Thank you so much La Terza Coffee for sponsoring this post! I hope that you grow to love this company as much as I do!
It’s not often that we can say that we LOVE what a company stands for, but I am about to share one of my absolute favorites.
I am a lover of all things coffee. I am so in love with coffee, that even when I gave up caffeine, I still continued to sip on my daily warm mug regardless of the laughs, funny faces and “What’s the point?” remarks. The point? I. Love. It.
Growing up, Graeter’s coffee ice cream was my favorite and at home I used to stir in granules of instant coffee into my vanilla ice cream to make my own version, sad but very true. The ritual around coffee, the conversations, the meet ups with friends and colleagues, everything about this elixir, if you will, is just so perfect to me. So naturally, when I connected with Abbie and David over at La Terza, and learned a bit more about the company itself, beyond just the amazing beverage they provided in my daily cup, I knew this partnership was a match that was so destined to be.
Over the next six weeks, I invite you to join me for a new series that will incorporate my favorite, coffee, into some of my recipes and a little storytelling along the way. I promise, you will not be disappointed!
So here goes nothing, welcome to Coffee Talk: Part 1: Buy Your Stories.
On my trip to the La Terza’s roasterie here in Cincinnati, I walked in thinking I KNEW coffee. I mean, a two time barista had to earn me some credibility and I drink the stuff everyday so clearly I am a connoisseur. I stand corrected. Very corrected, but in a good way.
David met me in the coffee shop area of the roasterie and I was offered the most rich and creamy cappuccino by Head Roaster, Robert, a man of many trades in the coffee world. Naturally over coffee, David and I sat and talked and just from the first few sentences out of his mouth, I knew this place was different. I mean sure it was a business, but not like any business I had ever connected with. And it was all in the stories. He started out telling me about the legend of Kaldi and his goats and how it is said that coffee was discovered. He then moved onto the story of La Terza and that it translates to “the third” in Italian. There are many 3’s in coffee and so that is where the name comes from–I will go deeper into all of that in the next post of the series!
At one point David said, “People buy their stories,” (I quote that but it may not be his exact words, but that is what I remember as of now!)
And he went on as we chatted for several more hours with this theme intertwined into each and everything we talked about. And it is so true. David knows where his coffee is coming from, whose hands are touching the beans before they make it here, and what it takes to make sure that the people across the world who are part of his enterprise are treated with dignity and respect. And they are.
As I got a behind the scenes look at where the coffee roasting happens and all that goes into it, Robert asked me if I knew much about Sumatra and the coffees that come from the island. Remember how I know coffee? Ha, but of course I said no. He went on to share that the amount of endangered species on the island is large and the farmers have to report the number of trees they plant and the number of trees they cut down so that they can work together to help save the environments these animals live in. There is a big push around the coffee farmers to work to help preserve the lives of these animals. Remember how I said that David told me people buy their stories? This Sumatra coffee costs a few dollars more than some of their other coffees due to all of this conservation. And you know what? It is a best selling coffee for La Terza. Why? Like he said, people buy their stories. And powerful stories give people better reasons to become part of the script.
The rest of my time spent with David and the team was storytelling and education. I learned about the roasting process, the process from farm to roasting to consumers, and I even got to taste freshly roasted coffee, as in straight from the roaster. It was out of this world. I will tell you I am a girl who likes a bit of cream in my coffee, but this coffee was so rich and flavorful, I could even drink it black!
As I walked back to my car that sweaty Friday afternoon, I knew this to be true: we DO buy our stories. When we find a company or a brand and we know the stories of who they are and what they do, we choose to support or the opposite for that matter. When we know that a company is out there not just for themselves but that it is connected and invested in the people out there who may not come into direct contact with them on a daily basis, we decide that THEY are the ones we want to support. And I cannot wait to share more of my time with my new friends at La Terza and keep you up to date on all the amazing things they are up to and the stories they continue to tell, one delicious cup at a time.
When it comes to recipes, I am a girl who loves requests. And David and Abbie shared they would love an energy bite recipe as part of the series for several reasons. One, they are convenient, two, they are tasty and three, they are typically packed with wholesome good for you ingredients that we all need! After taking inventory on my own recipe list of bites, I was surprised to find there wasn’t a single mocha energy bite. How could this be?!
And so today, I bring you these super amped up goodness called Superfood Mocha Energy Bites. Cacao, chia seeds, cashews, maca, dates and best of all, COFFEE! I mean that just puts the energy in energy bites, doesn’t it! I know there are many misleading articles out there that coffee is good for you and then bad for you and then back and forth and back again. The reality is it is all about moderation. There are so many amazing health benefits you can get from coffee. A Venti Caramel Double Whip Frappucino? Maybe not so much! But if that’s your favorite treat, have at it when it’s calling your name. But having coffee in your diet can surely be a good thing, and if caffeine is not your thing, I used decaf in my bites, so you can certainly go that route.
You can read anywhere these days about superfoods and they vary by what day of the week is, I believe. So don’t get too caught up in all of it, however, foods like maca are said to increase mood and energy, balance hormones and improve fertility. Chia seeds aid in digestive and heart health. Cacao is another great mood booster and so on. Needless to say these bites are packed and ready to give you the boost you need. And of course I used a fresh bag of La Terza Coffee in mine and that made the flavor so much harder to resist! These are certainly the perfect snack on the go, a quick breakfast with a banana or just a treat for when you are craving some chocolate. So what are you waiting for, get those food processors ready and go!
- 1 1/3 c cashews, raw
- 1/4 c cacao powder
- 1/2-1 T fresh coffee beans (You could sub 1-2 T very strong brewed coffee)
- 8-10 medjool dates, pitted
- 2 tsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp maca powder (optional)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Dash of sea salt
- 2 T dark chocolate chips
- In a food processor, combine coffee beans and cashews. Process until fine.
- Add all other ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, and process until a dough starts to form.
- Add chocolate chips and pulse to combine.
- Roll into bite sized balls and enjoy!