Coffee Brewing Techniques,Tools, and Terminology

Barista Badge, Step 1

Is a cafe-quality cup of coffee in the comfort of your own home possible? Brewing the perfect cup of coffee may seem like a daunting task. I often take the quick and easy way out and dump my Maxwell House ground coffee into my home coffee maker, pour in the water and wait for my cup of joe… but there is a better way.

You can make a much better cup of coffee at home! And it can be achieved without breaking the bank or spending hours doing it. Read on to find out how.

In this post we look into home coffee brewing techniques and the tools recommended to make a great cup of coffee. Additionally, we will explore common coffee terminology and have you talking like a barista in no time!

Interested in learning more about coffee? Our last post covered the history and types of coffee. In today’s post, we discuss home brewing tools and techniques, coffee terms, and throw in a few coffee fun facts!

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Barista Research: The History of Coffee

Barista Badge, Step 1

Coffee plays an integral part in many morning routines around the world. It wakes us up, gives us energy, and warms the soul. But coffee is more than just a morning beverage! It provides people with the opportunity to meet, discuss issues of the day, and to join together.

Coffee has a very long and interesting history. Coffee has been coveted, smuggled, and banned. It has inspired riots and helped create nations. Join us as we travel the world to find out how coffee landed in our kitchens, cafes, and drive-throughs!

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Common Yoga Poses and Benefits

Yogi Badge, Step 1

The benefits of yoga poses are many. Regular practice benefits yogis both physically and mentally. This “feel good” result keeps bringing people (us included!) back to the mat to engage in this ancient practice.

Interested in learning more about the ancient practice of yoga? Our last post covered the history and types of yoga and yoga terminology.

In today’s post, we discuss the benefits of yoga and the common postures associated with the practice.

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Yoga History, Types, and Terminology

Yogi Badge, Step 1

As winter sets in we naturally slow down, take inventory, and reflect on life. Some associate this time of year with increased focus on self-improvement and better health. Yoga practice provides an excellent opportunity to cover all of these bases.

We have been yogi’s (that is, someone who practices yoga) for many years. I still fondly remember my first yoga classes at the library of our local public school. The dim lights, soft music, and refreshing stretches were just what a frazzled mom needed. I was hooked. Although I love the yoga classes of today, learning about yoga’s very long and rich history for our Yogi Badge felt like an overwhelming task. But I did it! And I boiled it down to the good stuff for you. Join us as we stretch and dip our toes into the ocean of yoga history, different types of yoga practiced today, and commonly used yoga terminology.

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Vegan Spritz Cookies

As we are working on the Cookie Connoisseur Badge, I thought it would be fun to take a dive into one of our family’s favorite cookies: the Spritz Cookie. These almond flavored cookies are synonymous with Christmas to me! Turns out, they are a Christmas favorite for many others as well. Read on to learn more about Spritz Cookies and watch the video below to hear about our family tradition, see how to make Spritz Cookies yourself, and learn how we’ve managed to veganize this holiday classic.

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Cookie Baking Party Tips

Cookie Connoisseur Badge, Step 3

To complete Step 3 of the Cookie Connoisseur Badge, we got together for a cookie baking party! We gathered a few family members and baked Snickerdoodles, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Thumbprint Cookies, Spritz Cookies, and Iced Sugar Cookies. Read on and watch the video below to hear our tips for hosting your own cookie baking party.

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Cookie Decorating Class

Cookie Connoisseur Badge, Step 2

To complete Step 2 of the Cookie Connoisseur Badge we took a cookie decorating class at a local coffee shop! Emilee from Wildflour Cookie Co. taught us how to use royal icing in various colors to create borders and fill in the cookies. In cookie connoisseur terminology this is called “pipe and fill”. Emilee is beyond talented and her Instagram is pure joy. Go check it out for some cookie inspiration!

Step 2 of any badge is to learn from others. Taking an organized class is a great way to do this step if you can find one! Cookie decorating classes seem to be plentiful these days and are also offered as e-courses online. You could also take a class that teaches you how to bake various types of cookies.

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Cookie Research: History, Techniques, and Fun Facts

Cookie Connoisseur Badge, Step 1

cookie connoisseur badge

We are full swing into the holiday season around here. We can’t think of a better time to earn a badge all about cookies! We love everything cookies: cookie baking, cookie decorating, cookie tasting, cookie giving, and cookie swapping!

Although we’ve been cookie fans for a very long time, we did not know much about the history of cookies, how cookie recipes have changed over time, or how to decorate with royal icing. Join us as we become cookie connoisseurs! Follow along and research your favorite cookies, practice cookie decorating with royal icing, and learn some exciting cookie history and fun facts.

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Cookie Connoisseur Badge

Just in time for holiday baking, our next badge is the Cookie Connoisseur Badge! Join us over the next couple weeks as we learn the history of cookie baking, tips and techniques for decorating cookies, and how holiday baking has evolved over the years.

If you are interested in earning the Cookie Connoisseur Badge, follow along and complete the steps with us.

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Earn your Mixology Badge in a Weekend!

image of mixology badge, cocktail on purple background

To earn the Mixology Badge, you will research the fascinating history of cocktails. You will learn about the tools of the mixology trade and the history of fun cocktail accessories. Invite some friends along as you take a cocktail class or learn from another expert. You will then get a chance to share your cocktail cognitions with others by hosting your own cocktail party. We’ve outlined how to complete the badge in a weekend below.

But first, here is a quick rundown of how earning a badge works. We use “Badge Guides” to lay out what it takes to earn the badge.

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