Friday, February 04, 2011

Random facts (from my old jobs) that are still taking up precious brain cells:

  • Flavored coffees are not flavored at all. In fact, they're perfumed. The "flavor" is actually a trick of the nose that convinces our mouths that they're "tasting." Actually, too much of the flavoring can lead to a bitter taste in the coffee.
  • You should buy coffee often and treat it like it goes bad. Buy it about as often as your bread.
  • Coffee will absorb the flavors of anything around it. That's why it's so easy to "flavor." Keep it sealed in tupperware or another airtight container. Be careful not to expose your unflavored beans to anything you don't want to taste in your next cup of coffee.
  • Keep your beans whole as long as you can. Grind right before you use, that way you don't lose flavor.
  • There are coffee tasting classes just like wine tasting classes. Coffee tasting classes are called Cupping classes.
  • For a layered latte, add the espresso last after milk and a little bit of foam. The coffee will sit between milk and foam. A talented barista can use foam and espresso to create beautiful shapes in the surface.
  • Perfectly steamed milk makes a particular sound in the metal pitcher under the steam wand.
  • The light brown froth at the top of an espresso shot is called the crema.
  • A long pull is a shot of espresso with more water and tastes bitter, a short pull (ristretto) is the opposite.
  • An Americano is an acceptable, always-fresh alternative to brewed coffee and offers about the same strength with a slightly roasted flavor. It's just espresso plus hot water.
  • Chevy's sells three types of beans (pinto, house, black), but only their black beans are vegetarian.
  • Chevy's salsa owes its flavor to fire-roasting the tomatoes before it's made.
  • Chevy's salsa chicken is shredded chicken, while fajita chicken is grilled chicken breast.
  • Cheese will cost you extra with those fajitas, and yes, your server is trying to "up-sell" this to you to increase his or her tips.
  • Good tequila is 100% agave. There is no particular brand that corners the market on being the best; tequilas vary as much as wines (and coffees) in flavor.
  • 100% agave tequilas can be either Blanco--white, 100% agave, Reposado--100% agave, rested for under a year, or Anejo--100% agave, rested for over a year. Anejos have the deepest, smokiest flavors, while Blancos are pure.
  • Most people drink really crappy (read: cheap) tequila, which is (IMHO) why tequila gets such a bad rap.
  • Banana peels will always turn black when you freeze a banana with its peel on.
  • You can't juice a banana, but you can throw it in the blender with other fruit juice if you want to mix it in there.
  • Wheatgrass is actually the juiced grass of wheatberries. It's best to serve it with an orange to bite into immediately to cut the fresh-mowed-lawn taste.
  • Wheatgrass isn't really that bad.
  • Most smoothies are just glorified milkshakes with frozen fruit tossed in.
  • Tapping the side of a Vitamix will make the smoothie pour out perfectly into a smoothie cup. If the consistency of the smoothie is right, it will pour easily.
  • Walk-in freezers are really miserable places.

What useless information from your old jobs is stuck in your brain?


  1. oh my... that was a very enlightening post..... my only question.... do they have tequila tasting like they have coffee and wines??????

  2. 1. I need to get a coffee grinder (and a french press, lost that in my move back west)
    2. Love Americano's!
    3. A good tequila is right up there with Kettle One for me.
    4. I'm jealous of your useless knowledge

  3. Hmmm, so I'm guessing you worked at a mexican restaurant, coffee shop, and Jamba Juice (or something like it)?

    All of my old job knowledge is specific to the retail store I worked at.....although I spill out fabric care knowledge like no one's business!

  4. Since I worked with you at the coffee shop, I'll just say "Ditto" to all the useless knowledge you have.