Shoeless Joe

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Shoeless Joe

This is the only summer drink you need. Period. 

As refreshing as they come, the Shoeless Joe by Bon Appetit is packed with flavor and super easy to make.

We tweaked the recipe slightly by incorporating Topo Chico instead of club soda...because, well...Topo Chico.

Ingredients:

BLACK CHERRY SIMPLE SYRUP

  • 2/3 cup unsweetened 100% black cherry juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar

COCKTAIL

  • 2 oz. Black Cherry Simple Syrup
  • 2 oz. Golf Park cold-brew coffee
  • 1 12-oz. bottle Topo Chico
  • 1 12-oz. bottle Coca-Cola
  • Lime wedges (for serving)

Follow these easy steps to recreate your new favorite bevy:

Preparation

BLACK CHERRY SIMPLE SYRUP

Bring juice to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add sugar and cook, stirring, until dissolved, about 3 minutes. Let cool. Transfer to a jar, cover, and chill.

DO AHEAD: Syrup can be made 1 week ahead. Keep chilled.

COCKTAIL

For each cocktail, mix 1 oz. black cherry simple syrup and 1 oz. coffee in a rocks glass. Add ice to fill, then 3 oz. club soda and 3 oz. cola. Garnish with lime wedge.

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The GPC Boys Visit Blanchard's

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The GPC Boys Visit Blanchard's

Earlier this month, we decided to hop in the car and drive up to Richmond to visit our partner roastery, Blanchard's. We hadn't been since they moved into their new RVA headquarters. Stephen Robertson, of Blanchard's Coffee, greeted us early on a Saturday morning and was kind enough to treat us to a private cupping featuring some of their new coffees.

We loved hearing stories of the Blanchard's team traveling to the different regions where their coffee is sourced - it was so cool to hear about the origin farmers who are growing coffee around the world and their commitment to providing us with the best of the best beans.

Blanchard's Coffee Roasting Company is all about providing education to its community, and we can definitely say that, even in our short morning visit, we felt more knowledgeable and informed about the where and why behind the coffee we use.

Our day-trip was a fantastic reminder of why we do what we do: build community. We left the roasting facility feeling so inspired [possibly a tad coffee-drunk] and excited about the things ahead for GPC.

"I think Golf Park has a beautiful brand image, and it is run by a great group of guys. I've always gotten a great, welcoming feeling talking to you guys. As I've watched the progression of your brand, via Instagram, mostly, I've always gotten the vibe of a group of friends coming together to share great moments that happen to start with cold brew (which is outstanding, by the way). Creating that vibe via pictures, stories, and conversations is a rare talent, so I couldn't be more impressed. We're excited to see you guys continue to grow, and we're happy to help in any way we can." SR

Here's a closer look at our conversation with Stephen:

Tell us about Blanchard's [new] roasting facility & describe its focus on education.
We moved into our new space in November of 2015. Obviously, we needed a production space that could accommodate our existing 30-kilo roaster as well as the addition of a new, 35 kilo Loring roaster. We also needed more space to store our ever-growing green coffee inventory needs. Beyond that, our biggest add to our model was a 1000 sq-ft training and education space. Because our model is primarily wholesale roasting for brewers and retailers, we don't have an inherent daily interaction with the people who drink our coffee - something roasters with a retail coffee shop presence enjoy. We wanted to create a space where we could train and educate across the widest possible cross section of our customers - from our own continuing coffee education, to training our clients on the equipment they'll be using in their shops, to teaching the general public how to make a better cup of coffee at home. We open this space up a wide variety of events - most directly related to our coffee, but some just tangentially related to coffee - all with the overarching purpose of building community and conversation on a foundation of a great cup of Blanchard's Coffee. 

What inspires you in your current role?
My job, on its face, is sales and marketing. Personally, I find nothing about the generic definition of sales and marketing inspiring. With that in mind, I don't approach my role at Blanchard's Coffee Roasting Co. with a traditional sales and marketing philosophy. I think everyone at Blanchard's, including myself, approaches their role, first, with a desire to put better coffee in everyone's cups. Beyond that, we all aim to tell a better story, about our company, about the coffee industry as a whole, and about what makes coffee important. We build community, to put it simply, and the rest just happens organically. I never want someone to buy our coffee because I had a good pitch, or my prices beat someone else's prices. I want people to buy our coffee because it tastes great, because it has a great story, because it is traceable, and creates sustainability and resilience throughout the supply chain. I want people to do business with us because they like us and trust us. 

Anything new coming up for Blanchard's?
We are ALWAYS up to something. We're constantly building efficiency in our day to day production so we can free up time for our entire team to devote to their own pet projects - things they're passionate about in coffee. This has led to some of the best ideas we've ever set in motion. Our big, tangible goals for 2017 are definitely rooted at the farm-level. We're making some major financial and creative investments with our farm partners in Nicaragua and Colombia - investments that will bear fruit, literally, in the upcoming harvests you'll see hitting the USA in mid-summer. We have some great coffee releases coming up, including a Colombia Geisha in March. Stay tuned to our Instagram to see all the cool stuff we have coming up.

What's your favorite Blanchard's coffee at the moment?
It is tough for me to ever pick a favorite. I always lean towards African coffees, and the Ethiopia Koke Honey Natural is a consistent go-to. Having just gotten back from Finca San Jose in Nicaragua, that coffee has been fresh on my mind and I've been enjoying it a lot lately. Finally, the Colombia Finca El Obraje has been cupping exceptionally well lately, so that has been a surprise favorite for me.

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4th Annual Chili Cook Off

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4th Annual Chili Cook Off

On Sunday we hosted our annual Chili Cook Off. The weather was perfect, the chili was delicious and the best part was hanging with old and new friends. Thank you to everyone who came out on Sunday - it was so fun to have everyone over! A BIG thank you to everyone who entered a chili into the contest. This year, we had 10 chilis battle it out for the coveted Golden Ladle. 

First place: Kyle Dunscomb (by a LONG shot)
Second place: Stephanie Petit
Third place: Amber Teer

Here our some photos from Sunday, shot by our dude, Bram VanderMark.

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Leather & Coffee.

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Leather & Coffee.

Leather & Coffee - what a great combo! Today, we got to serve our cold brew at Moore & Giles' annual sales meeting. It was so awesome to meet people from all over the world and talk with them about our coffee, company and Lynchburg. We look forward to being back tomorrow!

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We Threw A Party.

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We Threw A Party.

This past weekend we invited 75 of our friends and customers to a "first-look" party for our new cold brew tricycle aka the #GPCtrike. We wanted those who have been with us since the beginning to be the first to get a sneak peek at this new part of our business.

We drank lots of coffee, ate lots of donuts and most importantly got to hang with new and old friends. THANK YOU to everyone who took time out of their Saturday morning routine to come be a part of the #GPCtrike Launch!

We love you guys.

(Photos by: Bram VanderMark @bram_bomb)

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Introducing the #GPCtrike

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Introducing the #GPCtrike

We're super pumped to introduce you to the newest member of our team, the #GPCtrike! This baby will be popping up around downtown LYH and will be used at citywide events! If you see us rolling around, be sure to stop by for a closer look and grab one of our nitro cold brews.

Stay tuned to our Twitter and Instagram feeds for our various pop-up locations!

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LYH T-Shirt

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LYH T-Shirt

The latest from our LYH Collection is available now! These super soft black & white t-shirts are perfect for repping the city that we LOVE. Order yours here.

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When In Portland: Dapper & Wise

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When In Portland: Dapper & Wise

For my second stop-in in Portland, I headed over to Dapper & Wise, located on SE Division and 32nd. With a clean and modern space to match their branding, D&W fits right in with the other sleek and simple business scattered on Division.

As you enter, you are met with an open and bright room, filled with clean edges, symmetry, and light. It is a perfect place to relax and have a chat with friends, or to zone in and get some work done. Although the name says Dapper & Wise, clearly there is room for all.

Barista Maxine Sferra keeps things ordered and clean while waiting for her next customers.

Barista Maxine Sferra keeps things ordered and clean while waiting for her next customers.

Although they take their coffee very seriously, D&W also likes to keep things pretty light-hearted, and they're not afraid to joke around and have fun. In the midst of a generation and culture that can, at times, take itself a little too seriously, this was a breath of fresh air.

With a look at their Instagram (@dapperandwise), it's clear that they create eye-dazzling, professional content and manage to have fun while they do it. This mentality carries over into the culture of the shop.

In addition to all the classics, D&W offered some of the tastiest and most creative coffee drinks I have had to date. Their newest addition to the menu is a Peaches and Cream Coffee Soda, combining fresh-pressed peach juice, soda water, and coffee. The soda is topped off with a dollop of house-made vanilla coconut foam.

If your mouth isn't watering, I think you may need to rethink some things. That drink alone is worth the trip to Portland.

Out of all the baristas that I spent time with while shooting for these pieces, the baristas at D&W were (by far) the friendliest and most welcoming. Tylor and Maxine were quick to make conversation and were genuinely interested in who I was and what I was doing in the city.

A visit to a new coffee shop can often come with a sense of intimidation and apprehension, not quite knowing where you'll fit in. At D&W, these fears will quickly subside. All are welcomed warmly.

Light pours into D&W through its many floor to ceiling windows.

Light pours into D&W through its many floor to ceiling windows.

Dapper & Wise doesn't only want to bring the experience of good coffee to its customers, they want to invite others into the heart of it. D&W offers a series of educational classes that they call "Coffee School," teaching aspiring brew-masters and beginners alike the art of a good cup from the ground up.

Pairing hands-on learning experience with weekly reading assignments, Coffee School creates a welcoming and inspiring environment for any attendee.

At D&W, they don't just serve good coffee. They roast it, too.

Every bean is sourced responsibly. The roastmaster takes great care to make sure the farmers are being paid above the Fair Trade minimum. They are looking for genuine, lasting relationships with their partners. It's a give and take.

D&W offers a wide variety of quality merchandise and goods at their Division location. If you feel like repping the brand, there is no shortage on cool and useful swag. Check their store out.

Have you bought your ticket to PDX yet? No? What are you waiting for?? 

It's people and shops like this that make Portland the great city that it is.

Welcoming. Bright. Creative. Hopeful. Eclectic. Excellent. Dapper. Wise.

Go on, give them a shot. If you don't love it, I'll pay you back for your plane ticket.

(Well, maybe)

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Mint Infused Simple Syrup

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Mint Infused Simple Syrup

Something we always have a ton of in the Golf Park garden is mint. Freshly picked mint can be the perfect addition to almost any summer recipe. Adding it to cold brew is no different. We recently infused some mint into a simple syrup and it was incredible. Refreshing and Summery, a couple shots of this simple syrup can be a nice change of pace to your regular coffee.

It's super simple:

1. Buy [or better yet - pick] a handful of fresh mint.
2. Chop or tear mint into smaller pieces to release the oils.
3. Combine 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar and heat on stovetop until dissolved.
4. Add mint.
5. Remove from heat and let the mixture steep for about 30 mins.
6. When cooled, strain mint from this mixture into a resealable container. Store in fridge.

The infused simple syrup will keep for up to 2 weeks in the fridge. 

There's no wrong way to use this syrup - we incorporated into our cold brew with a couple shots of cream and a drop of vanilla extract and the results were amazing.

We hope you give it a try!! 

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When In Portland: Ristretto Roasters

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When In Portland: Ristretto Roasters

As soon as one arrives in Portland, it's evident that this is a city that values quality. Quality in food, in beer, in design, in efficiency, in conversation... And especially, quality in coffee.

Listed by USA Today as one of the top ten coffee cities in the world, and the second greatest in America (coming in closely behind Seattle), this is a place where coffee is serious business. If you're going to open a shop here, you need to know what you're doing.

Many shops have risen and fallen, each one trying to stand apart, trying to find it's own place amid the merciless competition that capitalism endlessly provides.

How can you do it? What do you need to survive and thrive? I believe there are three things that roasters and shops should strive for: excellent coffee (obviously), a purposeful mission, and figuring out how to utilize the qualities that make their particular shop unique. 

Ristretto Roasters has locations on Couch Street, N. Williams, and NW Nicolai. Each location offers a unique RR experience; these photos showcase the Couch shop.

Ristretto Roasters seems to be doing well at all three. Founded 10 years ago by Din Johnson and his wife Nancy, RR has since opened two additional shop locations and become a recognized name in the city. 

I sat down with manager Andy Beers at the Couch location to hear more about RR and their growing presence in Portland. When asked about the driving purpose of RR, Beers stressed the importance of approachability.

"Our focus is entirely on dodging the pretentious side of the specialty coffee industry," Beers said. "We've always wanted to be extremely approachable, friendly, and really able to deliver and excellent product to anyone. Whether or not they have specialty coffee knowledge, we want them to have a good experience."

In a city where those with little coffee experience may be looked down on by the snooty barista or the "coffee-cultured" Portlander, RR welcomes all in to educate and serve them well.

"If you don't know the vocabulary of the industry and afraid that you're going to be judged for what you say, it can be really scary. That runs counter to what coffee should be about: talking to people and enjoying something on a visceral level as opposed to a cerebral one," Beers added.

Ristretto Roasters certainly does not sacrifice the quality of their product in order to welcome beginners in. They work hard to serve quality coffee and espresso drinks in a variety of media. At the Couch location, they excel in espresso and milk drinks.

"We pull our shots as double ristretto shots, and they hold their own very well in milk. The way you can interplay the milk with the particular espresso notes..." remarked Beers. "I think there's a world of possibility there."

However, espresso is not the only thing they do well. The Aeropress champion of North America happens to be an educator at RR, and each of their locations serves an Aeropress that (literally) is to be reckoned with.

In conclusion, Beers once again stressed his mission in the coffee industry to strip away that perceived barrier of pretentiousness. "Everyone should be able to taste good coffee, for what it is, without needing to know anything else; To feel welcomed..."

Walk into Ristretto Roasters, and you will feel just that.

Bram VanderMark

Portland, OR

 

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