Author: Sputnik Coffee Blog

How to pronounce those difficult coffee terms

Let’s face it. We’ve all been caught in this difficult situation before. Walking in to your favorite coffee place, you immediately notice a new 4×5 or whatever sized coffee design you’re like oh hell yes! They’re offering a new single-origin!

Ngunguru. Oh no, is the G silent or is the N silent? How to I order my pour over without sounding crass… Shit, I’m up next…

“Hi! I’d like to get an iced almond latte please!”

NOOOOO! What I really wanted was the “Na-gung-guru”?

I came across a funny Sprudge article, “How to Pronounce Difficult Coffee Terms” and got a really good laugh out of it. Check it out! Here are some of the guides that were posted in the article:

By the way, this is how Ngunguru is correctly pronounced:

05.28.14 First Latte Art Attempt of the Day

Hey guys!

I’m doing a new segment where its just a first take, first latte art attempt of the day! It could be the dopest rosetta or maybe even a 16 layer tulip, but hopefully it won’t just be a total FLOP.

No pressure.

Coffee Ice Spheres

Keep your cold brews cold without worrying about your ice diluting your meticulously crafted drink.

Ice Molds can be found here:

How to Make Green Smoothies with a Cheap Blender

You don’t need a $600 Vitamix to make really smooth green smoothies using fibrous greens (although it would be nice!). Just make sure to blend the greens with your liquid first and do it on a low speed. Once your greens are blended, add your frozen fruits and/or ice and then blend on a high speed to give your smoothies a smooth texture that’s comparable to expensive blenders.

Here’s what you need to make Kale and Parsley smoothies for 2:

1c             Orange Juice

3 oz         Kale

.5-1 oz     Parsley

1               Frozen Banana

3 oz         Frozen Pineapple

…and a few ice cubes

Feel free to experiment around! They are so delicious and fresh tasting!

Tsheya eya!

The first time we ever had Tsheya was at Joule in Downtown Raleigh. Joule is a part of the Ashley Christensen empire, and is currently the most upscale Coffee shop/Bar/Restaurant hybrid in the area.  I think the only other place that serves coffee, alcohol and food all in the same place is Helios. But, more on Joule in an upcoming post. This post is about Tsheya.

Since we were on the go and just wanted a quick(er) fix, we ordered a pour over to-go. All I could taste and smell was the overwhelming aroma of peanuts. Boiled peanuts, to be exact. Ever since then, I haven’t touched Tsheya.

However, I gave it a try this week because the description says bright citrus, stone fruit and only light savory notes, which was nothing like the first time I tasted it. When I brewed it as a pour over for the first time, it was nothing like what we had at Joule. It was super bright with a mouth watering fruity aroma. The tartness was so refreshing and juicy to me, while the slight savory notes gave it a balancing factor.

So what happened at Joule? I have to say it was the paper cups! I think that maybe the paper cup was not rinsed, or it was a bad choice in the selection of paper cups to use. I’m really glad to have experienced this whole series of events because we now have made a mental note to make sure that the paper cups we use to serve our coffee will not carry any weird tastes.

We’ve been back to Joule a few times and we love that place! As mentioned earlier, we’ll have a post about Joule soon!

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Updated D.I.Y. Slow Drip Cold Brewing Station

On the journey to perfecting coffee, you set a general direction for where you want to go, but at the same time, each new step opens the door to countless other paths. It’s really easy to get lost and overwhelmed at first, but at the same time, it brings excitement. There’s no such thing as perfect coffee, but that’s the fun part. Perfecting coffee is something you can devote your whole life to and will still be able to learn something new everyday. Here is our more updated version of the D.I.Y. Slow Drip Cold Brewing Station. We used the pour over stand Jimmy beautifully built and stained for me to told up a blender jar, which just so happens to hold a Deer Park water bottle perfectly. This additionally height allows the water droplets to disperse wider throughout the coffee bed, leading to a more evenly extracted cold brew. IMG_1224 copy

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At this point, we’ve brewed about 5 more times, tinkering with different variables. Your variables are going to be: -water temperature and amount of water -drip rate, which determines your brew time -coffee grind and coffee dosing -pre-infusing or not pre-infusing, as well as the temperature of pre-infusion and length With all those variables, it makes for a hell of a science experiment!


My coffee tastes just like “coffee”: Cold brewing allows for some flavor nuances to express (which happens less often), and some favor nuances to be latent, such as acidity and sweetness. It just all depends on the type of coffee. We’ve found that pre-infusing or even pre-brewing with hot water can help bring out subtle flavors.

My coffee is under-extracted: Play around with your grind size and make sure your coffee is even and level to prevent water from channeling. Also, we prefer hotter water to bring out the flavors of lighter roasts, so perhaps a cold brewing method is more suitable for darker roasts. However, as Counter Culture says, ANY COFFEE AND BREW.

My drip rate is too fast or too slow: Experiment with different size needles. In our next version of the D.I.Y. Slow Drip Cold Brewing Station, we will address this issue by adding a 2-way drip valve. Please leave us some questions and comments below! We’ve love to hear from you!

US Coffee Championships 2014

We really enjoyed watching the USCC last weekend. There were lots of great competitors. The overwhelming feeling that I got from watching the USCC is that just like coffee plants need strong roots to flourish, competitors need a strong foundation in order to compete. That foundation can not be done by oneself. That foundation is a strong network, a whole complex web of interactions and relationships that is ultimately represented by an individual competitor’s 15 minute performance. Congrats to Laila Ghambari for winning the USBC. She totally deserved it. Her performance really reflected her deep passion for coffee and represented the level of teamwork and camaraderie that is needed to make amazing coffee. Watch her performance:

Laila: We desire to serve extraordinary coffee; however, individually we were limited by each other’s roles. See, as a barista, the quality of coffee that I can serve to you is going to be dependent on the quality of the green coffee and the quality of the roasted coffee. So, we knew that in order to achieve our goal, the three of us (barista, roaster and coffee producer) would have to work together. So, we did.

Laila flew to Santa Ana, El Salvador to walk the farm of Emilio Lopez-Diaz. They picked the best coffee, brought it home and her roaster perfected the roast. She also found the perfect milk from Little Cow Girl in NJ to compliment her cap, which was a grass-fed non-homogenized milk that had 3.25% milk fat. She finished with her specialty drink which contained 3 main elements, each representing the people who came together to create it: Emilio, the farmer: The Coffee beans and Coffee cherry syrup with coffee-pollinated honey from the farm Phil, the roaster: Smoke from the the wood of the coffee trees that grew the coffee Laila, herself: Espresso, which pulls everything together. Her job is to finish the story.

So ultimately this is a story about collaboration. Collaboration thats “I” and turns it into “we.” “We” is stronger. Many minds and many talents working together towards one common goal. I wanted to serve you a drink that expresses the essence of this collaboration.

Magnificent performance by Laila Ghambari. We wish her all the best for the upcoming World Barista Championships!

Shout out to Jonathan Bonchak for placing 5th in the Brewer’s Cup. Proud to have him representing NC!