Mayme Gretsch is the brains, the brawn, and the buttery fingers whisking the batter of Utterly Nashville, her fine pastry project she founded in 2014. Before crashing the local confectioner's party with her classic treats (cannelé! pies!), Mayme worked in kitchens across the Midwest (and Spain!), and helped open The Catbird Seat as pastry chef. Utterly Nashville's doughnuts, macarons, and cannelé live at CREMA Friday through Sunday, while Mayme's pies and other dazzling delectables set up shop at Dino's all week long.
It’s inevitable, coffee has to go in cups. Too often in paper cups. Those cups need lids. And those doughnut-smudged faces must be wiped clean with paper napkins, so many, many napkins. When our cargo pockets bulge with croissants and our fanny packs bemoan another muffin we must carry our secret joys in a more conspicuous paper container, our happy box. Our joys add up and all those gleefully soiled papery and used plastic thingys become something. A big something. To be exact, it’s 50 tons of something… each and every year at CREMA. We checked, and it turns out that’s a rather MASSIVE pile.
Yemeni coffee exporters Mokhtar Alkhanshali and Andrew Nicholson couldn’t have known what would befall them on their voyage to Seattle for the SCAA Expo in April of last year. Upon attempting to leave Yemen’s capitol city of Sana’a, the two friends found themselves in the midst of an airstrike, unable to fly anywhere. Determined to present their coffees on the industry’s largest stage, Alkhanshali and Nicholson committed to drive seven hours to the city of Mokka, where they then convinced a fishing boat captain to tote them and 100 kilos of coffee across the Red Sea; all this, only to be detained by the Djibouti national coast guard. After Djibouti Port Authorities contacted the U.S. Embassy, the travelers received the go-ahead and were able to catch a 3 A.M. flight from Kenya to the U.S.
People are always asking us how much coffee we drink per day: "Workin' here, you guys must slurp it right up!" Most people, it seems, assume we slug enough coffee each day to power a fleet of commercial jets.
The real answer is: much less than you'd think. A cup or two a day, with maybe an espresso thrown in there for good measure.
So are we. That’s why we’re debuting two new coffees this week. Or more like, right now.
First, there’s the Elida Estate Honey from the Lamastas family in Panama. These beans are brimming with a balance of decadent, smooth and sweet honey, perfectly balanced with honeydew melon and vanilla. Nothing’s overpowering. Nothing’s lacking
Elizabeth Chai has found her way into a vortex of awesomeness that has crushed us with jealousy. Elizabeth is a designer, writer, photographer, CREMA-friend, and, most notably, an insatiable lover of coffee -- a love that, last week, launched her forth on a road trip for the ages.
We call it a road trip, she calls it a Cross Country Camper Coffee Crawl (#crosscountrycampercoffeecrawl), a La Marzocco-sponsored jaunt across America with a Linea Mini, a MINI Cooper, a mini camper, and a miniature Greyhound.
Behind the reins of Prima, chef Sal Avila has steered Nashville dining into a delightful spot. Settled nicely into the Gulch, the going-on-one-year-old restaurant has been a bright light in the city's crowded culinary scene. Prima, an impressive take on American fine dining, is a restaurant spiced with Sal's unique international experiences, boasting fantastic wine, cocktail, and -- if we may say so ourselves -- coffee programs. In fact, Prima's commitment to the restaurant coffee experience is nearly unparalleled in the city. It might just be that we got Sal hooked during his morning trips into CREMA. Sal answered some questions via email -- check 'em out below! (Since we talked, Sal has changed things up -- and the "breakfast of champions" [you'll learn about it in a minute] is no longer on the menu!)