anna brones

writer + artist

Archive for the ‘Coffee’ Category

At Last You’ve Learned How to Make a Perfect Cup of Coffee

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“What makes you so happy this morning, George!”

“Because at last you’ve learned how to make a perfect cup of coffee. This is delicious!”

“Oh, it isn’t me, it’s the brand. This is the Sultana!”

I have a thing for vintage coffee ads, and this one via the Boston Public Library is rather hilarious. Certainly indicative of gender roles at the time – we all know that women shouldn’t be the sole ones responsible for the kitchen, cooking and coffee brewing duties – as well as the increasing interest, and obsession, with coffee.

Written by Anna Brones

October 22, 2015 at 10:04

Posted in Coffee

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Preorder a Copy of the Book ‘Paris Coffee Revolution’

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Paris Coffee Revolution Promo Image v 2

For the last two years I have been covering the specialty coffee scene in Paris. For a long time, Paris was a place that was known for bad quality coffee and not much else. But in the last few years, this has changed, and nowadays there are a handful of local specialty roasters and a long list of cafes where you’re sure to get served a good cup.

Last year photographer Jeff Hargrove reached out to me. He had been bitten by the coffee bug and as a portrait photographer, he wanted to self-publish a book with portraits of the “coffee entrepreneurs” in Paris – the people who helped to change the coffee scene. But he wanted more than portraits, he wanted a story. And so I came along to help write that story: Paris Coffee Revolution.

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Written by Anna Brones

September 10, 2015 at 10:12

Video: Coffee Outside

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Surrounded by a lot of talented filmmaker friends, I have always been attracted to the power of visual storytelling. But enjoying visual storytelling is one thing. Making it yourself is another thing entirely.

A little over a year ago I told a couple of filmmaker friends that I wanted to invest in a camera so that I could try my hand at filming. “Do it!” was the resounding response.

Sure, I had played around with iMovie a few years ago, putting together a few clips into something coherent, but nothing more than that. Maybe it was time I challenged myself. So I got the camera, and took a lot of nice photos with it, entirely intimidated, in fact, nearly paralyzed, by the thought of trying to do video. Where would I even begin? What if I failed?

Having talented creative people around you is a really good thing. Imagine if you were surrounded by a bunch of boring, mediocre individuals? No thank you. But there’s a flip side to being surrounded by all this talent; while they’re happy to encourage you, you also have very high standards to live up to. And so, I found myself unable to jump into the world whose waters I wanted to test. I was nervous, stricken by the idea that I might make something that wasn’t up to par.

And then it struck me: this is your first film. If we all listened to the voices in our head that told us we were going to fail before we even started, we wouldn’t get anywhere. Failure is just another form of fear. Because what is failure? The definition is up to us entirely, and in the case of wanting to try something new, the only failure I could really come up with, was not doing it at all.

So I set out to make a short film. Super short. Turns out, it’s hard. But it’s also fun, and I can see why all my filmmaker friends are so addicted. There is power in storytelling, whether it’s a short love letter to something we love, or if it’s a feature-length documentary tackling important subjects that we believe the world should know more about.

This video came out of a love of coffee and the outdoors. At the end of July, I spent two weeks hiking in Northern Sweden, and I knew that with a place so visually stunning, I should at least get something on film. This is what it became. This short video isn’t going to change the world (that will be a film later down the line, thank you very much) but maybe it will change how you think about your coffee routine. And maybe this story will inspire you to try something new, something you have never done before and that you’re scared of. Because quite frankly, there’s nothing better.

Written by Anna Brones

August 24, 2015 at 18:27

Why Shouldn’t You Microwave Your Coffee?

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Should You Microwave Coffee?

Microwaves and coffee, that’s this week’s topic over on my coffee column at The Kitchn. Short conclusion: it’s better to make a fresh cup!

Want to know why you shouldn’t be microwaving your coffee? Read the full article here.

Image: Louis

Written by Anna Brones

August 13, 2015 at 08:34

​Coffee: Six Degrees of Caffeination – A Beautiful Video About Our Favorite Drink

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Loving this video by Swallow Magazine founder James Casey.

Via: Nowness

Written by Anna Brones

February 27, 2015 at 14:55

Posted in Coffee

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Ever Felt Like This Ordering Your Coffee?

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The specialty coffee industry can get a lot of flak for the intensity that it puts into making a good cup. But just like many things that we consume which take time to make – wine, beer, cheese, etc. – there will always be passionate people behind them, and we should have respect for that. You can geek out on anything after all. But that doesn’t mean you can’t poke fun sometimes.

This video that Everything But the News from PBS Digital Studios did is hilarious. I think we can all find some humor in it.

Enjoy!

Written by Anna Brones

February 25, 2015 at 10:11

The Beauty of Simple Coffee Brewing

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The act of brewing morning coffee is a ritual — one that deserves our time. It’s that moment where even in the craziness that the morning can bring, we stop to do something manual. We open the bag of beans, we smell. We pour them into the grinder, we listen. We boil the water, and we pour, entranced by the magic of the chemical reaction that turns those ground beans into something drinkable. These are the small steps that pull us back down to earth in the midst of morning madness.

Read my full essay In Defense of Simple Coffee Brewing on The Kitchn.

Written by Anna Brones

January 21, 2015 at 11:56

Some Coffee Challenges for 2015

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Macchiato by Anna Brones

On this week’s The Kitchn coffee column I’m talking about five things I want to do with coffee this year. Other than just brew it that is.

On the docket is making some coffee kombucha (yes, really) and I’ve been mulling over experimenting with a coffee flavored homemade Nutella. Yum. Beyond food-related things, I also really want to try dyeing with coffee; yes, textiles and paper. Coffee-stained stationary, now that’s something I could write a letter on.

Check out the full list here. Anyone out there have any crazy coffee uses they love?

Written by Anna Brones

January 6, 2015 at 21:51

Posted in Coffee, Food + Recipes, Portfolio

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A Few Coffee Books Your Bookshelf Needs

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Macchiato by Anna Brones

In my coffee column this week on The Kitchn I do a round up of coffee books. From how to make coffee, to the history behind our favorite drink, their books that anyone interested in coffee should definitely own.

My personal “handbook” continues to be the The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee by James Freeman, Caitlin Freeman, and Tara Duggan. It’s the book I go to whenever I have a question about making coffee.

In all honesty, there are a few books on here I haven’t read yet, but are definitely on the To Read list, like Uncommon Grounds by Mark Pendergast. And last but not least, there’s James Hoffman’s The World Atlas of Coffee: From Beans to Brewing, which I can’t wait to get my hands on.

But that’s only three books – there are six more in the article, so hop on over to The Kitchn and read up.

Written by Anna Brones

December 19, 2014 at 09:01