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

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.

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

Simple to make.  Simply delicious.