el ATL Coffee Master, Aaron Cruz

When it comes to coffee, we’re all on the same playing field.  We’re excited here at Brewtoria to feature writer, photographer, and coffee enthusiast Aaron Cruz.  Aaron maintains a popular blog elATLboy.com where he features amazing travel stories, skyline views, and a yearly coffee review. Aaron’s passion for coffee is undeniable. Grab your favorite mug, pour, and enjoy!

el ATLboy Aaron Cruz enjoying a fresh mug of coffee
el ATLboy Aaron Cruz enjoying a fresh mug of coffee

Brewtoria:  As a writer, photographer, and blogger how does coffee fit into your every day life? Tell me more about how and where you get it.  

Aaron Cruz:  Basically I drink it morning, noon and night wherever I am at. I purchase beans from roasters to feed the many coffee gadgets I have at home. I also spend a lot of time exploring new coffee shops and writing and working in them.

Brew:  You’re a Michigan guy, do you have any favorite coffee hangouts in the Mitten?

AC:  I’d say Foster Coffee Company in Owosso and RoosRoast in Ann Arbor. Foster says it all. They are fostering, helping to bring the community together through coffee experiences. You won’t find a better handcrafted latte in the state!  RoosRoast is quirky, yet modern and the name of their signature beans tell it all. Lobster Butter Love is well-known throughout Ann Arbor.

Brew:  What’s the coffee scene like in ATL? Any Skynyrd vinyl at your typical ATL cafe’s? 

AC:  Underrated. Like everywhere else it seems, third-wave, independent coffee shops are popping up everywhere. Condesa, Octane and Dancing Goats are among my favorites. Your second question got me thinking of the hippie Little Five Points neighborhood. You’ll find some cozy ATL neighborhood places to grab a coffee, alongside some record shops where you can get  your Lynyrd Skynyrd fix and other vinyl.

Brew:  Who’s the most interesting person you’ve shared a coffee with? Is it true you and Tom Izzo sat down for a cup of bean??

AC:  I drink coffee alone a lot of the time, but do find myself sometimes hanging at the counter and chatting with the baristas while sipping some java. Great way to learn more about coffee! No, but I cheer for the green-and-white and have been a huge fan of Spartan basketball since I was a kid. Sitting down with Coach Izzo would be a dream coffee meetup.

Brew:  How do you drink your coffee?  What is your favorite method? (espresso, drip coffee, black, heavily creamed with sugar, etc)

AC:  I prefer straight up and black. Want to experience the aroma, the beans and the coffee itself. The V60 pour over or Syphon are my favorite methods. I get just as excited watching the coffee being made, as I do when drinking it.

Brew:  Do you prefer coffee in a mug, or in a to-go cup?

AC:  Mug, mug, mug. Even if I am needing a coffee to go, I usually have the barista put it in a mug for photo purposes, then I’ll pour it into a cup. I’m one of those people you’ll see capturing their coffee from every conceivable angle!

Brew:  How does coffee inspire you to be creative in your writing and or photography?

AC: I don’t know what it is. Coffee just gives me the goosebumps. The relaxing aspect of it, makes me feel like I can conquer the world. It helps too that a lot of the time the coffee itself is the subject of my photography.

Brew:  What’s your funniest memory related to coffee?

AC:  I don’t have a specific memory, but when traveling I tend to explore one new shop after another in the same day and I’ll get super caffeinated. Interesting feeling when you can’t stop talking or can’t sit still for two seconds.

Brew: It’s been great hearing about your zeal for coffee. Do you have any final words to share?

AC: Well it’s time to go find my next coffee! I look forward to experiencing more coffee beans, shops and methods. Who knows where my passion for java will take me down the road.

Aaron can be found on Twitter at @elATLboy and also through his travel blog and website elATLboy.com.  As always Brewtoria is looking for more people to share their love of coffee. If your story needs to be heard, feel free to contact us at brewtoria@gmail.com or on twitter @brewtoria.

Coffee Talk with Global-Goose’s Kelly Dunning

In our on-going blog series on the relationship between coffee and people, Brewtoria recently had the pleasure of interviewing Kelly Dunning of the travel website global-goose.com.  Kelly, who is from Canada, had a chance to catch up with Brewtoria to answer some coffee questions and how it plays a meaningful role in her life as a full-time traveler, blogger, and writer from her current location in Tasmania Australia.

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Brewtoria: As a full time traveler with a new adventure everyday, do you make your daily intake of coffee a priority?  If so, tell us how you get it?

Kelly Dunning:  I actually carry instant coffee around with me in my backpack, so that I can always make a cup as long as I can find a way to boil water. However, I sometimes get my coffee fix from a cafe too. 

Brew: Can you tell my readers a little more about how you’re traveling, are you hitchhiking, walking, biking?  I must admit, I am very intrigued about how you are doing this?

KD:  Lee and I fund our travels by working online. I’m a freelance writer and he is a web designer. We also run the travel blog Global-Goose.com. We have been travelling for 6 years now and we usually take buses and trains between destinations and the occasional flight. We have no home and aside from a few things in storage, everything we own fits in our backpacks.

Brew: What do you enjoy more, the sound of a hissing espresso machine, or the drone of a car or RV that will take you to your next destination?

KD: I really like the background chatter and espresso machine hisses of a busy cafe, it’s a nice environment for enjoying a coffee and getting work done.

Brew: Who’s the most interesting person you’ve shared a coffee with?

KD:  When I think about it, I don’t have a lot of social interactions around coffee. For me, coffee is a solitary experience as I usually drink it when I am writing. It’s my writing fuel, the juice that gives me brain power.  When I meet and chat to interesting people it’s usually when drinking beers in the evenings.

Brew:  How do you drink your coffee?  What is your favorite method (espresso, drip coffee, black, heavily creamed with sugar, etc)

KD:  I love a cappuccino with a dusting of chocolate on top. Also, nothing beats a classic drip coffee with a splash of milk. 

Brew:  Do you prefer coffee in a mug, or in a to-go cup?

KD:  A mug is always better. Drinking from cardboard or Styrofoam is not very nice. My favourite is my Back to the Future Mug. When you pour the hot coffee in, the Delorean disappears from one side and reappears on the other. It makes me happy every time I use it.

Brew: How does coffee inspire you to be creative in your writing?

KS:  When I drink a cup of coffee in the morning before I start writing I can feel it waking up the synapses in my brain and helping my neurons fire. It may be a placebo effect, but I feel like it helps me focus and organize my often scattered thoughts. With this energy boost, I can tackle each step of big writing projects that might seem overwhelming at first.

Brew: It’s been great to hear about how important coffee is to you.  Do you have any parting thoughts to share?

KD: The best coffee I ever had was in Salento, Colombia when I visited a coffee plantation. It was so rich and fresh and had such a complex and subtle blend of flavours.

Kelly Dunning can be found on Twitter at @GlobalGoose and also through her travel blog and website global-goose.com.  As always Brewtoria is looking for the next coffee love affair. If your story needs to be heard, feel free to contact us at brewtoria@gmail.com or @brewtoria.

Coffee and Hockey, The Perfect Match!

AbbiefitCoffee couldn’t exist without people. Many people can’t exist without coffee. But why?

Brewtoria is looking to answer that and discover those stories. Our friend Abbie Says from Montreal shares why her love of coffee is almost as much as for her hockey team—the Montreal Canadiens.

Brewtoria: Who’s the most interesting person you’ve shared a coffee with and why?

Abbie Says: My darling, and I do not kiss and tell.

Brew:  I see you’re quite the hockey fan.  What sound do you enjoy the most?  The slap of the stick on the ice / puck, or the hissing of an espresso machine?

AS:  Slap of the puck…

Brew:  How does coffee inspire your creativity?

AS: The aroma of coffee sparks all sorts of memories and gets my mind floating. Just the perfect blend to fuel my passion for art.

Brew: What is your favorite coffee drink?

AS: Short espresso… (Ristretto)

Brew: On a cold Montreal morning, how do you prefer your coffee?  To go cardboard cup, or old school mug?

AS: MUG!!!

Brew: Where are some of your favorite coffee shops in Montreal?

AS: Caffee Napoletano , Cafe Shaika, and Cafe Creme Brulerie all in Montreal Quebec.

Brew:  Any parting thoughts to share?

AS:  When I think of coffee I think of the aroma, the ambiance, a comfortable chair and a time to share!

Abbie Says can be found on Twitter at @AbbieFit.  If you have a story to tell about coffee and your experience with it, love for it, or anything else about how it impacts you, feel free to contact us at brewtoria@gmail.com or @brewtoria.