Saturday, December 28, 2013

sugar cookie classes!

Have you ever wanted to create fancy sugar cookies?  You know, the ones that are outlined and frosted and sprinkled just so.  The ones that are almost too pretty to eat.  

We would love to invite you into our kitchen and show you some tricks of the trade.  For $25 we will provide all the supplies you need to decorate 6 cookies, plus our instruction, wit, charm and even a pep talk or two.  We will offer our very first class Wednesday, January 22nd for up to 10 people so reserve your spot now.  The class will be from 6:30-7:30pm and all ages and skill levels are welcome, including children with adult supervision.  Come spend an evening with us in the Old Market and take a box of your creations home with you to show off and enjoy!

Interested in booking a private event?  We would love to help any weekday, after kitchen hours.  Birthday party?  Bridal shower?  Office party?  Do something memorable and delicious for groups of 4-10 at a time.  Email with questions or to reserve a date.     

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Open Mic Night at Aromas Benson

The week before Christmas we partnered up with the 402 (again) to fire up an open mic night. It was a great success and we're excited to be doing it every Monday from 6pm-9pm. The event will always be free and open to all ages and talents 

As we're testing the waters these first few weeks, the set time limits might change, but come prepared with at least two songs or ten minutes of poetry/comedy/storytelling/etc. Sign up with the barista or host when you get here. We do recommend arriving a little before 6 to ensure your spot 

This is a great opportunity to see what it's like to perform on the 402 stage, hear yourself on one of the best sound systems in town, promote your own shows, or just shake out some nerves and express yourself. The possibilities for this event are endless and we look forward to making it great with your help. We know Omaha is full to the brim with talent and we want to see yours! We'll be here caffeinate you, give you a sugar high, a soothing tea, or a pep talk

!See you soon

Thursday, December 19, 2013

It's Beginning to Taste a lot Like Christmas...


'Tis the season to eat delicious things.
chocolate cupcake, peppermint ganache filling,
and marshmallow buttercream
Okay, so we strongly encourage that every month of the year, but we here at Bliss Bakery are definitely seasonal eaters.  For example, we love strawberries but really prefer to use them at their peak of freshness.  Strawberry meringue frosting and key lime cupcakes and rhubarb pie have had their season in 2013.
It was glorious, but it is over.

Turn, turn, turn.

We are now onto cozier things.  Cuddling up in a sweater and next to a fire kind of things.  Whimsical desserts the week leading up to Christmas sort of things.
Our winter cupcake line-up is as follows:
spiced cupcake and swiss frosting,
topped with an adorable cookie
and Hot Chocolate.

We'd love it if you'd stop by or place an order today!

pomegranate cupcake with
vanilla bean swiss frosting,
topped with pomegranate seeds
eggnog cupcake with our
signature "nutmegnog" buttercream

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Clever Class!

part of our Benson mural by barista and resident artists, Sharon Davis.

This Sunday, the 15th, we're hosting our first educational event at our Benson shop: A Clever Class! Contrary to the suggested title, this is NOT a class on how to be clever; that's proprietary information we only share with our baristas. It IS a class about making coffee. From 2pm-4pm, stop by the 402's Studio C (just south of our shop door on 60th Avenue) and get a lesson in deliciousness via the Clever brewer. Some of you may have already experienced the tasty coffee produced by this incredibly simple brew method, but if you're new to it feel free to come in for a sample. 

The "class" will be rolling through those two hours.  It will be free and attending it will give you the ability to purchase a Clever for $5 off. Paired with a beautiful tin of Kickapoo Coffee, it makes a great gift for the coffee lover in your life AND, after the class, you'll be able to teach them how to use it. Fancy. 

The Clever has gained popularity among specialty coffee baristas in the past few years due to its simplicity, accessibility, and consistently great cups of coffee. It's a hybrid immersion/pour-over method that is made from BPA free plastic and uses Melitta #4 filters, which you can buy basically anywhere. At the class you'll learn about manual brewing best practices like coffee to water ratio, water temperature, proper grinding, pouring, and measuring. You'll be making the best coffee of your life...did we mention it's free?

We're very much looking forward to expanding our coffee nerdery with you. Stay tuned for many more events including cuppings, other brew method tutorials, latte art throwdowns, etc... We hope these events will be useful, educational, and most of all fun. 

See you there!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Grand Opening.

This Saturday, December 7th, it is finally time to have a Grand Opening for our new Aromas in Benson.
This space is shared with the 402 Arts Collective, and we are ready to throw a party together and show off the new digs!    
We hope you can make it.  There will be activities throughout the day with The Foresters concert/album release that evening with just a $5 cover charge.  Any purchase you make Saturday will enter your name in a raffle for the following items:  
Clever brewer, 12 oz. Kickapoo coffee, 1 dozen Bliss Bakery cupcakes, Aromas Benson T-shirt, 402 Arts Collective T-shirt, or 1 month of music lessons! Register a valid email address and we will follow-up with the winners the next day.      

Christmas is coming early, my friends.

Here is the schedule of events:
Face Painting and Balloon Animals 8:00-3:00
Tours of the 402 and Q and A with various instructors 9:00-5:00

Performance by Omaha Street Beats 10:30-11:00
Ribbon Cutting with The Omaha Chamber of Commerce 11:00
Chemex samples 11:15-3:00

The Foresters 8:00
Photo Booth with Justin Fennert 8:00-10:00


Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Handy Guide to our New Manual Brew Methods

If you've been to the new Benson location (6051 Maple Street), you may have noticed a few different menu items. (If you haven't been to the new location, you should definitely go check it out.) These new items have weird, science-y names like "Chemex" and "Aeropress" but fear not. These are exciting new ways for you to taste our awesome coffee! These manual brew methods give us the chance to truly control every variable in the brewing process from the size of the grind, to the rate at which the water is poured, to the final extraction percentage (nerd alert) and the result is a clean, tasty, perfectly extracted cup that will make your taste buds sing. Let's break it down:

French Press:
Many of you are already familiar with this method. In fact, we have it on good authority that this is how a lot of you brew at home. For the rest of you: the French Press is what we call an immersion method. Coarsely-ground coffee is immersed in hot water for four minutes before it is plunged to the bottom of the pot with a metal and mesh screen. What you end up with is a smooth, rich, full-bodied cup that is perfect with a lazy Saturday morning or a romantic evening.

If you think this one sounds science-y, you are absolutely right. It was invented back in 1941 by a chemist named Peter Schlumbohm (it's like that scene in "Breaking Bad" where Gale makes coffee). Anyway, the Chemex (pronounced like chemistry... Kem-ex) is considered a pour-over method because after the beautiful glass brewer is lined with a thick paper filter the barista will pour hot water over the coffee with the kind of precision you've only seen in a science lab. While it's possible to make many different amounts of coffee in the Chemex, we chose to stick with one volume for consistency. The Chemex at Aromas is plenty to share with a friend, so grab one and come on over!

Whoever invented this brew method was, well, incredibly clever. They combined an immersion method with a pour-over method to create the great Franken-brew-method that is the Clever. Your lovely barista will line the BPA-free plastic brewer with a thin paper filter and add some medium-fine ground coffee. He or she will then add water to that brewer and allow the coffee to steep, immersed in the hot water for a couple minutes. Once the brewer is placed on top of your cup, the coffee will drip through the filter thanks to the sweet, secret, hidden lever on the bottom. 90 seconds later, voila! You have a sparkly clean cup just for you. This brew method works especially well with brighter coffees. (And those coffees pair especially well with pink champagne cupcakes... just sayin'.)

You would never know it for the quality of coffee it produces, but the company that makes the Aeropress also makes dog frisbees. To each his own, huh? The Aeropress is another semi-hybrid method. You'll see your barista immerse coffee in hot water while the brewer is UPSIDE DOWN (crazy) and then flip it over on to your cup and press that brew through a super thin paper filter. It's quite the show and the result is a very rich and flavorful cup. It's a great way to taste a few different coffees because it only makes about 8 ounces of brew OR, *pro-tip*, it's the perfect base for a decadent Cafe Au Lait.

Your barista will likely have a great recommendation for which coffee you should have brewed which way, but we encourage you to try it all! You might find you like a nice dark roast in the French Press while you reserve the nuance of a light-roasted Ethiopian coffee in a clean, syrupy Chemex. Who knows? You won't, unless you scoot on up to Benson and try it out. See you soon!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Window paining by Sharon Davis.
Barista and owner of Buds and Buttons.
Furniture provided by our friends at Hutch.
Check out their location in Midtown Crossing!

Tables were created by local artist: Kevin McClay

It all started with a couple of friends talking about music.
When you really get down to it, that's how our new Aromas location in Benson began.  

My musician husband was talking with Ben Shafer about community and the arts and the vision of the 402 Arts Collective in North Omaha, where we live.  Ben is the executive director of this nonprofit located on the corner of 60th Ave. and Maple. You can learn more about them on their website,, but basically they are committed to supporting the arts and training the next generation in music and the visual arts here in Omaha.  They have a recording studio and individual and group lesson spaces onsite, as well as after-school programs that they offer in a handful of public schools.  
We wanted to help.  

The 402 was working with their landlord to renovate the main level of this historic building to include an all-ages music venue and coffeehouse.  We started out as fans of the nonprofit and allies of their vision, and now lease the space alongside their bay here at 6051 Maple Street.  

It has been quite the process, but t
Courtyard in progress.
Anxious to see this space in springtime.
his space is the perfect combination of the things my husband and I are passionate about and we are incredibly excited to work alongside an organization that is invested in the community and doing great things for the residents and future of Benson. We bring baked goods to this shop daily from our kitchen downtown and concentrate on specialty coffee and unique brewing methods here. This space will be available to rent for private shows and events and you can check the 402's calendar of upcoming events to see what's on the horizon. Also, if you are interested in performing or showing any work, you can contact Dave at to get more information.

Sharon, again, with Buds and Buttons.
Omaha needs more spaces for people to meet each other.  So many folks spend time at home and at work, and there aren't enough good, safe place to meet your neighbors or engage people that you don’t know well. So, we have specifically chosen to open our coffeehouses within walking-distance of residential neighborhoods.  We have chosen to be open early and late to provide space for folks to have business meetings and book clubs and concerts and study sessions.  If fantastic coffee and baked goods help set the stage for interaction, we count that as a win.  

Thank you for your continued support. We hope to serve you soon.

This display case was recused from Craig's List.
It was in the original Benson Bakery.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Carmen: Omaha Orpheum Theater

The original Creighton Orpheum Theater was built in 1895.  It later operated as a downtown movie theater from the 1940s until 1971 when the building received a $2 million renovation.  It reopened in 1975 as a performing arts venue once again.  This incredible building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and continues to enrich the arts and culture of Omaha.  It was a great inspiration for another piece in our Bliss Cake Show.


This 12" dummy cake is topped with another 9" round that were both frosted in buttercream.  The stage floor displays a Faux Bois or "false wood" effect made with white and dark melting chocolate, while the operatic superstar, Carmen, was hand-carved from royal icing.  Her dress was made of fondant and the cascade of roses was created from royal icing as well.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

At Home: Nebraska Humane Society

Omaha's Nebraska Humane Society was founded in 1875.  As the fifth oldest Humane Society in the United States and a local organization that does so much good, we were proud to showcase it through one of our pieces at the Bliss Cake Show.  

The cake was a 12 inch round covered in fondant with a Faux Bois or "false wood" floor made of melting chocolate.  The fireplace and animals were created from fondant and royal icing, and the fire was candy brittle.  While each of these cakes can be made edible, the ones for the show had a few tricks.  For starters, the "cakes" themselves were styrofoam to extend the shelf life of each piece and make them lighter to transport and display.  Another example would be the the walls on this particular cake that were frosted in buttercream on a food safe plastic.  

This cake captures the quintessential feeling of home:  the warmth of family and the feeling of being safe and loved. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Latte Art Throwdown

We interrupt the Cake Show series to tell you about an event held at our coffeehouse last night.  We hosted Omaha's first Latte Art Throwdown, put on by Beansmith Coffee and sponsored by Barista Magazine and Espresso Parts.

Latte art is a method of preparing coffee created by pouring steamed milk into a shot of espresso and resulting in a pattern or design on the surface of the resulting latte.  It is particularly difficult to create consistently (and under the pressure of a coffeehouse full of spectators), due to the demanding conditions required of both the espresso shot and milk.  The pour itself demonstrates that the the espresso and milk were prepared correctly and is the last challenge for the barista in creating the latte.  

Latte art is very difficult.  

This next part has not been scientifically proven, but it is my experience that latte art makes people smile.  It is addictive and a great way to measure the progress of a barista's skill.  In competition form, it has also been known to induce sweating by the barista and shouting by the gallery.

We want to say "thank you" to judges Paul Kulik, Jon Ferguson, and Jason Burkum and a big "congratulations" to the winners Simeon Bricker, Laura Clark, and Todd Campbell.

We were overwhelmed with the turnout of spectators and competitors from Lincoln, Columbus, Kansas City, and the Omaha metro area.  We are excited to be part of raising the coffee culture of this great city and are thankful for caffeine and your support along the way!

The winning latte by Simeon Bricker out of K.C.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Bliss Cake Show

photo by Justin Fennert
Bliss Old Market Bakery is known for cupcakes.  
They are delicious morsels of food:  adorable and portion-controlled and such a great fit for so many occasions.

Sometimes, however, you just need a cake--  
not just to feed peoples' stomachs but to provide a feast for their eyes and imagination. 

This past winter we decided to have our first ever cake show.  It was absolutely a group effort (like everything in a good small business) but decorator, Cait Irwin, was really the ring-leader in this event that showed our love for Omaha and displayed cake as art.  

For those of you who missed the event from March 23rd to April 5th in the gallery at The New Black, we are going to do a little blog series to let you in on the magic.  
We hope this gives you a better idea of what we can create with edible items.  
Enjoy, ask questions, but please...
don't lick the art

Sunday, June 30, 2013

A to B

It's hard to believe that tomorrow marks two years since my husband and I purchased Aromas Coffeehouse.  Blog posts from here on out will focus on delicious baked goods, ingenious brewing methods, flavor profiles, etc... but today, allow me to reminisce and and tell our short history.

In February of 2010, Bliss Old Market Bakery was born.  At that time, we subleased the kitchen and small bakery storefront from Aromas and worked around the clock to build clientele, perfect recipes, and figure out how my culinary life and business degree could work together in the real life.  With the help of wildly invested family, friends, and employees, our little bakery grew and improved and we got to know so many of you great people.  

A year-and-a-half later, in July of 2011, we had the opportunity to purchase Aromas Coffeehouse.  We loved the space and already shared so many customers.  We had a great relationship with the previous owner, but a different vision for the company.  Over the past two years, we have worked tirelessly to improve the quality of product, consistency of the process, and overall experience for our customers.  

So here we are, at the end of June 2013, finishing a remodel project to combine the bakery and coffee counters and work spaces.  The building had been set up for two businesses to operate, but that structure had long-since stopped making sense for our growing company.  So, we saved our pennies for a remodel to create a more unified brand, more convenient shopping experience for our customers, and more efficient workspace for our employees.  

Thank you, by the way, for taking a chance on us and continuing to spread the word and support.  Without you, our humble beginning would have become a quick end.  We hope that you will come see the progress and we look forward to serving you.