Thursday, April 28, 2011

Coffee and a Good Book

"Onward" by Howard Schultz (with Joanne Gordon)
How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul

Get your copy today.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Tully's House Blend

There once was a coffee roaster in San Francisco by the name of Spinelli. Spinelli Coffee had shops throughout the city and it was known for being one of the best artisan roasters in the Bay Area. Not only did they have good coffee, their shops had a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Spinelli didn't have a big chain feel. It felt like home. Then in the '90s, Spinelli was purchased by a coffee roaster out of Seattle by the name of Tully's. People were wary of this "Tully's Coffee." They moaned and groaned and feared they would never be able to enjoy great coffee in a great atmosphere again.

But then a funny thing happened. Tully's took over Spinelli and it was all good. Not only did Tully's offer the same great coffee that people loved, the atmosphere stayed pretty much the same. Tully's doesn't rush you out the door like some "other big name coffee houses" and their baristas are like old friends. I love to go to the Tully's in Embarcadero Two and sip and knit with colleagues.

If you're not lucky enough to live near Tully's, fret not, while you won't be able to enjoy the comfort of their coffee houses, you can still enjoy Tully's great coffee in the comfort of your own home. Order online or find a grocer near you at:

(Tully's House Blend is a wonderful medium roast coffee. Not too weak. Not too strong. Just right. This bag was "on the house" - pun intended)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Mug Madness

Now that March Madness is over - let the "mug madness" begin. Recently, I wrote a guest post on another blog about my mug collection. I started thinking about how much I love mugs. I have been on a "mug diet" for a while since I had been cautioned not to bring another mug into the house. :)

Some people always want to steal your joy. However, I shall not be contained. I decided that I would not deprive myself of the occasional "mug treat." So, I ordered this oversized mug from Caribou Coffee. It's perfect for lattes, a large cup of tea or even soup. Plus, it's got this cute slogan inside which reads "Love What You Brew, Brew What You Love." Inspiration with my morning coffee.

So, raise your mug to Friday and a rockin' weekend!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Coffee and a Woman of a Certain Age

I'll admit it. I'm biased. I tend to favor coffee drinkers. Tea drinkers are cool too. But, what do you think of a person who drinks neither coffee or tea? Honestly, I think they're a little odd.

I met a woman who seemed perfectly nice on the surface. She really did. We were about the same age and initially it appeared that we might have a connection. Then I suggest we meet for a cup of coffee. She said, "I don't drink coffee." I said, "Well, you can have tea." She replied, "I don't drink tea either." I said, 'Well, what do you drink?" She said, "Nothing." Game over.

Really, I mean, really? A woman of a certain age who drinks nothing? And I'm not talking about alcoholic beverages. First thing I wonder is "How in the heck do you wake up?" Second thing, I think is, "You're up to something and I don't trust you."

Even if she were a "health nut" which judging from her appearance, she didn't seem to be, wouldn't she have a cup of herbal tea at night to relax?

Bottom line - if you don't drink anything, then you're up to something. Do you think she's an alien?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ebony and Ivory Living Together In Perfect Harmony In My Cup

Good news. Big Mike is on the road again. And you know what that means. More coffee, more coffee, more coffee!

So, Big Mike blazed through Charlotte, North Carolina for one day where while perusing the "NODA" District, he lands at "Smelly Cat Coffeehouse." I know. Strange name.

Anyhow, he picks up a bag of Sumatra/French Roast Blend Coffee. First of all, it smells amazing. I'm talking in the bag, before you even grind the beans and brew them. I make a pot this morning. Perfect Harmony is all I can think. It's bold, but it's not bold. It's mild, but it's not mild. It's just GREAT coffee.

You figure that anybody who has the nerve to name their coffee "Smelly Cat" must be pretty confident in their beans. And with good reason.

If you don't live near Charlotte, give them a ring, I'll bet they'll ship you a bag!

Smelly Cat Coffeehouse
514 E. 36th Street
Charlotte, North Carolina 28205


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Capresso CM200 Automatic Coffee Maker

It's easy to see why the Capresso CM200 Coffee Maker won the 2010 Good Design Award. It looks like it should be sitting on a granite counter in a trendy loft in Soho. Except I don't have a trendy loft in Soho. But I do have a Capresso CM200. Its sleek design hardly takes up any space on my counter. And, as you know, with all the coffee "apparti" I have, space is in short supply. But thanks to Capresso, good coffee is just a pot away!

Feature and Benefits

Brews 10 cups of coffee in under 9 minutes for maximum flavor and aroma
Electronic filter indicator shows when to replace the charcoal filter
24 hour programmable LCD digital clock/timer
Electronics retain all programming during short power outages up to 10 seconds
Special setting provides maximum aroma when brewing 3-5 cups
See-through removable water tank
Coated non-stick warming plate
Push-button swing out filter
2-hour safety shut-off
Concealed cord storage
Glass carafe with ergonomic handle has brew through lid and drip-free pouring spout
Drip stop allows you to pour a cup while brewing.
Charcoal water filter removes up to 82% chlorine.
Permanent GoldTone filter is easy to use and easy to clean.

Suggested Retail Price: 79.95

(Capresso provided me with the CM200 for the purposes of preparing this review which in no way impacts my opinion or the fact that this coffee maker performs and looks like one that costs three times as much!)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Do Not Attempt This At Home - 21 Days Without Coffee

Not sure why anyone would want to try this, but, check out the trailer for a cool documentary:

How appropriately named - Buzzkill ;0

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Will A Misto "Make-A-Me" Fancy?

As I stood at the counter at Starbucks waiting to place my order, a young woman with perfectly coiffed hair, manicured nails, designer shoes and purse ordered a "Misto."

Okay, to be perfectly honest I didn't even know what she was talking about. I've said many times that I'm not a coffee expert. I'm just a "coffee lover." I tend to drink coffee with a packet of raw sugar and a splash of low-fat milk (or Coffee-Mate - yes Coffee-Mate) or cream from time to time.

I started thinking how uninteresting I must appear to the baristas. Every day, same thing, tall bold. BORING.

Thanks to Google, I found out:

Misto = A drink consisting of half coffee, half steamed milk and a bit of foam. It can be made decaf, nonfat, etc. "Misto" is the Starbucks name, cafe au lait is a more generic term.

Tomorrow morning it's a Misto for me because I want to be "fancy" too. :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Goes GREAT with Coffee - Biscoff Cookies!

You know those little crunchy, buttery, yummy cookies they serve on airplanes? Guess what - you don't have to buy a plane ticket to enjoy them. I found them at Cost Plus World Market!

I had them with my coffee this morning. They're so good. And they make me feel so "international." They're made in Beligum but distributed right here in San Francisco! How cool is that? They even have a Biscoff Coffee Corner at Pier 39. I haven't been there but I plan to add it to my list of places to visit.

I could just snack on these little things all day. Oooh, I think I'll have some tonight after dinner. And maybe I'll dunk them in my coffee. Doesn't that sound good?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Little Cream In My Coffee

The other day in Starbucks as I was putting my one packet of raw sugar and low fat milk in my coffee, a little bell went off in my head. I thought, "Who am I kidding?" I never enjoy real cream in my coffee because I don't want the extra calories. And I know that I don't need the cholesterol. But, considering I'm really never on a diet, although I do try to sometimes watch what I eat, and I'll never wear a bikini again, why not enjoy a little cream in my coffee?

So, yesterday while grocery shopping, after I grabbed the 2 percent milk, I also dropped a tiny little carton of half and half into my basket. I mean a little drop of cream never killed anybody. Right?

And besides, it's Sunday. I owe it to myself.

Put some real cream in your coffee. Life is short and we'll never get out of it alive.