The Chemistry in Contra Coffee & Tea, a fresh perspective to Nitro Coffee

The Coffee Nomad sits down with a couple whose chemistry is undeniable in their lives and in their brews. 

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The Big Easy & The Gateway to Coffee - New Orleans

Two hundred years before Seattle or Portland were dubbed the coffee hubs of the nation, New Orleans served as America's gateway to coffee. 

Metaphorically and physically a gateway - or more specifically, a port. 

The Port of New Orleans was second to New York in destination for Latin American coffee producers in the 19th century. But we can go even further back to find New Orleans history in one single cup of chicory cafe au lait. 

Cafe Du Monde in 1953: Follow this amazing New Orleans vintage blog: 

Cafe Du Monde in 1953: Follow this amazing New Orleans vintage blog: 

 Coffee first came to the European markets around the 17th century. Soon the dark, rich beverage hit major cities and centers of global trade. It wasn't until the 18th century that chicory, the root of a blue-flowered perennial plant, got in the coffee mix. 

Meanwhile across the pond, America was still part-taking in a heavy tea-culture. It wasn't until the British placed taxes on tea that people began taking a preference to coffee. (Tea - 0, Coffee - 1). 

As the demand for coffee grew, the French had established coffee plantations in Latin American countries.  In 1718 the French found the city of New Orleans along the Mississippi and solidified trade access to the nation. 

Coffee crops became the most consistent and lucrative crop for the port, despite its everchanging ownership (From French to the Spanish back to the French to finally the U.S.)

Born was the coffee addiction. So much so, that when the American Civil War resulted in the Union naval implementing blockades, cutting off the port of New Orleans, the people needed a substitute. 

Enter Chicory. It acted more has a placeholder in the mix to make the coffee product last longer. Although it was without the caffeine, it had a similar taste to coffee and it was cheaper.

Chicory would also find its purpose in warfare shortages and economic hardships like the Great Depression.

Sears at Baronne and Common Street - 1940's. Source:

Sears at Baronne and Common Street - 1940's. Source:

And so when you really take a sip of chicory cafe au lait, you are drinking in the city's history.   From wartimes to Katrina, life has certainly never been easy for the Big Easy. But much like the coffee, the people are bold, rooted deep in their culture and vibrant in their character.  

This weekend I am in New Orleans and I am going to do my best to captivate the world of Nola through the lens of coffee.   

It is said that the American colloquial morning coffee break was born along those coffee shops at the mouth of the Mississippi.

I have no doubt that the 18th century industrial Southerner also began their morning with the half-asleep, mumbled phrase,

"But first, coffee."

Mugs Up, 

- The Coffee Nomad 



Frank Coffee Body Scrub 

Let's be Frank.

Coffee is good for you in and on your body.  

I've been meaning to get to a post about the traditional health benefits of coffee (and I promise I will) but writing about scrubbing coffee grounds all over you is just way more fun.

So, I discovered Frank's Coffee Body Scrub via instagram - (@Frank_Bod) - and was immediately curious.

I gotta hand it to them - their marketing campaign is genius.  I came across people with selfies and showing off the body scrub from neck-up and witty captions with a how-can-you-not hashtag: #LetsBeFrank.

So, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. (follow meh @thecoffeenomad on insta😎)

The coffee body scrub's, or excuse me, Frank's, voice  on social media takes on this smooth-talking, very forward individual that is constantly just wanting to scrub you down for smoother skin; Bold and entertaining at the same time.

So back to the actual scrub - I'm obsessed. 

Again, with the dirty talk….

Love it. 

As soon as I tore open the package, not so gracefully, the aromas hit me.  I'm pretty sure if heaven had a smell that would be it.

And what blows my mind  is that there is a variety of these amazing scrubs.  So yes, eventually I will be trying all of them:

The robusta coffee blend scrubs away dead skin and the brown sugar and sea salt helps exfoliate.  And apparently there is some almond oil to help tone.  And you only need a small handful or two to scrub away.  I’d say the package can you last you a while.

But what I think is overlooked and what people should totally splurge on is the Frank Body Balm.  It just leaves a glow in your skin and it smells so darn good.  I wouldn't recommend putting it on your face - maybe just gently massage any excess left on your hands onto your face.  I have a combination of oily and dry skin and I really don’t need more oil on my face.

The body balm contains coconut, grape seed and sweet almond natural oils.  And according to Frank, the coffee seed extract and hemp seed oil helps stimulate blood flow and can actually fade out stretch marks, smooth out cellulite and "other skin conditions."

Also included in the balm is cocoa butter, beeswax and candeilla wax to make the skin feel baby soft all day because "that's just the kind of guy I am" says Frank. 

So, that's really it. If you like coffee at all you are going to want to scrub-a-dub in this stuff all day.

I give it two #MugsUp.

Thanks for stopping by.  I promise more posts about actual coffee are headed your way.


The Coffee Nomad