Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tribute Blend by Starbucks

Starbucks found a great offering to celebrate 40 years in business. The "Tribute Blend" is a delicious blend of three coffees. Smooth and mild with calming scents and hint of nuttiness.

I had a cup this morning and I can't stop thinking about it. In fact, it's making me "nutty." That's the thing about these "limited offerings" - you fall in love with them and then they're gone.

Better get it while it's hot. :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Zojirushi CD-LCC30 Micom 3.0-Liter Electric Dispensing Pot

The Zojirushi CD-LCC30 Micom 3.0 Liter Electric Dispensing Pot is like a tea kettle on steroids. My daughter told me about one of the girls in her dorm who owns this particular model and how well it works.

So, the folks at Zojirushi sent me one to check out for myself. The machines heats up quickly, is extremely convenient, doesn't take up too much counter space (I have a small kitchen) and has wonderful safety features.

This dispenser is not just for tea drinkers. It's perfect for the "pour over" coffee method.

I think it's absolutely ideal for dorm room use as you can use it to make ramen noodles, instant oatmeal, hot chocolate and so much more.

I have owned several Zojirushi products, including a rice cooker, and I've never been disappointed with the quality or durability.

Additional features:

Easy to read large wraparound panorama window water level gauge with easy-touch dispensing system
Decholorinate mode reduces chlorine and musty odors from tap water
Descaling mode keeps the pot sparkling clean
Micro computerized temperature control system, multiple temperature settings and reboil mode. Non-stick interior and removable magnetic power cord.
Dimensions 11.875" long, 9.125" wide, 10.125 high, weighs 4.9lbs

Disclosure: Zojirushi provided me with this item for the purposes of preparing this review. The views expressed are completely honest. This thing rocks.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I Don't Want Peets and Starbucks to Merge

Unless you've had your head under a coffee cup for the past week, you've heard about the rumors of a merger between Starbucks and Peets.

I think it's a bad idea for them to merge. This is not a marriage made in coffee heaven. I like them both but if I had to choose one it would be Starbucks. Not because Peets is not good coffee but it's consistently strong and I like the fact that I have a choice of light or dark roast at Starbucks. Plus, the food offerings at Starbucks are much better. Especially the new cake pops.

Anyway, Peets + Starbucks would be like Walmart and Target burying the hatchet and merging. It's just not right.

What do you think?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"Crescent City Blend" by Community Coffee

The Crescent City Connection, abbreviated as CCC, (formerly the Greater New Orleans Bridge) refers to twin cantilever bridges that carry U.S. Route 90 Business over the Mississippi River in New Orleans, Louisiana. They are tied as the fifth-longest cantilever bridges in the world.*

When Community Coffee sent me this coffee to review, I wasn't so sure I would like it. I tend to have my favorites from CC (like their Founder's Blend) and sometimes I'm a little hard to convince. But, I was pleasantly surprised. The bag describes it as a "medium-dark" roast. The color of the beans suggest a milder coffee than I've come to expect from CC. But, this was not the case. I would describe it as a "dark-medium" roast. It's definitely got some "kick" to it. In fact, by the time I'd gotten halfway through my cup, the flavor seemed to come back and bite me again!

Definitely an "eye-opener." This would be my recommendation for a morning brew. It will jump start you and I have a feeling I may be going for a while. Which is a good thing since today is going to be busy!

And to make their gift to me even sweeter, they included this adorable Fleur De Lys Travel Tumber from Whirley Drink Works. You can get the set for yourself or your favorite coffee lover. The 12 ounce bag of Crescent Blend along with the Tumbler is selling now for 12.95. That's a bargain.

I got my Mojo working now!

*From Wikipedia

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Chocolate That Goes To Your Lips and Not To Your Hips

New Chocolate Teas from Republic of Tea

Republic of Tea sent me these two varieties to sample. Red Velvet Cupcake and Strawberry Chocolate.

To be honest, I was sort of afraid to try them because I wasn't sure that I would like the flavor combination. But the chocolate is not at all overbearing and neither is the Strawberry or the Red Velvet. It's a very subtle flavor and doesn't hit you over the head. My colleagues enjoyed it too.

They are both Rooibos or red teas. Strawberry Chocolate is great for during the day. Red Velvet would be my nighttime choice as it is herbal.

Sidebar: the packaging is beautiful.

The perfect gift for the tea lover and it's already wrapped! You can check out their full line of teas at:

This is a limited offering tea.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Isn't She Lovely?

I picked up the new "Special Edition" Starbucks card this morning. It is so cool. Just in time for St. Patrick's Day. And speaking of Starbucks, have you tried the new "Tribute" blend? If so, what do you think of it? I've had a cup every day this week. Pretty good.

And while you know I'm a fan of the little guy, sometimes "big coffee" can do some neat things. Starbucks does some really cool stuff. And they also have some super baristas. Shout out to Max Cohen at the Solano Avenue Store in Berkeley. Max donated two "carry-out boxes" of freshly brewed "Pike's Place" to our neighborhood watch meeting last night. And he even helped me take the coffee to my car. You have to admit, that's pretty awesome.

And they also have these new "petite-treats" including "cake pops" like the ones Bakerella makes. There were some mini salted caramel brownies and red velvet whoopie pies. I haven't tried any of them yet but I plan to try them all this weekend. You know, a little random sampling :)

Anyway, this isn't meant to be an endorsement for Starbucks, but sometimes you have to just give credit where credit is due.

One more day 'til Friday!

Whoo-Hoo (or should I say "Whoopie Pie")!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fat Tuesday

I'm celebrating all by myself. That's right. Alone. At least this morning. That's because my sister (she's so cool) dropped off a King Cake at my house last night. I'm getting mine first before I share. Why? Because it's Fat Tuesday.

So eat, drink and be merry. Because tomorrow Lent begins.

Now, all I need is a hot cup of Community Coffee and I'm good to go!

Who dat??

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Beehive Cheese - Barely Buzzed Coffee Rubbed Cheese

I swear this is the greatest invention since the peanut butter cup.

Two of my favorite things collide. Cheese and coffee. Beehive Artisan Hand Crafted Cheese* sent me a sample of their "Barely Buzzed" Coffee Rubbed Cheese (rubbed with espresso and lavender). I love lavender. I have it growing right outside my front door.

The cheese is hard and has a somewhat nutty flavor. And the coffee rub gives it a - well, I guess you could say "buzz" that makes it taste like no cheese I've ever eaten. I'd eaten four little chunks before I even picked up a cracker!

Goes well with anything but especially - yep a cup of coffee. Although, I enjoyed mine with a glass of Perrier Grapefruit. What a wonderful fusion of flavors.

And if that wasn't enough to tickle my tastebuds, the wonderful "Cheese-ologists" at Beehive threw in a sneak preview or "teaser" of their not-yet-released tea rubbed cheese which is appropriately named "Teavhive!" Is that the cutest thing ever?

Unfortunately, "Teahive" won't debut until later this year. And it is Tea-licious. You won't be disappointed.

Beehive has a wonderful selection of other artisan cheeses as well. Be sure to visit their website for more information and to find out where you can buy Beehive in your neighborhood.

It will make you smile.

Say cheese!

*(Hand made in Uintah, Utah.)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Chantal Vacuum Insulated Travel Mug

I love Chantal products. Not only are they well-made, they are functional and last forever. I've owned the "original" Chantal tea kettle for years (the one with the German whistle). In fact, I'm on my second one. But, as you know, I'm a Coffee Gal. That means coffee everywhere I go!

Imagine my excitement when I received the new travel mug from Chantal Corporation in the mail the other day. It's sleek and shiny like a brand new car. The label says "Drink from all sides." Suspicious, but it works. Not only did my coffee stay totally hot in my mug from the time I brewed it at 6:30 a.m. until noon when I took the last sip, it fit my hand like a glove. And I didn't spill one drop in the car, on the train or on my desk. Major accomplishment. This mug don't lie!

Don't take my word for it. Check it out for yourself. Visit the Chantal website to order online or find the retailer near you.

(Chantal Corporation provided me with a free mug for the purposes of preparing this review)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Raise Your Cup If You Want Free Tea!

Bigelow Tea Sweepstakes, beginning March 1st, 2011 and running through March 15th, 2011!

One lucky winner will receive a $200 Bigelow Tea gift certificate and an additional five (5) winners will each receive a $75 Bigelow Tea gift certificate good for shopping from our catalog or website.

You must be at least 18 years of age and reside in the United States and Canada in order to participate. Go to to complete the online registration. For additional information, please refer to the Official Rules.

Good luck!!