New Artist: Kyndall Rainey by Caleb Savage

“Nature is a great storyteller. Even the simplest leaf can speak to storms weathered, seasons past and even of new life coming. The more time I spend in nature, the more I understand about surviving the storms in my own life.”

We loved having Jaiye Farrell’s abstract work in the shop over the holidays and our thrilled to show the work of Kyndall Rainey!

Kyndall Rainey Art at Clarity.jpeg

From the Artist:

“As I create, I want to share the ethereal feeling I felt when I make the connection between my one life and the resilience of nature. As I mix various mediums and materials, I often find a harmonious interaction between them. It’s the process of creating that always reminds me of the peace I found when I was near the ocean or by my favorite tree. Even though there will always be storms in life, I find positivity in the constant recreation of nature and the process of reflecting that beauty in my work.”

Kyndall Rainey is a mixed media artist based in Oklahoma City. She studied fiber art at the Kansas City Art Institute before completing her B.A. in art education at the University of Central Oklahoma. Kyndall is the middle school art teacher at Crossings and showcases her work at various galleries and festivals. Much of Kyndall’s work focuses on nature, conversation, and personal identity, and she often works with paints, clay, fibers, and found materials. Her love for various mediums allows her to create textured paintings, sculptures, and installations.

Coffee Questions: Coffee Grinders & Freshness by Caleb Savage

THE GRIND

If you want to make great coffee at home, do you have to have a grinder? And do you have to grind your coffee right before you make it?

Kinda.

chemex kettle pour.jpg

As we’ve said before, Coffee is a fruit. Fresh fruit means great flavors. Since coffee loses flavor the older it is, and, coffee stays fresh best when it it’s kept as a whole bean, waiting to grind coffee until right before you brew can keep your coffee more fresh. That being said, you shouldn’t buy a grinder based on freshness alone.

For making great coffee at home, buying a serious coffee grinder is probably the most impactful purchase you can make. While finding a brewer might depend on preference or style, and all scales generally do the same job, (some are more beautiful than others) not all grinders are equal.

All grinders grind coffee, but good grinders grind coffee evenly.

Thought experiment: You want to cut a pizza into equal size slices to ensure that everyone gets the same sized slice. Giving someone a larger slice means that someone else will get a smaller slice. In a world where one slice of pizza is enough to eat, one person will have too much food and the other won’t have enough. Getting flavor or extracting coffee is similar.

Holding all other variables constant, coffee particles at different sizes will extract at different speeds, because smaller particles will have less to extract than larger particles. This means that some coffee particles will over-extract, giving off bitterness and weakening the body of the coffee, and other coffees will under-extract, adding sourness and lessening sweetness of the cup. Having the ability to extract each coffee particle evenly leads to a balanced, sweet cup of coffee with brightness, clarity, and body.

Is it better to have coffee that tastes fresh or evenly extracted?

Freshness changes, grind consistency doesn’t. That being said, buying a great grinder isn’t the best option for everyone.

Solution: Fellow’s Atmos

Atmos Canister Box.jpg

Do you go through 12oz of coffee about once a month or faster? Fellow’s Atmos Vacuum Canister might be the solution for you! By removing oxygen and sunlight from the equation, the coffee beans are able to retain the acids and sugars that give us the flavors we love longer, slowing down the ill effects of aging on coffee. Let us grind your coffee for you on our Mahlkonig EK43! This will give you more consistency than any home grinder could provide. By storing your ground coffee in the Atmos, you’re able to retain the freshness you want from whole bean coffee while getting a more consistent and improved extraction.

Why Coffee Freshness Matters by Caleb Savage

Coffee is a fruit

Coffee beans are the seeds of a flowering fruit tree. Because coffee beans are the seed of a plant, the seeds serve as incubators for future plants filled with all the sugars, acids, and cell structures necessary to supply a new plant. When roasted, these compounds can be tasted as the sweetness, acidity, and bitterness we love in a great cup of coffee! Without these compounds, a great coffee can taste flat or dull.

Coffee Plant.jpg

What kills freshness?

  • Sunlight

  • Heat

  • Oxygen

  • Moisture

  • Time

How long does coffee stay fresh?

Using resealable, valved bags like the ones our friends at KLLR Coffee use, coffee is best in the first two weeks after the coffee is roasted. The further you get away from the roast date after the first two weeks, the more the acids and sugars present in the coffee will degrade. What do you do with three-week-old coffee? Drink it! When we talk about freshness, we’re talking about coffee in it’s most ideal form, not that it’s bad, dangerous or should be discarded after it’s no longer fresh, just that it’s no longer the most ideal!

Meet: The Atmos

Atmos Canister.jpg

We love Fellow. From their XF Brewers to their kettles, Fellow consistently makes quality coffee equipment that looks great too! With the Atmos, you can combat the effects of sunlight and oxygen and extend the life of your coffee without introducing changes in temperature or risking exposure to moisture.

The Atmos Vacuum Coffee Canister removes oxygen from the canister (and your coffee) by twisting the lid back & forth, meaning don’t have to worry about batteries or having to keep weird tools on hand every time you go to make a cup of coffee!

By removing oxygen from the environment, the process of sublimation or the loss of coffee flavors through oxygen, can be slowed and the coffee itself will retain its bright, sweet flavors longer!

Coffee Questions: Brewing That Works by Caleb Savage

NOT JUST HERE FOR THE CAFFEINE

“What’s the best way to make coffee at home?”

Coffee making can be pretty frustrating. We want good coffee. We want to make it in a way that’s both fun and relatively easy. We don’t want it to break the bank. Why? Because we want coffee to be both utilitarian and pleasurable. We want it’s caffeine, but we want also want it to be sweet, well-balanced, and enjoyable. We want it to help us wake up in the morning so we don’t want a setup that requires us to be alert to be able to do it well.

Caleb Teaching Coffee Class.jpg

So how do we balance making great coffee without having to have the best equipment or follow a complex set of rules to get your first sip of caffeine?

The best cup of coffee is a coffee you like to make and drink.

Sipping Latte.jpg

The Balancing Act

We can divide home brewing into a couple areas to determine the best setup for anyone: Interest, Time, and Cost.

Interest

Do you enjoy learning about where coffees are from? Do you follow recipes when you make coffee? If you want good coffee, but don’t have a lot of interest in the details, there are some great automated brewers that make Specialty quality coffee at home!

Time

Are you looking for a coffee setup that allows you to start a cup and be out the door five minutes later? A stovetop kettle might not be the best choice. Also, avoid hand grinders. If you have the time and interest, you can sip slowly and think critically about the coffees you make and make slight adjustments to your recipe until you’ve found the program that works best for you.

Cost

Sometimes we have a lot of interest and time to make great coffee but are missing the budget to have the “perfect” setup. Don’t sweat. Sometimes small improvements to things like water, coffee quality, or temperature can have dramatic results on the finished product!

Coffee Class Sipping.jpg

THINGS WE LOVE

“What equipment should I get?

The equipment we sell comes from companies we believe in. We use and sell Acaia scales, XF brewers and kettles, Chemexes, and Baratza grinders. If you are considering a new kettle or brewer, ask us about why we love the gear we use.

We also love helping you make the best coffee you want to make. Our team loves finding the gear or solution you need the balances your interest, time, and budget. Stop by the shop and chat with your baristas about the best set up for you.

Coffee Class Fellow Kettle Pouring.jpg