Tacoma Defiance, Tacoma Rainiers

R Staff Picks: Coffee and Tea

As we stay indoors to flatten the curve, we’re learning how to do things that we got used to others doing for us. Some on the Cheney Stadium team have taught themselves how to make their own coffee beverages, while others stick to their tried and true cup-a-Joe. Getting a pep in your quarantined step is no cake walk. One thing is certain, our mornings are still starting with coffee & tea.

Last week we shared our favorite movies, TV shows, music playlists, video games, and books providing entertainment during our extra hours while we Stay Home, Stay Healthy. This week we’ll share the new things that we’ve learned to do.

Always together, We R Tacoma.


While enjoying coffee there’s a single key to remember – the only wrong way to make it is a way you don’t enjoy it. That means if you like it black, drink it black. That’s how Cheney Stadium’s Head Groundskeeper Michael Huie drinks his while manicuring the pristine grass and flipping our field from baseball to soccer during the season.

“I’m a black coffee kind of guy – kivu hazelnut.”

Without his regular 5-6 daily visits to the office coffee maker, Casey Catherwood, Creative Director and newly minted Stay at Home Barista, taught himself how to make espresso. (Expresso?) Take his direction with a grain of salt & a splash of cream.

If you have a machine in storage, now is the time to dust it off and learn the art of espresso. Maintain the recommended coffee to water ratio, wait for the machine to be at the proper heat, and press go.

If you don’t have an espresso machine there are other creative solutions. This is what Caitlan Calnan, Director of Group Sales & Event Marketing, is doing to enjoy her favorite lattes.

“I’m a big fan of lattes but I don’t have an espresso machine. I’ve been brewing a pod of dark roast coffee (on the lowest setting on my Keurig), and then adding a little vanilla creamer to it.  For the milk, I heat up 4 oz of almond milk on the stove and once it’s heated up, I use an immersion blender to froth the top half of the milk.  Add it to the coffee and it’s actually pretty good.”

Former barista Fernanda Irish, Marketing and Community Relations Coordinator, focuses her brew on freshness more than equipment.

“Even as a former barista, I’m not willing to go through the ridiculous steps most coffee enthusiasts suggest for the “perfect” cup. I’m also not going to plan ahead and make cold brew in advance, so I’ve been drinking a lot of brewed coffee lately. The most important thing working in coffee taught me was: buy your coffee whole bean and grind it fresh before each brew. Coffee loses so much of its flavor after it is ground.”

“The last few weeks, I’ve switched over to doing pour over coffee and absolutely love it. When you put high end coffee grinds like Caffe Vita’s Peru Rancho Sabancaya in a pour over coffee maker like a Chemex, pour hot water over the grinds, and let it drip out into your coffee mug or canister, the result is amazing. The freshest tasting, most robust coffee, that tastes like you paid $8 for it in a hip cafe.”

Coffee can also be an evening treat. Caitlan’s enjoyed different coffee beverages when the workday is almost done.

“I’ve also been making espresso martinis (not in the morning, of course, I wait until AT LEAST noon) which is a pod of dark roast coffee in the Keurig, a shot of espresso vodka, and a little bit of Baileys or another Irish Cream. Add everything into a shaker and serve over ice.”


Tea’s magical in the way that it can provide a pick-me-up or help the body and mind to relax. Several years before joining the We R Tacoma team as content creator, Dave Clark was a coffee roaster. While staying home, he’s brewing teas more often than coffee.

“Mostly, I’m drinking a loose leaf rooibos from Queen Mary. The 5-6 minutes of steeping force me to slow down, pause, and appreciate time. The process of prepping a loose leaf tea or tisane is peaceful while preparing coffee is a frantic buzz for me. The length of prep time is basically the same. It’s the attitude that’s different. My favorite black tea is the one served at the Fairmont Empress in Victoria. When I’m out of that, like right now, I’ll copy Star Trek’s Captain Picard and get ‘Tea, Earl Grey.’”

Not able to grab her one of her favorite beverages, Marketing Manager Reema Patel, is making her own London Fog at home.

The version of a London Fog I make is an easy and healthy option for those looking for a frothy comforting morning drink. Using dates as a sweetener, a spoonful of almond butter for a creamer, and a hint of vanilla extract, these ingredients blended together make for a magical latte.”

Next up are the card games, board games, and other tabletop games that we are playing.

Previously we shared the moviesshowsmusic, video games, and books we like.

About the Tacoma Rainiers

The Tacoma Rainiers, Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. Tacoma has been a member of the Pacific Coast League since Cheney Stadium opened in 1960, and has been a Mariners affiliate since establishing the Rainiers moniker in 1995.

The most up-to-date news and notes about the Tacoma Rainiers and Cheney Stadium can be found at WeRTacoma.com, or by following the Rainiers on Twitter (@RainiersLand), Instagram (@tacomarainiers) and liking the team on Facebook.

About Tacoma Defiance

Tacoma Defiance is the USL Championship affiliate of reigning MLS Cup Champion Seattle Sounders FC. You can follow The Future of Champions on Twitter (@TACDefiance)Facebook, and Instagram (@tacdefiance). We are #DefiantlyTacoma.

COVID-19 Information

More information on social distancing and how to prevent the spread of Covid-19 can be found at Tacoma-Pierce County Health. The most up-to-date information on how COVID-19 is affecting events at Cheney Stadium can be found here.

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