It’s All About the Relationship

Check out this fun, fast paced radio interview with me (that’s Liz Roquet of Lizzy’s Fresh Coffee) on Ellie Newman’s “It’s Relationship” talk show. We talked about everything coffee – my own relationship with coffee, coffee around the world, the social quirks of coffee, and the personal relationships our customers have with their coffee. Sit down with your own coffee and enjoy listening to the show! (KDPI Radio, Ketchum, ID)

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Best of the Year 2012 Photo Label Contest Winners

Babies, puppies, swings – oh my!

What’s this all about? Every month our coffee labels change – all with customer submitted photography. We pick our favorites each month to feature on the coffees, but at year’s end, we leave it up to all our customers and photographers, and their friends and family to vote for the favorite cover shots from the year’s featured pictures.

This year the competition was fierce! Votes were coming in right up to midnight with some pretty excellent battles going down.

We have to give a big shout-out to all the cool photographers who have shared their pictures to be featured on our coffee labels. Nothing makes us more happy than hearing our coffee made someone’s day great – yummy beans inside of the bag, and a little smile on the outside.

So, without further ado, here are the winners you’ve voted Best of the Year for 2012. Congratulations!

Bowls are so 2002.
Photo: Kelly Morgan

That’s right, get ready outfielders. Some heat’s coming your way!
Photo: Joy Elizabeth Effie

Rain, rain, who cares?! I’m a human rainbow!
Photo: Julie Bennett

Are you judging me? Didn’t think so.
Photo: Michael Roedel

Let’s just get right to it, shall we?
Photo: Michelle Cordes

Just one little lick….puuulllleeezzz?
Photo: Tara Reifenheiser

Want to get in on the fun? Submit your picture to our contest for a chance to be featured. Enter a Picture

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Featured November Snapshooter

Photographer Dennis Merth

Check out our latest featured photographer. Dennis won our November cover for “Talent”. This new-to-retirement photographer is embracing his newly found “free time” in style.

Name: Dennis Merth
Home Town: Placerville, California

What’s your story? Are you a pro-photographer, or a weekend snapshooter, or something in between? I’m a newly retired physicist/software engineer who loves taking photographs.

What’s your favorite thing to photograph?
I like the unusual shots, mostly outdoors.

Dennis’ winning “Talent” snapshot. Rocking it old school is very cool.

What would you say to someone else about the Lizzy’s Fresh Label contest?
I would encourage them to send in their snaps, it’s great fun.

Oh yes, what’s your favorite way to drink your coffee?
Black, nothing added, completely natural.

Where can our readers see more of your photography?
www.flickr.com/photos/SunSeekingGuy/

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Do you have the perfect shot for one of the Lizzy’s Fresh Coffee labels? Submit it for a chance to win the cover of one of our coffees a free month of coffee! Go to www.lizzysfreshcoffee.com to submit online now.

To order Dennis’ winning coffee label, or to browse them all, shop now at www.lizzysfreshcoffee.com

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Holiday Socks and Mountain Tops

There I sat, coffee in hand, my not-to-be-worn-in public 80s fleece socks on my feet, and fantastic morning hair. My headache was thanks to last night’s disproportionate mix of hot cocoa and rum, and too many dips into the bowl of gingerbread house “decorations”.

Rounding out the morning scene was my husband, enjoying his coffee next to me, while we taunted our tweenage son who was trying to pinpoint the much anticipated electronic device that he was really praying the man in a red suit had delivered. In about 30 minutes we’d all be heading off for our Christmas morning ski runs– a tradition in our family.

Gliding up the chairlift for our first run of the day, this hit me in oddly cool way –I realized at that exact moment that all across the country, people were enjoying their morning cup of Lizzy’s.

I’m pretty sure at least one other person was sipping their latte wearing some freaky 80s socks or PJ bottoms that are never allowed to be seen in public. I pictured a family that was up WAY too early, thanks only to their extra spunky 5 year old twin girls, and the grandpa who lingered in the kitchen, strategizing how to sneak another piece of bacon that his wife now forbids him to eat.

Of course I also pictured all the custom coffee labels that were being opened as gifts, and imagined all the people who would be sipping our coffees for the first time.

Yes, I had you all sipping your coffees in your frosted holiday postcard scenes….

A few days later, this picture landed in my email in box.

Rob Landis, enjoying his morning cup of Lizzy's while climbing Aconcagua "Some things are just too important to compromise on."

Not only did it make me feel like a big sandbagger for using my home espresso machine to make my coffee, but it also drew my attention to the fact that on Christmas morning I was actually getting a motor driven ride UP the mountain, which made me a double sandbagger.

Why? Well, this picture was taken on the route up Acongogua. For those of us needing a nudge on our 5th grade geography, that is the highest peak in the Americas. Yes, sissy friends, that’s 22,841 feet of mountain in Argentina, all of which Rob Landis and his friends climbed over the holidays.

December 26th at an elevation of 19,100 feet, Rob enjoyed his morning cup of Lizzy’s, as he’d been doing every morning of his climb.

His friends on the trip looked at him oddly when he first unveiled his 12 oz bag of coffee, as they were a little stumped. What kind of mountain dude ever packs an ounce more than necessary! Maybe all those years of mountain adventure had finally pushed him to the side of crazy. Or, maybe just the opposite happened.

When his climbing mates asked him in disbelief, “You brought coffee?”
Rob’s reply to them simply says it all. “You didn’t?”

Rob, you definitely took the prize for best holiday sipping moment.

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The Matchmaker, 8 Tips for Finding Your Coffee Soul Mate

Lately I’ve been watching episodes of a newly discovered show for me called Millionaire Matchmaker. I’m not particularly proud of this, but I just can’t look away from the collection of over-tanned dudes with crazy white teeth attempting to make love connections with the wear-a-party-dress-everywhere-they-go girly girls.

I keep coming back to watch it again, though, because in between the ridiculous, and past the outward appearances, a fair percent of these love-hungry people really are very intelligent, diverse, and downright good people. I find myself cheering for the good guy, telling the smart got-it-all-together chick to move on, and wondering how this clearly lovable man hasn’t found a partner in life yet.

Sit tight, because I’m not about to talk endlessly about the Bravo network, but I totally relate to the challenge the matchmaker faces with each match she attempts to make for her love-hunting clients. When she begins her matchmaking, she always asks the client what they’re searching for in a mate, and they usually answer with a super broad reply like “I like brunettes”.

She grimaces, and then starts surgically extracting more information about their likes, dislikes, and past failures to reach some basic direction to the kind of mate she might find for them.

I totally get the job she has to do. I know I’m not a bedazzled L.A. matchmaker, but not unlike her job, I have to make sense out of the vague, and guide people to their love matches.

My reality TV show? The Coffee Bean Matchmaker – Going on nothing but “I like Colombian”, or “I like a dark roast”, then taking clients from an unsatisfied past with coffee into their newly evolved relationship with the bean.

Are you trying to find your coffee soul mate? Here are a few tips for you to help your matchmaker get you what you’re searching for the next time you visit your favorite coffee roaster.

1. Quality counts. Yep, if you’re searching for an intelligent, loving, athletic, and complex mate, you’re not likely going to find that person at your local Booze-n-Pole at 2 a.m. It’s certainly possible, but let’s agree – not likely. If you’re looking for quality coffee, start with a roaster that roasts quality product.

2. Coffees have endless profiles. Like people, no two coffees are identical. Saying “I like Colombian” is the equivalent of saying “I like Colombian women”. What’s more helpful? Talk about what you liked or disliked about the last Colombian you tried (coffee that is). Describe some of what you tasted, or how it tasted brewed in your French press. A little more information will help the roaster read between the lines.

3. Ask for help. Know that your roaster can send you home with a great coffee in hand, but you can still mess up the relationship big time by using a bad quality grinder, brewer, or random bad habit that will send you to divorce court before the second date. Ask your roaster for grinding, brewing and storing tips to help you score a home run.

4. Don’t assume. If you got dumped by your lady friend, and decided to date her sister in hopes that she’d be exactly the same person, you’re on the wrong track. Just like siblings, a coffee from the same growing region might offer similar qualities, but might not meet your expectations. Even the exact same coffee, from the exact same farmer, the next harvest season can taste different. Weather conditions, harvest timing, and coffee processing can all affect the final result.

5. You have the right to expect consistency. Yep, if you fall in love with her fun jokes, bright personality, and loving attention, you don’t want to wake up to bridezilla six months from now. Just the same, a coffee roaster’s blends, although constantly evolving with changing harvests or availability, should always land where expected in terms of what is delivered in your cup. A roaster producing signature blends will tweak them with careful tasting and testing to keep the similar experience on track over the seasons. A single origin from the same lot should stay consistent with each fresh batch during the limited months it’s available, but likely expect changes when the new harvest arrives the next year.

6. Get to know her background. I don’t believe that a person should be judged by her family, but the reality is that what goes on behind the scenes of a roasterie are things you can ask about. What is the roaster’s experience level? What kind of ongoing training do they do? What kind of roasting system is used? Is the roaster’s process certified organic? If you like what you’re sipping, then maybe none of this matters, but when wooing a new mate these things help paint a more complete picture about what can be expected as your relationship grows.

7. How old is she? Yes, it might be rude to ask a woman’s age, but if you wanna have some little ones running around your house in the coming years, you’ll probably want to know how that biological clock is doing. Coffee is no exception. Ask its age every time, and only go for the fresh stuff. It should be right there in front of you on the bag or roasterie bin. If it’s not, don’t date.

8. Finally, don’t be afraid to play the field. Those willing to try new things will often be rewarded most. Coffee origins, blends, and roast degrees will all contribute to the flavor in your cup, so try to find the coffee personality that makes you giggle most. This includes brew methods. Be open to drip, pour over, press or espresso if you have the chance to explore. Some will find their true love and form a committed relationship, while others may prefer switching it up all the time. Whatever your style, coffee is totally cool either way.

Most of all, have fun, and happy dating…uhh….errr….sipping.

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Snapshooter Profile October

Check out our latest featured photographer! Greg Ha won our October “Sunriser” label spot, and it looks like all those hours in the photo lab as a kid have paid off…at least this month!

Name: Greg Ha, MD
Home Town: Bend, OR

What’s your story? When I was in high school my siblings and I built a black and white photo lab inside our house. I spent many hours there thinking that maybe someday I would be a professional photographer for a magazine like National Geographic. I never got that good at photography, but I do still love taking pictures.

What’s your favorite thing to photograph?
My favorite thing to photograph by far is my daughter Samantha. She has taught me that you have to take a lot of photographs to get one good photograph.

Greg's winning Sunriser picture

What would you say to someone else about the Lizzy’s Fresh Label contest?
I would encourage anyone to enter the Fresh Label Contest. Fun for the coffee lover and photographer in all of us.

Oh yes, what’s your favorite way to drink your coffee?
My favorite way to drink my coffee is not necessarily the way I make my coffee. Although I love my french press and newly acquired vacuum pot, it’s having the time for each step when making my coffee. Weighing the beans, grinding the beans, pressing the pot, and drinking it without having to rush out the door.

Where can our readers see more of your photography? No blog, website, or Flickr page, but maybe I’ll just have to enter the contest again!
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Do you have the perfect shot for one of the Lizzy’s Fresh Coffee labels? Submit it for a chance to win the cover of one of our coffees a free month of coffee! Go to www.lizzysfreshcoffee.com to submit online now.

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How to Store Coffee – 3 Tips

Ok, so you’ve purchased some amazing freshly roasted coffee. How do you take care of it from here? What? Rules, you’re thinking? Yep…but if you know these 3 secrets, your coffee will be tasty for up to 2 weeks.

Coffee’s Life is Very Short: Unfortunately, coffee will only stay fresh and flavorful for up to 2 weeks from its roasting day. So ideally you purchase only what you can consume in that time. During the staling process, the oils oxidize, becoming rancid, and the aromas disappear…yep….poof. Sorry, there’s no botox on the planet that can delay it. The good news is that you can be sure that it’s as slow as possible so you can enjoy every sip during the short time you have together.

Know the Enemies: Coffee is kind of anti social. Air, moisture, and light are coffee’s enemies. Plain and simple…letting these be all up in your coffee’s business will make your coffee stale faster than you can say yuck. Store your coffee in an airtight, opaque container to keep it happy.

Coffee Hates to be Cold or Hot: Finicky little thing, it is. Never store your 2 week fresh coffee supply in the freezer or refrigerator. And never store in a hot place like on top of a fridge or in a cabinet over the oven. In and out of the freezer or fridge introduces moisture, and exposure to heat gives the coffee sweaty armpits. Both situations break down the amazing intense aromas and flavors. Coffee likes to be at room temperature, right on your countertop. Read our blog about freezing coffee.

Options for Storage:

The bag it came in. Here at Lizzy’s we package our coffee immediately after roasting in foil bags with one-way degassing valves (that’s the little thing that looks like a belly button on your coffee bag). This allows the CO2 to escape, but doesn’t allow any oxygen in. It also keeps away moisture and light. It’s a great way to store your coffee if you simply roll down the bag, squeezing out the excess air, and flip back the tin tie or tape to create a nice tight seal.

A Decorative Tin or Container: Need a little more style than the bag? You can store in a decorative container, IN the foil bag. Follow directions above, then place entire coffee-in-bag in your container.

In a Container Designed to Hold Coffee, like the AirScape Storage Container: A sweet stainless steel design has a double lid system. The first lid presses excess air out of the chamber and blocks light. The second see-through lid creates an additional barrier, plus lets you see the contents level inside. Super clever, clean, and easy to use. Ideal for use with whole bean storage.

Sorry, the bad news is that if your coffee is already old, there’s no storage method in the world to make it come back to life. You might have to “repurpose” your coffee, or simply suffer through drinking it until it’s gone if that’s your style.

Do you have a question or a comment about this post? Tell us what you think below. If you like it, please share it on Facebook, Like it, or re-tweet!

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Featured August Snapshooter

Photographer Tara Reifenheiser always wows us with her snaps!


Photographer Name: Tara Reifenheiser
Home Town: Long Island, New York

Would you say you’re a snapshot taker, or a pro, or something in between? I am definitely not a pro, but I do take pictures everyday. I consider my love for photography a healthy obsession and a large part of my life. I either have something in mind I want to shoot, or I will just randomly snap the shutter. I do not leave the house without my camera. It trumps my purse and cell phone.

This month's winning snap from Tara...


What kinds of pictures do you enjoy taking? I consider myself an ecclectic photographer who enjoys shooting all people, all places, and all things. My passion is taking pictures that tell a story or convey a mood or emotion. I often pair my images with music lyrics or song titles on my website, since photography and music are the loves of my life.
Have you had a chance to share your fame, or your coffee with others? Absolutely! I share my fame with all friends and family who have enjoyed the coffee labels as well as Lizzy’s coffee. And I drink Lizzy’s coffee every morning. What’s interesting is that I was a tea drinker until I was introduced to Lizzy’s coffee. Lizzy’s coffee turned me into a coffee addict! My sister in law was laughing about how I didn’t know how to use our coffee maker last year, and now I am grinding our Lizzy’s coffee every morning.

And last but not least…what’s your favorite way to brew and drink your coffee? Vanilla creamer and cinnamon.

Anyone can submit a snapshot for a chance to have your pick featured and win a free month of coffee: Click Here

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