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Not Deer Teeth by Alexander Jennings

The piece is titled ‘Not Deer Teeth’, and is intended to be a depiction of the teeth of a Not Deer, a creature that I personally have witnessed.

The subject is an array of deer’s teeth (that I personally collected) as one might expect of a museum or other display, but the arrangement mimics that of a carnivore. Deer, or regular deer at least, do not have top front teeth, and they certainly do not have canines as this one appears to.

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An interview with master roaster Connor Buchanan

What does coffee mean to you?

What it means to me has changed a lot since I started roasting. To most, coffee is just the black stuff that comes from an urn. You don’t think about where it comes from. All of the steps it takes to go from a thing that grows out of the ground to a liquid in your cup. Becoming a roaster, I have learned about the process, but I feel much closer to the source. When I open a bag of green beans, I can almost feel the connection to the farmers who grew it. That is the next thing I want to get into. It’s made me want to go back to the source and form a relationship with the people to grow the beans in the first place.

Connor Buchanan, our roaster, was interviewed for the latest issue of Cryptids and Coffee (A zine for people who love one or the other.) Read along and find out what coffee means to Connor. Ellijay, Georgia, Mountian Town Coffee Roasting, Things to do in Ellijay

What is your favorite bean?

Ethiopian coffee beans are one of my favorites. These beans make me want to jump on a plane to Kembata and visit the farm they were grown on. I want to feel the soil between my toes and see where they grow this coffee. I am mildly obsessed, honestly. Right now, I am roasting Jackalope Joe, our Etheopean blend, and while I do that, I am listening to Etheopean Jazz. Mulatu Astake is the artist. I listen to music from all over the world, so I like to listen to music from where the beans are from as much as I can while roasting.

What flavors are you looking for when roasting your coffee?

We are sticking to the lighter side of medium. Keeping it light allows the beans to keep more of their distinct flavor. With small batching roasting, we can get out lighter roasts to our customers quickly so they can experience the full flavor of the beans. Jackalope Joe has a nice blueberry, strawberry, and nutty taste and smell.

What is the difference between roasting a blonder roast vs. a darker roast?

A light roast coffee is going to have brighter and more subtle flavors. You will taste the bean’s origin, and the flavor will vary a bit from batch to batch. The darker you get, the more those bright flavors get muted. A medium roast can still highlight the unique characteristics of a bean, but it will have a much more consistent flavor than a light roast, and some of the subtle undertones will be lost in favor of a more uniform “coffee” taste. Coffee is best around 48 hours after it is roasted and will maintain peak flavor for about 6 weeks. With a darker roast, you get more of the bitter and earthy flavors that have long been associated with coffee over the same period without as much of a peak. It’s really a difference in flavor degradation. If you were to drink a light roast 2 weeks after a roast and then the same batch of beans again, but 2 months after a roast, you would notice a loss of flavor notes. If you were to drink a dark roast at 2 weeks and then again at 2 months, you wouldn’t see much difference in flavor. (That’s why big box brands tend to start medium and get darker! It’s much easier which to have consistency from bag to bag and year to year with a dark roast.)

Connor Buchanan, our roaster, was interviewed for the latest issue of Cryptids and Coffee (A zine for people who love one or the other.) Read along and find out what coffee means to Connor. Ellijay, Georgia, Mountian Town Coffee Roasting, Things to do in Ellijay

Has roasting impacted the way you drink coffee now?

I always drink it black. I tend to drink cold brew in the summer, so I am eager to figure out what blends will brew the best cold. I am excited about a new blend of Ethiopian and Bali Blue Moon (Goblin Grog). It’s our new and improved Bigfoot Brew. The Bali Blue Moon has vanilla and dark chocolate flavor notes. That, paired with our Ethiopian’s berry flavors, should make an interesting cold brew. I’ve been into the cold brew with coconut syrup lately, and I think all those flavors together will play nicely with coconut.

So you’ve roasted the coffee; how is business going?

It’s funny. I keep getting really excited when I roast and overestimate my beans. Sometimes I think I will roast too much coffee and need to be reined in, but then I check on our stock, and it is just gone. It’s really cool to be a part of this and to see it going so well. I was really worried that I would roast all of this coffee and it would just sit, but if anything, we might be understocking at our current rate. I recently checked on our stock at Ellijay Coffeehouse, and it was just gone. We can’t keep Jackalope Joe on the shelves. It is so good, and it just sells out so fast.

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Goblin Grog: An Enchanting Coffee Experience

If you’re a coffee enthusiast seeking a bold and captivating flavor experience, look no further than Mountain Town Coffee Roasting’s Goblin Grog. This medium roast is a unique creation that stands out among its Indonesian counterparts. With its creamy and rich profile, accompanied by tantalizing notes of vanilla bean and dark chocolate, Goblin Grog is a true treasure for coffee lovers.

Goblin Grog enchants with its distinctive flavor profile. Unlike many Indonesian coffees known for their earthy tones, Goblin Grog takes a different path, providing a smoother and more refined experience. The medium roast strikes the perfect balance, allowing the flavors to shine through harmoniously. As you savor each sip, you’ll be greeted by the luxurious embrace of creamy vanilla bean notes, reminiscent of a decadent dessert. The subtle hint of dark chocolate adds depth and richness, creating a truly indulgent coffee experience.

Whether you’re a seasoned coffee aficionado or simply seeking a remarkable coffee experience, Goblin Grog is a must-try. Indulge in this bold and medium roast, allowing it to transport you to a world of exquisite flavors and a touch of goblin folklore. So, grab your favorite mug, prepare to be enchanted, and savor each sip of Mountain Town Coffee Roasting’s Goblin Grog.

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Skull Stamp by Amanda Smith

Skull Stamp by Amanda Smith is featured in Cryptids and Coffee Volume 1. Issue 2. You can find more of Amanda’s work on Instagram and in future issues of Cryptids and Coffee (A zine for people who love one or the other.)

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The Squonk: From Folklore to Flavorful Beans

In the realm of cryptids, there are few creatures as intriguing and elusive as the Squonk. This mythical creature, known for its melancholic nature and ability to dissolve into tears, has captured the imagination of storytellers and artists for generations. However, its presence doesn’t end there. Mountain Town Coffee Roasting has harnessed the essence of the Squonk to create a coffee blend that not only tantalizes the taste buds but also celebrates the rich tapestry of pop culture.

While the Squonk may not be as widely recognized as some legendary creatures, its unique qualities have earned it a special place in various forms of pop culture. From literature to music and even gaming, the Squonk has left its mark.

In literature, the Squonk has appeared in various works, often as a symbol of sorrow and vulnerability. Its tearful nature has been a source of inspiration for authors exploring themes of melancholy and the human condition.

Musicians, too, have drawn inspiration from the Squonk. Progressive rock band Genesis immortalized the creature in their iconic song “Squonk.” The haunting lyrics and ethereal melodies captured the essence of the Squonk’s sadness, captivating audiences worldwide.

In the realm of gaming, the Squonk has found its way into the hearts of players. From magical creatures in fantasy role-playing games to collectible cards in trading card games, the Squonk’s unique characteristics have been embraced by gamers seeking a touch of mystique.

Our goal at Mountain Town Coffee Roasting is to roast exceptional coffee and artfully embrace the mythical allure of the Squonk. Drawing inspiration from the creature’s legendary tears, we have roasted a coffee that encapsulates its essence.

A Squonk Supreme is a medium-bodied Rwandan coffee that delivers a fusion of flavors. With hints of pineapple, lemon verbena, grapefruit, berry, and honey, it offers a mesmerizing taste experience. Just like the Squonk’s tears, this bean evokes a sense of despondency that mingles with the joy of a perfectly brewed cup, leaving a lasting impression on the palate.

As we savor the aromatic brew, let us celebrate the fusion of folklore and pop culture, recognizing the profound influence these captivating cryptids have on our collective imagination. So, next time you seek a truly exceptional cup of coffee, embrace the mystique of A Squonk Supreme and embark on a remarkable journey through flavors and legends, courtesy of Mountain Town Coffee Roasting.

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Discover Legendary Whole Bean Coffee at the Ellijay Farmers and Artisans Market with Mountain Town Coffee Roasting

Calling all coffee enthusiasts and lovers of local produce and art! Mountain Town Coffee Roasting is thrilled to announce our participation in the Ellijay Farmers and Artisans Market, bringing you a selection of our finest whole bean coffees. Join us every Saturday through September from 8:00am to 12:00pm in downtown Ellijay, Georgia. Get ready to embark on a coffee adventure like no other as we showcase our unique blends inspired by cryptids. From the mysterious Sasquatch Select to the lively Jackalope Joe, our exceptional whole bean coffees will transport you to new realms of flavor and imagination.

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Brain Juice by William Dover

Brain Juice is featured in Cryptids and Coffee Volume 1. Issue 1. You can find more of Will’s work on Instagram and in future issues of Cryptids and Coffee (A zine for people who love one or the other.)

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Vampires and their Intolerances

By Josh Allen

So, I wanna start this story, this story you’ve requested, with a preface. That preface being that yours truly, Jack, has yet to divulge this particular story on any official channel yet. Anyhow, being interviewed by anybody and anyone from ol’ Ellijay is warrents an honest story.

Your choice of words, “tell me of the beginning of your love affair with cryptids,” I take a mite bit o’ umbrage with since were I to compare my relationship with most cryptids to a love affair, I’d be Knives Chau from that there Scott Pilgrim movie. Monsters always did me wrong and dirty. if ya know, ya know.

So, back on topic here, lil Jackie is where it all started. I was on a family vacation to Puerto Rico in the 1970s, visiting my great uncle Alejandro De Lamoca on his sheep farms what where he made all his money in woolen goods and whatnot. We spent the better part of a week in late august during some ol catholic festival; apparently, they were partying harder than usual in Moca since there was allegedly some kinda vampire problem, and they seemta embrace their own eventual demise by way of exsanguination. One afternoon after help Unca Allie with milkin’ the sheep all mornin’, I heard a loud wailin’ from a nearby copse of trees, and me bein the intrepid and stalwart adventurer that i is, I did a little investigatin’. Now what ye might not know about lil Jackie is when i was a youngin’, I basically started the Got Milk craze myself. I would drink milk mornin’ noon and night if I could, and I did. So I took this fresh sheep’s milk bucket with me to investigate the caterwaulin’, taking little sips of it here and there. Once I breached the tree line and got to lookin for the source of the sound, I realized I was shaking like a leaf on a tree, to paraphrase the immortal bard Sir Lynyrd Skynyrd, and had to stop and steady myself from panicking.

I’ve always had an affection for reading on the paranormal so an aura of fear was something I knew that existed as part of the vampire’s hunting toolkit, so I became acutely aware of the chance that I was about to get bled dry with the quickness, so I reversed my intrepid exploration to a more tactical position and before I could get back to the barn what were the sheep get their milkin and shaving and sheering done, before me stood a most unfathomable horror from beyond the limitations of imagination. This weren’t no Dracula I’d ever read about. It must have been some terrible regional variation. It stood nearly 5 feet tall, with a sheath of leathery and scaly skin, spiny like a porcupine, and with bright red eyes that burned into my soul. It was gripping a lamb in its claws, and the poor lil thing was shrieking like nothing I’d ever heard.

Now I wanna make it clear that despite my preternatural tendency for cryptid hunting, Lil Jackie was still a child at the time, and seeing a full grown, full sized mutant vampire suckin’ on a lamb is enough to put a mighty fear in the chest of the bravest of children. I ran as fast as any kid possibly could and sloshed goat milk all over me in the process. I could hear the vampire chuffing and chasing me, my mistaken inclination of exfiltration instigating its predator response of pursuit. I ran from the farms all the way back to the nearest barrio. The whole time I felt that unholy abomination chasing me, shaking that half mummified lamb with it.

My neck was a-prickle with the knowledge that certain doom was chasing me, so in a desperate panic. I could see the lights in the houses of the barrio ahead of me but I just knew the vampire would snag me before I got to safety, so in a fit of survival instincts I turnt around on’m and tossed the only thing I had in hand, the bucket of milk still warm from the teet itself.

This is the moment that I, Jack, discovered the Vampire’s heretofore unheard of allergy to milk. The shriek that filled the night air absolutely shattered my eardrums and haunts Jack’s deepest nightmares to this day. The flesh of the vampire bubbled and melted into a jammy, jelly-like consistency and its skeleton exploded. This, of course, kills most vampires. Where a gangly scaly skinned, red-eyed, and long fanged demon of the night once stood, was only a lamb with more blood covering it than filling its veins.

I’ve tried tellin’ other cryptid hunters out there of this vampire hack, but I think the ones who tried it were using the wrong milk or something since allegedly it don’t work like that. Maybe it was a lactose intolerant person in life or something, and I got lucky? Anyhow, That was my first real life brush with the shadowy beasts hidin’ outside of society and put me on the path I’m on today to become the stalwart and intrepid explorer of the unknown and eventual slayer of the Squatch that I am.

If you want to hear more from Josh Allen, you can check out his podcast Expedition Sasquatch, a comedy podcast about the world’s premier bigfoot hunter.

Good Morning Squatchers! Jack ventures to Colorado and meets Skippy “Slappy” McDaniels before coming face to face with … something.

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Recipe: Hot New Orleans

Whole Bean Coffee
Roasted Chicory
Milk of Choice
Sweetened Condensed Milk

Secret Step 0: Pick the right beans
Recently, I’ve been using Jackalope Joe. It’s a fruity Ethiopian coffee that sets the stage for this drink. I’ve also had good results with Dancing Goats from Batdorf and Bronson. In a pinch, you can skip steps 1 and 2 and use a premade cold brew concentrate (if you can’t make your own, store-bought is fine.)

Step 1: Brew cold.
Grind your beans. Grind them right before you brew your coffee.
Don’t grind them ahead of time; this will make bad coffee. Use a burr grinder. If you don’t have a burr grinder, stop. Buy a burr grinder, and then grind your beans. A blade grinder is good for spices, not coffee, no matter what Mr. Coffee says.
Grind your beans in a coarse setting. You want one cup of ground coffee for every 4 cups of water you’re brewing. (1/4 cup of grounds for each cup of water.)
Stick the grounds at the bottom of a vessel. I use a mason jar, but it doesn’t really matter.
If you’re committing the whole pot to New Orleans style, you can, at this point, add one tablespoon of ground, roasted chicory for each cup of water in your brew. If not, we’ll do that later.
Filter your water, then pour it over your grounds. Shake your container gently, then stick it on the counter for 10 – 14 hours to brew.
Check on it in a few hours, and shake it again if you want

Step 2: Strain your cold brew
I affix a coffee filter to the mouth of the mason jar with a rubber band and strain the coffee through this. You could use a fine mesh sieve (like you might use for catching tea leaves) or whatever other method you like. You want to separate this coffee concentrate from your grounds.
This cold brew concentrate will keep for several days and taste wonderful on its own, or with a pinch of salt.

Step 3: New Orleans (part one)
If you did not add your chicory above, separate out a portion of your cold brew to take to New Orleans. Add one tablespoon of roasted chicory for each cup of water.
Let this infuse overnight, and strain again using the method of your choice.

Step 4: New Orleans (part two)
Pour one cup of your cold brew concentrate into a tall glass. Add 1/4 cup of whole milk. Stir in 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk (to taste.)
Stir it well. That stuff is thick, and it will resist incorporation at first. It’s worth it.
At this stage, you have a classic New Orleans iced coffee. This is one of my favorite Summer coffee drinks. You could stop here and enjoy, but I encourage you to press on.

Step 5: Hot New Orleans
The above concoction is wonderful cold, but a little heat and agitation go a long way toward making it even better. You have two options:
1) A saucepan on the stove. Heat over medium heat for 3 minutes. Whisk until moderately frothy, decant, and serve.

2) Use a countertop electric milk frother to heat and froth the beverage. These operate like electric kettles but with an implement for agitating the liquid. This is what I do.

(Of course, if you have an espresso machine, you could use your steam wand. We do this in our shop, but that’s cheating for an “at home” drink.)

Now, that sounds like a lot of work when it’s all spelled out like that. Let me summarize:
1) Make cold brew (with or without chicory)
2) Add chicory, if you didn’t make cold brew with chicory
3) Add milk and sweetened condensed milk
4) Heat and agitate
I keep a pitcher of cold brew with chicory in my fridge, splash in some milk and a spoonful of sweetened condensed milk in the morning, and let the mixture go for a ride in the Instant Frother. It takes less time than brewing a fresh pot and scratches the same itch as a caffè latte.
You could use a milk substitute (oat milk works well in this case), but I haven’t found a dairy free alternative for sweetened condensed milk that works.

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Cryptids and Coffee The Tripodero

The Tripodero hails from the chaparral forests of Southern California. As its name alludes, the creature stands on three limbs, two thin telescopic legs, a kangaroo like tail, and is fashioned in a stance like a tripod. The anatomy of the Tripodero’s legs gives this creature the ability to vertically elevate at will through the thicket of the chaparral floor and rise above to view potential prey. The Tripedro is small, stealthy, and stout. Its snout stretches over its head to quickly devour food and store small pellets of hardened clay gathered from the chaparral floor.

The chaparral forests are mostly fixed on slopes and ridges, giving the Tripedro a sight advantage. When it acquires a target, the Tripodero will use a round of clay stored in its snout and, with a sitting motion, project the hard clay at its victim to render it unconscious. Once the victim is clearly down, the Tripodero will contract its legs, descend the ridgeside, and eat its prey until the last bone is gone.