Last week, chef Josh Habiger and coffee producer Edwin Martinez tagteamed to host a gorgeous, wildly delicious, and quite educational evening of dinner and coffee. And we got to be there.
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!)
Humans have a complex history with milk.
We arrive on earth totally dependent on it, a bottle of milk the only salve for our frantic cries. As we grow, our mothers fill our glasses with the stuff, exhorting us to drink our fill to strengthen our bones. Before long, though, milk is relegated to sharing a bunk with Lucky Charms or Trix, and by our teenage years we're doing the gallon challenge because our buddy Chad talked us into it.
We freakin' love Al Keating. Al is the managing and creative director for Coffee Supreme in New Zealand, where he has helped turn a popular local cafe into a coffee company with global influence. Al is enthusiastic about coffee, but is even more jazzed about people, as evidenced by his talk at the 2014 SCAA Symposium (we realize "talk at the SCAA Symposium" isn't exactly the most thrilling-sounding link, but watch it: it's so great). We got to hang out with Al on Coffee Supreme's jaunt through the States last year, and asked him one question. You can virtually hang out with Al on Twitter and Instagram.
It's a question we get a lot.
And the answer is...yes? Sort of? I mean, technically it isn't? But, like, technically it is?
As you can tell, we are very eloquently equipped to address this complex issue. So we enlisted the help of Edwin Martinez, the owner of Finca Vista Hermosa in Huehuetenango, Guatemala. Our friendship with Edwin dates to 2010, when he became the first farmer we ever bought coffee from.
Susan Sherrick is everywhere. She curates the Sherrick and Paul Gallery in Fort Houston. She makes deliciously cool leather handbags. She's also in CREMA from time to time -- her charm and easy going style have always made us big fans of hers. Susan has spent her career working in art galleries across the country, curating work from artists around the world. We're jazzed to have her in Nashville -- and we asked her this one question.
At CREMA, we try to live out the mantra "Do one thing and do it well." For us, that one thing is coffee -- we want to do it the best we can.
We are so interested in and inspired by our peers. To get to the heart of their "one thing," we've previously run a series called "What Inspires Us" in this space. That was a fun, deep look into the lives of our fellow Nashvillians.
Ask any brain-zonked college student pulling an all-nighter—coffee and scholarly study are total BFF’s.
These lifelong pals joined forces yet again on February 2nd at Vanderbilt, as the university’s Institute for Coffee Studies hosted Quality and Inequality, a panel discussion on specialty coffee. Mac Muir and William McCollum, Vandy students and research associates for the institute (and friends of CREMA), invited us to be a part. A huge turnout (our eyes guesstimated 50 or 60) from all over campus, the coffee industry, and just-happened-to-hear-about-it coffee lovers meant the coffee we brought was lick-the-pots-clean gone in about fifteen minutes—but it also meant a bunch of people participating in a necessary conversation.
I got on the plane in 2015, but I think this trip started for me sometime in 1996.
I was a senior in high school. I had a free period in the middle of the morning and a car to get off campus. So a couple of times a week I would drive four blocks to the donut shop. I would get a glazed donut, a cake donut, and a cup of coffee. The coffee was, of course, beige. It would shoot out of a spout whenever the donut-guy pressed the button on his automatic french vanilla cappuccino machine. It was sweet and syrupy and caffeinating and I would drink it in the car and try not to spill any on my shirt before class. That was coffee.