Sunday, April 29, 2012

Peet's Guatemala San Sebastian and a Friendly Face

I was enjoying a cup of Peet's Guatemala San Sebastian this morning when I thought back to my encounter with the barista on Friday when I bought a half-pound bag of beans. I'm a sucker for Guatemalan coffee.

Anyway, I usually get Starbucks on my morning break because it's in my building. But it had been a particularly long/short week so I decided to take an extra five and walk down to Peet's. Because change is good. I had the Peet's oatmeal for the first time. It's steel-cut so I didn't enjoy it as much as Starbucks but the blueberries are a nice change from raisins.

Now, cutting to the chase. The barista was one of the most intelligent, funny and nicest guys I'd run into in a while. It got me to thinking about how the coffee shop experience really should be an experience and not just perfunctory. And while I won't take an extra five every morning, I will make it a point to take an extra five once a week to try something different. It's good for the soul.

Oh, by the way, Guatemala San Sebastian is a great coffee. 15.95 per pound. Limited supply.

Guatemala San Sebastian

A renowned region. An heirloom bean. A superlative estate. San Sebastian has been a favorite in our tasting room for over 30 years. Aromatic yet powerful, reminiscent of fine bittersweet chocolate, a true coffee aristocrat.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Coffee Humor by Ross Bollinger

Most coffee lovers have a good sense of humor. And if you're a coffee drinker, and don't like a good laugh, then maybe you're not drinking enough!

Here's a cute video from Coffee-toonist Ross Bollinger (C)


"This is Coffee, Ask Hank."

If you think that's funny, there's more where that came from!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Congratulations to Catahoula Coffee Company - #1 for the Second Year In A Row

Congratulations to Tim Manhart, aka "Timber," for winning Best Coffee Shop in the Bay for 2012.

Catahoula Coffee Company
12472 San Pablo Ave, Richmond, CA (See Map)
(510) 235-052

You can check out Catahoula and the other winners here:

Bay Area Best

Sunday, April 15, 2012


What a wonderful way to start my Sunday morning. I'm enjoying a cup of Thanksgiving Coffee's Organic Beaujolais blend. It's so good. It's not too dark and it's not too light. It's perfect. And it's even better with a buttery flaky croissant.

Thanksgiving Coffee was fair before "fair trade" was hip which is one more reason to support this great company.

C'est si bon!

From Thanksgiving Coffee:

We’ve been fine-tuning our Organic Beaujolais blend for over 20 years. Evolving year by year with the arrival of new coffees and the addition of new origins, this blend is continually our richest, sweetest, and most complex dark roast.

The name Beaujolais pays homage to one of France’s oldest wine-making regions, an area that has defined quality in the culinary world for centuries. While our blend can’t claim such an established history, the aesthetic that inspires it traces through the history of specialty coffee in the Americas, and back to the finest coffeehouses of the old world hundreds of years ago.

Organic Beaujolais is a blend of our favorite caramelly-brown Vienna roast combined in equal parts with our strongest espresso, richest Nicaraguan single origin, and our wildest natural-processed Ethiopian. The richly-toned sweetness of the blend recalls dark chocolate, caramel, roasted nuts, and hints of jammy fruit.


Bonjour! Beaujolais Blend is better on Monday morning than on Sunday morning. The sun is out. I think this is going to be a great coffee day!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cup of the Day - Starbucks Tribute Blend 2012

Maybe I just missed this coffee a lot. But, for some reason, Starbucks Tribute Blend 2012 tastes even better than the crop from last year.

I bought a couple of bags and put them in the back of the cupboard for a rainy day. Well, guess what? It's raining today. And I didn't mind getting out of bed because I knew that my pot was set to brew a really great cup of coffee. Dark. Just the way I like it.

Starbucks says:

"Starbucks Tribute Blend® is the perfect way to celebrate the neighborhoods we're a part of around the world. Aged Sumatra, sun-dried beans from Ethiopia, and coffees from Papua New Guinea and Colombia come together to create this spicy and full-bodied blend with dark cherry notes. Available in whole bean or ground coffee."

I say, "one more cup, please."

$7.95 for an eight ounce bag of beans.

I almost feel like I should salute my cup or something.

(Also available in Via packets. Limited offering. That means, get moving to Starbucks before they run out!)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

What's Better Than a Chocolate Bunny on Easter?

A hot cup of chocolate (and coffee). Enjoy both with Café Escapes Mocha K-Cups for your Keurig.

It's not easy to get the right amount of coffee to cocoa for a mocha and even harder when you're doing it without the help of a professional barista, but Green Mountain's Café Escapes Mocha K-Cups are not bad.

Three out of four people who tried them, really liked them. One person said there seemed to be an after-taste. Can't please everyone.

I think they're great when you want a mocha without the mess and without leaving home. And where can you get a mocha for under a buck?

If there wasn't a Keurig in your basket - there's always Mother's Day (hint-hint).

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Happy Anniversary! Peet's 2012 Special Offering

For those times when you need a little extra "oomph" in your cup, Peet's is always a good choice. If you know beans about Peet's, you know that it is not for the weak of cup. Peet's is for the serious coffee drinker.

So, I was in a serious mood this weekend (it's tax time) and picked up a half-pound of the Anniversary Blend. This year's offering is quite different from the anniversary blends of old. It's a combination of three different coffees.

And, not only is it a great cup of coffee, five percent of the proceeds are going to a great cause.

If you haven't tried this year's crop, hurry, because it won't be around long and I think you'll be pleased.

Anniversary Blend Coffee (15.95 per pound)


Rich, vibrant, and aromatic. Our 2012 Anniversary Blend supports the community behind the beans. 5% of proceeds* go to establish clean water access near Papua New Guinea’s Korona Plantation, where the majority of this coffee was grown.

Anniversary Blend is available for a limited time.

This year’s Anniversary Blend is unlike any we’ve offered in the past. Not only is it an extraordinary combination of three washed-process coffees we've never offered before, but also through offering it we’re providing clean water for the people of Papua New Guinea. 5% of proceeds go to the community surrounding the Korona Plantation where this coffee started. The Korona plantation’s coffee is one of the best we’ve tasted all year with forthright fruit, honeyed texture, and densely flavorful character. This unique coffee serves as the backbone of this year's blend.

To this foundation, we added a coffee from one of the highest coffee growing altitudes in Burundi. The coffee comes from a number of washing stations in the Kirimiro group all above 6,000 ft. The Burundi coffee adds body and velvety blackcurrant undertones.

To complete the blend, we added a brand new estate Colombia to instill a bright, pure palate acidity and a fine, clean finish. While we typically favor Colombias from the southern heights of Huila, we were especially taken by this Supremo (large bean coffee) from Finca Santa Barbara in the state of Antioquia.

We think this blend offers great tribute to our founding 46 years ago and we hope you’ll join us in celebrating the Anniversary.