Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Smart Tea Making and Clever Coffee Brewing

Anyone who has been to our teashop probably knows how much I love the Smart Teamaker.  I think it does the best job of extracting the full flavor of the tea, easily, practically, and it's fun.  I use Smart TeaMakers to brew teas to go at the shop, and use them to brew my tea concentrates at the shop and at home.  What's great about the Smart Teamaker is that it allows the leaves room to fully open, and dance around in the water like they seem to enjoy doing.  When the tea is done steeping, you simply place the Smart Teamaker on top of your teacup or mug and a valve opens from the bottom to allow your tea to pour into the cup, extracting every bit of delicious flavor as gravity does its thing.  It is the placement on top of the cup that opens the valve; it never leaks or drips, and clean up is super-easy! 

For the next part of this post, I offer a disclosure: I love coffee.  Yes, I cross the aisle. I especially enjoy dark roasts like Sumatra and West Coast style blends.  I kinda like all things beverage, except juice and Southern Comfort.

Anyway, I have long been searching for the perfect brewing method for my morning cup of coffee.  (Yup, I start my day with a cuppa Joe, then switch to tea).   Well, I recently found it, and it's the brother to the Smart Tea Maker.  It's the Clever Coffee Dripper!

When asked about their preferred brewing method, most coffee aficionados recommend either french press or pour over.  The thing about the Clever Coffee Dripper is that it offers all the positives of both french press and pour over brewing methods and does away with the negatives.  Coffee offers full flavor when allowed to brew in a full immersion method, the grinds get to spend enough time in the water to allow for optimal extraction; and that's the benefit of french press brewing.  French press coffee, though, is often muddy, and I really don't enjoy coffee grinds in my coffee. 

Pour over brewing, on the other hand is believed to accentuate the subtle notes in the coffee flavor and to offer a clean cup of coffee.  Coffee shops all over the country are returning to one cup at a time manual pour over methods.  The downside to pour over is that in most cases, it's terribly difficult to control the amount of time the grinds spend in contact with the water, and oftentimes, the extraction is weak because water flows through too quickly.

That's why the Abid Clever Coffee Dripper is so... clever!

It works just like the Smart Tea Maker, allowing full immersion, gravity extraction, and delivering a clean and robust full flavored cup of coffee.  I am really happy to have found this method to brew a fresh, clean, perfectly brewed cup of coffee.  I also feel happy to have found some similarity between coffee and tea brewing because in this age of partisanship, it gives me hope to find common grounds, even if it's just in the beverage arena. 

Like, if coffee and tea can get along, think of the possibilities.

Anyway, the Abid is not widely available in the US, but we have 'em at The Good Leaf.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Last fall we started selling little rainbow mochis; kinda like the ones you get at Pinkberry (the frozen yogurt shop that isn't in Albany but everyone seems to know about it).  Mochi are confections made from glutenous rice flour; they're pretty sweet and have a consistency similar to marshmallows.  They are delicious and they are back in stock!  And they brought some friends with them.  Black mochis that taste like Chinese sesame donuts.  We also have some other fun snack bags that I don't think you'll find anywhere else in Albany - like Gummi Penguins!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Help us Help Haiti!

We will be donating 50% of the proceeds on all sales of Organic Assam and Cocoa Loco Verde teas to Oxfam for Earthquake Relief.  You can check out this site to see their relief strategy. Thank you!