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Bethany Young
REALTOR®
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Date Archives: November 2021

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November
22

Small Business Saturday: Where to Shop Near Cedar Park

Cedar Park Shopping

The holidays are almost here, and this year our area's small businesses need our support more than ever! Whether you're looking for the perfect gift for that special someone or something special for yourself, there are plenty of great options right here in the Cedar Park area. 

Our real estate agents love telling new residents about all their favorite local shops. Whether you want to wait for Small Business Saturday or you're ready to start now, we recommend paying a visit to each of these shops. 

  • Beau Kisses: 1310 E Whitestone Blvd #540, Cedar Park, TX 78613
    If you're looking for unique gifts for all your friends and family members, you'll want to check out Beau Kisses. This adorable shop carries a wide variety of clothing, accessories, bath and body products, candles, home decor, seasonal items, and more. If you can't decide, a gift card makes a great stocking stuffer! 
  • Honey & Hay: 2800 E Whitestone Blvd #105, Cedar Park, TX
    A one-stop shop of curated treasures, Honey & Hay carries a variety of home decor, furnishings, clothing, jewelry, baby items, gifts, and more. The owners of this shop are passionate about finding unique pieces, and you never know what you're going to find here. If you buy one of the beautiful Cedar Park homes for sale, Honey & Hay is sure to become one of your favorites! 
  • Jacks Mountain Self-Care Co.: 2423 S. Bell Blvd. Suite A, Cedar Park, TX 78613
    Do you know someone who needs a bit of pampering? If so, a gift from Jacks Mountain Self-Care Co. is a great idea! This store carries an incredible selection of herbal teas, essential and infused oils, bath soaks, salves, and more. Want to give a gift that keeps on giving? Check out their monthly Herbal Care Packages. 
  • Titan Moon Comics: 1540 Cypress Creek Road Suite #108, Cedar Park, TX 78613
    If you have a comic book fan on your shopping list you are bound to find something they'll love at Titan Moon Comics. This local store offers a little bit of everything including comic books, Funkos, Magic the Gathering cards, and collectible supplies. Not sure what your giftee already has in their collection? You can't go wrong with a gift card! 
    • Hill Country Water Gardens: 1407 N Bell Blvd, Cedar Park, TX 78613
      Need a gift for the gardener in your life? Or looking for something to spruce up your home? Check out Hill Country Water Gardens. This is the area's go-to shop for beautiful pottery, plants, fountains, art, sculptures, and more. Even if you don't know much about gardening, you'll still be able to choose a great gift. The staff here is super friendly and knowledgeable and will be happy to help you impress that special someone. 

    The great shopping options are just one of the many things to love about living in the Cedar Park area. If you're ready to find your dream home here, we can help. Contact us today to discuss your goals. 

    November
    8

    National Espresso Day: Barista Tips to Use in Your Home

    Espresso Tips

    November 23rd is National Espresso Day, and it's an opportunity to truly savor and appreciate the role coffee plays in our lives. Our real estate agents wouldn't make it through a day without it, and we're not ashamed to admit that!

    In honor of the occasion, we rounded a few crucial tips and tricks for all you home baristas out there. Whether you're looking to up your pour-over game or want to brew the perfect latte in the comfort of your kitchen, these tips will help. 

    1. Use Fresh Beans
      All the high-end equipment and perfectly honed brewing skills in the world won't help you if you're using old beans. When you buy coffee, choose beans from a local roaster (we're partial to Mi Mundo Coffeehouse & Roastery here in Round Rock) and look for the roast date stamped on the bag. 

    2. Keep it Sealed Up
      As long as we're talking about freshness, it's worth noting that coffee beans start to lose flavor and freshness the minute you open the bag. Once you've opened your package of freshly-roasted coffee beans, transfer them to an airtight container, and store them away from light at room temperature. Contrary to popular belief, it's best not to keep coffee in the freezer if you plan to use it within the next few weeks. 

    3. Buy a High-Quality Grinder
      The convenience of having your beans ground when you buy them is tempting. But you'll get more flavor out of every cup if you grind the beans yourself right before you brew. It's also important to use a high-quality grinder. 

    4. Use a Scale
      Trying to eyeball the amount of coffee grounds you want to use for each beverage leads to inconsistent brewing. Use a scale so you can dial in the precise amount of coffee and enjoy a perfect espresso every time. 

    5. Experiment with Coarseness
      The coarseness of the grind impacts the flavor of the resulting coffee in a big way. For espresso, a very fine grind is usually best. But if you find that your espresso machine takes too long to brew or that the resulting espresso tastes bitter, try a slightly courser grind. If you're simply making coffee using a French press or pour-over method, a courser grind is best for eliminating bitterness without losing flavor.

    6. Don't Use Hard Water
      This is one of the most common mistakes home baristas make. Hard water can potentially add off-flavors to your espresso, but that's not the biggest problem it causes. More importantly, hard water leaves scaly mineral deposits inside your espresso machine, which can be very difficult to clean. 

    7. Brew at the Right Temperature
      Water temperature is crucial to extracting all the desirable flavors from coffee beans without scalding them. For espresso, the ideal water temperature is 190 to 195 degrees Fahrenheit. For making pour-over coffee, the ideal temperature is 195 to 205 degrees. No matter what kind of coffee beverage you are making, the water should never be boiling. 

    8. Keep Your Equipment Clean
      After making espresso, clean your espresso machine like you're a barista who just got done serving the morning rush. It's easy to put this off until tomorrow, but the longer you wait to clean up, the harder it will get. Leaving equipment dirty is not only a health hazard but can also shorten the lifespan of your precious coffee gear.

    Here in Round Rock, we're lucky to have some truly amazing local coffee shops convenient to these Round Rock homes for sale. For coffee lovers, it's a perfect place to call home. Contact us today to learn more about life in Round Rock, TX!

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