Gone Camping with Top Pot’s Camper Blend

Jenni shows us how to camp Top Pot-style.

This post was written by: Jenni Jobe

Summer is not complete in my mind without a camping trip or two–or twelve! One of the essentials of a good camping trip is a good cup of coffee in the morning, which has not always been an easy thing to come by.  But it is possible, especially with Top Pot Coffee Roasters (in house at our 5th Ave café) freshly roasted coffee. Amongst the mountains and trees of the Pacific Northwest, combine our Camper Blend coffee with a trusty brew method, and you can wake up at your morning campfire and enjoy!

Recently I went camping with a big group of friends, and I found the truth in the age-old adage of “if you brew it they will come”. Follow these steps and you too will be loved by your family and friends the whole camping trip. I was deemed the “camping coffee master,” and you can too. All it takes is bringing along a trusty brewer, picking up some Top Pot Coffee on the way outta town, and putting it all together when you reach your campsite. So pack up your gear, fill up a couple coolers, grab the coffee, and put up a “Gone Camping” sign. It’s time to get away from it all and refresh your soul in the great outdoors.

Reasons to bring Top Pot camping:

  • Increase your popularity amongst your friends. Doughnuts make everyone happy and having quality coffee while camping is hard to come by.
  • Keep your weekday morning routine and kick start your day of adventures in the wilderness.
  • Support Top Pot’s Camper Blend.
  • Invent a new type of s’mores with top pot doughnuts.
  • And remember: If you brew it, they will come.

Top Pot Camping Timeline

Friday 3p.m.
Take off from work a bit early, load up your gear and coolers and hit up your local Top Pot Café. Grab a dozen doughnuts, a cold brew coffee for the road and a bag or two of the Camper Blend for coffee provisions through the weekend in the mountains and trees. You can even have your coffee ground at the café.

Friday 6p.m.

Arrive and set up camp! Once the tents and sleeping bags are set for crawling into at a later hour, and dinner is in the works, find out where that box of doughnuts ended up. Ensure you get your favorite before the early bird catches the doughnuts in the morning before you roll out of the tent.

Saturday a.m.

Roll outta the tent and grab a doughnut to tide you over till the rest of breakfast is ready. Get your hot water started so you can get that coffee brewing. If you brew it, they will come.  And you will be loved. For full effect use Top Pot Coffee Roasters Camper Blend.

Sunday a.m.

Repeat steps from Saturday morning. Insider tip–if you train someone on Saturday you can sleep in on Sunday and roll outta your sleeping bag to coffee that’s already made!

Camping Brew Methods:

French Press

Top Pot French Press

The French press is a great way to brew multiple cups at a time and makes a nice full bodied cup of coffee. I recommend grabbing a stainless steel one as they’re more durable and you don’t have to worry about it breaking at the campsite.

  1. For every cup of coffee, put two tablespoons of coarsely ground coffee into the French press. Fill half way with water at about 200 degrees, or just before boiling. Make sure all the grounds are saturated with water.
  2. Brew for 1 minute and 30 seconds to allow the coffee to bloom. Stir and fill the press the rest of the way with hot water, leaving enough room to rest the plunger on top.
  3. Continue brewing for another 1 minute and 30 seconds to 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Now you can plunge slowly. Sometimes you’ll feel a little resistance; that’s OK. Don’t force it, you can always pull the press up a little and then continue pressing down. Pour and enjoy!

ChemexTop Pot Chemex brewed coffee

The Chemex will impress your friends and up your hipster game. This hourglass shaped brewer uses a thick paper filter to produce a smooth cup of coffee. This is also a good method for brewing a few cups at a time when you are making coffee for the whole camp site. The Chemex is slightly more technical than the French Press, however it is one of my favorite methods for brewing coffee.

  1. Place a cone-shaped paper filter in the top of the Chemex. Make three folds on one side of the filter and one fold on the opposite side to create a cone shape. Arrange the three fold side toward the front spout and one fold toward the back.
  2. Dampen the filter with warm water to preheat the brewer and rinse out the filter, pour the water out of the spout to discard.
  3. Use two tablespoons of medium-course ground coffee per cup. Place coffee into the deepest part of the filter.
  4. Heat your water to about 200 degrees or just before boiling. Pour enough water to wet all of the grounds and let sit for 30 seconds to allow the coffee to bloom.
  5. Pour your hot water in an even circular motion leaving about ¼-inch of room at the top of the brewer. Once the water filters through the coffee, repeat this step with a second pour to complete the brew.
  6. Remove filter once all the water has brewed through and discard into compost. Pour and enjoy!

Aeropress

The Aeropress is perfect for brewing single cups of coffee relatively quickly, and it’s small so it is a convenient space saver, especially if you’re backpacking to a campsite. It is also great when people are rolling out of their tents at varying times.

  1. Place a filter in the cap and fit the cap onto the chamber. Set the chamber onto a steady mug and put one scoop of finely ground coffee into the chamber. Give it a little shake to level out the coffee.
  2. Pour 200 degree, or just before boiling, water into the chamber up to the number 2.
  3. Stir the coffee for 10 seconds. Insert plunger at an angle and pull up slightly to create a seal. Press down gently for 20 to 60 seconds until you hear the hiss of the escaping air.
  4. Remove the chamber from your cup and add 6 ounces of water for one cup of coffee.

You can adjust the amount of water based on your preference; the less you use the stronger the coffee will be. To clean, remove the cap and push over the grounds. The coffee puck will pop right off, ready for compost! Rinse with water.

Customer Spotlights on the Top Pot Blog

Want to be featured on our blog and win an awesome prize?

At Top Pot, we love our customers. In fact, we like to think of every person who comes through our doors as not just a customer, but as part of our community. We love getting to know more about the people we serve. In that spirit, we’d like to extend that invitation to our blog.

Would you like to be featured in a customer spotlight? Submit your answers to these questions on our contact page for the chance to be featured on our blog and win an awesome prize. We will randomly draw three participants to win a $20 Top Pot gift card!


What’s your name?

How long have you been coming to Top Pot?

What is your drink of choice?

What is your favorite Top Pot treat?

If you could create the next Top Pot doughnut, what flavor would it be?

If I were a doughnut  I’d be . . .

What about the Top Pot experience has kept you as a customer?


We can’t wait to learn more about you. Thanks for being a part of the Top Pot community!

Spotlight: 5th Avenue Cafe

5th Avenue: our flagship cafe.

Top Pot’s second café is located on 5th Avenue in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood. This densely populated urban area is filled with old-school charm. Brick buildings line the street, while the sleek, silver monorail, built for the 1962 World’s Fair, glides overhead. Just a few blocks from the Space Needle, the 5th Avenue café is a place where famous guests, excited tourists, and neighborhood regulars come to mingle.

Beautiful two-story greenhouse windows allow passersby to observe the old-school interior, complete with Top Pot’s signature bookshelves, a 1960s-style television, and a balcony seating area. It’s a beautiful, large café and it’s a staple of Seattle’s downtown.

The roastery for all 20 Top Pot locations is housed at this location. This is where all of our coffee beans and cold brew coffee is produced. It’s amazing how much hard work and dedication the men and women of the roastery have put into their work. Whether you’re sipping a latte on top of Queen Anne hill in one of our first locations, or grabbing a quick drip coffee at our newest café, Sky House in Dallas, you’re tasting the same great quality coffee.

Tourist Hot Spot

The 5th Avenue location is conveniently close to many of Seattle’s great tourist destinations. After enjoying our doughnuts and coffee, visitors can take the 10-minute walk to the Seattle Center. There they can take a trip to the top of the Space Needle, visit the International Fountain, or spend an afternoon in the EMP/SFM, otherwise known as the “Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum.”

This nonprofit museum features exhibits focused on pop culture and music both nationally and internationally. Their most recent exhibits have included a Star Trek retrospective, an in-depth Hello Kitty display, and, of course, several rooms devoted to our hometown hero, Jimi Hendrix.

If you choose to set your feet walking south, you’ll arrive at Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market. Yup, that’s the place where they throw the fish. There is also fresh food from over 85 local farmers as well as various artistic wares from the 225 local artists that can be found along the market’s 9 acres.

Local Favorite/Famous Hang Out

But it’s not just tourists who love our Belltown store. It’s also a neighborhood place. With its extensive seating and retro vibe, it’s a great place to meet with a friend or five. Knitting clubs, tech workers check-ins, and senior meet-ups all take place on a weekly basis. Not to mention, it’s a great place to take the family on a Sunday morning.

Even the famous crowd gets in on the action. Over the years Top Pot 5th Avenue has been visited by many familiar faces: Conan O’Brien, Joel McHale, Sir Mix-A-Lot, and Philip Seymour Hoffman have all come to visit. But nothing quite beat then time when this guy showed up.

President Obama Top Pot Doughnuts
President Barack Obama at Top Pot 5th Avenue

That’s right, we were lucky enough to be visited by President Barack Obama. It was an incredible experience (yeah, that’s me hiding back there on the left). He greeted everyone, shook our hands and generally made us all smile. And yes, he tried a doughnut (it was the glazed pumpkin old-fashioned) and pronounced it “addictive.”

The Inside Scoop

It’s not only our customers who love the 5th Avenue location. We’re also big fans of it as well. Founder, Mark Klebeck was one of the main forces behind the build and design of the café.

When I asked him what was his favorite part of the creation and build of the 5th Avenue location, he had this to say:

“The downtown 5th avenue café is unique in that it was built slowly and carefully thought out in design. The entire space is covered in birch wood, terrazzo and was designed to match the late 1940’s structure. It is special for me because my wife and I got married inside on the stairs two weeks before it opened to the public.

“My favorite thing about the build out was working side-by-side with my brother Michael from start to finish. We took our time and carefully incorporated design as we went along.”

Our flagship store is a hustling, bustling place filled with excited customers, delicious doughnuts, and robust coffee. The line can get a little crazy from time to time, but there’s no denying it’s a lot of fun. In fact, this quote from Clara, a 5th Avenue staff member, pretty much sums it up:

“It’s a fast-paced environment that can go from zero to jam packed in seconds. Most days there are customers waiting before we even open the door. It can be hard work, but when you get into the rhythm it transforms into a doughnut-slinging dance party.”

Have you visited our flagship location? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments below!

How to Host a Top Pot-Inspired 4th of July Party

It’s almost time for the big midsummer celebration. That’s right, can you believe it’s the 4th of July already? The 4th has always been one of my favorite holidays; the weather is warm, the days are long, and there is a feeling of celebration in the air.

Here are some Top Pot inspired ways to spice up your Independence Day. Almost all of these items are available at our cafes, but all can be replicated at home! Feel free to drop by the stores for the supplies you need, or try your hand at them in your own backyard.

Raspberry, White, and Blue

There’s nothing like a refreshing Italian soda on a warm summer day. These thirst-quenchers can easily be made into a perfect celebratory drink. Use raspberry, vanilla, and blackberry syrups in soda water to create a patriotic treat. Or, layer these flavors to create a flag in each cup. Start by pouring the raspberry syrup, then slowly pour blackberry syrup on top. Vanilla can be added after that, or can be substituted with a little splash of half and half.

As American As Apple Fritters

Top Pot Doughnuts Blueberry Fritter

Blueberry fritters are one of Top Pot’s featured summer doughnuts, and it couldn’t come at a better time. Serve a mix of our apple and blueberry fritters as a sweet appetizer or as a pairing with your after-dinner coffee.

Espresso Topped Ice Cream

There are lots of amazing recipes out there for espresso ice cream toppings (I have a whole list I want to try). The easiest way is to melt one tablespoon of espresso powder in four tablespoons of hot water. Once dissolved, pour over vanilla ice cream and serve.

If you really want to liven things up, add one tablespoon of Ovaltine powder to the espresso powder before melting. This will transform your plain old vanilla ice cream into a dessert version of Top Pot’s classic ovaltine latte.

Cold Brews for a Hot Day

Cold Brew Coffee Top Pot Doughnuts

Spending a day out in the sun can be exhausting. Serving a cold brewed coffee is a great way to jump start your second wind. Cold brew is made by steeping coarse-ground coffee beans in water for an extended period of time–usually 12 hours or more! Serve this super caffeinated drink as the sun sets and the fireworks begin.

Doughnut Dessert

patriotic sprinkled doughnuts

No 4th of July party would be complete without dessert. This year, why not mix up the traditional dessert offerings and create a doughnut cake by stacking Top Pot’s vanilla cake doughnuts on your serving tray. These doughnuts have a patriotic theme and require less clean up than sheet cakes or pies.

What are some of your favorite Independence Day foods? Let us know in the comments below.

Father’s Day Special at Top Pot

Father’s Day is coming up and we want to honor all you dads out there with a Father’s Day gift card special.

Starting Monday, June 13, a $10 gift card can be purchased for only $5. Take dad out for his favorite doughnut and coffee and still have enough to get something for yourself. It’s our way of saying thank you for making your family part of Top Pot’s family.

This offer will run through Father’s Day, Sunday, June 19, and is available at all locations.


In the spirit of the holiday, I asked some of our younger patrons to tell me what they thought was their father’s favorite doughnut. Here are some of the answers:

“…I’m not sure what would be my dad’s favorite doughnut. I’m probably pretty sure he likes them all.” – Daniel, age 6

“Umm…I don’t know. I only know the ones that I like.” – Olivia, age 10

“My dad doesn’t eat doughnuts, he just drinks the… [whispers to dad] …the expresso” – Matt, age 8

“I eat the top and my dad eats the rest.” – Jackson, age 5

“If I had to guess, I’d say my dad is a cinnamon sugar old fashioned.” Katelyn, age 16

“Glazed because he’s big like the glazed doughnut.” Madison, age 8

Happy Father’s Day from all of us at Top Pot Doughnuts!

Recipe: Lemon Old Fashioned Croutons

Delicious croutons made with Top Pot’s Lemon Glazed Old Fashioned Doughnuts.

There’s no doubt about it, Top Pot has creative customers. We love seeing our products transformed from their delicious beginnings into something new and amazing. Lorien, a Top Pot regular and incredible cook, has generously shared with us her crouton recipe, featuring Top Pot doughnuts.


Lorien’s Lemon Glazed Old Fashioned Croutons

Prep: 10 m  Cook: 15 m  Yield: 5 servings

Ingredients
2-3 Top Pot Lemon Glazed Old Fashioned doughnuts
1/2 teaspoon butter, melted
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon tarragon

  1. Cut the lemon glazed old fashioned doughnuts into small, crouton-sized pieces. Let sit overnight to allow the doughnuts to harden. Or, bake at 200 degrees for ten minutes.
  2. Melt butter in a skillet over low heat. Once the butter is melted, add chopped garlic and cook until soft, about two minutes.
  3. Add tarragon and doughnuts to the skillet. Stir frequently over low heat until the doughnuts are coated with garlic butter, about three minutes. Let cool and enjoy!

Have you used our doughnuts to make new and exciting treats? We’d love to share your creations on our blog. Post your recipes in the comments below!

Show this blog post to your barista at any Top Pot location and receive a free doughnut of your choice! It’s just our way of saying “thanks for reading.” This offer is good through June 12, 2016.

 

Welcome to Our Blog!

We are Top Pot Doughnuts and Coffee, an independent company located in Western Washington and Dallas, Texas.

Welcome to the Top Pot blog! We’re super excited to join the blogosphere.

If you know us, then you’re already familiar with what we do. If you’re new to the table, let’s get introduced. We are Top Pot Doughnuts and Coffee, an independent company located in Western Washington and Dallas, Texas. Our passions are quality coffee and doughnuts, and we love sharing those passions with the world.

What To Expect

From new coffee tips and tricks, to fun interviews, we’re going to cover it all. Each week, we’ll be posting new content to the blog. If that’s not enough excitement for you, hold on to your hats, there’s more!

At the end of every blog post, we’ll be sharing an exclusive, free weekly item. Just come into any of our locations and show the barista the blog post on your electronic device of choice, and you’ll receive super awesome free stuff. It’s just our way of saying thanks for reading.

“But what exactly are we reading?” We hear you ask from inside your computer. Well, let’s take a look.

Did You Know?

We’ll be diving into some little know facts and fun tidbits–answering the hard questions like, “Why are coffee beans called ‘beans’ when they’re actually seeds?” or “Who named that delicious swirl-y doughnut the pershing?”

Armed with these facts you’ll be able to head out and impress all of your friends with your coffee and doughnut knowledge.

Turn On The Spotlight

We’ll be focusing on our different cafes, their staff, and their customers. We have always been firm believers in community. That’s why each of our stores is unique to the area in which it lives. We wouldn’t be where we are today without our incredible community. We can’t wait to share their stories.

How Do I Do It?

Have you ever wondered how your barista pours that perfect rosetta every time? Curious how to make a doughnut ice cream sandwich? Well, we’ve asked ourselves the same questions and have come up with some answers. Let us share our expertise with you, so that you can have a little bit of Top Pot magic with you all the time.

To The Future

We’re so excited to be exploring this new blogging path, and we’re happy that you’ve come along for the ride. We’ve got a lot we’re excited to share, but we want to make sure that it’s what you want to read. So let us know! Post a comment, send an email, or drop by a cafe and tell us what you’d like to see. So until next week, cheers! Continue reading “Welcome to Our Blog!”