Welcoming wellness with superfood lattes

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Welcoming wellness with superfood lattes

Health food should be an enjoyable everyday habit and not something you have to force yourself to like. This rules out the cardboard granola bar with tooth-cracking flecks and seeds from all walks of life. Something with antioxidant-rich organic spices would hold our attention, which is why we launched Saku wellness lattes at Uptown Tunnel Coffee in Williamstown, MA.

 Saku wellness lattes are made with organic spices like turmeric, beetroot and matcha.

Saku wellness lattes are made with organic spices like turmeric, beetroot and matcha.

We chose these latte blends for taste, but all three three healthy varieties—turmeric, beetroot and matcha—are superfoods with near magic powers. They can be prepared hot or iced, and customers get the full benefit of the organic spices in either choice.

The turmeric in Saku’s Golden Orange latte contains circumin, an anti-inflammatory powerhouse used as a medicine in eastern cultures for centuries. Indonesians drink it every day with ginger, honey and lemon as the homemade health tonic jamu. In Hindu culture, turmeric is considered a sacred spice. The Ruby Ginger and Ruby Cocoa lattes contain heart-protective beetroot, which also provides a healthy dose of vitamins A, C and folic acid. Warming cocoa and sweet coconut milk make both beetroot lattes perfect for an end of day indulgence. Vanilla Maple Jade is packed with antioxidants from matcha and tastes more like a cozy hot chocolate than an immune boosting superfood.

Saku wellness lattes at Uptown Tunnel Coffee are definitely a win for those seeking a beverage with complex flavors and good for you super-spices. Maybe someday, all health food will taste this good. Until then, we’re steering clear of sawdust squares posing as granola bars.

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Artist JD Logan shows treescapes at Tunnel City Coffee in Mass MoCA

 JD Logan focuses on elements of nature in his work for a calming effect.

JD Logan focuses on elements of nature in his work for a calming effect.

Local artist JD Logan returns to Tunnel City Coffee at Mass MoCA for a fall show of surreal tree and moonscape paintings through December 2018. His work evokes vivid memories of the outside world through paintings of skies and trees at different times of the day. By excluding animals or people in his paintings, he creates calming scenes that make elements of nature the focal points.

“I have been focusing on trees as my main subject matter,” says Logan in his artist statement. “They constantly change, and no two are alike, much like people.”

After working the art festival circuit for 12 years, Logan now spends more time in his studio creating work for smaller galleries and shops in Massachusetts and Vermont. He has shown at the Good Purpose Gallery, the Birdhouse Gallery, Robert Paul Galleries, and most recently, at Tunnel City Coffee in Mass MoCA.

Logan’s work is on display and available for purchase until the end of December 2018 at Tunnel City Coffee inside Mass MoCA.

Abstract artists open fall show at Tunnel City Coffee

Abstract artists open fall show at Tunnel City Coffee

 Regardless of place, Sarah Sutro’s landscapes reflect a sense of serenity and smart use of color.

Regardless of place, Sarah Sutro’s landscapes reflect a sense of serenity and smart use of color.

Sarah Sutro and Dorothea Osborn present their abstract paintings at Tunnel City Coffee in Williamstown this fall, featuring rich watercolors and imaginative takes on scientific themes. Sutro’s abstracted realist paintings recall memories of existence among peaceful landscapes, while Osborn’s macro-paintings delve into life at the cellular level, sharing the beauty of biology’s smallest divisions. The show runs from the beginning of October through the end of December 2018.

Influenced by artists Paul Klee, Georgia O’Keefe, and John Singer Sargent, Sutro finds inspiration in the outside world, oceanscapes and stratified sunsets, in evocative shades of every hue. “The darkness of winter trees against snow in the Adirondacks, rich ocean blues on the south coast of MA, and layers of color in the Painted Desert in Arizona” also became part of her painting style.

 Dorothea Osborn’s art comes alive with abstract representations of single-celled organisms.

Dorothea Osborn’s art comes alive with abstract representations of single-celled organisms.

Osborn lives and breathes her art, using oils, drawing materials, fabric, papers, and found objects to create pieces that reflect on modern global issues and relationships between the spiritual and physical. “Even with large scale pieces, intimacy exists, which includes many layers,” says Osborn. “I want people to come away feeling a presence of the artist’s hand, an essence of time, and an ethereal manifestation.”

Tunnel City Coffee’s fall art show runs from October 1, 2018 through the end of December 2018. All work is available for purchase.

Tracy Baker-White opens landscape show at Tunnel City Coffee

Tracy Baker-White opens landscape show at Tunnel City Coffee

 Baker-White's show features landscapes inspired by travels in Ireland and time spent at home in the northern Berkshires.  Image:  Killala Bay  by Tracy Baker-White

Baker-White's show features landscapes inspired by travels in Ireland and time spent at home in the northern Berkshires. 
Image: Killala Bay by Tracy Baker-White

Artist Tracy Baker-White shows her landscape works at Tunnel City Coffee in Williamstown, MA, through September 2018, featuring large and small scale reflections on her travels in Ireland and her home of the Berkshires. Baker-White’s paintings are windows to places we might have been, or somehow know. They are familiar and invite us into tangible landscapes with a hazy sense of somewhere beyond.    
 
She finds richness in her home of the northern Berkshires, celebrating its hills and rolling farmland with landscape paintings in oil. Her landscapes are vivid dreams with glimpses of reality. Layers of saturated greens and golds bloom over an underpainting of bright orange, giving her work depth and warmth.  

On rural landscapes, Baker-White says, “I am incredibly lucky to live where I live––I’ve lived in cities my whole life until moving to the Berkshires, but always appreciated the abundance of  riches in rural landscapes.”  

Baker-White feels her work is most successful when she can transport a viewer to another place, while reminding them through the brushstrokes, that they are still right here. "My paintings are about existing in the landscape in solitude, and a sense of humility before the natural world,” she says. “I hope they give viewers a reason to stop and appreciate the world around them."

Tracy Baker-White’s show runs at Tunnel City Coffee in downtown Williamstown until the end of September 2018, and all work is available for purchase.   

Slow brew is the best brew.

Slow brew is the best brew.

A reflection on fast coffee and the gentler method

Brewing slowly is the best way to brew. We know this long before the final product meets the cup, before you take that first cautious sip. It comes down to science—the surface area of the ground beans and the slow pour of water over them. 

 Brewing pour-over coffee takes a creative approach and the patience to try new things.

Brewing pour-over coffee takes a creative approach and the patience to try new things.

The initial “bloom” is a light pour just to wet the beans and start them releasing gases as the boiled water makes contact. This can be likened to an anointing, as compared with the process inside your average Mr. Coffee auto-pot, which is more like an unceremonious deluge that scalds or drowns the beans before they have a chance to de-gas. This button-operated process is like a traumatic swimming lesson for your ground coffee. Like humans, coffee needs to breathe before being completely submerged in water. 

The next few pours are slow but heavier than the first, each one allowing water to cover the entire surface area of beans and ultimately, extract the most flavor for the final cup. This slower, gentler process of pour-over unlocks the tasting notes in different coffees, from the nutty sweetness of a lightly roasted Mexican variety to the peppery, vegetal qualities of a classic Sumatran. Dump a pot of hot water over some beans you ground yesterday, and you’ll likely miss what makes a coffee special.   

An ideal pour-over coffee takes a few minutes to brew, between the first bloom and final pour. You have to watch, pour, and wait for the coffee to react in its own way. Some take longer to bloom than others, and your job as the brewer is to pay close attention and respond accordingly. Brewing this way takes patience, experimentation and creativity—and the finished product is best enjoyed right away. 

Taking our time is not something we’re accustomed to anymore, with the advent of smartphones, synchronized calendars, and those self-checkout kiosks at your average quick-serve restaurant. There is something meditative about enjoying the process, especially when that process makes the final product a better one. Respect the time it takes to make something great and you might just want to change your pace for good.