Tuesday, June 28, 2011

summer reading.

morning, how are you?

has everyone battened down the hatches for this week of 102+ temps? assuming so, you will probably need something other than your facebook newsfeed (yes, there is another source of information out there) to peruse while avoiding the heat and humidity that might actually make you turn into a raisin. i have been cooking up a couple different posts of substance that will hopefully make their way into the world shortly, but until then, here are a few blogs/sites that i would add to your google reader. like now. there are two categories: local and long distance. enjoy!

austin evesdropper : tolly, that austin girl
hipstercrite : lauren
adored austin : indiana
newspaper blackout : austin kleon
greening austin daily : greeeeeen

long distance:
inspiratherapy : carolyn
bephotography : becca
sara dee : make pretty noise

who do you have bookmarked to check in on? there are tons of very talented austin bloggers out there, who's your favorite?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

vintage finds vol. 3

how was your week? if it's been anything like mine, you need just a second to slow down and catch your breath. i constantly need to take a moment and find something pretty, remember the world really moves slowly if you let it, then take off running again. so for today, a little something to remind you to capture those moments.

have a pretty and pretty caffeinated weekend.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

welcome to the family

not only is it friday, but it is also the day of reveal! i know you have all been waiting anxiously to find out what new 'big announcement' could possibly be made. well, there are few but i want to keep you in suspense, so for today - just one.

meet lolly.

i have a tendency to give things names of endearment, hence lolly. derived from la marzocco, clearly. i have been dreaming of the day when i have my VERY OWN, fancy, italian made la marzocco. as i near more and more to a day of open doors, little moments remind me that that day is nearing. today was one of those days. i'm still geeked out about it. i may or may not have had a mini photoshoot of the new equipment... you may or may not see those later. maybe. anyhow..

i had the pleasure of finding this gem through the ever-loving third coast coffee and our soon-to-be partner in crime, douglas (he runs a beverage supply shop. read: caramel sauce, chocolate, heaven). it was especially fun to head over to the roasterie and pick up lolly in good company. did i mind when they said, 'you need to take a picture!' no, no i did not.

enjoy your weekend. also, hi! this is my first official 'appearance' on the blog. it's good to meet you.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

pass me a cold one.

morning everyone, hope this finds you well as we hit mid-week.

it's been another hectic (read: fantastic and productive) week in the vh world so unfortunately blogging has been on hold. again. i promise to be more diligent about keeping you all in the loop.

as summer is upon us in full force and there is no break in the heat until october, it is officially the season of iced coffee. so we are all going to share in a little cold-brew tutorial. i know, i'm excited too.

i first fell in love with cold brew coffee while i was in LA. my favorite little breakfast joint made the most deliscious and perfectly weighted iced coffee. not too strong, not too watery. since then, i have been on the hunt for a roast/blend that will make the perfect cold brew for vintage heart.

i have mentioned before that i am in a love affair with my roasting company. everytime i speak with them i fall more and more. one perk of this relationship is getting to take home samples of the newest blends, freshest batches of seasonal flavorings and various roasts that fit the flavor family that vintage heart aims to provide. luke sent me home with the most recent batch of ethiopian yirgacheffe. i have brewed it both hot and cold at home in my humble little french press and both instances have provided exceptional depth. victory.

so, how does one french press at home on small scale, you ask?

there are several DIY cold brew methods, however i tend to stick to my french press. mostly because it's red and i think it's pretty, but also because clean up in pretty simple.

coffee beans
grinder (set to 'percelator' or 'french press')
french press
room temp (can be cold too, i just use room temp because it's typically more convenient and i think it hits the grounds a little softer) filtered water (i still haven't adjusted to the flavor of austin's water so i get snobby about the way it tastes)

before you head to bed simply grind up about 2 TBSP of coffee for each cup you are trying to make. i have a chinsey little grinder at home so i sometimes do more grinds than necessary, but when i pour it into my french press it has about 3/4" of grounds in the pitcher. //i usually fill my 160z tumbler, just to give you a point of reference as to how much that makes.

once you have put your freshly ground coffee in the pitcher and you have finished enjoying the aroma your kitchen now exudes, add your water. like i said, i usually fill my 16oz to-go tumbler so i tend to fill my press up about half way. (half of a 32 oz french press)

give the muddy looking mess a quick stir (use a wooden stirer if you have it. if not, no big.)and put your press lid on. DON'T press the plunger though!

let it sit over night and when you wake up, push the plunger down and pour over ice. bada bing.

now that i have given away all my of at home secrets, what is your favorite way to brew coffee at home? do you make cold coffee on your own? if so, do you use a different method? do tell.

stay cool, austin.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

stay sweet.

things have been a little hectic around here. hectic, thankfully, is a great thing. the busier i am, the more meetings i am having and the closer i am to opening my doors to you. all good things. this busy-ness does impede the blogging process though, as you can see.

i have mentioned before that when i get beat down by the numbers side of all the business planning, i have to take a break and work on design or a more creative side of the shop. tonight was no different. oh, and i'll let you in on a little menu secret.

we make our own syrups.

in an effort to create distinct and quality beverages, i have been working on perfecting a handful of syrups to make your day just a bit sweeter. my hope is that by making syrups in house, with high quality (read: organic, local and fair trade when possible) ingredients we can keep costs down on both my end and yours.

flavor of the night? vanilla bean.

i will, at some point, post the menus up on the blog/website, but until then: what are some of your favorite flavors? what would you like to see in the shop? do tell, do tell.

stay sweet.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

vintage finds vol. 2

hipster granny has struck again!

word travels fast that i enjoy surrounding myself with grandma-inspired things. a good friend of mine (whom you will be formally introduced to shortly, as they are a vital part of vh) and her mother had a bit of a house cleaning party if you will. with that came a multitude of great finds (and um, can we say free). i am going to post just a couple of my absolute favorites but please know there is much more where this came from. that and i can't give away everything before we open, right?

doilies, candlesticks, handkerchiefs (check out those colors. yes please) and cloth napkins

cloth napkins are to die for. when i lived in LA i had a good friend who only used cloth napkins. for everything. every dinner party. every luncheon. every everything. she even packed them on our surfing day picnics. besides being absolutely amazed at the sheer quantity she had, i was always impressed with how functional they were. now, granted, we are all used to cloth napkins in restaurants, but what if we added them into a few more areas of life?

i am currently trying to figure out exactly how we can use cloth napkins in vintage heart. this takes 'figuring out' for of a variety of reasons. let me give you a small view into the world of vh decision making. brace yourselves.

scenario: cloth napkin deliberation
first thought: wow, it would be really cool to try and integrate cloth napkins into vintage heart.
second thougth: hm, that would really cut down on paper waste.
third thought: i wonder exactly how many i would need..if each customer took one while they were in the shop..i would need maybe 300 a day? (which then leads to a thinktank on how many customers we can expect to have on a regular day, then dividing that into how many sit and stay and how many are to-go, not to mention all of the catastrophic spills that are bound to happen)
fourth thought: i hate laundry. who is going to wash these?
fifth thought: what if there are other granny obsessed people out there who steal them? is it worth the risk? it would be kind of cool to know they are taking a bit of vh home with them. wait, did i just encourage stealing?
sixth thought: i hate laundry. do i hire someone to wash these?

welcome to the chaos (my brain).

so, i'll ask you: what do you think about the practicality of cloth napkins vs traditional paper ones? do you feel like it would make you more conscious of what you are using? does it gross you out? do you think it's cool? let me know below!

while cloth napkins may not whip you into a verbal frenzy, i hope this little update at least provided a break from the non-stop day. oh! and if any of you stumble upon some vintage finds, do tell. sharing is caring.