Sunday, October 31, 2010

Equator Coffees - Alligator French Roast

What better way is there to say farewell to Fair Trade Month than to enjoy a cup of Alligator French Roast by Equator Coffees on the last day of October?

I first experienced "Alligator French" about four years ago when an office mate brought some to work to share. She had purchased it from a fundraiser at her church in Marin County. I said, "this is like no French Roast I've ever tasted."

Equator's Alligator French Blend is described by them as "Robust Earth Tones, Smoky Tropical Wood, Prunes and Walnuts."

It's dark roasted from Ecuador, Ethiopia and Sumatra. It's no surprise that Roast Magazine named Equator the 2010 Roaster of the Year.

And, of course, it's Fair Trade Certified by the C.C.O.F. Because Fair Trade coffee is not meant to be enjoyed only in October, but year-round.

Equator Coffees & Teas
115 Jordan Street
San Rafael, CA 94901

Alligator French is just one of the many amazing roasts offered by Equator. See their complete offerings at:

(Equator Coffees and Teas graciously provided me with a sample of "Alligator French" for the purposes of preparing this review)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Long Time, No Tea

That's because there haven't been any new or exciting teas that have caught my eye lately. That is until I spotted "Two Leaves And A Bud."

No, this is not a "Cheech and Chong" movie. It's a line of organic teas. And they're super fancy. They come in these little "sachets," not bags. And not only are they cute, they have the cutest darn names like, "Better Rest Blend," and "Better Morning Blend." And there are so many different kinds of teas to select from - traditional (like Earl Grey and Jasmine) and "new-agey" ones like "Organic Mountain High Chai," "Alpine Berry," "Pomi Berry," and there's even an "Organic Tamayokucha." I could barely pronounce that one. You get the point. They have a huge assortment of teas to choose from. Did I mention they're super delicious?

And, they have loose teas too, and cute little bamboo gift boxes of tea and tea recipes and you can find them on facebook and twitter and. . .yeah, you can even "tweet" them. I might tweet them right now just to see if they're working on new teas as I write this.

Two Leaves and A Bud Tea Company


"Before I even tasted the Two Leaves and a Bud Earl Grey it scored high points because it’s in a charming little silk bag. THEN, even more points because it’s really heavy on the bergamot…and last, but not least, there’s a little bit of a lemon taste to it too. A perfect cuppa tea I’d say!"
(Greta B.)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Clover (R), Schmover - I Got A Chemex (R)

By now, you've more than likely heard all about the Clover (R) Coffee Machine. It's this fancy-schmantzy (uber-expensive) machine that brews one cup at a time for ultimate flavor. You can find it in very "select" Starbucks and other coffee shops.

Well, guess what? I've been brewing one cup at a time (with optimum results) for years. Chemex(R) thought of that decades ago. However, my Classic Chemex made more coffee than we often needed to drink. So, I was thrilled to discover that there is a new Chemex Pint-Size Model (handblown) which brews one to three cups. It works just like the classic model and the coffee is just as delicious. No sediment, no burnt coffee. Just a delicious cup o'joe (or three).

Check out all the Chemex models and accessories at:

(I received a free Chemex(TM) Pint-Size Coffeemaker for the purpose of writing this review, which in no way influenced me because I had been a "Chemite" for years)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Rainy Day Fun

It's a rainy day in the Bay today. So I played hooky. Stayed home from church and baked. I did watch Joel Osteen on television, so that sort of counts - doesn't it?

Just poured myself a big cup of hot coffee and am sitting down ready to write - warm snickerdoodles as my muse.

And, the San Francisco Giants are going to the World Series.

Who could ask for anything more?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

October is Fair Trade Coffee Month - Find Out What All the "Buzz" is About on October 26 when Green Mountain Coffee Presents a free "E-Tasting"

What: Fair Trade Coffee "E-Tasting" presented by Green Mountain Coffee

When: October 26, 2010

Time: 4:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time)


To join the call, go to:

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Random Thoughts On Coffee. . .anybody remember Sanka (TM)?

I was reading a novel the other day by Carl Hiaasen entitled "Star Island" when it mentioned that someone had Sanka (TM) coffee in their pantry.

When was the last time you've heard that brand mentioned? I mean we're so fancy now that we don't drink anything instant much anymore, unless we're stuck at a motel or visiting someone who just doesn't know what real coffee is, right? So, it got me to wondering if Sanka even existed anymore. Turns out it does. And then being my usual curious self, I wanted to know more and so I turned to our good friend, Wikipedia, and here's what it says about Sanka (TM).

"Sanka is a brand of decaffeinated coffee, sold around the world, and was one of the earliest decaffeinated varieties.[citation needed] Sanka is distributed in the United States by Kraft Foods.

Decaffeinated coffee was developed in 1903 by a team of researchers led by Ludwig Roselius in Bremen, Germany. It was first sold in Germany and many other European countries in 1905–1906 under the name "Kaffee HAG". In France, the brand name became "Sanka", derived from the French words sans cafĂ©ine ("without caffeine"). The brand came to the United States in 1909–1910, where it was first marketed under the name "Dekafa" or "Dekofa" by an American sales agent.

In 1914, Roselius founded his own company, Kaffee Hag Corporation, in New York. When Kaffee Hag was confiscated by the Alien Property Custodian during World War I and sold to an American firm, Roselius lost not only his company, but also the American trademark rights to the name. To re-establish his product, he began to use the Sanka brand name in America.

In Europe, the Hag company used the Sanka brand in many countries (the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland amongst others) as a cheaper alternative to the premium brand Coffee Hag. The brand disappeared in these countries after World War II, but it continued until the 1970s as the premium brand in France. First marketed in the United States in 1923, Sanka was initially sold only at two Sanka Coffee Houses in New York, but it soon was brought into retail."

Apparently Kraft(R) still makes it.

Aren't you glad you asked?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

"Troublemaker" by Janet Evanovich and Alex Evanovich (Goes Well With Dunkin' Turbo Coffee)

"Troublemaker" by Janet Evanovich and her daughter Alex Evanovich with art by Joelle Jones

Reading this book reminded me of my appreciation of the symbiotic relationship between illustration and cloud text and the seeding of a fertile imagination which was my youth. Comics, now PC’d as graphic novels, could always occupy an otherwise calm and uneventful Sunday afternoon, with mental activity that took the place of dodge ball and marbles.

Janet and her daughter Alex jump off to a great start in this piece with Voodoo, kidnappings and two self proclaimed gumshoes that show what the “bad cop-bad cop” relationship is all about. Alex Barnaby and Sam Hooker, individually and collectively, know how to gum up the workings of a freelance crime investigation. But for the grace of good “juju” the two keep the thrill moving to the point of “see you next volume.”

As for the illustrations, Joelle Jones is indeed gifted and draws attractive figures with great detail. Her input to this novel had me at points trying to connect her scenes rather than connecting the cloud text. I look forward to the next volume and collaboration.

(Reviewed by JRS (aka "The Green Lantern")

Published by Dark Horse Comics

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Riding on A Rocket

I'm definitely ready for takeoff this morning. Enjoying a cup of Rocketfuel (TM) Sumatra 44 blend.

I must admit, I was a little afraid of a coffee with a name like Rocketfuel(TM). I mean, what if I took off and didn't come back down. To be perfectly honest, this morning I couldn't care less if I did. Just kidding God. :)

Seriously, this is great coffee. The Sumatra 44 blend is organic, fair trade premium Indonesian Sumatran coffee and Arabican Espresso.

Bold and beautiful. But, I'm not going to try to find a bunch of adjectives to describe it because it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know or enjoy good coffee.

Check out their site and see out what they have to offer for yourself:

And while you're at it, learn a little about the company's owner, Lisa Rotenberg. She's pretty amazing in her own right.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What's Better Than Having One Friend Over for Coffee?

Having three friends over for coffee! I set my Sunday morning off with "Three Amigos" Blend from Catahoula Coffee. It's a Mexican coffee and the beans were roasted at three different periods of time. Clever, huh?

I've never had a coffee I didn't love from Timber. And if you're not near Catahoula, no worries. You can order online.

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

Friday, October 8, 2010

Photo of the Day (Spotted At Peet's Coffee)

"We will forgive you. Your mug won't. Do you have beans for the weekend? You should think of your mug."

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

For the Mean Time and In-Between Times

I love guests who come bearing gifts. My sister dropped by this weekend (well, she's not really a guest), but anyway, she brought me a "red" bag of Community Coffee Between Roast Coffee. She said, "I've had this in my trunk for a week for you." What good is coffee in a trunk?

So, I brewed up a pot for the two of us. It's not too light and not too dark. Perfect for any time of the day and especially Sunday afternoon gossip.

Community Coffee offers these "Red Bag" sales from time to time, so you might want to add their website to your favorites. I did.

Monday, October 4, 2010

October already? Perfect time for some cold weather hot coffee recipes. Check out this recipe for Turkish Coffee from Peet's (TM)

Peet's Turkish Coffee Recipe


8 oz fresh, cold filtered water

8 tsp coffee

4 tsp sugar

¼ tsp freshly ground cardamom (4 pods)

Cinnamon (optional)

Makes four, 2 oz servings

Originally named "Peet's Coffee, Tea & Spices", Peet's has a long history of offering high quality spices, in addition to fresh roasted coffee and hand-selected teas. In honor of this heritage, we invite you to experience Turkish coffee.*

Turkish coffee is prepared by boiling finely powdered coffee beans in a traditional Ibrik (a pot), often with spices and sugar resulting in a strong, flavorful cup. This method dates back to the 16th century and is common throughout the Middle East, North Africa, Caucasus, and the Balkans.

Try this simple brewing method at home and discover the ancient tradition of Turkish coffee with the rich, strong taste of Peet's deep-roasted coffee and top quality spices.


Grind coffee to a powder using the finest setting on your grinder.

Add all ingredients to the Ibrik and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Note: Never take your eye off the brewing process, as it can quickly boil over.

Heat the brew over medium low heat. As the mixture reaches a boil, it will foam upwards. As it nears the top rim, remove the Ibrik from the heat and let the coffee settle.

Repeat this brewing process twice more, removing from heat each time.

Let the brew rest for 30 seconds then serve without straining.

Enjoy the spicy, syrupy-thick flavor. The powdery grounds stay suspended in the brewed coffee, adding to its richness. Some leave the last sip in the bottom of the cup where the heavier grounds have settled.

Makes four, 2 oz servings


Ethiopian Fancy
Medium-bodied coffee that is tangy and pungent with a lingering floral, almost perfumy aroma.

Arabian Mocha-Java
The world's most famous coffee blend; full-bodied, bittersweet chocolate overtones enhance Mocha-Java's rich, complex flavors.

Arabian Mocha Sanani
Distinctive, pungent, winy flavor; full-bodied and exceedingly complex aromatic character.

You can find these great coffees and more at:

(*Reprinted with permission)

Friday, October 1, 2010

You Could Get Two Matinee Tickets or Five Bags of Community Coffee. . .

That's easy. Five bags of Community Coffee it is!

In observance of National Coffee Day, September 29, Community Coffee (TM) is bringing back this special can't-miss offer! Five for $20 includes both 12oz. and 16oz. traditional coffees. Use promo code FIVE. Valid until midnight Monday, October 4, 2010. Offer excludes 32oz. coffees.