The Vegetarian Gazette

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Six Sips of Coffee 

It's confirmed. Mars has water. This invites the big question: How do you take your coffee?

After all, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Where there’s fire and water, there’s coffee. How can we not savor the prospect of Martian java? Pink Sky. Blue sun. Two moons. No waiting.

The coffee we drink and how we drink it is the result of highly individual choices — a complex, mystical process, The many roasts, native countries, blends, infusions and brewing methods offer endless opportunities for experimentation and wonder Your veteran reporter’s fallback is Medaglia d’Oro brewed with an Aeropress.

Here are a few random sips of information about coffee.

Javazen Coffee seen in vegetarian


(1) A new standout brand is Javazen coffee. It was born in a University of Maryland dormitory. That’s where and when Aaron Wallach and cofounders, Eric Golman and Ryan Schueler, were pulling an all-nighter fueled by “bad university coffee.” They decided they “could make coffee better.”

And they did.

“We wanted to design it so you wouldn’t get shakes after drinking it,” says Wallach. The solution? Infuse the brew with matcha green tea.  There was much tinkering, tasting and testing. They brought their coffee to farmer’s markets and other venues where they sought feedback.

“We went to a hackathon in April, 2014,” says Wallach. “We had backpacks full of coffee, and gave samples of Javazen to thousands of people.  We got awesome reviews. People were slamming five cups  and not getting jitters.”

There’s more to Javazen than less jitters. When the guys were ready to go to market, they had refined their formula. They unleashed their Balanced blend. Its ingredients (all organic) are coffee, matcha green tea, cacao nibs, ground cinnamon and ground vanilla bean.  The young company has added to its offerings.  Boost (coffee, yerba mate, aḉai berry powder) gets you going (“Gives you that little bump bump,” says Wallach.). Relax (decaffeinated coffee, goji berries and rooibos tea) calms you down.(Balanced is now also called “Original.”) The Javazen coffees are organic, kosher, vegan, non-GMO and gluten-free —and they fondle your tongue with flavor. The Javazen musketeers consider ethical sourcing par of their brand.

“We go directly to farmers,” says Wallach. “We go down to Nicaragua and Honduras and meet our farmers and suppliers directly. We pay farmers more than if we were part of the Fair Trade Program.”

For more Javazen information, click here.

Ninja Coffee Bar


(2) To drink coffee, we first must brew coffee. We tested the recently released Ninja Coffee Bar and can report it not only gives a good cup of coffee but it’s kinda fun. It gives you brewing options — size (single cup to full carafe), richness (classic, rich, over ice, and specialty brews).

The Ninja provides degree of richness through a process the manufacturer calls “thermal flavor extraction” (quite scientific sounding and yet reassuring). A first wave of water sprays the coffee in the brew basket. The saturated grounds sit in the basket a bit (depending on desired richness) and release their flavor. After a carefully calibrated pause, the remaining water sprays into the basket and then it drips. Hooray! Coffee!

The Ninja’s most amazing feature might just be its simple concept. It does the thinking for you. This is particularly significant in the morning — that time of day when all questions are answered with an “I don’t know; I haven’t had my coffee yet.”

Ninja coffee bar with cup of classic brew seen in vegetarian

Its removable water reservoir measures out the exact amount of water you need, depending on the selected receptacle (mug to full carafe).  The Intelligent Warming Plate doesn’t just keep on going. It keeps the coffee at a well regulated temp and compensated for the size of the contaner. The double-sided  pre-measured scoop accessory offers the appropriate  amount for each receptacle.

Perhaps the goofiest sounding but most adorable part is the Ninja Easy Frother. This provides the gateway to such specialty drinks as a latte or cappuccino, and is a separate accessory. It resembles a French press. You put a cup of milk in the glass beaker and nuke it. Insert the press and pump it 20 times with style and grace. Transfer the now frothy milk to your cup and place the cup on the Ninja cup stand. Set it for specialty coffee and away you go.

Is it real cappuccino?

No. But it’s pretty darned good imaginary cappuccino

(3) For acoustic fans, there’s the IMUSA Global Kitchen Stovetop Espresso Maker. Make espresso the classic way. Heat pushes the boiling water from the base through the grounds in the top carafe. In a few minutes, the elixir is ready to sip — the perfect brew for discussing philosophy or revolution. That’s not all. The handles and knobs are cool and won’t burn you. For more about the espresso maker, click here.

(4) KRUPS GX5000 Professional Burr Grinder is a coffee bean grinder. Coffee zealots prefer burr grinders (they crush) to blade grinders (they chop). The results are more even, and there’s less friction-caused heat to degrade the flavor. The GX5, a metallic flat burr grinder, provides 45 settings that range from ever so fine to coarse. It holds up to eight ounces of beans and can grind from 2-12 cups worth.  For more about the grinder, click here.

IMUSA 8-piece espresso set as seen in