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June 16, 2017

Costa Rica Trip Report

Costa Rica Trip Report
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Father’s Day is this Sunday. You could buy your dad a tie or a book about golf or a new lawn chair.  But if you really want to show your dad you appreciate him day in and day out, you should get him something he’ll enjoy day in and day out – the gift of DoubleShot Coffee.

We have gift cards for sale in the store in any denomination or you can order them online in $25, $50 or $100 increments. And every time he’s transported by a delicious cup of our coffee, he’ll think about you and the fact that you turned out to be all right after all.

TRAVEL JOURNAL - COSTA RICA

This is the actual transcription of my travel journal from my recent trip to Costa Rica.

031417  456p

Sitting at a bar near my gate in the Houston airport. Had a big pretzel and just ordered a Goose Island IPA. I'm on my way to Costa Rica. Tonight I will arrive in San Jose and check in to Holiday Inn Express. This trip is different from most because – like my first trip to Costa Rica – I'm first conducting business, visiting Fincas Cafe con Amor and Sircof, and then going on an adventure. My first trip to CR I took my mountain bike and hit the road, eventually making my way back up to Hacienda La Minita. This time I will take a bus to the town of El Castillo, near Arenal Volcano, and run in an 80K (50 mile) foot race through the rainforest. I'm nervous, but ready for action I guess. I hope all goes well....

READ THE REST OF THE STORY ON THE DOUBLESHOT BLOG


(photos above courtesy of your roastmaster, Brian Franklin, and Grupo Sports Innovations)

Not listening to the AA Cafe podcast? That's silly. If you didn't know it, DoubleShot Coffee Company has one of the longest-running coffee podcasts on the Internet. In the most current episode #101, Brian Franklin and Mark Brown continue to discuss individual variables in brewing coffee. This time they visit the idea of FRESHNESS. Tune in at aacafe.org or search "aa cafe" on your podcast app.
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June 06, 2017

Tulsa Tough!

Tulsa Tough!
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Tulsa Tough is back!

This is a pretty exciting week at the DoubleShot and for Tulsa as a city.

Tulsa Tough is a three-day cycling event that includes short-track criterium races Friday night and all day Saturday and Sunday. There are also large group rides of varying distances that are really fun. I talked to the race director, Malcolm McCollam, and he is really jazzed about the pro men’s racing this year. There is going to be a level of competition we haven’t seen before in Tulsa.

I personally love to go out and cheer for our local Wheelmen, including personal friends and DoubleShot customers Chad Cagle, Mat Ankne, Ryan Gabriel and Will Gualt. The DoubleShot is a sponsor of the Air Assurance Development Team, and our friends and regular customers Jess Parker and Tanner Culbreath will be out on the course as well.

I’ll be out pedaling in one of the group rides on Saturday. You can find me in the DoubleShot kit. We are expecting a lot of cyclists at the DoubleShot this week, so don’t be surprised if there is a peloton’s worth of really expensive bikes leaned up on the sidewalk. Be sure to welcome all of these folks and wish them luck in the races.

Want to come get coffee, but don’t want to miss a moment of the racing action? We will be live-streaming the races Saturday and Sunday. Come relax in the air conditioning for a bit before you head out to the festivities.

  

Our featured coffee this week is Costa Rica La Minita. This is the flagship coffee of the DoubleShot. I’ve been to the farm many times. Andrew and Huxley also have visited La Minita, so hit them up for details when you see them. It’s an excellent coffee – a perfect cup, really – and will be available on pourover all week. Our pastry chefs, Rachel and Tyler, are pairing a tart cherry pie bar with the La Minita. Rachel says, “The freshness of the cherry pie bar complements the lemon and milk chocolate aromas in La Minita.”

 

We are also launching a paper newsletter this week. Keep an eye out for it: the tough issue.

See you out there!

Your roastmaster,
Brian

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