Friends Drinking Coffee on an Island

As we all know, coffee tastes better on a cool morning, the sunlight dancing through the steam rising from the cup, as you hold the mug tight for warmth, and the coffee wakes you to the world around you. 

But what if the cool morning is a freezing morning, and what if you're surrounded by friends for warmth, and what if the world the coffee is waking you to is the unfathomable wonderland of Iceland?

Yeah, coffee tastes pretty good then, too.

This is the stunning vision our friend Ry Cox offers us in his breathtaking short film "Friends Drinking Coffee on an Island." Bringing along a camera, a couple good friends, and as much coffee as we could cram in his backpack, Ry and company launched forth to Iceland, with nothing much in their sights but adventure (that and, uh, introducing the Icelandic people to a small-batch coffee roaster in Nashville, Tennessee). And it's adventure we experience, even from our side of the lens.

So brew yourself a cup, watch this gorgeous video, and let Ry's coffee-fueled wanderings urge you forward in your own adventures. 

Ry Cox is a writer, director, and cinematographer who creates music videos, short films, and commercials. His work -- and his rascally, brewing-coffee-atop-a-waterfall-in-Iceland spirit -- takes him across the world. Follow his social media-ings, and see beautiful images from his work, at @RyCoxEverybody. And the deal is, next time he's in Iceland, he's gotta take ALL of us. 

#icelandiscool

A Story About Milk

A Story About Milk

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. 

One Question Please: Al Keating of Coffee Supreme

One Question Please: Al Keating of Coffee Supreme

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.  

Ask the Farmer: "Is your coffee organic?"

Ask the Farmer: "Is your coffee organic?"

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.

One Question Please: Susan Sherrick

One Question Please: Susan Sherrick

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. 

One Question Please: Shawn Askinosie

One Question Please: Shawn Askinosie

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.

Coffee and Inequality

Coffee and Inequality

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.

Origin Trip: El Salvador 2015

Origin Trip: El Salvador 2015

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.

Winston Harrison: Certified Q-Grader

Winston Harrison: Certified Q-Grader

If you’re like us, the word “grading” left a bad taste in your mouth. Years of pop quizzes, red-marked papers, and grammar-crazed English teachers have left most of us pretty scarred by the grading process.

But at CREMA, grading just got a whole lot tastier.

In December, our roaster and green buyer Winston Harrison earned his Q Grading certification from the Coffee Quality Institute. 

All that was 2014

All that was 2014

Our hammies are sore from the stair-stepper, the gluten is in the garbage, and we’re well on our way to our goal writing in our journals more in 2015.

At CREMA, we’ve made a lot of resolutions for the New Year. We’re outfitting our training lab with more room and more tools for training and classes. We’re redesigning our cafe with an eye towards improved service, comfortability, and flow (comflowtability?). We’ll be going on even more sourcing trips this year, and for the first time, we’re bringing our baristas along.