Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Tweet That Keeps On Tweeting - Thanks, Green Mountain Coffee!





What do I always say?  It's the little things that mean the most.

Like the fact that when I tweeted Green Mountain Coffee Roasters weeks ago just to say "Happy Friday," and let them know how much I was enjoying their Fair Trade Coffee, I had no idea that I would go to my mailbox yesterday and find this cute mug with my little ole tweet on it!

And even if they hadn't sent me this keepsake, I would still tell anyone that Green Mountain is one of the best coffee roasters around.  Because not only do they roast superb coffee, they consistently promote fair trade.  Now that's something to tweet about!

So, as I sip my Sunday brew from my Green Mountain Coffee twitter mug, I invite you to explore the world of Green Mountain Coffees at:

www.greenmountaincoffee.com

Because I believe in "spreading the word."

And please follow me on twitter @accutype

Here's to Sunday mornings, special cups and fair trade coffee!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Happy Coffee Thursday and Boxing Day!



Did Santa fulfill all of your holiday coffee wishes?

If not, don't worry.  The day after Christmas isn't just the day to stock up on decorations and cards for next year, it's the perfect day to score big savings on your favorite holiday blends, mugs and coffee equipment.  Often the prices after the holiday are better than the "Black Friday" sales which happen before.

Most coffee shops and retailers are offering markdowns of up to 50 percent and more on holiday coffee and tea blends, mugs, gift sets, brewing equipment and much more.

This year, I didn't get one single coffee-themed gift, which might be a first.

You know what that means?  Time for me to hit the stores in search of coffee-inspired bargains.

It's going to be a long day.  Better have another cup!

Happy Boxing Day!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Joy to the Coffee Loving World! Aerobie® AeroPress® Coffee & Espresso Maker



The perfect holiday gift for the serious coffee lover.  

Hipsters, take note, the Aerobie® AeroPress® Coffee & Espresso Maker is the ultimate device for creating and enjoying the perfect cup of coffee or espresso.  No sediment in sight.

Delivers a smooth cup in a matter of minutes.  Literally.

And at under $30, you don't have to spend a fortune to make great coffee at home or at work.

Available online at Aerobie, or at retailers nationwide, including, Bed, Bath & Beyond and Amazon.

The perfect New Year's Resolution.  Foolproof, delicious brew.




Fine print: Aerobie(R) provided me with a free AeroPress(R) for the purposes of preparing this review.  Opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Perfect Gift for the Coffee and Donut Lover - "Donuts of the Bay" Calendar by April Walters



San Francisco artist, April Walters, has released the "Donuts of the Bay" calendar featuring 12 months of the best the Bay Area has to offer (in donuts, that is).  

Just in time for your holiday giving.  

Available for $20.00 on Etsy!



Sunday, December 15, 2013

When Do Reindeer Dance? When They're Drinking Klatch Coffee, Of Course!



I can't remember where I first learned about Klatch Coffee.  I think maybe on twitter.  I mean isn't that where we get our news these days?

Anyway, I'm trying as many holiday roasts as I can fit in this year.  Not the "usual suspects," but micro- roasted lots.

I'm fairly certain I've had this Reindeer Blend from Klatch before, but I don't remember what it was like.  So, I ordered a bag to see if it was as good as the other Klatch Coffees I've had.

The first thing I noticed was that the beans were lighter than I expected.  It's been my experience that "holiday" roasts, are usually darker.  However, I could smell the freshness the minute I opened the bag.  

I grind it up and brew it in my automatic drip because I'm too lazy to do a pour-over this morning.  And while I'm drinking my coffee and checking my emails, I realize that half the cup is gone.  And then I think, 'Oh, wait.  I'm supposed to be writing about this, so what is it I taste?'

I taste delicious hearty coffee with subtle smoothness.  The bag says "chocolate undertones," but I don't detect chocolate.  I do detect a medium body blend with a bold body flavor.  

I can certainly see those reindeer dancing when they drink this one.  I'm not dancing but my fingers are definitely awake.

Reindeer Blend from Klatch Coffee, Inc.

Perfect for your holiday coffee klatch.

Limited Edition.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

For the "Tea-Bagger" on Your Holiday List - Primula TeaBag Buddy



Remember, the Chia Pet?  Well, this is far more practical and useful.

This little guy secures your tea bag string allowing you a way to squeeze and hold your tea bag without dripping?  Don't tell me that dripping tea bags are not a problem.  We all know they are.

And while this might not be an absolute necessity, I think it's a must-have for the office tea-drinker or the girl who loves gadgets (that would be me).  Perfect stocking stuffer.

I tried it and it really works.

Mine even came with a double-wall glass mug!  But you can buy the "TeaBag Buddy"* all by itself.

Come on, you know you want one!


The Tea Bag Buddy is an innovative new item that creates a solution to the tea drinker's most common problems. It provides a convenient way to secure the tea bag string while covering the mouth of a tea pot or mug, trapping steam to keep tea hotter when brewing for optimal flavor and temperature.  (from Primula Products)

*Patent Pending


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Walking In A Weaver's(R) Coffee Wonderland



Every day feels like a holiday when you wake up to Weaver's. Corny?  Maybe.  But, it's true.  I don't drink Weaver's nearly as often as I should.  Although, I do enjoy it at least once a week at my favorite breakfast place.  But that's not the same as enjoying a hot cup in the comfort of your own home in your pajamas on a cold December morning.

The Weaver's Coffee 2013 Holiday Blend is superb.

Rich, dark, full-bodied, smooth with chocolate undertones.  100% Organic Fair Trade Certified(TM).

You're going to want to pick up a few pounds for your favorite elves, co-workers and of course, yourself.

Whichever holiday you're celebrating, do it with great coffee.

16.95 a pound (whole bean or ground)

Order from Weaver's Website:

www.weaverscoffee.com

Or, pick up a bag at any Northern California Whole Foods


And, while you're enjoying your coffee, check out this cool video Weaver's made!!




Monday, December 2, 2013

This Catahoula Jamaica Blue Mountain Though. . .



On Saturday, I purchased a half pound bag of Jamaica Blue Mountain (that's right, the good stuff) from Catahoula Coffee Company.  I thought since it was Small Business Saturday, I should support my local roaster.

Wow.  What a nice surprise this morning when I brewed it.  Honestly, it made Monday morning feel like it was a Saturday.  This stuff is so smooth and delicious, that before I knew it, I was dressed and bouncing out of the house with a big smile on my face.  Smiles and Monday mornings don't usually date around my house.

Anyway, at $20 bucks for a half pound of JBM, this is a bargain.  

This coffee is so good that I didn't want to get out of the car at the train station.  I wanted to turn around, go home and make another pot.  However, since good coffee is expensive, I think I made the right choice to hustle into the office.  Takes money to drink this.

It will sell out quickly, so better order today - before you miss out!  

www.catahoulacoffee.com



Sunday, December 1, 2013

Wrap It Up And Take It! Reusable Cup Sleeve Giveaway



If you missed out on this cutie last Christmas, fret not!


I'm giving you a second chance to put this in your hot little hands (get it, hot little hands?)


This is the Starbucks 2012 reusable mug sleeve in RED.  The perfect stocking stuffer for yourself or a coffee loving friend.


*No purchase necessary.

Click here to email me and let me know you want it and it's yours!


*Submit your name before midnight EST on December 13, 2013

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Small Business Saturday - Support Your Local Coffee Roasters and Tea Artisans



Right after "Black Friday," comes "Small Business Saturday."  A time to support our local small businesses.  

I grew up in a family-owned grocery, so I know how hard the little guys have to work to make a living and compete against the big corporate machine.  It's not easy.  It involves long hours, few vacations, smaller profits and a lot of patience to deal with the general public.

I have nothing against big business and believe that there's room for everyone.  I think that many corporate coffee companies are very socially responsible.

But, just for today, consider going out of your way, if necessary, to purchase your coffee and tea from your neighborhood folks.  

Happy Small Business Saturday!

Featured:  Pure Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee from Catahoula Coffee Company.

8 ounces for 20.00 (a bargain)

Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday Means It's Time To Pull Out All The Holiday Coffee Gear!



As you know, I don't need a holiday to celebrate my love of coffee.

However, I think it most appropriate to designate "Black Friday" as the day that I dig out all of my Christmas-themed coffee accoutrements (e.g. Coffee Cup Snow Globes).

I'm proud of all the different things I've collected over the years, and even though this little globe has faded and the water has "yellowed" a bit, it's still one of the coolest holiday products (in my opinion) that Starbucks has released over the years.  With the exception of my holiday village, which may or may not be missing a couple of lamp posts.

Be that as it may, with Christmas less than a month away, it's now or never for the decorating.

So while everyone else is in the stores shopping for toys and electronics, you can find me in the coffee shops, looking for ornaments, mugs and other coffee (and tea) related items on sale.

Because if there's anything I love more than coffee-related items, it's coffee related items discounted before the holiday.

Christmastime comes but once a year!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday Evening Coffee Break: Community Coffee's Bread Pudding Single Serve




First off, I don't usually like flavored coffee.  

However, the unusual thing about Community Coffee's 
Bread Pudding Single Serve is that it does not taste artificial.

Moreover, I do not taste any artificial bread pudding flavor.  

The sensation of the bread pudding I experienced 
is through the sense of smell.

After taking a long sip of coffee, I experienced the 
bread pudding sensation in the very back of my throat, 
as more of an "olfactory" sensation, rather than it 
altering my taste buds.

This coffee is very easy to drink and I would suggest it to all my friends.

Community Coffee's Bread Pudding Single Serve is a limited offering.  

(Reviewed by RJ)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

I Can't Get No Satisfaction - What To Do When Your Coffee Shop Doesn't Love You Anymore

I find myself crying in my drip this morning.  I've finally come to terms with the fact that my coffee shop doesn't love me anymore.

Lumps in my oatmeal.  Heck, this morning it was like glue!

No mention of my name, even though it's there to plainly see.  Sale price signs not being honored.  I have to face it.  It's over.  Done.  Finished.  

When my favorite barista left a few months, I knew something was up.  Then my next favorite barista.  Then the one after that.  

One by one, they started to leave, things went south and what was once a mediocre coffee experience turned into a shattered relationship.

I've overlooked plenty of their shortcomings the past two years.  But I still showed them love.




I mean, it was rough for me when I moved into this part of town and had to switch coffee establishments.  But I stuck it out.  Even though the service wasn't that great, the pastries looked all tired and sad, people didn't know their products and the customer service left a lot to be desired.

However, in the past, I felt like they at least appreciated me.  Now, for the last three weeks, probably more, there's just been no love shown at all.  Oh, sure there's the obligatory monotone greeting, but no feeling behind it.

What hurts the most is that this is right inside my own building.  Winter is coming.  The weather is getting cold.  Do they expect me to go outside and up the hill two blocks just to get a little attention?

I hate to complain, but what can I say?  I' m hurt.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Christmas Is The New Thanksgiving - First Up - Starbucks Christmas Blend 2013




I really wanted to wait at least until after Thanksgiving to start talking about Christmas blends.  But, the corporate machine won't hear of it.  Christmas must begin the week before Halloween in the world of retail commerce.

So, let's get this holiday party started!

This is the time of year when roasters, around the globe, trot out their best, brightest and boldest beans.

I won't compare last year's Christmas Blend to this year's Starbucks lot, because I honestly don't remember it.  I remember drinking it until about Valentine's Day (I hid a few bags), so I'm sure it was delicious.  And so is the 2013 batch.  

You don't have to believe me, the Starbucks stores are chock-full of holiday blends from those named "Christmas" to those named "Holiday Espresso" and "Christmas Blend Blonde." Check them out for yourself.

So, cheers to Christmas 2013.  It's coming - ready or not!!  

Sunday, November 17, 2013

"The Big Easy" Just Got Easier - Community Coffee New Orleans Blend(R) Single Serve Cup



I happen to like coffee with chicory.  Every now and then.  

Other people in my house may not care for it at all.

And that's only one of the advantages of single-serve.

The biggest advantage for me is that I can make a single cup of coffee, for little ole me, without getting input from anybody else about what particular blend they might want to drink.

Oh the woes of being a coffee loving family.

Anyway, I had, for the first time, today, the Community Coffee "New Orleans Blend" Single Serve Cup.  It's a medium-dark roast, but the chicory gives it a little extra "bite."

I must say, it's not bad for a single serve cup.  

I would suggest, if you like strong coffee, you use the 8 ounce cup setting.  I tried it this morning with the ten ounce cup and it didn't quite "kick start" my morning.  And, since, I'm the kind of gal who waits until Sunday nights on some weekends, to get in gear,  this is working out real nice while doing laundry.

Unfortunately, they don't sell Community Coffee at any of the stores in my part of the country.  Fortunately, I can order online at www.communitycoffee.com.

They don't call it "The Big Easy" for nothing.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Keep Your Cold Hands Warm - Wrap Them Around a Cup of Coffee



This is one of my favorite times of year.  Not just because of the holidays.  Oh, I love the holidays.  But what I really love is how this time of year, brings out the coffee lover in all of us.

There are so many different holiday blends to choose from - and it all starts a few weeks before Thanksgiving.  

There's pumpkin this and pumpkin that and eggnog and gingerbread and so many great coffees, that it's like dessert in a cup.

I can't think of a better way to warm up than with a steaming hot cup of coffee.

So, as the colder months approach, I say 'bring it on and pass the cream!'


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Starbucks 2013 Thanksgiving Blend - It's What Inside That Counts - Or, Is It?



I'm the first to admit, I don't always buy a full pound of coffee.  Often, I will buy just a half-pound. Sometimes it's to see if I like it.  Other times, it's because I've spent too much money on coffee in a particular week.  

When the super-nice barista cheerfully offered to grind up the beans for me, and handed off the bag, with her hand written "Thanks Giving Blend" on the outside of the brown wrapper, it was the words that made me warm before I'd even had a chance to brew the coffee.

Something just hit me about those words.  Thanks.  Giving.  Blend.

Suddenly, it wasn't about the coffee at all.  It was about "giving thanks."  

Thankful that something as small as a cup of coffee can make me smile.

Thankful that this particular Starbucks employee is always cheerful.

Thankful that I was able to buy even a half-pound of coffee.

Thankful that I was moved emotionally by the words. "Thanks"  and "Giving."

Maybe I'm just getting in a holiday mood, but I can honestly say I'm truly thankful.

By the way, this year's batch is superb.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Peet's Coffee Café Domingo (R) Single Serve - Simply Delicious




This has been a busy weekend, so this morning, I went with the "K-Cup"(R) "Cafe Domingo" from Peet's.

If you know Peet's Coffee, you know, they "go hard."  Peet's is not for the faint of heart.  But, thankfully, they do offer a medium-body roast for those who prefer a little less, shall we say, hearty in their cup.

They have really perfected their K-Cup(R).  So much so, that combined with my AMAZING Cuisinart SS700 Single Serve Brewing System, I am able to achieve the same flavor, or very close to it, that I get with an automatic brew.

Trivia:  
Café Domingo(R) is named after Peet's Third Cafe on Domingo Avenue in - where else?  Berkeley.

Simple to make.  Simply delicious.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Palais Des Thés Pour Le Bureau Selection (That's French for "For the Office")




Enjoying a delicious cup of tea at home tonight.  Even though this collection is designed "pour le bureau." 

I'm drinking "Thé Du Hammam."


Fragrant, floral, fruity and complex but doesn’t knock you over the head.  

No hidden agenda.

Simply superb tea!

Perfect for the office - or anywhere!



Palais Des Thés



Renowned French tea brand Palais des Thés introduces four new box sets, to accompany you throughout the entire day -- a sure-to-be-appreciated gift idea for family and friends, bosses and colleagues, teachers and neighbors, for the party hostess or holiday grab bag, the tea lover or tea novice! Or just treat yourself to a moment of relaxation:
For The Morning, try Palais des Thés’ brightly colored orange box of black teas, green teas and scented teas, ideal to rediscover the pleasure of a delicious breakfast, and to enjoy a moment for yourself before the day’s schedule takes over.
For The Brunch, the bright yellow box – like the sun on a beautiful morning – features a refreshing and diverse selection of black and green teas to perfectly complement any brunch style: festive or casual, Eastern or English, savory or sweet.
For The Office, pour yourself a cup from the sky blue box when you need to focus, shut out the hustle and bustle around you, or replenish after a long meeting. Composed of black Single Estate and flavored green teas, this box is a welcome addition on your desk, alongside your computer and favorite mug!
For The Evening, the South African rooibos caffeine-free selection from Palais des Thés is the answer to forget the stress of the day and prepare for a good night’s sleep. Packaged in a deep purple box and flavored with herbs and fragrant ingredients, it offers a palette of flavors that will induce the sweetest of dreams.
Each box contains six teas in the form of 48 handmade cotton tea bags, individually packaged in biodegradable sachets (eight bags of each tea). The box opens book-style and includes descriptions of each tea inside (96g-3.4oz box, $38).
The range is available online at http://us.palaisdesthes.com (for shipping to U.S. and Canada) and in both of the brand’s New York City boutiques: Upper West Side (194 Columbus Avenue) and SoHo (156 Prince Street). 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Jeremiah's Pick - Private Reserve



I have no idea why I kept passing over the Jeremiah's Pick in my specialty grocer.  For years.  I'd seen it on the shelf, but never thought of trying or reviewing it.

Maybe because I have preconceived and ill-informed notions of what grocery store coffee should be.  I know there are many micro-roasters that now offer their gourmet coffees in upscale supermarkets.  I just happen to be a person who expects to find and purchase gourmet coffees in coffee shops and at farmer's markets.  You know what they say about people with pre-conceived notions - they miss a lot.

Happy I didn't miss Jeremiah's Pick though.

I happened to spy their van in San Francisco last week and all of a sudden thought, "Why haven't you tried Jeremiah's?"  

I love the name.  I love that it's local.

So, thank you to the wonderful coffee peeps at Jeremiah's for hooking me up.

The first blend I sampled was the "Private Reserve."  Now, it's billed as a "dark roast."  But it doesn't taste like a dark roast to me.

It tastes like a medium roast with FULL body.  The taste, well, the taste I can't really articulate, except to tell you, it's SO good.  It tastes "fancy."  Goes down smooth, not a hint of acid and no after-taste.

I'm sure it would pair well with many different pastries, fruit or cheese, but I just drank it 'solo.'

So good, I've had it three days in a row.

First, second and third times were all charms.

Highly recommended.

Jeremiah's Pick Coffee Co.
1495 Evans Avenue
San Francisco, CA  94124
877-JEREMIAH

www.jeremiahspick.com

Certified Kosher by Vaad Hakashrus of Northern California



Disclosure:  (*Jeremiah's Pick provided me with free samples of the "Private Reserve" for the purposes of preparing this review.  I'm happy to say that it did not hinder my enjoyment one bit!)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Love in a Mug



For me, having a cup of coffee is more than just routine, it's a statement.  

A statement about who I am and what I like.  

This may sound strange, but every cup has meaning for me.  Sometimes it means that I'm really tired and need to wake up.  Sometimes it means I'm really happy and I want to "celebrate."  Often it means I'm enjoying great company.  Other times, I'm in deep thought, writing or focusing on a project at hand.

But on mornings like this, it means that I'm savoring the moment and thinking about how much friendship means to me.  

That's because, this morning, I'm drinking from the newest mug in my collection.  A butterfly mug from my BFF.  

Her mom, whom I loved dearly, passed away a few years ago.  She collected butterflies.  And when my friend presented me with this mug, it not only told me she knows I love coffee, it told me that she knows I loved her mom and value her friendship.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Coffee or Tea? Java Tea (R) Co - "The Activist"




When I first heard about this tea that's really coffee - or is it coffee that's really tea, my first thought was, "what a novel idea."

When Java Tea (R) Co sent me samples to try, I thought, "this is actually tea."  

When I brewed it, I realized, "I get it.  It's tea that gives you the rush of coffee."  Or, in the case of the first one I reviewed, it's tea that gives you the rush of coffee on steroids!

Caution - if you don't want a caffeine high, you don't want "The Activist."  But, if you're one of those people who loves a good rush, with a very unique flavor, you'll love it.

I sampled it in my office and the results were mixed.  

For some people, it was a little too much caffeine.   For others, the majority who tried it, and who like something different and exciting, their responses were, "it's sweet, but it's not," "it's soooo good," and "do you mind if I have another cup?"  Everyone loved the little blue sparkles.

Bottom line.  Quality product, good flavor and texture and geared toward "hipsters."  Hey, that's not a bad thing.  Hipsters are taking over the world!

(I brewed "The Activist" using a one cup tea maker.  Java Tea(R) Co recommends the moka pot for the best result.)


From Java Tea(R) Co:

"The Activist"

"Radical in every way. An Espresso style tea with an extreme boost of caffeine. For those unwilling to stay still. Do something."

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Donut House K-Cup - How Could I Have Missed This One?


I have to say that I haven't always given K-Cups(R) their proper due.

Perhaps, it's my "newish" Cuisinart Single Serve Brewer which makes them taste better, but I'm certainly enjoying the different varieties.

One that had escaped my attention until recently is the "Donut House Blend."  Maybe it was the packaging that made me think it was too "light" for my taste.  I couldn't have been more wrong

It's not one of those hit you over the head bold coffees, but more of a subtle, sneak up on you, before you know it the cup is half-gone flavor delivery.

The only thing that would make this morning's cup perfect is a glazed donut to "go with."

Available at Cross Country Cafe.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

PEET'S BRAZIL PEABERRY - Cutest Little Beans With the Biggest Best Taste!



I absolutely love Peaberry coffees*.  But it has to be the right roast, of course.

This one hits the mark.  It's so delicious that it's almost like having dessert in my cup.  

I've got a big old "peaberry grin" on my face as I'm writing this, just thinking about this wonderful limited-time offering from Peet's.

These cute little beans are proof that it isn't size that matters - it's quality.  And, of course, it's all in the roasting process.  Sometimes Peet's is a little too, how can I say, "roast-y" for my tastes, but I've noticed in the last couple of years, they've really stepped up their micro-lot game.


Like all good things, it won't last forever.  And if you don't live near a Peet's coffee, you can order online at:   www.peets.com

16.95 per pound

(*A "peaberry" is a small, round coffee bean that has unique taste characteristics and makes up only 2-4% of the harvest depending on the crop.)  Source:  Wikipedia

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Starbucks Anniversary Blend 2013 - A Very Good Year



When I look back on all the years I've enjoyed Starbucks Anniversary blend, for some reason, each year seems better than the last.  

I don't know if it's because I can't remember what the previous year's batch tasted like or because it gets better with time.

Whatever the case, 2013, is a banner year for this blend.  Maybe it has to do with the new packaging.  Perhaps it's a subconscious "better."  Nonetheless, it's darn good.

I wanted to wait until I bought the Anniversary Mug so that I could enjoy them as a pair - you know, new mug, new coffee.  But this week's budget didn't include buying new mugs and I thought I'd better grab it now.  Before it's gone.  That's the thing about anniversaries, they only come around once a year.

Bold and Sassy.  Just like I used to be - many "anniversaries" ago.

Get it while it's hot.  Get it?  While it's hot?  Actually, it's also good iced.  

14.95 for a one pound bag.  I bought an 8 ounce bag in the store for 7.95.



Happy Starbucks Anniversary 2013

Sunday, October 6, 2013

K-Cup Review: "Hang Loose" With Tully's Hawaiian Blend



The new and improved K-Cups(R) are making me lazy.  

Some days, I don't want to take the time to "pour over," "brew," "press," or "percolate."  I just want to drink a cup of coffee - stat.

So, I'm super excited when there's a new K-Cup(R) I haven't tried.

Today it was the Tully's Hawaiian.

I'm not going to embellish.  It didn't knock my lei off, but it did the trick.  It's a pleasant cup of medium roast coffee.


Smooth, mellow and subtly rich.

It only contains 10 percent Hawaiian coffee, so if you're expecting Kona-madness, this isn't it.  But if you want a nice mellow quick start to the day, it's certainly worth the price.  And convenience.

Available at Cross Country Cafe - my favorite 'e-cup-cafe.'