Time can be daunting. No matter who remarks on time, the general consensus often is that both too little time and too much time can instill fear. Love, too, is a thing to be feared because it is a thing to be lost. These ideas play heavily throughout Matt Haig’s How to Stop Time.
Hey, hey! We're here today with a guest post from Jena Brown. Come on in and have a cuppa Joe with us as we explore the various ways to brew a delicious cup of the best hot beverage on Earth.
Is there anything better than curling up with a good book and a hot cup of coffee? It’s a combination that’s tough to beat. As any good coffee aficionado can tell you, this is a complex beverage, able to change its flavor depending on how it’s prepared and served. With a huge variety of flavors, beans, and brewing potential available, the possibilities for a unique cup of delicious java are infinite! Just like reading!
Having a box that automatically pairs a delicious blend of coffee with a different genre of fiction every month got me thinking. What would it be like to pair a brew method to that genre? I went through each Apostrophe Box to find out!
December: Science Fiction
Of all the ways to brew coffee, vacuum (or siphon) brewing screams Science Fiction. It literally uses vapor pressure and gravity to make coffee. Seriously, it’s like this method was made for the avid Sci-Fi reader.
Developed in the 1830s, this is an elaborate yet surprisingly easy method of brewing. The pot consists of two chambers, an upper and a lower. Grounds go in the top, water in the bottom. As the water heats, it is forced into the upper chamber via vapor pressure. Once the appropriate brew time has been reached, remove the heat and gravity forces the brewed mix through a filter into the lower chamber. VOILA! Coffee!
Don’t worry, you won’t need Breaking Bad level skills, or even have to pass basic chemistry, for this method! Even better, the equipment makes you feel as if you’re in a science lab instead of a kitchen. Bonus points for ambiance!
When I think of Horror, I think of an intense buildup with a shocking jolt at the end. Which immediately made me think: ESPRESSO!
Espresso is sharp, strong, and bold. It’s the coffee choice for people who know what they want. Something rich, complex, and full of flavor. It’s for people who relish anticipation, who know that all good things come to those who wait.
Good espresso takes a bit of time. You have to allow the machine to warm, allow the pressure to build. And just when you think you can’t take anymore, your patience is rewarded! Both give you a power punch ending: satisfying, delicious, and guaranteed to wake you up. Espresso is also perfect for Horror because we all know there’s no sleeping after that ending anyway, right?!
There’s something deeply satisfying about good Literary Fiction. These books take you on a journey into the human experience. This genre requires a brewing method that explores the depth of the bean. That draws out the richly complex flavors hidden deep within. And there’s only one method that does that: Cold Brew.
To get a perfect cold brew, you have to let the grounds steep with cold water for 12 hours or longer. It’s a gentle brew method. One that brings out all the natural oils in the bean. It’s less acidic than brewed coffee and tends to be crisper and sweeter in flavor.
I find that Literary Fiction is so much the same. It’s a longer, drawn out experience. One that draws out deep emotions and stays with me long after I close the cover. I can’t think of a more perfect pairing.
When I picture having coffee in a historical setting, for some reason I envision a French Press. It’s true that this is a somewhat new brewing method, only coming about in the early 1920s. But there’s something elegant and refined about brewing coffee with a French Press. It’s relatively easy, once you get the hang of it, yet it elicits full flavor from whatever bean you use, giving you the ability to enjoy a complex set of flavors.
Enjoying a good Historical Fiction novel isn’t about stepping into a certain time period. It’s about falling into that time completely. It doesn’t matter if it’s ancient Athens or the turbulent 60s. I just want to be swept away. The French Press diffuses the elements of the bean together, submersing them to give you an experience that is complex, lush, and expressive. Just like Historical Fiction.
Really, there’s no wrong way to enjoy your coffee. Most days I’d take it in an IV if it was offered. But it is fun learning about new ways to brew and trying them out! Do you have a favorite brewing method? Or one you’re dying to try? Comment below and tell us how you make your favorite cup!
Jena Brown is a writer, reader, and blogger. When she isn’t reading, she is reviewing books and writing her first novel. She believes that books are magic and dreams are meant to be pursued. Come talk books http://www.jenabrownwrites.com
Book Lovers Coffee is the featured roaster for the February, 2018 Literary Fiction Apostrophe Box, and let me tell you, if you haven't experienced this coffee, you are truly missing out! Read on to learn more about this coffee company and its owner, Shelly Blakeley.
Book Lovers Coffee came into being in March of 2016 with a goal, according to Shelly, "to roast coffee as ordered and get it to our customer as quickly as possible. We do not hold any stock of roasted coffee and are very serious about freshness!" Shelly even hand-writes the roasting date on the bag so that customers know exactly how fresh their coffee is.
How it all began: "My husband Patrick and I started a coffee company called Lexington Coffee Co in January of 2016. I personally had big dreams of owning a coffee shop and book store but figured that would take years to come to fruition. After becoming part of the #bookstagram community I realized that I could have an online store and work toward making my dreams a reality a little sooner. This summer we plan on opening a coffee shop in the lake village we live in and I of course will be incorporating as many book shelves as i can stuff into one little shop! "
Most Popular roast/blend: "Our top sellers of 2017 are Book Haul which is Vanilla Cinnamon and Butterbeer which is a buttery butterscotch with a hint of magic."
Where Book Lovers Coffee can be found: Book Lovers Coffee pops up in various book subscription boxes and can always be purchased at our online store at www.bookloverscoffee.com
If you're searching for the perfect gift for your coffee-loving bookaholic friend, Book Lovers Coffee is a wonderful choice! Even the packaging evokes a love of literacy via labels that mimic library check-out cards!
Be sure to follow Shelly and her book-and-coffee-loving adventures on Instagram.
First of all, let me express how much I enjoyed this novel! (Immensely, hello!) Not only is it a well-crafted story that highlights the relationship between four siblings as children in 1969, but follows those siblings throughout important life decisions that are made in the wake of the prophecy they each receive from a fortune teller.
From Google Books:
“It's 1969, and holed up in a grimy tenement building in New York's Lower East Side is a travelling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the date they will die. The four Gold children, too young for what they're about to hear, sneak out to learn their fortunes.
Over the years that follow, the siblings must choose how to live with the prophecies the fortune-teller gave them that day. Will they accept, ignore, cheat or defy them? Golden-boy Simon escapes to San Francisco, searching for love; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician; eldest son Daniel tries to control fate as an army doctor after 9/11; and bookish Varya looks to science for the answers she craves.
A sweeping novel of remarkable ambition and depth, The Immortalists is a story about how we live, how we die, and what we do with the time we have.”
The most important element of this novel, for me, is reflection; the time I spent considering the weight of words and how we, as people, often allow ourselves to be influenced by the ideas of outside sources. Did the Gold children make the choices they made based on the fortune teller’s words? Had they never gone to see the Romani woman, would their lives have been significantly different? If the same prophecy had been told by anyone else—say, a family member—would the children have allowed those words to hang about them as a shroud, a force that seemed to dictate what they were destined to do in life.
***SPOILER WARNING: If you do not want elements of the novel to be spoiled, do not read further.***
Want to talk about the books included in your Apostrophe Box with other subscribers? Join the group on Facebook!
It's easy. Just GO HERE or click the image below, answer the questions (to cut down on spammers), and we'll get you approved.
Come on in. You don't even have to bring the coffee. We've got it covered.
January's Apostrophe Box featured Joe Hill's Strange Weather, the newest release from the horror writer. This collection of four short novels debuted at #9 on the New York Times bestseller list.
The four novellas that make up Strange Weather are Snapshot, Loaded, Aloft, and Rain. Each story differs from the next in terms of the point-of-view character, but, as one would expect from a collection of short novels, there are similarities aplenty. Let's chat a bit about the novel, shall we?
Hey, hey! Cheers to a wonderful (albeit cold) Saturday!
We're unveiling something pretty cool: Coffee Roaster Spotlights!
We're so excited about this opportunity to share a bit more with you all about the coffee roasters that we have (and will) feature in previous/upcoming Apostrophe Boxes.
If you're anything like us, you love to learn more about the people behind the products you love, and that's what this series is intended to do: help you learn more. Especially since we strive to source our coffee from small teams of roasters from across the US, it'll be a great opportunity to not only spread the word about their enterprise to Apostrophe Box subscribers, but it'll help spread the word about our love for coffee and books as well-- even to those who don't subscribe. Great, right? Right!
So, be on the lookout for those posts coming soon. In the mean time, be sure to check out Jeremy's discussion of The Collapsing Empire.
Candice & Jeremy
ALERT: Possible Spoilers.
Good day, everyone, and welcome to the first of our Apostrophe Box discussion posts! I’m Jeremy, and I’ll be your captain on our maiden voyage. Now, our first book to go out in the Apostrophe Box was The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi. I chose this book for our inaugural run because I love Scalzi’s Old Man’s War and because good science fiction is always full of worthy discussion topics.
As a warning, these posts will include SPOILERS for the books they focus on, but anyone (not just our subscribers!) is free to join in below. We only ask that you keep it as clean and respectful as possible. Thanks, and once again, welcome!
We're excited to announce that in 2018 we'll be doing monthly giveaways for members of our mailing list. As a way of saying THANK YOU, we're looking to give a little back to you.
Winners will be randomly selected from mailing list members, so be sure to join our mailing list if you haven't done so already. You may do so by clicking <<<HERE>>>.
The first giveaway will be held on New Year's Day! Winner(s) will be announced via email and social media.
Good news, Book+Coffee Lovers! WE ARE LIVE!
*insert furious happy dance*
We are excited to announce that we are live and taking orders for a limited number of boxes that will ship just after Christmas in December!
The genre we have chosen for this first box is SciFi- Space Opera from an author with an extensive catalog of novels. The coffee curated for this first box is a delicious medium roast that complements the debut genre well. You'll be excited to receive the additional items we've curated for this box, as well, but it's a surprise!
Grab your box now before they sell out. We have a VERY limited number.
These boxes will make the perfect gift for the military scifi lover in your life.
Edit: Shipping month edited from January to December & genre modified from Military SciFi to Space Opera.