Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Who Knew? Multi-Purpose Pasta

Where have I been?  

How is it that, I,  "lover of all things coffee and coffee-related," did not know that pasta is now being used as a biodegradable, earth friendly form of stirrer?

I went into my local micro-roaster for a bag of delicious-ness, also known as Mocha Java, and was offered a free cup with my purchase.  I said, "Sure!"

I walked over to the bar to add my one packet of raw sugar and a tiny splash of fat-free milk,  reached over for a stir-stick and was surprised to find that there weren't any.

I noticed a cup with long sticks of something - maybe 'honey in a straw?'  

Not wanting to show my ignorance, I hesitated to ask what the heck it was.  Finally, not seeing any spoons, I said to another customer at the bar, "Is this a stirrer?"  He said, "Yes, it's (something which I didn't catch and couldn't pronounce).  So, I proceeded to stir my coffee.

Finally, as I walked out of the shop, I stopped and turned to the barista and said, "These stirrers - they look like pasta.  What are they called?"

To which, the barista replied, "fettucini."

I was worried that it would make my coffee taste like pasta.  Which I guess is better than the alternative - which would be to have my pasta taste like coffee.  Seems to do the job.

What will they think of next?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Half-Caff - Full Flavor

A big "shout out" to Cross Country Cafe, for sending me the "Half-Caff" K-Cup (R) from Green Mountain Coffee.

I'm NOT a fan of decaf.  I repeat.  I am NOT a fan of decaf.  But this isn't decaf.  It's half-caff.

I've been burning the midnight oil this week and I wanted to be able to complete my evening tasks without staying awake all night.  Hence, I thought it would be a good time to check out the "Half-Caff."

I was pleasantly surprised.  Not only does this K-Cup have the great flavor I've come to expect from Green Mountain Coffee, it's only got half the caffeine.  That makes it perfect for that late night cup.

Honestly, if I didn't know better, from the flavor, I'd swear it's the "real thing."

Well, I mean, it is the real thing,  it's just not "fully-loaded," which is wonderful when I only need to be half-awake.

Make sense?  Probably not.

I better go make a pot of fully-charged java before I write any more posts.

Anyway, check it out at:


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Like Water, For Coffee - Short Video featuring Jeremy Tooker of Four Barrel Coffee

This short video profiles Jeremy Tooker from Four Barrel Coffee in San Francisco. 

It's from MAVEA's "My Water. My Life." mini documentary series.

Four Barrel is awesome coffee and they serve Dynamo Donuts.  Doesn't get much better.

Four Barrel Coffee

375 Valencia Street  

San Francisco, CA 94103

(415) 252-0800


Get a free tea sample from Bigelow Tea in celebration of Hot Tea Month!  Details below:

"Yes, you heard us correctly! “Like” us on Facebook ( and click on the FREE SAMPLE box just below our cover image so you can get your free tea sample in our retro foil and a .55 cents coupon off one box of Bigelow Tea. The free tea sample promotion is good until supplies last and we expect our 25,000 samples to go quickly so hurry on over and fill out our form and then let’s talk tea! Be sure to enter via your computer and not your mobile device. Good luck!" (from Bigelow)

Monday, January 21, 2013

KA'U from Starbucks Reserve

It's Complicated.  

That's pretty much how I would describe this Starbuck's Reserve Ka'u.  At 25.00 bucks for an 8 ounce bag of beans, it's expensive.  But, I had a gift card left over from the holidays and decided to treat myself.

I won't try to elaborate and explain the flavors or notes, or get all "technical," but it is extremely good coffee with no bitter after-taste, at all.  

Definitely for a "special occasion," but it's Inauguration Day and the MLK Holiday - doesn't get more special than that.

The Ka’u region, which borders Kona on the island of Hawaii, has been recognized for its award-winning coffee and is home to these beans, cultivated on the slopes of Mauna Loa.
The delicate tropical flavors captivated our buyers beyond expectation, leaving no doubt that we had to share this rare sip. Handpicked and processed in small batches by family farmers devoted to Hawaiian tradition, this coffee is the latest wonder from paradise.
This special Starbucks Reserve® coffee is in very limited supply and only available at select stores.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

From Able Brewing and Sprudge

Able Brewing Equipment, Inc
Hello everyone! We have teamed up with Sprudge to bring this fun contest. Details are below. Happy Brewing! - Able

Here ye, here ye, specialty coffee enthusiasts: a contest is afoot! The geniuses behind Able Brewing and the KONE metal brew filter are about to engage the public in a community event so fantastic, so outrageous, with such remarkable prizes, that we’re nearly bursting Xtreme Xcitement over our privilege to bring you this news.
Able needs help finding the perfect KONE brew recipe. They like to know how the community is using their products, but more importantly, they need the perfect recipe to include on the KONE’s all-new packaging makeover, due out later this year. They’re turning to the specialty coffee community to source this recipe, and well…what they’re giving back to the community in return is pretty extraordinary.
Contestants will submit a recipe in text format via Instagram. Alongside that recipe you must provide a photo of Kone brewing that is extreme, creative, and extremely creative. Brew a Kone atop the Empire State Building, or heat up some water on the L Train. Rock a Kone at the Grand Canyon, or while watching a trailer for “The Canyons”. The format is open – make the photos wild, wacky, and unforgettable, but back them up with air-tight dorkproof recipes for brewing success. This contest makes you use your coffee brain while remembering that life is ridiculous and awesome, and so is coffee.
All entries should be submitted via Instagram, tagged #XtremeKone by January 31. If you don’t have Instagram, that’s totally okay! Email your submissions to, and we’ll add them to the eligible entries.
After February 1st the entries will be judged by the staff of Able Brewing and A top three will be chosen, all of whom will receive a Gold Kone, Baratza Virtuoso and Esatto Scale combo, ceramic KONE Brewing System, Hario Brewing scale, and Fino kettle.
The grand prize winner will receive roundtrip flights to Portland, OR, two nights at the fabulous Ace Hotel, $1000 cash, and an unforgettable all expenses paid night out on the town with the Able crew and your editors! You’ll visit cafes, see the sites, and film a sure-to-be-Xtreme KONE brewing video at the Able Brewing skunkworks in fabulous North Portland.
The #XtremeKone Contest is limited to North American entries only. Contest kicks off on January 16th, and ends January 31st.
Come up with a good KONE recipe, take a totally Xtreme photo of yourself brewing with the KONE (think late-90′s Mountain Dew commercials), and you could win $1000 cash, an unforgettable trip to Portland, a chance to go carousing around the Rose City with Able and Sprudge. It’s a once in a lifetime contest barnstorm and we’re just hot as biscuits about the whole thing!
Start brewing!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


7-Eleven’s Darkest Before Dawn or Anytime
Retailer launches darkest Brazilian roast coffee
with mid-week $1 any-size offer

DALLAS (Jan. 15, 2013) – To encourage coffee-lovers to try its latest, darkest roast coffee, 7-Eleven, Inc. is holding Dollar Coffee Wednesdays this month, when every size cup of coffee will cost just $1.  The new Brazilian Dark Roast is the leading convenience retailer’s richest, most full-bodied coffee to date.
 Made from 100 percent Arabica beans, this premium blend starts with mountain-grown coffees from Southwestern Brazil, then is roasted dark to create a rich and full-bodied taste.    
“We take great measures to ensure that our coffee is of the highest quality,” said Laura Gordon, vice president of brand innovation for 7-Eleven. “Every batch is tested by ‘Master Tasters’ to make sure 7-Eleven’s coffee offers premium taste, texture and aroma. The Brazilian Dark Roast is another example of 7-Eleven delivering high-quality roasted coffee at a value price to its guests.”
During $1 Coffee Wednesdays in January, guests may try the new premium dark roast or create their favorite coffee creation in any –size of cup. The dollar coffee deal is valid all day every Wednesday in January at participating 7-Eleven® stores nationwide.  All the coffee condiments choices – sweeteners, flavors and toppings – are included in this price.
7-Eleven was the first U.S. retailer to offer fresh-brewed coffee in to-go cups back in the mid-1960s. It proved an immediate success. Customers liked fixing their coffee the way they wanted it – choosing cup size, regular or decaffeinated, and adding sweeteners and creamers to suit their tastes. Today, 7-Eleven sells more fresh-brewed coffee than anything else – 1 million cups per day.

About 7-Eleven, Inc.
7-Eleven, Inc. is the premier name and largest chain in the convenience retailing industry. Based in Dallas, Texas, 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses more than 9,700 7-Eleven® stores in North America. Globally, there are some 49,000 7-Eleven stores in 16 countries. During 2011, 7-Eleven stores worldwide generated total sales close to $76.6 billion. 7-Eleven has been honored by a number of companies and organizations recently. Accolades include: #2 on Forbes magazine’s 2011 list of Top Franchises for the Money; #3 spot on Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 list for 2012, #3 in Forbes magazine’s Top 20 Franchises to Start, and #2 in Franchise Times Top 200 Franchise Companies. Hispanic Magazine named 7-Eleven among its Hispanic Corporate Top 100 Companies that provide the most opportunities to Hispanics. 7-Eleven received the 2010 Retailer of the Year honor from PL Buyer because of the company's private-label brand initiative. 7-Eleven is franchising its stores in the U.S. and expanding through organic growth, acquisitions and its Business Conversion Program. Find out more online at

Saturday, January 12, 2013

K-Cup Review: Green Mountain's "Lake and Lodge"

It's Saturday morning and I'm playing pretend.  I'm pretending I'm on vacation.  

I don't have anywhere that I absolutely have to be for two days.  So, why not make the best of it?

Instead of brewing a whole pot of coffee, I'm taking it easy with the Keurig Brewer and the K-Cup "Lake and Lodge" blend by Green Mountain Coffee.

It's described as a "West Coast Blend," and its dark roast and smooth flavor is especially enjoyable on a lazy morning.  

I don't like ratings, but on the K-cup meter, I would give it four K's out of five.

I may not actually be at the "Lake and Lodge," but my coffee cup thinks it is.

Available from Cross Country Cafe.

Phone: 1-888-774-6939

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

An Ode to Oatmeal

You could say I'm on a Starbucks roll - I guess.  This will be my third Starbucks-related post in a week. 

Anyway, I couldn't find the new Starbucks oatmeal at any of the locations near my work, so I asked a trusted friend to find it and bring me back the results.  And here's the review!

So, I went into Starbucks moments ago and inquired about a new Oatmeal combination that is now being offered.  She said “so you want to try the new ingredients?” I said yes, and saw that she turned to a row of neatly packaged bags in a row tagged “new.”  This made me know that Starbucks was indeed marketing a new “combo” of ingredients for their same Oatmeal.  I do think it is the same Oatmeal but I notice that the cup/container they put it in has also undergone a facelift.  I always get my oatmeal “dry” because I like to add my own water to get my favored consistency. 

I dumped all of the new ingredients in; fruit, nut & seed medley, fresh blueberries, and organic Blue Agave syrup.  The fruit nut & seed medley is not what I am used to since it didn’t have my beloved walnuts and it contained these green seeds – not pretty.  The blueberries were fresh and chilled – loved that! The Blue Agave syrup was sweet and went on first and melted nicely into the oatmeal.  Stirring in the mixture wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  My first mouthful was tentative and discerning for the taste being too bland and it was quickly followed by a second heaping teaspoonful.

My take is that the New Oatmeal is a less sweet (Agave) and less fatty (my walnuts) but countered by fresh blueberries (fresh) and a fruit & nut medley (bland). 

If I could pick and choose my select ingredients, I would request the Agave, old nut blend and the fresh blueberries. When in a rush for Oatmeal, I still think Starbucks does it best.
(Reviewed by JRS)

Monday, January 7, 2013



If you missed the cute gold Starbucks wrapper  for your coffee cup at Christmas, do not despair. I've got you covered.  Get it?  Covered.  (tee-hee)

Anyway, email me below and I will randomly select one winner to receive a free "gold coffee cozy."  IMO it's better than a beer cozy.

Bring in the New Year in style!

Email me 

Drawing ends Friday, January 11, 2012 at 8 p.m. EST

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Mug Adoption

Out with the old, in with the new.  That's what the New Year brings.

However, it's easier said than done.  It's often hard to part with old possessions, especially when it comes to coffee mugs.  They all have their own special story.  They remind us of where they were purchased, or who gave them to us, and how valuable they may be - whether monetarily or sentimentally.

I'm thinking this is the year that I need to part with a few.  I've run out of space in my kitchen cabinets, my mug tree is full and the china cabinet is starting to hold a lot more than china these days.

So, what to do with them?  I'm thinking that I need to find good homes for some of them.  It's hard to decide which ones to let go, but, it's easier when you think of them bringing pleasure to someone else.

Which is why, I'm planning to clear out the cabinets this month.  

I thought the Rescue Mission might be a good place to take them.  There are always families in transition there and unlike the local soup kitchen, they don't only use paper cups.  The families are actually living there, if only temporarily, and a cheery mug might help make things a little brighter.

Sure it's a small gesture and it might sound silly, but beauty is always in the eye of the beholder - or in this case - beauty is in the eye of the mug holder.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Last Call - Win An 8 Ounce Bag of Starbucks Christmas Blend

If you're like me, you want to take the holidays into extra innings.  At least, the holiday coffees.

You can win a free 8 ounce bag of Starbucks Christmas Blend (whole bean coffee).

Email me  

Feel free to include any comments or suggestions for the blog.

It's my way of saying "Thank You" and "Every Day Should Be Like Christmas"

Good Luck!


(*Contest ends 5 p.m. EST Friday, January 11, 2013)