Cafe Sessions with Steve: October 2023

Welcome back to another exciting Café Session! As the ghostly apparitions of Halloween fade into the background and the Halloween costumes have been packed away, (no more debates about whether dressing as a coffee bean is too cliché), leaving behind a trail of sweet memories and sugar-induced shivers, we find ourselves basking in the aromatic embrace of November. And, let's face it, the chill in the air feels like a wake-up call even before that first sip of morning brew. Halloween was a blast, no doubt, but it brought with it a spine-tingling reminder that winter's icy grasp is inching closer.

But enough about the winter that looms on the horizon; let's keep things warm and cozy, shall we? As we turn our attention from Halloween candy to the comforting aroma of roasting turkey, it's the season to reflect on the things that warm our hearts (and mugs). And while we're at it, I won't judge if you sneak a slice of pumpkin pie for breakfast – just don't be that person who shimmies down the chimney spouting Holiday Cheer before the turkey's even out of the oven.

As always, in this month's Café Session, I’m here to satisfy your coffee cravings and answer your burning questions. Whether you're on a quest to master the art of sipping the perfect brew in your office or you're taking your first steps into the enchanting world of coffee, we've got you covered.

So grab your favorite coffee cup, cozy up, and prepare to uncover the secrets to a splendid coffee experience right here in the October Café Session.

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What's the secret to enjoying a perfect cup of coffee in your office, you ask? Well, if you're a part of the Enterprise Coworking community, consider yourself lucky – there's no need to go any further. Just swing by Rise Café to pay me a visit, and you'll find a full-service barista wielding some of the finest coffee equipment money can buy, all just a few steps away from your workspace.

However, I understand that not everyone reading my Café Sessions enjoys the privilege of working at Enterprise. So, for those of you who find yourselves sipping coffee outside the Enterprise oasis, here are a few handy tips to brew a delightful cup of that glorious bean elixir right in your own office or at home.

These days, convenience is key, and a trusty single-cup coffee maker, like a Nespresso machine, might be your best ally. Simply load it up with water, insert your coffee pod, press a button, and voilà – coffee ready in the blink of an eye. But, I must admit, there's a downside to these machines – their environmental impact due to the plastic waste generated by those tiny pods. It's a bitter aftertaste to an otherwise sweet brew.

For those of you with a little extra time and a flair for the craft, I always recommend the satisfying ritual of using a French Press or a Pour Over method. There's a touch of science to it, so be sure to explore the art of proper French Press brewing by following this link: How To: The Perfect French Press.

Now, for the true coffee aficionados among you, who bring their own espresso machines to the office or have one at home, kudos to your dedication. But remember, practice makes perfect, and even experienced baristas benefit from a refresher. Dive into some online tutorials or consider attending in-person classes to master the art of pulling a flawless espresso shot. And if you're in the Denver area, Novo Coffee offers not just delicious Espresso Novo (a personal favorite of mine) but also classes that ensure you're brewing and serving their coffee with finesse.

In those moments when time is of the essence and that meeting is just around the corner, the Aeropress method is your quick and crafty coffee companion. Though not ideal for sharing since it's a one-cup-at-a-time deal, it's your speedy ticket to a quality coffee fix. This nifty device lets you create your own pressure plunger, forcing water through the filter, like a portable espresso maker on the go!

But, amidst all the brewing methods and gadgets, there's a golden rule that holds true: the care of your coffee and the equipment. Never, and I mean never, store your coffee beans in the refrigerator or freezer – they'll just gather condensation and, worst case, grow mold. It's a taste you definitely want to avoid.

And here's a tip for office cleanliness – with so many hands busy brewing coffee, it's essential that someone takes the initiative to tackle the coffee stains that can affect the flavor of your brew. Invest in a coffee cleaner solution like Cafiza and let it soak overnight in the coffee pot with hot water (the same temperature you brew your coffee with will do). Give it a gentle scrub in the morning, rinse thoroughly, and your coffee maker will be as good as new.

So there you have it, the recipe for a flawless office coffee experience. Happy brewing!


This is a fantastic question (I love getting back to the basics), and hits close to home for me! You see, I have a personal coffee journey that began with a less-than-ideal introduction. Back when I was a kid, I used to accompany my parents to the local coffee shop, but stepping inside would invariably lead to uncontrollable coughing fits. Coffee, in its full-bodied, unadulterated glory, was a bit too robust for my young palate.

However, fast forward 25 years, and I've been managing coffee shops – both local and corporate – for nearly two decades now. It's a classic case of "it's not about how you start, but how you finish." As I grew older and more accustomed to the coffee world, I discovered a fondness for hot chocolates. That fondness never really left me, and nowadays, I occasionally indulge in a double shot latte with a touch of chocolate. Though I do appreciate the pure essence of a quality cup of craft coffee, I also recognize that in the coffee realm, it's all about finding the drink that truly tickles your taste buds and fuels your day.

Much like acquiring a taste for beer, coffee can be a tad intense when you first dive in. I vividly recall my initial encounters with beer, from the skunky Corona to the watery Michelob Ultra, until eventually landing on the "delicate" Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR), I think my taste for beer has become much more refined... In a similar vein, my initial sip of a Red Eye (coffee with a shot of espresso) didn't quite tickle my taste buds. Thankfully, I had my trusty hot chocolate to wash away the flavor.

So, here's my advice for coffee newcomers – start small. Begin with perhaps a single shot of espresso in your coffee or experiment with your favorite flavors, like a vanilla latte or a mocha if you're partial to chocolate. The world of coffee is brimming with possibilities, and there's always room to explore. In fact, I recently whipped up a Chai Latte for a guest who sought something warm but without the strong embrace of coffee. It's all about finding your perfect coffee match, and with time, your palate will refine, just like my journey from coughing fits to coffee shop management.

If you have a topic or question you’d like me to tackle next month, don’t hesitate to ask! Submit an anonymous question or problem here. No name or email required.