Most of us at some point in time have made a New Year’s resolution list or finally committed to a goal to stick with all year long. From fitness to learning a new language, we all have our reasons why we choose January to start something new or start fresh. Setting goals for yourself is very important because it reminds us of the bigger picture and keeps us on track. I especially understand this rule from working in the fitness industry for over ten years.
If you’re like us and don’t necessarily nail down a New Year’s Resolution before the clock strikes midnight on December 31st, we’ve got you covered. Here is our list for how to make coffee your New Year’s Resolution.
History of New Year’s Day
New Year’s resolutions around the world are celebrated at different times of the year and vary from country to country. Today, some countries use the Lunar calendar and not the Solar calendar that we use in the United States which causes New Year’s day to be celebrated at different times of the year. The original New Year’s resolution was celebrated at the Tower of Babel during the Spring Equinox. In 46 BC, Julius Caesar started a new calendar that was synced to the sun instead of the moon which officially moved New Year’s celebrations from March 1st to January 1st.
Later on in the Middle Ages, the Christian church did away with New Year’s celebrations and traditions because of their pagan roots. As a result, New Year’s day was celebrated in Europe at different times of the year. Then finally in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII changed the calendar system again and restored New Year’s day to January 1st. The new calendar system that was made is call the Gregorian which we use today!
Polish American String Band at Mummers Parade on New Year’s day at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Each country across the world has an unique way to celebrate New Year’s Day. For example, in England at the stroke of midnight people open their back door open to let out the old year and ask the first dark haired man through the front door to bring three special gifts. As tradition, the dark haired man carries salt, coal, and bread into the home.
Each of the items have a special significance: salt means to have enough money, coal is correlated to staying warm, and bread is to have enough to eat all year long. Lentils in Brazil symbolize wealth and are customarily eaten on New Year’s Day. In Spain, people eat 12 grapes in the final seconds leading up to midnight. We all celebrate New Year’s Day in our own special way and kick off the New Year with something different. In our blog post today, we have created a special New Year’s resolution list for all you coffee lovers out there. So grab a cup of coffee and enjoy this read!
Try New Coffee Methods
People ask me, “is it hard to do a pour over or to make an espresso?” Well, if you can drive a car then you can probably make an espresso just fine. Though I have to say, making an espresso does take some practice but practice makes perfect right? Trying something new can be intimating and usually after we try it we end up saying to ourselves, “that wasn’t too bad, why didn’t I try this sooner!” It’s never too late to try something new and exciting. Start the New Year with new ways to brew coffee and break out of that comfort zone.
If you only ever used an automatic coffee maker at home, then the Bee House is a great place to start! It has to small holes a the bottom that controls the drip and you don’t have to worry so much with timing it. This pour over is small and easy to clean. It’s perfect for traveling on long weekend trips and makes a quick cup of coffee.
Pour over coffees and drip coffees should be dosed at roughly the same ratio to ensure even extraction of the roasted coffee in water.
There are other options besides the Bee House if you are a first timer at pour overs. (To get started, check out our Bee House Starter Kit in our online shop!) The Chemex is also an excellent choice to add to your New Year’s resolution list! This little guy comes in all kind of sizes and looks beautiful on the counter top. The Chemex is similar to the Bee House but is a little more sensitive to grind, pour, and water temperature. You just need a small scale, timer, and a Chemex-specific filter to use the Chemex. We did an entire blog over coffee brewing methods to make better coffee.
There are other great pour overs and coffee makers that make an unique cup of coffee. One of the best ways to learn how to brew coffee is go to a speciality coffee shop and watch the barista make your cup of joe. You can pick their brain and learn something new! One of our favorite things to do when we travel in Texas or out of state is try as many new coffee shops as we can and find to see what makes their coffee so special. Exploring your local town for some coffee is a great way to support local businesses and a great add to your New Year’s resolution list!
What better way to give back to the community you live in by simply supporting local businesses when you go shopping? Sometimes small businesses get overlooked by bigger companies that are franchised across the US or world. Mom and pop shops always seem to have an unique story about how they started their business. Even some big companies today have a humble beginning before their name was recognized by millions of people.
In the 1950s before Dunkin’ Donuts became 12,000 worldwide franchises, founder William Rosenburg started small. Rosenburg started off selling pastries, sandwiches, and coffee in Quincy, Massachusetts in his small restaurant. His small business’s first name was Industrial Luncheon Service later changed to Open Kettle.
After realizing that 40% of his sales were coming from coffee and donuts, Dunkin’ Donuts became the new name that we know today. During that time most donut stores only sold 4 different kinds of donuts, and Rosenburg decided to do something different by selling 52 different donuts throughout the year. It’s almost hard to believe how this big company started and the changes that came along the way.
Most businesses make lots of changes before the real staple product is finished. Currently, we are making some new changes and improving our product. Updating the label on our packaging, updating our website, bringing in single origin coffees, coffee tasting parties, and new merchandise are parts of our New Year’s Resolutions. Seth and I are BIG supporters for shopping local because it ultimately gives back to the community and helps continue to grow our town.
If you haven’t already checked out our online store, head over to shop.ciclismocoffee.com to browse our latest offerings and merchandise (more coming soon!). We post all kinds of blogs, YouTube videos, giveaways, share coffee news, and more. We really enjoy a good cup of coffee and want to share our coffee with everyone. Making a good cup coffee doesn’t take a lot of work, you just need the right tools to get you there and that’s where we come in.
As coffee roasters, we feel it’s our job to educate our customers about coffee and how to brew a good cup of Joe. The humble bean that’s found in our packages come from other countries that have a story to tell. We carefully roast our coffee every Thursday and make sure each bag we sell produces a well balanced cup of coffee. Having a well balanced cup of coffee is a game changer because now you can taste the full natural flavor of the coffee that was intended. We are always trying to improve brewing coffee, making cappuccinos, roasting coffee beans, and now making espresso drinks at home.
The Perfect Espresso
This year you should add finding the perfect espresso to your New Year’s Resolution list! At every speciality coffee shop we try their espresso and see if it blows us away. The more espressos you try, the more discerning your palate will become. If you never had an espresso, then you are probably wondering what’s the hype about it and whether you should add this to your list. Well, there are lots of reasons why to drink an espresso. After you drink an espresso with your pinky up high (if you want to feel more European) you get a rush of instant energy.
Making a good espresso over and over again does takes some talent. So hats off to all the amazing baristas out there, and thank you. It is a common myth that an espresso has more caffeine than a regular cup of coffee. Most people perceive bitter coffee as strong and high in caffeine, but in reality an espresso contains less caffeine than a regular cup of coffee. Each espresso drink contains around 30-50 mg of caffeine while drip coffee has about 65-120 mg per cup. One espresso has almost half the amount of caffeine in a regular cup of Joe.
Another reason why you should add this to your list is because a good cup of espresso will grow your knowledge about coffee. An espresso drink should taste thick, creamy, and delicious! Everyone tends to have their own way of making an espresso and how make the “God Shot” as it’s known in the ‘spro world. When making an espresso, you must ground the coffee beans to a fine setting (this is the opposite when you grind for a pour over).
The key to making a perfect espresso is to make sure coffee grounds are even across the portafilter and leveling the portafilter with an even, light tamp. After grinding your coffee beans, leveling the ground coffee in the portafilter, and tamping, insert the portafilter in the espresso machine and push a button to watch the magic show. Espressos are perfect if you are on-the-go or have limited time to drink some coffee. On the other hand, if you have plenty of time to brew a cup but less time to actually sit down and enjoy it, a new travel mug may be the answer for you.
I’m thankful for living in the 21st Century for many reasons but one of them is customizable travel mugs. You might think this is silly but if you rely on caffeine as source of energy every morning then you might give me an Amen here. You should definitely add unique travel mugs to your New Year’s resolution list!
We live in world today where we can order just about anything online and customize almost anything. You can get coffee mugs that fit on bike, travel with you on a hike, keep your coffee hot all day long, fit perfectly in your car console, and look really cool.
Bookman has created a cup holder that snaps onto handlebars so that bikers can cycle with their takeaway coffees.
This may seem blasphemous, but another add to your list is to get rid of mugs or travel mugs that you don’t use. Yes, it’s better to keep it simple and practical when it comes to coffee. At some point in my life I had six shelves of coffee mugs stacked high and more coffee mugs sleeping in my Jeep. As I got older and college started getting further in my Jeep’s rearview, I realized clutter can set your life back and doesn’t allow you to grow.
The space you live in tells a lot of what kind of person you are inside. Each New Year is an opportunity to a fresh new start and change. This new year be BOLD and explore new things in your life! Like new coffee and other things you wouldn’t even dared trying.
Explore New Coffee
This selection should be your number one on your New Year’s resolution list. On one of our blog posts we talked about where coffee comes from and how unique each harvest is produced. The harvest produced is affected by weather, climate change, and individual farmers which means you truly never get the same coffee even if it comes from the same farm year-to-year. That’s what makes coffee so special.
If you are not even sure where to start your journey, then hop into different speciality coffee shops or even travel the world to see how other cultures drink coffee. Each city we’ve traveled to has a different way of making coffee and unique atmospheres. This New Year get out of your comfort zone and try new things! If you are kind of person that only drinks creamer or sugar in your coffee, try just black coffee. You might be surprised at what you find in that simple little cup. If you always get the same kind of coffee, then try something new and go for it.
Our world is always changing and new generations that come bring something different than the previous generation before. That’s why it’s so important to try new things and see someone’s else perspective because it helps us grow as individuals. Growth can come from many forms but only getting out of your comfort zone will allow you to grow. For this New Year, we hope you find the perfect cup that warms your heart and share your coffee love with the world.