Wednesday, November 30, 2011

So Santa Won't Lose the Keys to the Sleigh

As I've said before, I have never come across a Starbucks card that I didn't like. Seriously. This adorable little "mini-Snowman" key ring card is no exception.

When I saw this today, I had to have it. It's the perfect gift for your office Secret Santa or the mailman or gardener. You can load it with a little or load it with a lot. This one I loaded only with five bucks because I have like a hundred cards, but you never know when you might be out of cash and desperate for a tall latte.

'Tis the Season!

Breaking News for All Chai Passionistas

Green Mountain Coffee introduces the Cafe Escapes(R) Chai Latte "KCup"(R).

Now you can enjoy your favorite beverage any time of the day (or night).

If you were thinking of purchasing a Keurig Brewer for yourself or as a holiday gift, here's another good reason to get one.

Review coming soon.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Battle of the Blue Mountains Begins

This is my favorite time of year for many reasons. One being that it's usually when the coffee roasters get their limited offerings of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffees.

First up. Benicia Coffee and Tea's limited offering. Retail price is 36.00 per pound. Which is a good price for pure Blue Mountain Coffee.

I brewed up a Chemex-full this morning and was very pleased with the flavor.

Smooth blend, no after-taste and non-acidic.

If you live near Benicia, California and are in the mood for Blue, check them out at 2036 Columbus Parkway, Benicia, California, 94510, 707-746-1242.

But you'd better hurry because there's no guarantee that this stuff will last through Christmas.

Stay tuned for more Blue Mountain reviews to come.

It's on!


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm writing this post while drinking a cup of Starbucks Anniversary Blend. I suppose I should be drinking Thanksgiving Blend, but I don't have any.

But this post really isn't about coffee, it's about gratitude.

Holidays tend to bring out the best and worst in people. For me, it's filled with memories of those who are no longer around to share the day and those who go out of their way to make sure it's a good day for others. People like my nephew and his wife who are preparing a feast for family and friends.

I'm grateful for good health, a roof over my head when so many people are homeless, a car to drive when so many don't have transportation, a job when so many are unemployed.

I don't feel especially witty today. Actually, my mood could be characterized as bittersweet.

Nonetheless, I'm very blessed and don't want to let this day go by without saying "Thank You."

And, I'm thankful for those of you who take time from your busy and productive days to stop by and endure my ramblings and random thoughts.

Be good to one another.

Peace and Blessings,


(I'm also grateful for the beautiful apple pie which my daughter prepared. Can't wait to try it. Just trying to decide which coffee to pair it with. Any suggestions?)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Foiled Again (But, It's All Good)

When I was contacted by the Community Agroecology Network in Santa Cruz, California , I thought, "oh, great more Fair Trade Coffee."

Don't get me wrong, I am a huge supporter of Fair Trade (TM), however, just because it's Fair Trade, doesn't mean it's good.

The nice woman asked if I would be willing to give their coffee a review and if I preferred a dark roast or light roast coffee. I said, "Dark roast," please. Yawn.

The coffee arrived within a few days. Yawn.

I looked at the package for one whole day before I opened it. Of course, I love coffee, but I've tried many different coffees. And trust me, they are not created equal. And you know me, if I can't say something nice, I don't say anything at all.

Well, a few days later, when I opened the bag, and looked at the beans, I thought, "pretty impressive." The beans were nice and dark and glistened.

Then I ground them in my Baratza grinder. Scooped out enough to make a six cup pot and waited. While my coffee was brewing, I took my shower, and then went in to pour myself a cup. "Nice aroma," I thought.

Then I took my first sip. WOW. Guess who's not yawning now?

If there's anything I like better than a GREAT cup of coffee, it's a great cup of coffee for a great cause.

To learn more about the AgroEco(R) Initiative*, Fair Trade Coffee, and Santa Cruz Roasting, please do yourself a favor and visit their website:

This is one project worth getting behind.

AgroEco coffee is a collaborative partnership of small-scale coffee farmers, roasters, researchers and the Community Agroecology Network.

They can be reached at 831-459-3619

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011

One Nice Surprise After the Other

Surprise Number One. I had no idea that nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee was a five-star luxury resort by the name of Blackberry Farm. I had never heard of the place until Mr. and Mrs. Big Mike went there on a recent vacation. And because they know that I may never get to Blackberry Farm, they brought me back a pound of coffee. Which, in my book, is the next best thing.

Surprise Number Two. I had never heard of H.C. Valentine Coffee Company until I received the coffee which is specially crafted for Blackerry Farm by Valentine. H.C. Valentine is located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

And all this time, I thought Wisconsin was famous for cheese.

Any-hoo, the coffee is smooth, balanced, rich and what one might expect to be served at 5-Star Luxury Resort like Blackberry Farm. If one were to ever get the chance to go there.

For now, I'll drink my coffee and be grateful.

Here's to a wonderful Sunday and a great week!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I'm pretty sure I literally shrieked when I received this gift from my niece.

She went to Seattle on a business trip and brought me back a package of PIKE PLACE SPECIAL RESERVE - SEATTLE WASHINGTON EDITION. I had never even seen one of these bags in person.

As you know, I've enjoyed Pike Place Blend for years, but this package is so cool that I don't even want to open it! I think I'm going to put it in my curio cabinet. I mean, come on this is a collectible!

Apparently, you can ONLY purchase this special bag at two Starbucks stores in Seattle. Now, you'll have to figure out which two. And when you do, let me know. I'm such a lucky gal.

Remember, be nice to the kids when they're young because when they grow up and travel around the world, they'll remember you. Especially, when it comes to coffee.

Have a great day. I'm still not ready to open this package. Gonna enjoy it for a few more days. Maybe it is what's on the outside that counts. Just kidding.



Sunday, November 6, 2011

She Drank Peter Asher Black Velvet Blend Coffee*

So many coffees. So little time. I can't believe how many roasters are out there that I don't know about. That can only mean one thing - I must vow to continue my journey in search of locating and tasting every good coffee on the planet. That could take a lifetime. So, that's what I'll do.

When I learned of Peter Asher Coffee and Tea, naturally the first thing I did was check out their website. The signature alone says, "classy." But what does a wonderful website and a great signature have to do with a great cup of coffee? In the case of Peter Asher it's a sign of what's to come.

I've been drinking the "Black Velvet" roast all week and I can't pull myself away from it. I have a couple of other new blends I want to try, but the Black Velvet just keeps calling my name.

It's deep and dark but not the kind of deep and dark that just overpowers the palate. This is smooth as silk. I would go so far as to call it romantic.

To learn more about this family owned roaster, visit their website at:

Just because you don't live in Champaign, Illinois doesn't mean you don't deserve to be happy.

(*Well, maybe she didn't drink Black Velvet, but I'm sure if it had been around, she would have)

Here's to good coffee!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Peter Asher Coffee Company

The week is shaping up pretty nicely. I received three varieties of coffee to review from the Peter Asher Coffee Company.

Peter Asher is a family-owned roaster in Champaign, Illinois.

Who says the mailman never brings good news?

Review coming soon. But, if you don't want to wait to hear my thoughts, you can check them out for yourself.

Happy Tuesday!!