Monday, November 26, 2012


It only happens once a year. 

And that's why holiday blends are so special to me.  If I could get them all the time, I don't think I'd appreciate them as much.

This year's batch of Peet's Holiday Blend is especially nice.  It's Kenyan coffee and not as dark as the Holiday Blends of some years past.  Although, to be honest, I can barely remember what last year's holiday blend was like.

Nonetheless, this one is good.  You know, I'm into the chocolate-coffee tones and this one has it.  

Peet's is good coffee, although I will admit, I don't like it all the time.  Sometimes it's just too strong for me.  But that's just my personal opinion.  I drink it maybe once a week.  However, since this blend is only going to be around for a short time, I might have a couple of cups a week.  

This is the first holiday blend I've had this year, but I have a feeling it will be high on my list of favorites.

And, there's a good chance, I'll pick up a couple of pounds for gifts.

I was going to wait until December 1st to start the holiday posts, but what the heck - 'tis the season!

16.95 a pound.  Available in all Peet's Stores and online.  Also at select retailers.  Check the Peet's website for details.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Eight O'Clock Coffee - Everything Old Is New Again

When you see a resurgence in popular culture of the things that you have known about all your life, does that mean you're getting older or hipper?

The "Mad Men" television series is giving rise to a whole new generation of folks who are discovering things we already knew about - like Eight O'Clock Coffee.

When I started drinking it in the '80s, it was referred to as "Eight O'Clock Bean," and it was pretty hard to find outside of the East Coast and South.  Now, it's all over the country.

And I'm not complaining.  While a bit pricier than your typical grocery store brand, I love the fact that I can get it in whole bean variety and also the fact that it's always fresh.  It's also always good.  You could say it's "dependable."

This Saturday morning as I enjoy the original roast, I'm playing a little game with myself, trying to remember what I was doing when I used to drink it regularly.  That's the fun part.  The not so fun part - I can't remember a whole lot about what I was doing when I was drinking Eight-O-Clock Coffee in the '80s, because after all, it was the '80s.

So, the really fun part is that now I get to recreate new memories of Eight-O'Clock.  Feels good.

Trivia:  Eight O'Clock Coffee is the brand name of the light roast of coffee introduced by the American supermarket chain A&P in 1859. In 1919, the roast was renamed and given its current trademark.  The company supposedly derived the name by conducting a survey asking people what time of day they drank coffee most. The majority of those surveyed reported that they typically drank coffee at 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., which is why company went with the name "Eight O'Clock Coffee."
In 2005, Eight O'Clock was acquired by India's Tata Coffee

The Eight O'Clock Coffee company is headquartered in Montvale, New Jersey and manufactures its coffee in Landover, Maryland.  (Source:  Wikipedia)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Giving Thanks for Starbucks Thanksgiving Blend 2012

I almost missed out on this.  Actually, I had planned to intentionally skip it.  Just wasn't interested in it at all.  

And then yesterday I realized it was Thanksgiving Week.  And I remembered that for the last few years, or whenever Starbucks starting to make the "Thanksgiving Blend," I had always bought at least a pound.

Finding a store that still had it in stock was a tiny bit of a challenge.  And, of course, that made it much more appealing to me.

Found it at my old Starbucks store on Drumm Street in San Francisco.  

The packaging is beautiful.  The coffee is beautiful too.  Beautifully delicious and dark and delightful and smooth and so Thanksgiving-y.

I could kick myself for even considering passing this one up.

Don't you make the mistake of missing out.  You'll regret it.  So happy I came to my senses in time!

Thanksgiving only comes once a year.

14.95 per pound

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

"Meet Me In St. Louis or Topeka or Chicago" - Ronnoco "Private Estate" Coffee Review

When I was approached by the folks at Ronnoco Coffee and invited to try their coffee, my first thought was, "Ronnoco?  Is that a gas company?"  Seriously.  

Then I received the "swag" in the mail.  Opened the box - hey, that's a pretty nice package.

I had never heard of Ronnoco Coffee.  

But, if you live in the Midwest, Ronnoco Coffee is probably a staple in your home or office.

Yesterday, I snipped open the bag of "Private Estate" beans and the first thought I had was, "Wow, that package was nice and easy to open."  

Second thought, "That's the nicest resealable strip I've seen.  So easy to pull off."  

Yet, I figured, it was all show and no go.

Thankfully, I was wrong.

Ronnoco Private Estate is a very good cup of coffee.  It's not "mind-blowing."  It's not the rarest of beans or the most exotic roast I've ever had.  But it's honest coffee.  

And, did I mention it's very good coffee?

If you're not planning a trip to St. Louis or Topeka or Chicago or any other of the locations in the Midwest where Ronnoco Coffee is sold, you can always do what every other busy American does and order online at:

A 12 ounce bag of "Private Estate" blend retails for 9.99.  Under ten bucks!

(*Ronnoco provided me with a free sample of coffee for the purposes of preparing this review)

Company History

At the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, the O’Connor brothers experienced something completely innovative: imported coffee beans roasted over a gas flame. The resulting flavor and aroma inspired the creation of Ronnoco Coffee Company.
Since 1904, Ronnoco Coffee Company has grown from being delivered via horse drawn buggy to a sales and service staff of more than 80 individuals. Ronnoco is a local, Midwest owned and operated company that is small enough to pay attention to the details that go into making great coffee, but large enough to service more than 20 states throughout the US.

Our mission is to be the Midwest’s leading full service provider of the highest quality coffees and related products and to support those products with our expertise and friendly, responsive service.*



Big news for tea drinkers.  Just announced Starbucks Coffee Co. will buy Teavana Holdings Inc. for $620 million in cash.

I'll drink to that!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's Begining to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! 

Wait a minute - we didn't have "Turkey Day" yet!

I went for a nice walk today at lunch and everywhere I looked, I saw holiday coffees and coffee accessories.

Peet's and Starbucks are both offering their holiday blends of coffee - I think there were about three different varieties for Starbucks.  Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf had one whole wall of holiday coffees and teas.  And even McDonald's is offering a Peppermint Mocha.

I love Christmas as much as anybody, but I wanted to at least sample the Starbucks Thanksgiving Blend before I moved on to the next thing.

Is this a sign that the recession is over or yet another sign of the commercialization of holidays?

At any rate, I won't complain - I get to enjoy my favorite holiday roasts longer each year.

I plan to review as many of the 2012 roasts as I can!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

My Constant Companion

Wow.  It's cold outside.  So, I'm going to blame the fact that I was talking to my coffee pot this morning on the weather.  Although, I know that's not true.

I was making my first pot of the day, I realized that I was talking to my coffee maker - literally!

Lest you think I've lost it (I don't think I've lost it), you have to remember how much I love coffee.  I never intended for today's post to be a love letter to coffee.  It's just turning out to be a love letter to coffee.

From the moment I grind the beans and measure them out and pour the coffee in the reservoir and press the power button, I'm thanking God for another day and chattering on about my plans for the day.  Before the coffee is even ready, I'm fantasizing about how wonderful that warm mug is going to feel in my hands on this blustery morning and how delicious it's going to taste.

So, out of respect for coffee, which, except for a few bad blend choices (thankfully that doesn't happen often), I felt compelled to share with you how much joy is found in my morning mug.

Here's to a Super Saturday!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012



Primula Coffee Brew Buddy



Ronnoco Handcrafted Coffee

4241 Sarpy Avenue  

St. Louis, MO 63110

(314) 371-5050

Sunday, November 4, 2012

"Born in the USA" - Obama Blend

Something to calm your election day jitters!

This blend of 1/3rd Kenya, 1/3rd Indonesian and 1/3rd Kona is just the right balance.  It has a smooth flavor with chocolate undertones - I kid you not.  Low acidity and no aftertaste.  

Sunday Coffee - Mysore Nuggets from Catahoula

The city of Mysore is located in the southwest region of India.  Thank God, I didn't have to travel there to enjoy a good cup of Mysore Nuggets coffee.

While "mining" for something new to review this week, I lucked out and struck it rich.

Catahoula Coffee is offering this limited edition, rare Indian coffee for only 8.00 dollars for an eight ounce bag.

I love the packaging because it gives it the special look it deserves.

Mysore Nuggets is a sweet, spicy bold coffee.  I used the drip method but am looking forward to trying it with the pour-over.

Honestly, this coffee is SO good that I went back for a refill and found myself looking at the bottom of the cup with a smile.  

This coffee is sure to sell out quickly and who knows when it will be offered again.  Get it while it's "hot."  

Excellent beans, superb roast.  Catahoula does it again.

Order online at