Sunday, June 23, 2013

Coffee a la Carte? Don't Mind if I Do. Capresso's New Single Serve Machine

The newest player in the single-serve game is one of my very favorite manufacturers - Jura Capresso.

Introducing the recently launched "Coffee a la Carte" which offers a choice of one cup or one pot from the same machine!

Full review coming soon!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

My Stars! Earn More Rewards at Starbucks!

My Starbucks Rewards™ to the grocery aisle. Look for specially marked bags of packaged coffee in the grocery store and follow the instructions to earn a Star.
1. Peel. After purchase, peel the sticker off of your Starbucks® coffee bag.
2. Enter. Log in to your account and enter the sticker's Star code to earn a Star.
3. Enjoy. It's that easy. You will be 1 Star closer to a free drink.
Each Star code entered earns you a Star toward free drinks and food at participating Starbucks. Learn more at

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Peet's Columbia Nabusimake - Limited Offering

I stumbled upon this delightful coffee on my way to the 
train the other evening.  

Walked by one of the Peet's that I don't normally 
frequent, and couldn't resist going inside to see what 
was new.

Found this Columbia Nabusimake coffee.  

The description which included "chocolatey" is what 
caught my eye.  That, and the fact that it's Fair Trade and 
Organic Certified.

Smooth and satisfying.  Get it while you can.

Colombia Nabusimake is available for a limited time. 

In the north of Colombia, on the steep slopes of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, is a small 

village named Nabusimake (Nah-boo si-Mah-keh). This name translates to “Birthplace of the 

Sun” and is the spiritual center of the Arhuaco people. These indigenous people seek a 

harmony and unity with nature, balancing their needs with those of the surrounding land. 

Theirs is a self-sufficient culture, growing their own food, running a school and cultivating 

this beautiful coffee. All of their sustainable practices have led to this coffee becoming both 

Fair Trade and Organic certified; a first for Peet's.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Coffee Versus Tea - A Guest Post

By:  Samantha Joyce 

This headline sounds more dramatic than it needs to be. Unlike Pie vs. Cake where pie is the clear winner, there is a time and a place for coffee and tea. Confusion arises from persistent global beverage stereotypes like: Americans only drink drip coffee, the UK drinks tea, Italians drink espresso and of course in France there is the ever-present French press. In the spirit of cooperation, I offer this community building advice on how to incorporate coffee AND tea into your daily routine.

The Coffee Drinker

This highly caffeinated persona operates under the sway of some false information. They believe tea doesn’t have enough caffeine (according to the Mayo Clinic a cup of black tea has 14-61mg while a shot of espresso has 40-75mg). On a hot day coffee drinkers may be persuaded to drink a glass of refreshing iced tea. Chances are they have not had hot tea brewed correctly and find it to be weak and flavorless.

Recommendation:  A Tea Education

Start with a bolder tea like China Breakfast, Earl Grey or a Pu-erh fermented style tea. These teas have upfront flavors that coffee drinkers will enjoy. Next, people tend to ignore the basic rules of brewing a good cup of tea. Remember the 3Ts: Tea, Temperature and Time. While all tea comes from the same plant Camellia sinensis, how it is processed differs and so the amount of tea you need to brew a cup differs. Look for specific instructions. A general rule of thumb is 1 tablespoon of tea per 8 ounces of hot water. Speaking of hot water, teas have different temperature needs or they become bitter to the taste. Most green teas are better at lower temperatures like 180F but a Pu-erh needs the kettle right off the boil at 212F. The last variable is time. Again it is good to consult tea packaging for specifics because tea steeping can vary from 2 minutes to 7 minutes. A common error is to over-steep the tea thinking it will make a stronger cup. If anything it could result in a bitter cup. Up the tea dosage but do not try to increase the steep time for a stronger cup. One great cup of tea may not be enough to convert a die-hard coffee drinker but it’s a start. Maybe even the start of an afternoon habit?

The Tea Drinker

Tea drinkers tend to have an openly negative reaction to coffee, where as coffee drinkers tend to keep their supposed superiority over tea drinkers to themselves.  Coffee is a harder sell to a staunch proponent of tea. Any argument regarding the health benefits, heavenly aroma or hearty taste of coffee are met with a ‘why bother’ attitude since tea still is #1 in their mind.

Recommendation: Third Wave Coffee

This is a growing trend where coffee is treated like a prized wine. The coffee’s exact location is pinpointed to a specific grower and the environmental factors and the chosen varietal are added to the nuanced flavor of the bean. It is then micro-roasted and handled with care until it reaches the consumer and enjoyed within the first two weeks of the roast date. When prepared using a careful pour over brewing method, this coffee is a delight to the taste buds for coffee OR tea lovers to enjoy.

Go With the Flow

There’s no reason to take sides in the Coffee Versus Tea battle when you can have it both ways. Good quality products and proper brewing methods make a difference in both coffee and tea. Try it! You will see that it is easy to appreciate the finer points of both.

Samantha Joyce is a writer for Seattle Coffee Gear and enjoys sharing her knowledge of all things coffee (and tea!)

Adagio Glass Teapot vs Pour Over Coffee Glass Handled Chemex photos by Seattle Coffee Gear and Samantha Joyce 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

"Coffee Lover's Review of the Cuisinart Single Serve Brewer

I find that Cuisinart has created an efficient and beautifully crafted single cup brewing machine.  

The machine's lines and blue backlighting remind me of Miami's art deco look on South Beach.  

The ease of operation along with the design allows me to daydream of vacation mornings and aperitif nights, as I have it my way anytime I chose.  The shape of the machine allows it to fit snugly and in flush symmetry to my other counter top appliances and overhead cabinet heights.  

The machine also has versatility of functions with capability to provide the Heat in 4, 6, 8, 10 or 12 oz options.  

Cuisinart can be proud that their Keurig Technology Brewing system is a solid and attractive offering among other machines in this brewing option.  

Should you decide to go with this machine, you can be confident that you will make it to the Finals.

Featured:  SS70 Model of the Cuisinart Single Serve Brewer

Perfect for both personal use and entertaining, this single-serve home-brewing system offers consumers fresh gourmet coffee, tea, hot cocoa and more in under one minute. Using Keurig K-Cups®—featuring over two hundred varieties of pre-measured, premium brand coffee and tea—this brewer’s innovative one-touch technology makes it easier than ever for consumers to enjoy a wide array of hot beverages. (from Cuisinart's website)

*Cuisinart provided me with a free single-serve brewer for the purposes of preparing this review.  It has in no way influenced my opinion nor diminished my enjoyment of this machine.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Starbucks Burundi Ngozi Reserve (TM) Coffee - Dark and Lovely

A package which is lovely to look at, 

a coffee bean delightful to behold,

brew it up and pour it in your mug,

simply "black gold."

I wrote that little ditty especially as an "ode to Starbucks Burundi Ngozi Reserve Coffee."

I'm not sure how I almost let this one slip by.  I hadn't even noticed it in my Clover store.  Thank the Coffee Gods for opening my eyes before it was all gone.

Black tea-like aroma and cinnamon spices with chocolate accents.
"This extraordinary coffee from the town of Ngozi in northern Burundi was delivered to us by Gashikanwa Specialty Coffee, a female-owned trading company in a male-dominated field that is helping to develop Burundi's specialty coffee industry while improving the lives of the farmers.
Currently, Gashikanwa Specialty Coffee works with more than 2,000 small farmers and approximately 700 of which are female farmers.
This special Starbucks Reserve® coffee is in very limited supply and only available at select stores." (from Starbucks website)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Philz Mint Mojito - An Iced Coffee Lover's Dream (A Guest Review)

I loved Philz' Mint Mojito from the first skeptical sip I took of the creamy minty caffeine libation.  

I have had a Peppermint Latte from another coffee house and was much unimpressed with the presentation and taste.  

But, when I received this drink, I was immediately impressed with the large sprig of mint that prominently peered at me from a marbled brown and white pool of liquid with large cubes of ice breaking the surface.  

I am not much for coffee drinks, I normally take mine black.  

This drink might change all that, if only for this one drink.  If you are a coffee lover, you must try this Philz Coffee creation.

(Reviewed by JR2)