Meet the Artist- Slocan Valley Potter Noam Ash

Meet The Artist- Noam Ash Pottery

Raven Roast Giveaway Potter Noam Ash

The Raven Roast Team is so excited to work with Slocan Valley potter Noam Ash for our Raven Roast + Local Pottery Giveaway.

Raven Roast Giveaway with Noam Ash

Mug for Spring 2022 Raven Roast Giveaway

Roots in our Community

Noam was one of the first people I met when I moved to the Kootenays. My then fiancé and I were invited to a backwoods karaoke party. Very quickly the crowd dwindled and it became just me, Brendan (my now husband and Raven Roast co-founder), our host, and Noam with his young, very clever, very precocious daughter. When she wanted to sing a song from Frozen the karaoke program kept auto suggested Disney songs, so three grown men and myself sang (or attempted to anyway), Disney tunes late into the night, much to her obvious joy. It was such a warm and ridiculous welcome to the area, and one of my favorite memories from this upheaved and transitional time in my life.

It is very rare to see Noam without at least one of his two children in tow. His family commitment and connection is obvious. He runs his studio out of their cabin in the woods just outside of Winlaw BC. Noam grew up here, and his wife, an educator, has very deep roots in this community. Her family has been here for generations- their children are the sixth!

Noam Ash Pottery unglazed

On the shelf, waiting to be glazed.

His Work and History

Noam’s work has a solidity to it. His mugs and bowls feel strong in your hand, without feeling heavy. This isn’t grandma’s china teacup to fall apart when you set it on the counter too hard. His pieces, like his family, feel like something permanent. Something that you can count on being around for awhile. While he plays with various shapes, lusters and textures, you can usually recognize Noam’s work by his distinctive handles, which have a fish scale like texture on the inside.

Noam Ash Pottery with Raven Roast

Noam enrolled at the Kootenay School of the Arts in 1999 and it was there that he found an interest in working with clay. He graduated in 2002 with a diploma in Art, Craft and Design majoring in Clay. He went on to apprentice with Pamela Nagely Stevenson and take up Independent Studies at Park West Ceramics in Chicago, IL. Eventually, he moved back to the Kootenays and built his own home and studio.

Noam Ash Pottery Forge

Noam forge at his home studio

What Fires Him Up.

Noam draws inspiration from the abundance, plasticity and durability of clay. Pots are typically wheel-thrown using swift, spontaneous gestures to add life and give the vessel distinctive markings. The firing process contributes further surface variation based on the unpredictable path and intensity of the flame within the kiln, so while some pots are alike, each has a unique story to tell.

Noam Ash Pottery

Finished and glazed

Where Can You Buy His Work?

You can find Slocan Valley potter Noam Ash’s work locally at Camp Cafe in Silverton BC, Emery Herbals in Winlaw BC, and Touchstones Gifts in Nelson BC. If you’d like to see more of his work, he can be found online at @NoamAshPottery

Noam Ash Pottery

A unique firing! This one is part of our personal collection.

Whether using it to drink our expertly blended herbal coffee alternatives, or filling it with another delicious beverage, we hope the lucky winner of the Raven Roast + Local Pottery Giveaway enjoys this beautiful piece of practical art for years to come! 

 

 

 

 

Common Ceramics Raven Roast Giveaway

Raven Roast Giveaway Potter

Raven Roast Giveaway Potter

Emma Hunter’s Common Ceramics

Common Ceramics sgraffito mug

A series of nature themed sgraffito style mugs.

We are feeling very fortunate to combine our Raven Roast Coffee Alternative Giveaway with a hand thrown mug from local potter Emma Hunter of Common Ceramics. I met Emma a few years ago while taking a beginners pottery workshop at one of our local studios. She was co-teaching with the studio owner. Emma is a youthful person, who exudes competence in her chosen craft. You can tell when working along side her that she cares more about making pottery than she does about the rest of the world. I’m always impressed when people know the thing they want to do with their lives, and then just…do that thing.

Common Ceramics wheel throwing

Emma on the wheel

Emma started early, working with clay in her high school art class. Finding that she had a passion for it, she followed up afterwards by attending Kootenay School of the Arts ceramics program. Since then she has continued to hone her craft, working and teaching out of Good Pottery studio in the Slocan Valley. Her work is sincere, gracefully rustic, and whimsical. It often involves cute animals and cuss words. While life conspired to bring Emma to pottery early, she is determined to carry it right on through to old age.

Common Ceramics potted plant

A potted plant enjoys a Common Ceramics made home.

I spoke with Emma a bit about herself and her work.

RR How long have you been making pottery? What inspired you to start?

E I used it as an escape in high school and spent my lunches and time in between classes in the art room. I was lucky enough to attend a school with wheels, and a kiln and my teacher even taught me how to mix glazes.*

*Glazes are mixed from powdered minerals and chemicals that can be quite expensive and also sometimes toxic…so cool teacher.

RR What aspect of pottery gives you the most joy? Is there a certain type/style of piece you particularly like to make? 

E I didn’t spend structured time working with clay in high school. I mostly hand built [formed by hand vs using a wheel or a mold] whatever came to mind in the moment. But when I attended Kootenay School of the Arts we would have projects like “10 thrown mugs, 5 hand built lighting prototypes and a run of glaze tests” and they would all be due in a week. I got to try a lot of different techniques, and I built muscle memory on the wheel. The work I made that represented me the most was the work I illustrated and created text on via sgraffito*.

*Sgraffito is a decorating technique where you layer different colors of clay on your formed piece, and then scratch off the outer layer so that the design you want shows through. It ends up looking quite like a woodcut, with lots of texture and character.

Common Ceramics

Some of Emma’s text “sgraffito” work

RR Can you tell us a bit about yourself, as an artist or just as a human?

E I live the quintessential and reclusive life of a really old and boring potter, and I’ll probably be doing that for the rest of my life because it makes me happy.

RR Anything up and coming to look forward to?

E I have lots to look forward to right now! I have been working on 3D modelling and printing ceramic mason jar molds [a cast to make uniform shaped pottery “mason jars” that a standard mason jar lid could screw on to]. Hopefully one day I will make the perfect mold, but right now I am learning how to work with silicone and flexible printer filament. I’m also constantly dreaming about porcelain lighting. 

RR Where can we find your work?

E I have a super basic website that you can purchase from: commonceramics.com, as well as on Instagram  @commonceramics. 

Win a mug from Common Ceramics!

Common Ceramics Valentine mug

A conversation hearts mug by Common Ceramics

Thanks for meeting our Raven Roast Giveaway Potter Emma Hunter of Common Ceramics! You can win a Valentine’s themed mug from Common Ceramics along with two tins of Raven Roast Coffee Alternative (your choice non-caffeinated Cocoa Ramon or caffeinated Mocha Mate)! Plus second and third prizes!

Enter the giveaway on our Instagram @RavenRoaster or on our Raven Roast Facebook page! Emma traded her beautiful mug for our giveaway for a pouch of Raven Roast’s up and coming Chaga Cinnamon Hot Cocoa blend. Thank you Emma!!

Raven Roast Cream Pie

Raven Roast Cream Pie

Raven Roast Cream Pie Recipe

Looking for a unique and delicious pie recipe? Look no further than this sweet and decadent cream pie flavored with Raven Roast, your favorite herbal coffee alternative.

Raven Roast Herbal Coffee Alternative Cream Pie

Raven Roast Cream Pie…fluffy and creamy and sure to cause a stir. Enjoy it with a hot cup of Raven Roast!

 

It’s Pie Season!

Well, who are we kidding, it’s always a good time for pie. While I’m personally more likely to get up to pie making shenanigans once the weather has cooled, this no-bake recipe will be great all year, from holidays to heat waves. It will help stave off those rainy day blues, or those red hot climate change anxieties!

When I was first playing around with cooking using Raven Roast, I thought of it as a cute way to share our product with the world, and a fun way of getting my daily dose of herbs and bitters. Then I made this pie.

OMG.

It is seriously good.

I had to give some away, or we would have just eaten the whole thing in two days and skipped dinner. And possibly breakfast. Cream cheese is a breakfast food, right? The darkly fragrant roasted Ramon Seed flavor acts as a unique and rich base while the Chicory and Dandelion Root give it a balanced coffee like bitterness. The classic flavor of the high quality organic cocoa ties it all into something familiar yet brand new. My mother in law made the first version of this pie as a baked cheesecake. I started experimenting with the recipe this summer so I modified it to a no-bake and it is just as good. I feel like a few good no-bake pie recipes are important to have on hand so that pie can be enjoyed all year round.

Raven Roast Herbal Coffee Alternative Cream Pie Slice

MMMM…so yummy

This pie will definitely turn heads

When you bring this to your holiday potluck it is sure to stand out. It is a unique take on a classic chocolate or coffee cream pie that will leave people intrigued and asking you for the recipe. I used Raven Roast Cocoa Ramon for this one, so that I didn’t have a caffeinated three year old running around, but the first version my MIL made was with Mocha Mate and it was also delicious.

Brendan doesn’t do gluten, so I used a gf pie crust from one of my favorite GF baking blogs, but any type of prebake or no-bake crust will do.

Raven Roast Cream Pie Ingredients

Raven Roast Cream Pie Recipe (No bake)

  • Your favorite pastry or nutty or cookie pie crust (I used this Best All Butter GF Pastry Crust)
  • 1 package of cream cheese, 8oz (box type not “spread”- room temp)
  • 2.5 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar (optional)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 T sugar
  • 2T powdered sugar
  • 4 T Raven Roast, Cocoa Ramon or Mocha Mate
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2T shaved dark chocolate
Step 1. Prepare pastry in standard pie pan and prebake according to recipe instructions. Cool before using.
Step 2. Cream Cheese layer

Blend room temperature block of cream cheese until creamy and smooth. Add sugar, 3T of Raven Roast, vanilla, and sifted powdered sugar (to thicken). Blend until smooth and uniform color. Set aside

Step 3. Whipping cream layer

Whisk whipping cream in blender or with hand mixer. Add cream of tartar (optional, but gives longer lasting structure and a bit of tartness). Whip until just barely starting to hold shape -do not overwhip! Remove 1.5 cups whisked whipped cream and carefully fold into set aside cream cheese mixture. Fold until just blended to keep air in mixture. Spoon into cooled pie shell and smooth flat.

Add 2T sugar and 1 T Raven Roast to remaining whipped cream. Whip until holding firm peaks (do not overwhip). Spoon or pipe onto top of 1st layer.

Step 4. Garnish with shaved chocolate.

Refrigerate 6 hours to overnight before serving.

Thanks to Sheila Murray-Nellis for her work developing this recipe!

coffee substitute, Raven Roast, Ramon Nut, Herbal ingredients

Ramon Nut: Why We Love it!

Why we LOVE Ramon Nut

 

Display of Ramon nut tree, fruit and seeds

Tree, fruit and seeds of Brosimum Alicastrum

When Brendan created his first formula for Raven Roast, he began with Chicory and roasted Dandelion, but felt it was missing that certain… magical something.  He wanted to stand out against the standard blah coffee substitutes he had tried before. When he tried roasted Ramon nut for the first time, he knew right away that it was going to be the star of the show! Delicious and packed with nutrition, Breadnut is exactly that magical something he was looking for.

Bowl with whisk in ground herbal ingredients and surrounded by canisters

Ramon Nut: Rich in Flavor and Culture

Ramon has been used for centuries as a food and drink in Central America. Also called Breadnut or Maya nut, is a fruit seed and not a tree nut at all!  While the fruit is sweet, the seed is bland when raw, sort of like a tiny potato. When roasted, however, it develops a rich complex flavor, similar to chocolate. Central Americans have been baking with Breadnut and brewing a coffee like beverage long before the Spaniards introduced coffee to the continent. As a core ingredient of Raven Roast, Ramon nut provides a fragrant and chocolaty note with a touch of bitterness that is strikingly coffee-esque.

Ramon nut tree fruit and seeds

Naturally Sustainable

Interest in this superfood has increased not only because of its flavor and nutritional value, but also its sustainable nature! Commonly grown around ancient Mayan cities, the trees can reach 150ft tall. Harvesting, processing and roasting the fruit seed provides reliable income to many Central American families. Breadnut is always wild harvested and places value on healthy standing forests. This limits logging and deforestation in vulnerable ecosystems. The fruit of the tree falls to the ground naturally, providing food for many native and migrating animal species in Central America. When the tree produces fruit, it overproduces to allow large amounts of animals to devour the fruit and seeds, so over harvesting is not a concern.

Brendan and I care about where our ingredients for Raven Roast come from and how they impact people, the Earth and communities. We ethically source our organic roasted Ramon nut from community led harvesting projects that benefit Guatemalan women and families in the Maya Biosphere Reserve.

Women processing ramon tree nuts

Wildly Nutritious

As an added benefit, Ramon also happens to be wildly nutritious! It contains potassium, magnesium, folate, calcium and is high in B vitamins, Vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants (wow!). Traditionally, it has been used as an herbal medicinal for arthritis, colitis, asthma, and a variety of reproductive issues. Scientific research is showing that Ramon nut is high in anti-inflammatory compounds.  For those with nut allergies, roasted Ramon nut has been tested by the FDA and contains no allergens or toxic alkaloids. It is extremely low on the glycemic index and is great for diabetics and people on a low carb diet.

At Raven Roast, we value its high magnesium, potassium and calcium content, which coffee is known to deplete. We also love it’s high tryptophan content, which is a serotonin precursor that can reduce stress and help fight depressive moods.

Thanks for letting us share the amazing benefits of Ramon nut with you! This Raven Roast key ingredient is a sustainably harvested super food with outstanding flavor and impressive nutritional array. It is my personal favorite of the flavor notes used to make Raven Roast Cocoa Ramon and Mocha Mate shine compared to other coffee alternatives.

COMING SOON: A limited edition Chaga and Ramon nut blend! Stay tuned! 

Rachelle at Raven Roast

PS:  Did you miss our latest recipe for using Raven Roast in your home creations?

Raven Roast Banana Ice Cream

Raven Roast Banana Ice Cream

Try Raven Roast Vegan Banana Ice Cream Recipe for a quick summer pick me up.

Ah ,the last days of summer are winding down around us. Time to start preparing for the winter. Gathering fire wood, cleaning up the yard in preparation for all that snow, starting the house improvement projects that we were supposed to have done by July 1st. Meh those things can all wait till October. Lets sit back and enjoy the last bit of summer with some Raven Roast Coffee Alternative flavored banana ice cream instead.

Raven Roast Vegan banana ice cream

I used Raven Roast Cocoa Ramon for this vegan “nice” cream, but Mocha Mate would work just as well.

Vegan and Gluten Free with Powerfully Restorative Superfood Herbs!

If you love vegan treats, or just love to feel indulgent in a healthy way, you’ve probably made or heard of frozen banana “ice cream”, or “nice” cream as it’s often called. It is a desert made from frozen bananas, some sort of fat, a pinch of salt and some sugar (if you want it), all blended up to the consistency of soft serve ice cream. It is rich and creamy and delicious, but much lighter feeling than regular ice cream. You can flavor it in many ways (or just enjoy the banana), but today, I thought it would be a great way to “drink” my Raven Roast on a hot late summer day. Raven Roast’s roasted dandelion, ramon and cocoa based herbal blend is high in trace minerals to restore and rebalance electrolytes to help your fight against dehydration. Plus, it’s energizing!

ingredients for Raven Roast Vegan Banana Ice Cream

All you need is Raven Roast, Coconut milk, banana, salt and a little maple syrup.

Juicer or Blender?

A lot of people will use a Champion juicer for this, and I have done it that way before, but today I just used a regular high powered blender. If you cut the recipe in half, a single serving blender would work fantastic. The consistency will end up like soft serve, but if you want a more scoop-able Raven Roast “nice” cream, you can throw it in the freezer for thirty minutes to an hour. It will get icy after too long, so it is best to plan to eat it the same day. I also make sure that my bananas are very ripe. They should be brown and spotty on the outside before you freeze them to make sure they have the maximum amount of sweetness and that yummy caramelized flavor.

Ingredients for Raven Roast Banana Ice Cream

Everyone all in!

Raven Roast Banana ice Cream Recipe

For two servings of “Nice” Cream

2 Tablespoons Raven Roast (Mocha Mate or Cocoa Ramon)

3 Frozen ripe bananas, cut into chunks

5 Tablespoons of Coconut Milk cream (the canned kind, not the kind you pour on your cereal)

2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup

1 Pinch Salt

Add all ingredients to high powered blender. Blend until smooth and the consistency of soft serve ice cream. Gradually add small amounts of leftover liquid from Coconut milk if too thick to blend. Eat right away or freeze for 30 minutes to 1 hour for firmer desert.

 

Raven Roast Herbal Coffee Alternative banana ice cream

Just a bit of mint and chocolate sauce for garnish.