Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Up & Down - That's Just What We Did

Back in early May I had the opportunity through the AFBA to join some fellow bloggers in taking the "Up & Down" coffee/beer tour at Casa Brasil and South Austin Brewery. Though my good friend Mad Betty told me I would love it, I did not comprehend the intense experience I would have. I won't give away too much of the tour (because you should all take it) but I will tell you that if you think you know what makes a great cup of coffee, this tour may just change your opinion. My mind was blown (and sore) from the vast amount of information that was given. I walked in thinking I drank good coffee and that I understood the process. I walked out feeling like I have been disrespecting the bean all these years.  Now I know better! So with a few new coffee tools, tons of knowledge and some fresh beans, I'm ready to brew a fresh cup, respectfully, of course.  I'm jus' sayin'!

A Shared Experience
On this particular outing I brought a girlfriend who is still fairly new to this city (via Las Vegas) and has a hunger to explore all things Austin. Not sure if it was all the caffeine or the tasty brews afterward but I was able to convince her to write about her experience on this day to include here. Please give a warm Southern welcome to Sonia as she shares her experience. Hey - maybe this is just the push she needs to start writing a blog of her own and join the AFBA!

Sonia H.

Up & Down Tour - By Sonia H.
Today was special. A lucky few had the opportunity to learn about every day treats that we enjoy - coffee and beer. So simple, yet so complex. Today, a veil lifted - allowing me to see and understand more clearly, something I felt I already knew well enough, to enjoy. I was delightfully wrong. Amazing how quickly a shift in perspective can rock your world.

The day began with Casa Brasil Coffees opening their home to the Austin Food Bloggers Alliance and invited guests, to meet their family and see the love and care infused within their coffee.

I will never approach another cup of coffee the same. After delving into what I feel is the soul of a coffee bean, following it through from inception to a fresh brew, my mind is blown. Subtle and not so subtle differences based on region, roasting, brewing technique, human intention.... the layers of science and artful mastery at Casa Brasil is one to experience.

Lunch provided by the J. Mueller crew was quite the treat, as well as much needed sustenance, after countless tastings of coffee....feeling the caffeine dance through our veins was entertaining, to say the least.

Ending the tour with a visit to the South Austin Brewing Company was the cherry on top! Scrumptious Belgian Ale made locally was a sweet surprise. Journeying through the beer-making process was enlightening and hearing how the Brewery believes and applies the reduce, reuse, recycle method in various ways as a part of their business, was refreshing.

I gained so much knowledge yet what I value most, is my incredible experience shared among the Austin Food Bloggers Alliance with the folks of Casa Brasil and South Austin Brewing Company on this beautiful Austin day.

The way I brew now.
Beautiful Bags waiting for Beans.

Yes they also provide a delicious lunch, before heading over to the Beer.

Jordan Weeks
Oh did I mention we got to taste all of these too?