Tag Archives | coffee

Image by GIR, Voltaire via Kickstarter

Image by GIR, Voltaire via Kickstarter

How many times have you screwed up your coffee in the morning because your brain is still half asleep? Let’s face it, this is a common occurrence. But what if you had a coffee machine that was smarter than you? Introducing the Voltaire Smart Grinder. It not only grinds your beans and brews your coffee – it can also tell you just how fresh your beans are with the connected app. This battery-operated grinder is portable and can last for up to three weeks and grind 3lbs of beans on one charge.

GIR, the company behind Voltaire, explains the science behind stale coffee beans and how the staling process is invisible, but what you need to know is that Voltaire has a sensing platform that figures it all out for you and tells you when to replenish your bean stock via the app. It’s one of the secrets to good coffee.

What we particularly like is the portable aspect – the idea of brewing fresh coffee outside, away from home, or even in your dorm room without using up an outlet is fantastic (why isn’t this a thing yet?).

Voltaire has a collection of companion products as well, that include Ever Cup travel cups (insulated with locking lids to keep drinks hot or cold and spill-free) and an AirVault Smart Container that keeps your beans fresh.

It’s just recently been funded by a Kickstarter campaign, bringing in an amazing $150,241 to get the ball rolling. By just meeting their stretch goal of $150K in the last day of the campaign, GIR is now offering a choice for the metal finishes – copper or silver. If you’re an on-the-go coffee drinker, this is one product to check out.

The Details

  • Use the app to measure bean freshness
  • Stock up on beans through the app
  • It comes in silver or copper finishes (shown above)
  • Add companion products like the AirVault or Ever Cups
  • Battery charge can last up to 3 weeks and grind up to 3lbs of beans
  • Received $150,241 from the Kickstarter campaign in August 2016: now in production
  • Estimated delivery for backers: March 2017
  • Price: not available yet


Image from hanks9church.com

Image from hanks9church.com

Hank’s is one of my favourite spots to go for a coffee. They close at 4:00pm and serve breakfast, brunch, lunch and snacks. If you’re craving more, you can rent the cozy venue after hours.

Hank’s is relatively inexpensive, with nothing on the menu higher than $13. Some of their drinks are pricey, but worth it. Despite closing early, Hank’s serves alcohol, including libations not on the menu. With exceptional service, the servers are attentive but not annoying. I don’t remember one empty dish or cup being on the table more than a couple of minutes.

The coffee and desserts are delectable, and combined with the beautiful interior, you’ll be in heaven. Don’t let the pictures on the website fool you – the restaurant is actually a lot warmer looking in person. In the summer, the nearly ceiling-height windows are left open for a unique, uplifting feel.

Hank’s is located in downtown Toronto, about a 20 minute walk from the Distillery District. If you’re looking for something to do before or after your coffee, the Eaton Centre is a 15 minute walk north from here. If you feel like a bit more of an adventure, Kensington Market is a 30 minute walk away (and easily accessible by transit).

Just how good is Hank’s? I’d rate it a 9/10. The food, décor and service are up to par – so why the deduction? I once had a sweetened coffee that was too sweet for my taste (and my teeth!). That’s all the negative I can say about it. Hank’s is an excellent place to eat or hang out with friends. I would go again – and again and again (and I have!).

Hank’s is located at:
9 1/2 Church St
Toronto, ON M5E 1M2
For more information, visit their website or call (416) 504-2657.

Arist Cafe coffee

Arist Cafe

Let’s face it, a lot of us are not morning people. We’re practically unable to function until we’ve had our coffee. Sound like you? We’ve come across an even easier way than usual to get your caffeine fix in the morning – one that doesn’t even require you to get out of bed (and no, Starbucks doesn’t deliver – yet).

Have you ever heard of a “smart coffee machine”? It’s certainly new to us. Coffee machines are pretty easy to use as they are – some are even a one-button push away from fresh, delicious coffee. But now, there’s a Kickstarter project for Arist Cafe, a coffee machine that can create customized coffee straight from your smartphone. You can program it for each coffee drinker to make your specific coffee in the morning, and even remotely ask it to start making you a cup while you’re on your way home.

The Details

  • Use the app to create your coffee (available on iOS, Android, Windows)
  • The app saves your preferences, including what time you usually drink it, how much milk you like, and what temperature you like your coffee at
  • You can choose from 100,000 coffee recipes
  • It recommends choices for you
  • It comes in white, black, or wood (shown above)
  • The reservoir can hold 1 litre of milk, 1 litre of water
  • It can hold 200g of coffee beans (enough for 5 cups of 12oz cappuccinos)
  • If you remove the drip tray, the machine can fill a cup up to 8″ tall
  • Price: $699 as of January 2015
  • Requires wifi or data
  • Stock up on different types of beans through the app
  • Arist Cafe is still seeking Kickstarter funding

Although you may not be able to afford this gadget (yet), it certainly could be an interesting talking point among your friends. Let’s start the debate. Would you buy it?

Here’s the website for more information: https://www.aristcafe.com/

Are your emails to company representatives getting lost in overflowing inboxes? Well, there’s a new way to get the attention of industry executives – and even go for coffee with them.

TenThousandCoffees.com is a new initiative started by Dave Wilkin, a 25-year-old entrepreneur with a classic dream: to connect businesspeople with the next generation over a cup of coffee. And, surprisingly, it’s catching on not only with students, but with experienced executives as well. Why? Wilkin attributes it to knowledge sharing. As much as students want to hear about how people got to where they are today, top executives want to know what the younger generation is thinking.

That’s right students: now is your time to shine.

These “coffee dates” are casual and non-committal. Don’t think you’ll be walking into a meeting and walking out with a job offer. Instead, use the opportunity to ask questions, propose ideas, and get feedback from your business idols. Yes, increase your network, but increase your knowledge as well.

The website is free to join for both Experts (anyone with experience or advice to share) and Novices (students and young professionals). More than 300 industry experts have already signed up for the site – and these include well-known faces such as astronaut Chris Hadfield, Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau, Elle Canada Editor-in-Chief Noreen Flanagan, and even the blast-from-the-past co-founder of Bodybreak, Hal Johnson.

We’ve barely scratched the surface with these participants, who have all signed up of their own accord.

They want to meet you.

Go to TenThousandCoffees.com and you can browse the profiles of executives from LinkedIn, Cineplex, Corus, Toronto International Film Festival, Telus, Maple Leaf Foods, PepsiCo, L’Oreal, Metrolinx, TD, MLSE, NHL, Molson Coors, Canadian Red Cross, Samsung, McDonald’s, and many, many more.

The list of Experts includes comedians and actors, marketers and project managers, CEOs and Presidents, professors, lawyers, politicians, news anchors and columnists, publishers, restauranteurs, a fire chief, and an Olympian.

Can you learn from these people? Definitely.

All you need to do is sign up on the site, for free, and send a coffee request to anyone you’d like to meet with. If they accept, you schedule a date and time to meet – it can even be a video chat. Remember, all of these Experts have experience to share. Even if your one business idol hasn’t signed up (yet), get some practice meeting with other executives and listen to what they have to say.

The site is currently open to Canadians, but Wilkin has expressed a plan to expand to the US and UK in the near future.

Share your coffee experience with us on Twitter @StudentsDotOrg. Who did you meet? What did you talk about?

You can also follow @10kcoffees on Twitter and on Facebook.