Sunday, November 29, 2009

It's EIGHT O'CLOCK - do you know where your coffee is?

Trivia Question of the Day:

Who has been making great coffee for 150 years? *

A) Santa Claus

B) Eight O'Clock Coffee Company

C) Mother Goose

D) Old Man River

I just happened to make it to Buttercream Bakery just as they were closing last night. They make the best pastries. Anyway, the owner gave me a big bag of "leftovers."

You know what they say "waste not, want not."

I woke up this morning and thought, "what would go well with that lovely croissant?"

Looked in the cupboard and there was a fresh bag of Eight O'Clock French Roast.

C'est bon!

* Answer:


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Take Time To Taste the Tea

I broke rank this morning. My first cup is ALWAYS coffee.

Last night, my daughter and I rode with my sister to take my niece to the airport for her return trip to Miami.

Just as we pulled off, this amazing scent found its way up my nostrils. "What are you drinking,?" I asked.

"Tea," was my daughter's response.

"What kind of tea?"

"White Ayurvedic Chair and Samurai Chai Mate."

Okay, that's a mouthful.

Anyway, I was so intrigued, that I asked her to make me a cup this morning.

Breathe, Stretch - Let it Go!

Change is good.

Friday, November 27, 2009

"Wake the (BLEEP) Up" - Extra Strong Coffee

Okay, I'm awake now.

Big Mike went to Nawlins for the Po Boy Festival last weekend and brought me back a bag of "Wake the ____ Up" coffee. He said that he bought it for the name, but I'll buy it again for the charge.

It's super strong but the taste is great. I did some "surfing" and found out that it's a favorite of those who work graveyard shifts and people in the television industry.

When you need something to keep you awake for those finals or that long drive home, this would be it.

When "strong" coffee isn't strong enough.

This stuff gives a whole new meaning to "Black Friday."

Thursday, November 26, 2009

What Kind of Coffee Goes With Sweet Potato Pie?

I am so thankful for my health, my family, my friends, my blog and coffee.

I'm also thankful that my dear ole Mama taught me how to make a sweet potato pie that's not stringy! Nothing worse than a stringy sweet potato pie.

I'm thinking maybe I'll go for some Yuban brewed in the percolator - just for old time's sake.

What do you think?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What's In Your Chemex (TM)?

"The Chemex® coffeemaker was invented by Peter J. Schlumbohm, Ph.D., in 1941. Schlumbohm was born in Kiel, Germany in 1896. He received his doctorate in Chemistry from the University of Berlin. After several trips to the United States, he settled in New York City in 1936. Over the years, he invented over 3,000 items for which he was granted patents. However, his coffeemaker and carafe kettles were his most long enduring inventions."

Great coffee does not come quickly. That's why I don't use my Chemex every morning, but since today was Thanksgiving Eve, I thought I would take the extra time to make a darn good cup of coffee.

Today's blend "Thanksgiving" from Starbucks. How appropriate, huh?

To learn more about Chemex, visit:

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Nice Caffeine Boost With a Shot of Vitamin C

My pick of the day:


Before you say, "no," give it a try.

I thought that it would taste like those chocolate jelly orange stick candy things that my Great-Aunt (God Rest Her Soul) used to try to force us to eat as kids - but surprise - it's a very mild flavor.

Here's what people who tried it said:

"This stuff is awesome."

"It's a really subtle hint of flavor which is nice." :)

Thanks to Mary for picking this up for me while she was at the Mandarin Orange Festival in Placerville this past weekend.

If you don't live near Placerville, give them a call. I'm sure they'd be happy to ship some to you!

Pine Mountain Coffee Roasting
174 Borland Ave
Auburn, CA
(530) 885-8263‎

- Perfect for breakfast or after dinner

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Cup Is Not Just a Cup

My first cup of the day means so much more to me than "just a cup of coffee."

It represents a new day - another chance. Sort of like "liquid hope."

I started today with a cup of Catahoula Kenya Peaberry. I drank it out of one of my favorite mugs.

My friend, Celeste, sent me this mug in 1998. It was a rough time in my life.

The cup simply says "Someone In Houston Loves You."

That's all.

Have a great day!

Friday, November 20, 2009

My Nephew Went to Vancouver. . .And I Got A Pound of Coffee - MUCH Better Than A Tee-Shirt!

Remember - be kind to the children for when you are old they will buy you gourmet coffee and when the time comes (hopefully), they will visit you at the nursing home.

I'm such a lucky duck. I have a nephew who is a world-traveler and fortunately for me, he never forgets his dear old aunt. That would be me - the coffee addict.

I found on my doorstep yesterday, the cutest red bag in which was a pound of GUATEMALA PALHU HUEHUETENANGO which just turns out to be some of the best coffee I've had in a while.

I looked up the website for the coffee shop, CAFE ARTIGIANO - tres chic. And the coffee is ottimo!

Thanks, Mike!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

This Just In - Christian Siriano Designer Mini Starbucks Card

Fashion designer Christian Siriano, winner of Project Runway Season 4 has designed the cutest "mini-card" for Starbucks.

It works just like any other Starbucks card except it goes with everything and is "keyring-ready."

Adam, the manager of Starbucks at 27 Drumm Street in SF hooked me up yesterday. Adam is a pretty fashion-forward guy himself.

Starbucks - what will they think of next? :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Who Said Tea Had To Be For Two?

Aladdin Essential Infuser Mug!

Calling all 'tea-totalers.'

This new Aladdin Essential Tea Infuser Mug is the coolest thing ever! No wonder they call it "essential."

Self-contained - all in one - works with loose tea or tea bags. You can even use it for coarse ground coffee.

How to Use the Aladdin Essential Infuser Mug:

Remove the lid. Put tea or coffee in the infusion basket. Add hot water all the way up to the fill line. Replace the lid and lower the basket with the lever. When the tea reaches your favorite shade, raise the basket. Flip open the lid and enjoy!


Perfect gift for co-workers and even the boss who has everything. Give it alone or pair it with your favorite loose tea blend,

I got mine - you can get yours too:

It's Tea Time! La Myx, a Great Place to Sip and Relax

Wanted to get my feng-shui on last night. Met my friend, Dede, for tea. I love coffee. Dede only drinks tea. Ying and yang.

We went to the cutest tea bar on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland. La Myx. It's a great place to meet, eat, sip and reflect.

I had the "Oriental Beauty," which is an oolong tea and Dede had chai with milk.

I also had mochi to go along with my tea.

Two hours passed before we knew it.

Friendly staff, nice crowd and lots of free parking.

And, I slept very well last night.

L'Amyx, Inc.
L'Amyx Tea Bar - Piedmont Avenue
4179 Piedmont Avenue
Oakland, CA 94611
(510) 594-TEA2

L'Amyx Tea Bar - Lakeshore
3437 Lakeshore Avenue
Oakland, CA 94610
(510) 835-TEA2

Monday-Friday: 11am-midnight
Saturday-Sunday: 10am-midnight

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thank You to Henry Norman "Cap" Saurage - Founder of Community Coffee

Mondays are always tough, but thanks to Mike Crimmins of "Daily Shot of Coffee"
and the late Henry Norman "Cap" Saurage (founder of Louisiana's famous Community Coffee), it looks like I'm going to get through this morning with relative ease.

Sippin' on a cup of "Private Reserve Founder's Blend," compliments of Community Coffee and "Daily Shot."

I won the giveaway of a Gift Basket which included a 12 ounce bag of beans (with the roast date) and a beautiful two cup French press all neatly wrapped in a signature burlap bag.

Not the same ole grind on Monday (pardon the pun) ;0


You can get your own at:

Saturday, November 14, 2009

It's a McCafe Day - Not Just For French Fries Anymore

Saturday - perfect day for a cup of McDonald's Coffee.

Dark roast, not bitter - beans not burnt - not expensive - just a good honest cup of coffee.

I love the weekend!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Everything Old Is New Again - and Thus Began the 2009 Battle of the Instant Brew

I was walking to the train station last night and out of the dark, I heard, "Free Coffee!" What? Did someone say "free coffee?"

I immediately stopped in my tracks - thank goodness I was wearing rubber soled shoes - and made a 45 degree turn right into the face of a smiling young woman with a bright red apron holding two fists full of "Taster's Choice."

I'm no snob, but I am a bit skeptical about this whole new instant coffee craze. I tried the Starbucks Viva Instant a few weeks ago and it's good (for instant coffee), but would drinking this Taster's Choice Instant jeopardize my reputation as a coffee afficianado? I dropped the free packet into my tote and got onto my train.

This morning, I get off the train, exit the escalator and walk right into a guy in a red apron holding two fists full of "Taster's Choice."

Must be a sign, right?

We are in an economic downturn, and it was free, and hey "waste not, want not," right? No need to stop at Starbucks when I've just been handed FREE coffee.

So when I sat down at my desk this morning, I poured the crystals into my cup. The first thing I noticed is that they were not the fine crystals of the Starbucks Viva but crystals which looked a lot like - well, it looked like instant coffee.

However, this is not the Taster's Choice that our parents used to drink. This is "Taster's Choice Gourmet Coffee." The assortment included Columbian, Vanilla, Gourmet Roast, Original Gourmet (not to be confused with Gourmet) and Hazelnut.

I went to the kitchen and poured in hot water from the water machine (although, my preference would have been water boiled from the kettle). Stir, stir. Stir some more. Stir, stir. It looked rather light. Actually, it looked sort of "weak."

I let it sit for a full two minutes.

Sip. Hmmm. . .that was painless. Sip. That really was painless. Sip. Not bad. Sip. Pretty good instant coffee.

I wonder if the Nescafe lady will be at the train station tonight?

Good job, Taster's Choice. Not as good as Starbucks, but definitely worth a try.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Coffee Bean And Tea Leaf Holiday Open House

Enjoy complimentary 12oz holiday drink!

Thursday Nov 12th, 2009, 4pm-8pm
Participating The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® store locations*

To find a Coffee Bean near you,

*Only valid at participating The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® store locations in CA, AZ and TX. Exclude Ralphs and school campus locations. Valid only on November 12, 2009, from 4pm to 8pm. Offer applies to 12oz Peppermint Latte or Ice Blended® drink, Pumpkin latte or Ice Blended® drink, or Winter Dream Tea® Latte only. No substitutions. Limit one complimentary drink per customer.

Fun Fact of the Day:

Did you know that most, if not all, of the products at The Coffee Bean are certified as kosher? It's true.

They also have really cool stores with wifi and those "ripple TVs" and their teas are amazing and the people are super hip - and oh, did I mention that their people super friendly? There's cookies and cakes and sandwiches and fruit and a whole case of goodies to choose from.

OH - and a lot of celebs hang out there - no telling who you might bump into.

My favorite store is Embarcadero Four in San Francisco where Dawn Sherwood is the manager - and she rocks!

OH - and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf supports our troops in a big way.


Catahoula Indian Monsoon Malabar - 'Nuf Said

Monsooned Malabar is a variety of dry processed coffee beans. The beans are exposed to the monsoon winds for a period of about three to four months, causing the beans to swell and lose the original acidity, resulting in a sweet and syrupy brew. The coffee is unique to the Malabar coast of Karnataka and Kerala and has protected status under the Geographical Indications of Goods Act. The name Monsooned Malabar is derived from exposure to the monsoon winds of the Malabar coast.

The blend is heavy bodied, pungent and of monotone quality and is considered to be dry with a chocolatey aroma and a slightly sharp taste. The blend has its origins from the times of the British Raj, when, during the months that the beans were transported by sea from India to Europe, the humidity and the sea winds combined to cause the coffee to ripen from the fresh green to a more aged pale yellow.


Catahoula Coffee Company does it again. Timber - you are 'da man!

Talk about the perfect blend for "Hump Day." Indian Monsoon Malabar coffee which Catahoula describes as "heavy bodied, very low acidity and aggressively rustic."

I call it "darn good coffee!"

Have a great day!

Catahoula Coffee Company
12472 San Pablo Ave. Richmond, CA 94805
510. 235.0525

Monday - Friday
7:00am - 5;00pm
Saturday - Sunday
8:00am - 3:00pm

Monday, November 9, 2009

What's More Fun Than A Barrel of Monkeys? FOUR Barrel Coffee on a Monday morning!!

Okay, I'm awake now.

On Saturday morning when I opened the bag to the Guatemala San Martin ConcepciĆ³n Buena Vista Blend, my first impression was of the visual presence of the beans.

I noted no real glisten or stickiness to the beans. I did notice there were no burnt kernels or deformities like “"jelly belly bellyflops” which means a lot to me.

The aroma was indeed pleasant and not overbearing. I ground the beans in a hand grinder being cautious to view the consistency of the grind several times and not input too much heat to the coffee during the grinding process.

With water at temperature (brought to boil and allowed to sit for 1 minute) I made an individual cup. Thought the taste was great.

Then this morning, I brewed a pot for the crew - and I have to say any time you can get an excellent pot of coffee from a generic office coffee pot, you know it's good coffee.

Two Thumbs Up for Four Barrel Coffee!

Four Barrel Coffee
375 Valencia
San Francisco, CA 94103

Monday - Saturday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Oldie - But A Goodie! Happy Belated Anniversary, Peerless!

When I read in today's San Francisco Chronicle that Peerless Coffee celebrated its 85th anniversary last month, I got a little nostalgic.

I started thinking about my first. The first time I learned about gourmet coffee. Peerless was my first. I won't tell you how many years ago that was, but it was before I needed needed reading glasses ;0

It was a ritual of sorts - trekking from my house to the Peerless Coffee Retail Outlet in Oakland. I remember that I went in every two weeks.

My friend, Stephanie, and I would compare notes about which was the best blend - Mocha Java or French Roast. We were young, hip, spending money before we got it - hey, wait a minute - I'm still doing that. Whatever.

But, it was not just the coffee, but the experience of walking into the store near Jack London Square, sampling a cup of whatever they were offering that day, checking out the latest in coffee pots and pumps and presses and the warm friendly smile of the bald gentleman with glasses behind the counter. He has long since gone on to brewing coffee in that big coffee shop in the sky, but, I can still see his face as I write this. Peerless wasn't just a coffee shop - it was a coffee culture.

Anyway, in the years since I first started drinking gourmet coffee, I think I've tried everything near and far, looking for just the "perfect cup." Of course, nothing is ever perfect, is it? And there's always going to be something newer, something hipper, something more expensive.

When I finished reading today's article by Janny Hu, I realized that sometimes what we're looking for is right under our nose.

Oh, and did I mention that they sell hot roasted peanuts too?

"Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot, and never brought to mind?"*

I don't think so.

Peerless Coffee
260 Oak Street
Oakland, CA 94607
Customer Service: 1-800-310-KONA
Fax 510-763-5026

*Robert Burns penned the poem "Auld Lang Syne" in 1788

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A "Sweet" Vice In Miami

If you live in the Miami area, and are looking for the perfect compliment to your morning coffee or tea, check out "The Feel Good Gourmet."

Offering a full line of pastries, including pies, cakes, cupcakes, cookies and parfaits. "The Feel Good Gourmet" also offers complete meals for invididual and large parties, including vegan and gluten free menu items.

Home and Office Delivery.

Available by special order only.

The Feel Good Gourmet
Ph: 786-972-6515
(Miami and surrounding areas)