Monday, 21 April 2014

Coffee Podcast for Baristas: Audio Cafe

Coffee Podcast for Baristas

Coffee Podcast for Baristas: Check out Audio Cafe, a weekly coffee show crafted for those passionate about specialty coffee. Podcast episodes includes, tips, tricks, and interviews of influential folks in the coffee business.

Looking for a Coffee Podcast for baristas or coffeehouse operators? If you love coffee and enjoy listening to podcasts, you definitely want to check out the Audio Cafe podcast!

Hosted by Levi Andersen, aka @boyrista on twitter, this weekly coffee podcast is crafted for people working or in love with specialty coffee. Levi is the Beverage Product Specialist for Kerry (DaVinci Gourmet, Big Train, Oregon Chai, Jet & Caffe D’Amore brands). He is basically our lead barista – he takes all of the existing products and flavorings and creates on-trend recipes for Big Train products and other Kerry foodservice brands on My Drink Works.

He gets to fly to events to speak in addition to hosting customers (like chief executive of some of the largest coffeehouses in the world) who visit our corporate office. Levi also trains sales teams on how to use the products and often joins meetings they have with visitors from large coffee/fast-food/chain/restaurant chains. and make them amazing drinks. He also gets to help develop new products.

Its fun, fast, and challenging, and I love it,  says Levi. Working in the Specialty Coffee industry in general is awesome. There are so many great people who share their knowledge openly because they genuinely love what they do and want to make a lasting difference. Speaking at Coffee Fest trade shows has been a personal highlight.

Levi’s podcast features interviews about brew methods, customer service, staffing, tips and tricks like opening a coffee shop, tea 101, and discovering the best cafes around.

It’s designed to pair with your americano or cappuccino as you learn from the top leaders in the coffee industry. The voices of those who participate include cafe owners, coffee growers, roasters, baristas, managers and chefs sharing real stories and advice.

Levi details what the coffee house podcast is about and why he started it

While working in many different aspects of coffee I kept seeing that people want to connect. There are many great resources our there like magazines (Barista, Roast, Fresh Cup, etc.) websites (Barista, Roast, Sprudge, Barista Exchange, etc) and even now a TV show, Dangerous Grounds. But at the time, there were no active podcasts about coffee. Personally I’ve listened to 1056 hours of podcasts just on my iPhone in 2 years. That’s 44 days of podcasts. And I’m not alone, a lot of people are doing this.

So, I knew there was a need for a coffee podcast, the only question was how should it relate to coffee exactly? Looking at what was out there already was helpful because I didn’t want to do what they were already doing. And I wanted to do something that was an extension of myself and my experiences.

A part of me wanted to talk about what they were covering like café styles, the history of espresso, and black coffee vs having cream, but I needed to make it my own and unique. So I decided to target the people who really need the most help: baristas, coffeehouse owners and managers. And I will speak to them from my own experiences of owning my coffee stand.

If your hands touch coffee, then your ears deserve to listen to this podcast. Many big issues are covered, like water quality’s effect espresso and what that means for the ‘average joe’ and the Single Origin connoisseur. These lessons are worth their own weight in Organic, Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, Panama Esmerelda Especial Mario Carnaval green beans.

The podcast has also been transitioning to Google Hangouts as well. These Hangouts are recorded and streamed live. There is also a chat room for attendees to ask questions. After the events, the recorded videos are searchable on YouTube.

Levi plans to host two hangouts per month, with the next one scheduled for April 21st. The last hangout had 8 people, which adds a layer of exclusivity and intimacy. During the last Hangout, the group talked about latte art in cafes along with dos and don’t, why at all, what it means to be a customer, etc.

Some hangouts are geared to consumers while others are geared toward baristas. The last barista podcast was aimed at people who make coffee for customers. The groups shared tips, tricks, and concerns. In the future, Levi plans to type an outline and vision in advance to display the reasons an average coffee drinker may want to attend and watch.

For more information about Levi’s coffee podcast go here: Audio Cafe . For more information about Kerry’s foodservice beverage brands go MyDrinkWorks.com.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

DIY Spiced Chai Frappe | How to Make Blended Chai Drinks at Home

 

DIY Spiced Chai Frappe | How to Make Blended Chai Drinks at Home
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Make the drink that has been savored for centuries in India and refresh your body and soul with the creamy blend of honey, vanilla, black tea and exotic spices.
Ingredients
  • 6 fl oz water or milk
  • 2 scoops Big Train Spiced Chai Tea Latte Mix
  • 1.5 cups ice
Instructions
  1. Add water or milk to blender
  2. Then add Big Train Spiced Chai Tea Latte Mix
  3. Add ice
  4. Blend until smooth

 

blended chai pic

DIY Blended Spiced Chai Frappe

Wondering how to make your own Spiced Chai Frappe at home? Do it yourself with Big Train’s Spiced Chai Tea Latte Mix!

Chai, meaning “tea” in many parts of the world, originated in ancient India. It is traditionally made with rich black tea, heavy milk, sweetener, and a combination of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and pepper. Not only does it have an irresistibly spicy flavor, but it’s also a natural digestive aid. Even better, Big Train’s Spiced Chai Tea Latte mix is gluten free, low fat, and uses no hydrogenated oils! If you love chai as a drink in chilly weather, then you’ll love it as a blended spiced chai frappe or simply poured over ice as a refreshing thirst quencher in warmer weather!

For the DIY enthusiast, you can easily make spiced chai frappes at home by simply adding milk or water and ice. Home baristas can purchase Big Train Spiced Chai Tea Latte Mix here. At just $6.50, it yields ten 8 fl oz servings.

Big Train has a great reputation for delicious chai mixes with coffeehouses and restaurants. Big Train also offers foodservice operators a bulk-size 3.5 lb Spiced Chai Tea Latte Mix here so that you’ll never run out! Just add milk or water and ice to this product and you’ll have a delicious iced chai frappe in seconds. We realize you can’t always get out to your favorite cafe, so Big Train also offers several retail chai products. For all chai latte mix flavor options go here.

If you love good-for-you, good-for-the-soul beverages, then you will love Big Train Spiced Chai Tea Latte mix! So DIY! Do it yourself and create a delicious chai frappe today.

For more information, go to www.bigtrain.com

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Coffee Fest Chicago 2013 | Big Train Wins Best New Product Award

Coffee Fest Chicago 2013 was a blast! Two weeks ago from June 8-10, baristas, roasters, business owners, and coffee lovers alike flocked to Navy Pier to learn about the newest, up-and-coming trends in the specialty coffee industry at Coffee Fest Chicago.  Coffee Fest has served the specialty coffee and gourmet tea industries since 1992 by joining relevant educational programs with an informative trade show floor.  Through the years, Coffee Fest has created a successful show that now sports over 300 booths—and this year Big Train was one of them!  We had the chance to see a lot of new products, coffee and tea-making techniques, and meet many wonderful, coffee-loving people!

Coffee Fest Trade Show

Coffee Fest Trade Show

Big Train is happy to now be a party of the Kerry family and was thrilled to be a part of their booth at this year’s Coffee Fest. Kerry was the very first booth as customers entered the trade show, so we got a bunch of traffic!  Big Train was a big hit at the Kerry booth; people had the chance to take home samples of the Blended Iced Coffee and Blended Iced Crème products.  People visited our booth multiple times in order to get as many samples as possible!  We blended up free samples of our Blended Ice Coffee Kona Mocha and Blended Ice Crème Caramel during set up and registration which brought a lot of attention to the booth both before and during the show. We also said hello to several of our current customers and welcomed new ones.

Big Train at Coffee Fest Chicago 2013

Big Train as part of the Kerry booth at Coffee Fest Chicago

Throughout the show, Big Train appeared as an industry leader in a lot of ways! One of our in-house baristas held a Blending Seminar where she taught people how to properly use Big Train products in the best, most efficient way possible.  This seminar definitely made us look like a frontrunner in the industry and we had people come up to the booth afterwards and tell us how helpful it was.

We also featured many of our products at our booth, including the new Caramel Blended Iced Frappe Crème mix as well as the new Kona Mocha Blended Iced Coffee mix.  Coffee Fest even chose to highlight Big Train’s Fit Frappes, Blended Cremes, and Real Fruit Smoothies as “special [and] outstanding products” throughout the show.  Big Train ALSO won third place in the New Product Showcase for our Fit Frappe Spiced Chai!

We noticed many new and interesting trends while visiting other booths at the show.  Many booths were advertising “organic” and “indulgent” oatmeal as a snack or meal to go along with coffee and tea.  Oatmeal has low levels of fat and calories and high levels of protein and fiber, so it’s easy to see why it’s so popular! Though it was a bit unique to see oatmeal at a coffee trade show, the delicious, good-for-you breakfast food is becoming a staple in many coffee shops.

Overall, Big Train had a very productive and positive experience at Coffee Fest! We gained many new customers and continued to make Big Train a leading brand in the coffee industry! Special thanks to Brittany Crouch, Theresa Pope, Jennifer William, Lani Peterson, Paul Bulthuis, Andy Solheim, Louise Kruse, and Wyatt Edenfield for making this all possible.

For more information about Coffee Fest, go to www.coffeefest.com

For more information about Big Train, visit our website at www.bigtrain.com or call 800-BIG TRAIN (244-8724)

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Maddie James Seaside Learning Center Grand Opening

maddie-james-seaside-learning-center

On Saturday, May 18, 2013 hundreds of participants in the A Mile for Maddie walk were present for the grand opening of the Seaside Learning Center located in Dana Point, California, just a few miles south of Big Train’s headquarters. The Center is built along the Dana Point waterfront, and boasts exciting new facilities that will introduce oceanography, environmental science and maritime history to locals and visitors alike, but especially K-12 students in honor of the beautiful Maddie James.

Thousands of walkers have participated in A Mile for Maddie over the past two years, raising a total of $160,000. This money has gone a long way towards helping The Maddie James Foundation to achieve its initial goal of raising $1 million, in order to secure the naming rights to the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center (at the Ocean Institute).

Big Train was honored to be a part of the grand opening of this amazing endeavor. We were onsite, serving up samples of our Fit Frappe™ protein drinks to the hundreds of participants. Our healthy and delicious beverage was a natural fit for the crowd in attendance, as it offers a low-calorie and high-protein drink that’s perfect before or after the 1.2-mile walk.

Check out the slideshow below for some images of our booth, the crowd as well as the children of one of our very own, meeting marine life artist and conservationist, Wyland. We’ve added in some videos of A Mile for Maddie and also the grand opening.

 

Grand Opening of the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center
Serving Up Some Fit Frappe™
Serving Up Some Fit Frappe™

Offering some healthy and refreshing Fit Frappe beverages, with the help of our young assistant.

Crowd Gathers to Show Support
Crowd Gathers to Show Support

A large group of people came to show their support for Maddie and the Learning Center whose completion was due to The Maddie James Foundation.

Meeting the Artist, Wyland
Meeting the Artist, Wyland

A group of excited children met marine life artist and conservationist, Wyland.

Maddie James Seaside Learning Center 2013 Grand Opening

Maddie James Seaside Learning Center Grand Opening 2013….The dream becomes reality.
Be sure to come and visit the new center on the dock the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, Ca.

Play Video
Click To Play
Maddie James Foundation, A Mile for Maddie 2012

A Mile for Maddie 2012 Event Highlights with The Ocean Institute of Dana Point as host.
A very special heartfelt “Thank You” to all of our valued sponsors,contributors and volunteers. Video credits: Reflections Video Productions

Play Video
Click To Play

 


For more information about Maddie James Foundation go to http://maddiejamesfoundation.org/

For more information about Big Train go to BigTrain.com or call 800 BIG TRAIN (244-8724).

 

Friday, 24 May 2013

DIY Pomegranate Blueberry Fruit Smoothie Recipe

DIY Pomegranate Blueberry Fruit Smoothie Recipe
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
For a quick and easy, smooth and delicious Pomegranate Blueberry Fruit Smoothie, try this recipe!
Ingredients
  • 4 fl oz water
  • 4 fl oz Big Train Pomegranate Blueberry Fruit Smoothie Mix concentrate
  • 2 Cups ice
Instructions
  1. In a blender, add the water.
  2. Then add the Big Train Pomegranate Blueberry Fruit Smoothie mix.
  3. Add 2 cups of ice.
  4. Mix until smooth.

 

Pomegranate and blueberries

Pomegranate and blueberries are both high in antioxidants. These two superfruits combine to make a delicious flavor. Even McDonalds is offering this new flavor combination for their fruit smoothies. If you love fruit and blended ice drinks then you’ll love this Pomegranate Blueberry Fruit Smoothie Recipe. For the DIY enthusiast, you can do it yourself– make these smoothies quickly at home. Home baristas can purchase Big Train’s Pomegranate Blueberry Fruit Smoothie mix concentrate here. At just $11.00 per bottle, it yields 16 8 fl oz servings, or just less than 70 cents per serving.  Just add water and ice and blend!

Big Train also offers foodservice operators a simple to use pour-over-ice Superfruit smoothie mix here. This product has blueberries and pomegranate and also includes Acai. Just pour over ice and blend. Voila! For more information about Big Train’s foodservice real fruit smoothie products go here. Big Train also has one of the most generous Commercial Blender Programs in the industry.

So make your Pomegranate Blueberry smoothies in a snap with Big Train Real Fruit Smoothie mix products. Enjoy!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Caramel Base Mix from Big Train (And Contest)

Caramel Base Mix from Big Train

Big Train Caramel Base Mix – A Sweeter Way to Build Your Menu!

Caramel was on the list in 2012 for the top flavor trends and traditionally Caramel based drinks are the #2 selling flavor – right behind Mocha. To help you create yummy caramel drinks and capitalize on these trends, Big Train is introducing Caramel Crème Blended Crème – the ultimate caramel base mix!

This sweet, buttery flavor of rich caramel can be made blended, iced, hot as-is, or used as a delicious base to help you build your menus! Baristas – add your own espresso to Caramel Crème to create amazing Caramel Lattes or serve coffee-free and delicious caramel frappes!

Caramel Crème Blended Crème

  • Can be made blended, iced or hot
  • Great as a base for many different beverages
  • Rich, sweet caramel flavor
  • Gluten-Free
  • No Hydro Oils
  • 5/3.5lb bags per case
  • Kosher Certified

Some Recipe Ideas Using Caramel Crème Base Mix

Caramel Cinnamon Latte

Ingredients

  • 7 fl oz hot water
  • A 43 cc scoop (3 tbsp) of Caramel Crème Blended Crème mix from Big Train
  • Dash of cinnamon

Instructions

  • Heat 7 fl oz of water and add a 43 cc scoop (3 tbsp) of Caramel Crème Blended Crème Mix.
  • Top with whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon.
  • For variations, serve over ice or blended with ice too.

Graham Cracker Caramel Frappe

Ingredients

  • 4 fl oz (118 mL) of milk
  • 2 scoops (7 tbsp. or 80 g) of Caramel Crème Blended Crème mix
  • 4-5 cubes of ice
  • Crushed graham crackers (to taste)
  • whipped cream (Optional)
  • Butterscotch syrup (Optional)

Instructions

  • Pour 4 fl oz (118 mL) of milk into blender
  • Add 2 scoops (7 tbsp. of 80 g) of Big Train Caramel Crème Blended Crème mix
  • Add 4-5 cubes of ice
  • Add crushed graham crackers pieces (to taste)
  • Blend until smooth
  • Top with whipped cream
  • Garnish with crushed graham cracker pieces & butterscotch syrup

How Sweet It Is Recipe Contest

(For foodservice operators only)

Big Train Caramel Crème Blended Crème is the perfect caramel base mix that allows you to serve a sweet and delicious drink. There are so many unique beverage possibilities when a barista begins with the creamy taste of caramel and we want to hear about them! Click Here and submit your best caramel drink recipe it in the “How Sweet It Is” Big Train recipe contest by February 28, 2013 and you could win! Five lucky winners will be chosen to receive 3 FREE cases of the product of their choice and their store will be featured in a Big Train blog post. One Grand Prize winner will receive a trip to 2013 Coffee Fest Chicago. See the Terms and Conditions.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Define The New You in 2013

How will You Define the New You in the New Year? Tell us your 2013 Health & Fitness Goals and Win.

In order to help our customers keep their healthy New Year’s resolutions and reach their fitness goals, we are promoting Fit Frappé as a healthy way to stay on track in 2013. We are encouraging consumers to “Define the New You in 2013” by going to our landing page and telling us how they plan to achieve their goals in the new year.

As part of this promotion Big Train is holding a contest for consumers. Go to BigTrain.com/DefineTheNewYou to view the video (or see the YouTube video below) then head over to the Define the New You Contest page and enter to win! Consumers can fill out their name, email and phone number to be entered into a drawing to win one of over 200 prizes:

  • 100 Fit Frappe Tumblers
  • 100 Fit Frappe protein drink shakers
  • Grand Prize: 10 Asics Fitness Packages

Promotion begins January 7th and ends January 31, 2013. Winners will be selected at random and will be notified after the promotional period ends. For giveaway details and terms and conditions go here.

About this Project.

The idea behind the “Define the New You in 2013” video was to showcase friends, customers and some of southern California’s brightest in the social media and health/fitness communities, asking them how they will be reaching their goals in 2013. In total, there were about 30 participants and their responses primarily focused on health/fitness and life improvement. The photo shoot itself was a blast, taking place near the train station in San Juan Capistrano, with a fantastic brunch at nearby restaurant, Sarducci’s.

Friday, 30 August 2013

College Packing List: What to Bring to the Dorm

College Packing List

So you’re looking for an awesome college packing list huh? Well, we’ve got a checklist of 20 items you’ll want to bring to the dorm this school year! We have entertainment, organization, health-related, practical and even (gulp) cleaning items. Without further ado…Big Train presents the college packing list that will really help you rock your school year!

1) Internet-Powered Television

Paying for cable TV can get expensive and gathering money from roomies can be a hassle. Cut the cord and go for something like a Roku, Apple TV or Chromecast by Google. All you need is an Internet connection and subscriptions to a few streaming services and you’re good to go!

streaming tv for college packing list

2) Alarm

Almost every single mobile phone in the past decade includes an alarm clock (and there are even apps that require you to walk at least 30 paces before they shut off), but sometimes it’s good to have a good ol’ reliable alarm clock in the dorm to make sure you don’t miss those early-morning finals!

alarm clock for college packing list

3) Compact Cooking Appliance

Toasters and toaster ovens are alright but get yourself a 3-in-1 Breakfast Station and master the delicate art of breakfast. Your friends will stare in awe as you toast, griddle and serve up the dark roast – with ONE appliance.

compact cooking for college packing list

4) Blenders (blender and milk frother)

Roomies and neighbors may not appreciate the noise of a blender but they’ll sure love the awesome culinary concoctions you’ll delight them with (see #6). Milk frothers work great for mixing chai right in your mug.

blender milk frother for college packing list

5) Sleep Mask (Bonus: Scented)

Blocking any and all excess light is especially awesome for those mornings when you don’t have class until 10:00 am, but you also never know when you’re cobbled-together blinds (read: blanket held up by tacks) decide to come tumbling down just in time to let all that early morning sunshine come spewing in.

sleep mask for college packing list

6) Just-Add-Water Drink Mixes

There will be times when food/drinks will be hard to come by, but hopefully you’ll still have access to fresh water. If so, that’s all you need in order to make these delicious drinks:

  • 6.1) Chai: easy to make and delicious, chai soothes your soul during stressful exam time
  • 6.2) Blended Ice Coffees: make your dorm mates BFFs and give them a delicious Blended Ice Coffee. Just add Big train Blended Ice Coffee mix, ice and water into a blender. Great for those late night study sessions!
  • 6.3) Fit Frappe: In a rush on way to school? Need a healthier alternative to high-calorie expensive lattes? Try Fit Frappe, delicious easy-to-make protein latte mixes – the “Healthy Buzz”.

big train chai blended ice coffee for college packing list

Thursday, 28 February 2013

10 Interesting Facts About Smoothies

Big Train has a smoothie program designed to fit your customers!

Summer is right around the corner and that means high demand for cold, refreshing smoothies! Give your customers what they want during the warmer months with help from Big Train’s smoothie program. Choose from our wide variety of products, flavors and equipment to design the program that is right for your and save $10 on each case of smoothies!

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

St. Patrick’s Day Blended Irish Cream Smoothie Recipe

St. Patrick’s Day Irish Cream Smoothie Recipe
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
For a smooth and creamy St. Patrick’s Day Irish cream smoothie recipe, try this!
Ingredients
  • 5 fl oz of milk
  • 1 ½ scoops of Big Train Vanilla Smoothie mix
  • 1 shot Irish cream syrup
  • 12 oz of ice
  • (Optional for green color): Green food coloring, or green peppermint flavor syrup, like Davinci’s Peppermint Paddy Sugar Free Syrup.
Instructions
  1. Add milk
  2. Add vanilla smoothie mix
  3. Add Irish cream syrup
  4. Add ice (and optional food coloring/green flavor syrup)
  5. Blend thoroughly until smooth.

If you love Irish Cream and blended ice drinks then you’ll love this Blended Irish Cream Smoothie Recipe. Big Train’s Vanilla Smoothie mix is a delicious versatile base mix. (No Sugar Added option available too). Big Train’s mixes generally just require water. But feel free to add milk or milk alternatives for that extra creamy taste. Don’t forget the Irish Cream Flavor Syrup, too. Enjoy!

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