Tag Archives: spices

Elizabeth and her little helpers in the kitchen

Meet Elizabeth Bretko of Uber Herbal

Elizabeth and her little helpers in the Uber Herbal kitchenAccording to Merriam-Webster, “Uber” is a German word that means “to an extreme or excessive degree” (that’s right, it doesn’t mean a car service worth $70 billion), and the word “herbal” refers to “a book about plants especially with reference to their medicinal properties.” As Elizabeth Bretko, the owner of Uber Herbal in Grants Pass, Oregon, explains, “Herbal refers to something that really tells the story of the plant. It’s like the collected folklore.”

Elizabeth opened Uber Herbal in 2012, selling her herbal concoctions at the local farmers market. Then, in April 2015, she opened a tea shop, tea bar, and production kitchen in downtown Grants Pass after a successful Kickstarter campaign. At Uber Herbal, a small, but growing operation, Elizabeth wears every hat. Continue reading Meet Elizabeth Bretko of Uber Herbal

Nick - Strongwater Bitters and Shrubs

Strongwater: Crafting Organic Bitters and Shrubs in Denver, Colorado

Nick - Strongwater Bitters and ShrubsStrongwater Spirits & Botanicals, founded in 2015 in Denver, Colorado, crafts and sells organic bitters and shrubs. Bitters are created by soaking barks, berries, roots, and flowers in alcohol. Add the resulting liquid to vodka, gin, whiskey, or other spirits to create tasty cocktails; or to sparkling water to flavor lunchtime refreshment; or take it straight up to aide with digestion. Shrubs date back to colonial times and are made with fruit-infused vinegar and a sweetener—most often sugar, but Strongwater uses raw Colorado honey and organic apple cider vinegar—and were traditionally a way to preserve the fruits of summer.

Strongwater offers Turmeric, Chocolate Vanilla, Spicy Lemon Ginger, Wildflower, and Orange Licorice bitters, while their shrub flavors include: Blueberry & Mint, Cherry & Thyme, Ginger & Pear, Peach & Rose, and Persimmon & Lavender. Yum! Continue reading Strongwater: Crafting Organic Bitters and Shrubs in Denver, Colorado

7 Kombucha-Flavoring Fundamentals From Hannah Crum At Kombucha Kamp

headshot2 maraMara Rose
Founder & CEO, Hatch Lab

Hannah Crum and SCOBY
From The Big Book of Kombucha (c) Hannah Crum (c) Alex LaGory. Used with permission of Storey Publishing. Photo credit: Matt Armendariz Photography

As a girl who grew up drinking pickle juice, Hannah Crum fell in love with kombucha at first sip. A sophisticated upgrade to the vinegary liquid of preserved cucumbers, kombucha inspired Hannah to become The Kombucha Mamma, and co-founder of Kombucha Kamp, and co-author of The Big Book of Kombucha with her husband and partner, Alex LaGory.

Hannah has done a ton to elevate kombucha, build the industry, and inspire everyday people to overcome their fears and brew their own fermented-tea concoctions. Making kombucha at home is fun and easy, but flavoring it is where the real magic happens; that’s when things get creative, messy, sticky, and colorful, and the possibilities are seemingly endless.

We invited Hannah to share some of her flavoring wisdom. If Hannah herself were a kombucha flavor, she says she’d be Love Potion, a mix of blueberries, lavender, and rose. Why? “It’s just so floral, and it’s deep, and purple, and rich,” she says.

Maybe it’s time you found your flavor! Here are seven tips from The Kombucha Mamma herself to get you started. Continue reading 7 Kombucha-Flavoring Fundamentals From Hannah Crum At Kombucha Kamp

Upstart Kombucha

5 Tips For The Budding Kombucha Brewer from Caleb Hanson at Upstart Kombucha

headshot2 maraMara Rose
Founder & CEO, Hatch Lab

Upstart Kombucha

Meet Caleb Hanson, he’s 33.3% of the Upstart Kombucha founding team and a self-proclaimed tech nerd and product guy who lives in Boulder, Colorado.Caleb Hanson

Upstart Kombucha is dedicated to elegant simplicity. The company launched in 2013, and even as it has grown, it continues to produce just four flavors. This deliberate choice allows Upstart to craft-brew each flavor separately, starting with choosing the right tea, sweetener, herbs, and fruit to create the perfect combo. Their Rose Bud flavor is made with white tea, their Berry Black with black tea, and both Mint Green and Lemon Ginger are made with green tea.

We asked Caleb to share a few tips for budding brewers. Here goes!

5 Tips for Brewing Delicious Kombucha

Tip #1: Experiment With Flavors First

Caleb recommends starting with a flavor experiment. First, select your base tea (black, green, white, oolong, or mate). Next, add a teaspoon (or one tea bag) of the base tea to five mugs. Now, here’s the fun part: Select five different herb and/or fruit combinations and add a different combo to each of the five mugs. For example, mix basil with strawberries, lemon with ginger, or lavender with raspberries. Continue reading 5 Tips For The Budding Kombucha Brewer from Caleb Hanson at Upstart Kombucha

Setting a High Bar: Chocolate’s Flavors, Farmers, and Magic {cardamom honey truffle recipe}

headshot2 maraMara Rose
Founder & CEO, Hatch Lab

 

Zohara Drying Cacao Beans in Peru
Zohara Drying Cacao Beans in Peru
In response to several curious questions from our readers about chocolate making, we found an expert to inspire us, help us all understand the process a little better, and hopefully launch the brave among us on our own chocolate-making journeys. Meet Zohara Mapes Bediz, chocolate maker and research and development whiz at TCHO, in Berkeley, California. Don’t be confused by this chocolate company’s name—it’s just the phonetic spelling of the first syllable in “chocolate” (and we all know how to say chocolate). Read on for Zohara’s chocolate tales and tips, from truffles to TCHO and the exotic locales in between. Continue reading Setting a High Bar: Chocolate’s Flavors, Farmers, and Magic {cardamom honey truffle recipe}

Simmering Broth

Medicinal Bone Broth: Herbs, Fungi, and Sea Vegetables, Oh My {bone broth recipe}

headshot2 maraMara Rose
Founder & CEO, Hatch Lab

 

broth.jpg

Bone broth is nothing new. In fact, it is so far from new that it was part of our hunter-gatherer ancestors’ regular menu. Though it’s been around for a very long time, with its fairly recent surge of popularity (dare I say trendiness) and the claimed (and often disputed) health benefits, it’s hard to resist experimenting with the stuff. What we want to know is, how can we step up our bone broth game?

Herbalist and author Briana Wiles says one way to get more out of your liquid gold is to toss in medicinal herbs, mushrooms, and sea vegetables that add calcium, vitamins, and minerals to the mix. We enlisted her to share some tips about which herbs to use and how to integrate them into bone broth. Continue reading Medicinal Bone Broth: Herbs, Fungi, and Sea Vegetables, Oh My {bone broth recipe}

Artisanal Soda Bubbles Up in Portland: Portland Soda Works and the Art of Brewing Soda Syrup

headshot2 maraMara Rose
Founder & CEO, Hatch Lab

 

If you’ve walked down the soda aisle in your local grocery store lately, you may have noticed the multitudes of artisanal sodas. Even as the sales of traditional soda declines, artisanal soda sales are growing. To learn more, we got in touch with our new friends at Portland Soda Works in

Dan and ChrisPortland, Oregon. They told us about their concoction processes and gave us some easy tips to create delicious soda syrups at home. The punch line: it’s a fun, creative process, and it’s not nearly as hard as it sounds!

Founded by Dan McLaughlin and Chris Onstad in 2012, Portland Soda Works brews small-batch handcrafted sodas using all-natural ingredients. I recently spoke with Dan by phone, who explained, “We’re kind of trying to create the Belgian beer of soda.” Much of the initial inspiration for the company came from Chris’s job as a food critic. He didn’t drink alcohol when he visited restaurants, and he found the selections of nonalcoholic beverages to pair with his delicious meals were paltry. So, Chris took it upon himself to create a good-tasting, high-quality, healthier, classy alternative to popular sodas; Dan soon joined him in this noble effort.  Continue reading Artisanal Soda Bubbles Up in Portland: Portland Soda Works and the Art of Brewing Soda Syrup

Homemade Ice Pops: Tricks & Tips from our Interview with Big Top Pops

headshot2 maraMara Rose
Founder & CEO, Hatch Lab

 

On a recent summer evening in Boulder, Colorado, I met with Gina Latimer and Sarah Robertson from Big Top Pops. This small local business makes gourmet popsicles and sells them at farmers markets, select stores, and restaurants in

Big Top PopsBoulder. I wanted to learn more about this innovative company and the art of making ice pops, so I contacted the women to get the scoop.

When we met, Gina and Sarah were on their way to their industrial kitchen to don their aprons and start making ice pops—long into the night. As so many entrepreneurs do, the Big Top Pops ladies shoehorn their work in whenever they can, between full-time jobs and mom duty.

In Gina’s words, “Big Top Pops is a gourmet pop stand based out of the Boulder County Farmers Market, and inspired by it as well.” Longtime friends, college roommates at the University of Colorado (CU), Boulder, and fellow CU art majors, Sarah and Gina started Big Top Pops because they loved the beautiful produce and strong sense of community at the farmers market, and they wanted to be a part of it. Continue reading Homemade Ice Pops: Tricks & Tips from our Interview with Big Top Pops