Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Another First - My Very First Mobile Order from Starbucks!


Remember not too long ago when I was complaining that the mobile ordering system is ruining the coffee shop experience?

Well, I still think that's true.  But if you can't beat them. . .join them!

Today, I ordered my very first drink through the Starbucks app.  Nothing fancy.  Just an Americano.  But boy did I feel cool when I picked it up.

My usual barista gave me a thumbs up.  Maybe the mobile ordering doesn't bother the baristas as much as it bothers people like me who are not exactly millennials.

At any rate, it was easy and fun.  But I still miss the time that I spend in line checking twitter and social media and making new friends as we wait.

I won't be using the mobile app every day, but I am pretty sure this won't be my last time.

Monday, August 28, 2017

My First Affogato


I thought Monday might be a good day to try my very first Affogato.  

I know.  It's hard to believe that someone who loves coffee as much as I do, has never tried this coffee-based gelato dessert.  

Truth is, I love gelato.  I love coffee.  But enjoying them simultaneously seemed kinda weird.

You pour the espresso into your gelato.  Sort of like "putting the lime in the coconut and mixing it all together."

And while this one combined butterscotch and biscotti gelato with a steaming espresso, something tells me it wasn't as "authentic" as it should have been.

Which means, I have to begin my quest to find the best Affogato in my area.  And considering my office is pretty close to North Beach, that might be both possible and fun.


Monday, August 21, 2017

If you missed the solar eclipse, don't miss out on Starbucks' East Timor Tatamailau Coffee


I didn't actually see the eclipse from where I was, but I didn't miss out on Starbucks' East Timor Tatamailau Coffee.

And while this rare coffee might come around more often than an eclipse, it's still hard to get your hands on so don't miss it.

If you know me, you know that I love dark roast coffee.  This one has a hint of cocoa.  The packaging says "herbal notes," but I can't tell.  I'm drinking it too fast to notice.

To be honest, I would buy it based on the packaging alone.

Available for a limited time.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Teavana Perfect Tea Maker - Tea People Need Love Too


I know that I haven't shown as much love to tea drinkers on my blog.  So, after I heard the sad news this week that Starbucks is closing all of its Teavana stores, I thought it only appropriate that I dedicate this post to the tea lovers in the house.

I also thought it only appropriate that I replace the "Teavana Perfect Tea Maker" of my daughter's that I broke a couple of years ago.  I never really owned one of these but I sure enjoyed making tea in it.  Especially that spicy chai variety - the name escapes me.

And, oh how I love that German Rock Sugar that they sell in the Teavana stores.

Honestly, I'm going to miss all the free samples at the mall and chatting it up with the "tea experts" in the stores.

I was happy to hear that Starbucks will continue to carry Teavana tea products.  It seems like only a couple of years ago when I first got turned onto Teavana stores and now there will be no more.

At least I'll have the memories.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Travel Must Stop: Siphon Coffee, Houston, Texas




If you're a coffee lover, you must add Siphon Coffee in Houston to your list of "must try" coffee houses.

Siphon offers a cool coffee vibe, lots of seating, it's fun to watch the "siphoning coffee," and the service is a combination of "Hipster meets Southern Charm."

Summertime is hot so you might want to go for an iced version.  It's never too hot for me to drink coffee, so I opted for a hot cup.

I enjoyed it so much that I grabbed a bag of Houston's "Boomtown Coffee," to bring home.

All of the coffees they brew and sell are from Houston-area microroasters.

The third-wave has definitely made its way to Houston.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Fonté Coffee Espresso Reserve Blend



I'm not even going to pretend that Fonté coffee is anything less than exceptional.

I'm also not going to pretend to you that it's not on the expensive side.  It is.  No, it's not your $100 per pound variety, but it's not something that the Average Joe or Josie can enjoy all the time.

However, I do work hard and like to treat myself on special days.  Like Thursday.

This "signature" dark roast blend is one of my absolute favorites.

I keep thinking that if I stopped spending so much on coffee that maybe one day I could visit the Fonté Cafe in Seattle.

Until then, I'll indulge in moderation.

Order online at Fonté

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A Little Soul for Your Morning Cup - Philtered Soul from Philz Coffee


Since it's probably not a good idea to add a shot of rum to your morning mug (especially before work) why not add a touch of soul.  Philtered Soul from Philz Coffee.

These hazelnut delight is just what I need to boost my morning routine.  This week, I've added one heaping scoop to my regular dark roast brew (pick your favorite) and the result is - well, it's just soulful.

If you don't want the full-on flavored coffee taste, this is the perfect modification.

Check it out for yourself.  I think you'll be "soulfully surprised."

Philtered Soul from Philz

Friday, June 16, 2017

Saying Goodbye to my Favorite Barista - My neighborhood Peet's is closing


Breaking up is hard to do.

Especially when you're on a first-name basis with your barista.  Especially when he knows exactly what you want before you even order.

And most especially when he's warm, engaging, smart, funny and always in a good mood.

The Peet's near my office is closing down after 20 years.  That's a very long time.  And while I've only gone to this shop for a little over 5 years - that's a huge measurement in terms of cups of coffee.

And even though it's Friday, I'm more than a little sad that I just went in for the very last time.

On the bright side, I could get off one train stop early, add another ten minutes to my walk and meet my guy at his new Peet's location.

Who am I kidding?  I can never get that far ahead in the mornings.  Even with coffee.


Thursday, June 8, 2017

East Africa Meets Central America in Fonte Coffee's Bin 16 Blend


I'm celebrating Friday eve with one of my "private reserve" coffees. 

This stuff is for days when I deserve a little something extra-special.  

One of my favorites from Fonte Coffee in Seattle.  Although, it's sort of hard to come up with a favorite when they are all so good.

Besides it's cold and wet and it's June.  Which can only mean one thing - time for great coffee.

Fonte Bin 16.

17.00 for a twelve ounce bag of beans (and worth it)


Sunday, June 4, 2017

Is it too late for another Cofveve Joke? Politics with your Coffee - Take the Coffee Cup Bipartisan Challenge


Do you take politics with your coffee?

I'm willing to bet without citing any statistics at all, that many a candidate has been made (or broken) over coffee.

Even my local police invite you to "Coffee with a Cop."

Even though we've heard enough cofveve jokes to last a lifetime, or at least another four years, don't tell me the first thing that didn't come to your mind when you heard the word "cofveve" wasn't - what a great name for a coffee."

Dollars to donuts someone will do it.  If they haven't already.

But I'd like to challenge you to put your partisan politics aside and invite someone to coffee who has a completely opposite point of view from your own.

I know.  It's hard.  Trust me.  I know.  Recently had an encounter with a building contractor which made me think.  Really hard.  I wasn't sure that we would ever agree on the current political climate.  In fact, I'm pretty sure we wouldn't.  However, one thing that I'm sure we could agree on is that we both love coffee.  Good coffee.

I know that coffee can't solve all the world's problems, but I bet you that if we took a 30 minute coffee break with that person we can never agree on anything with, we'd agree that coffee has no party.  It's just a great way to connect.

Something to "mug" about.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Trying to get over the hump with a little help from Blue Bottle Hayes Valley Espresso Blend


I don't drink Blue Bottle coffee much.  I like it.  But it's so popular that it's really hard to get into the door, let alone make it up to the counter.

But, hey, it's Wednesday.  Who says you can only treat yourself on Thursday?

I stayed the course and stood stood.  Now I'm enjoying a nice cup of one of San Francisco's best-loved blends - Blue Bottle's Hayes Valley Espresso.

Because it's better to get over the hump than fall under it.  Coffee helps.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Café Bustelo K-Cups - French Press Taste with Keurig Convenience


I was in Miami a couple of months ago and got hooked on Café Bustelo K-Cups.

When I returned home, I couldn't stop thinking about the robust flavor of espresso from the tiny little single serve.  I thought, "Maybe it was because I was in Miami and the Cuban infusion is jading my impression."

So, I brewed a cup from Cross Country Café this morning.

It wasn't my imagination.  It's the coffee.  

Strong, rich espresso flavor at the touch of a button.

Find out for yourself.  Café Bustelo K-Cups are available in stores and online at Cross Country Café.


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Mobile Ordering is Ruining the Coffee Shop Experience - Starbucks, are you listening?


I did not understand why it took so long to get my order from the Starbucks at the bottom of my building.  

They always have plenty of baristas.  In fact, they almost appear to be running over each other.  I make an effort to go during "off-times" to avoid the early morning crowd, but it just seems to take an unusually long time to get my pastry or breakfast sandwich.

And then last week, I ran into two of my co-workers.  I was patiently (okay, losing patience) waiting for my order to be prepared and they walked right up and snatched their orders from the counter.  What was happening?  Did they have an "in" at Starbucks?

They did.  And it's called "mobile ordering."  And the long-term effects of this new "mobile ordering system" are ruining the coffee shop experience.  In my opinion.  

It happened again yesterday.  Saturday morning.  No long lines yet a 15 minute wait for a mocha.

I'm all for technology and changing times, but the mobile ordering is making a great day for those who are just too busy to bother with standing in line or detaching from their phones long enough to stand in line and take a chance on making a new friend or interacting with a barista.

No offense to the millennials (or Starbucks) but there's something very wrong with a system that leaves me with a good cup of coffee and a very bad attitude.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Café Bristol Coffee - Santa Francisca Romana Estate


When I received my bag of Café Bristol coffee, my initial reaction was "nice packaging."

When I opened it and poured out the beans, I thought, "they look a little dry."

So, I wasn't expecting much when I ground up the beans and brewed a pot.

With little to no enthusiasm, I poured myself a cup, added some raw sugar and non-fat milk, let it sit for about two minutes and took my first sip.

With a "biased" mind, I thought, "okay, it's coffee."

To my surprise, by the time I reached the bottom of the cup, I had to admit this is really good coffee.  It really is good.

Fast forward to the second day and I'm enjoying another cup.

The moral of the story:  Don't be fooled by looks.  It's what's inside that counts.

Order directly at: 


or on Amazon

*Cafe Bristol provided me with a free bag of coffee beans for the purposes of preparing this review.  Views expressed are my own.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Coffee for Good Friday! Fonté Viennese Blend


In my never ending quest for the best Viennese blend coffee (and Viennese is not an easy blend to find), I've stumbled upon this delightful blend from Fonté Coffee Roasters in Seattle.

A blend of Central and South American coffees similar to French Roast but not quite as "smokey."  The perfect balance of dark, spicy and delicious.

$13.50 for a twelve ounce bag and worth every penny.




Sunday, April 2, 2017

To Thomas, the Starbucks Barista, with love for the Clover with Care


To be perfectly honest, in this world of fast technology and everything being ready now - or even before you order - I can sincerely appreciate it when someone takes the time to make sure that my caffeine is carefully crafted.

And that's why my post today is all about Thomas.  Thomas, the wonderfully gifted, incredibly patient, Starbucks barista  in Oakland.

I've had my share of Clover coffees.  And to be honest, some of the results have made me stop ordering a Clover.  Why bother when it's rushed and it's just not that "extra special" cup of coffee.

I came in after the "12 o'clock hour" cutoff for a "dark" roast Verona, and Thomas didn't blink twice.  He just went over to the Clover and did his thing!  And he did it so well.

I didn't stop until I'd savored every last sip in my tall cup.

Dear Thomas:  Thank you for making my weekend special. Starbucks is very lucky to have you and so are the customers.

Friday, March 24, 2017

If Starbucks can get their spring wardrobe together, maybe there's hope for me


Funny how something as small as the color of a coffee cup can make you want to update your personal wardrobe.

That's what happened to me when the Starbucks barista handed me this minty green cup with my tall roast coffee today.

I thought, "Wow, change is good.  So why am I still wearing all black?"

So, if the sun peeks through the rain and clouds this weekend, I promised myself I would go out and purchase one item of bright colored clothing.

If a new pastel blouse can pick me up like a pastel paper cup, maybe my attitude will "perk" up.

Get it?  Perk up.

Cheers to the weekend.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Starbucks Single Origin Sun-Dried Ethiopian Coffee



I can truthfully say that I would not have made it through the first week of "Daylight Savings Time" without this coffee.

The bold aroma gets me up and the rich, deep taste keeps me going.

This has been a two cup a day effort on my part.

Happy to say I've made it to Friday.  Couldn't have done it without Starbucks Single Origin Sun-Dried Ethiopia Sidamo.

Cheers to the weekend!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

I'm A Little Teapot. . .Really, I'm a little teapot! Capresso Mini-Kettle





Whistle while you work.  Sort of.

This new Electric Mini-Kettle from Capresso is perfect for home and work.  

Small office?  No problem.  

No office?  No problem.  

This little guy gets in where it fits in.  Literally.

Works just like the big guys but takes up a fraction of the space while delivering hot water at the speed of sound.


It's tea-time from Capresso!

Features and Benefits

  • 16-oz capacity is perfect for small kitchens, offices, and travel
  • Eliminates water waste by boiling only what you need
  • Micro filter spout traps any particles before they reach the cup ensuring the purest serving
  • Illuminated indicator light shows when kettle is heating
  • Water level window with ounce markings for easy filling
  • Cool-touch handle and drip free pouring design
  • Heat-resistant base sits safely on any surface
  • Concealed low-noise heating element
  • Dry boil protection
  • Safety auto shut-off and thermal cut-off
  • Cord clip makes it easy to wrap and store the cord when not in use or traveling

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

I'm not giving up coffee for Lent



I'm not giving up coffee for Lent.  Aside from the fact, that I don't want to set myself up for failure, I don't really think that's what the Season is all about.

And after hearing today's sermon at Mass, I might be onto something.

Don't get me wrong.  Reflection and prayer is a good thing in my book.  

However, I think it's more important to try to challenge ourselves to look inward for the next 40 days to see how we might be better people in word and deed.

I will try to gossip less - I said "try," - and I will try to avoid conflict and strife.

And for someone who's pretty much always hyped on coffee, those can be difficult tasks.

One more thing - I'm going to try to make time to have coffee with an old friend.

It's not about what you give up.  More about what and who you let in.

Peace and Blessings.

Happy Lent!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Coffee is my love language - Currently speaking "Fonté Amore


Is it fair for me to tell you about an amazing blend of coffee if it's no longer available?

I was so busy basking in the glory of my Valentine's Day gift to myself, that I forgot to share it with you, my closest friends.

It's Fonté Amore Blend.  Specially roasted for St. Valentine's Day by Seattle's Fonté Coffee.

Dark, delicious, smooth, rich - just the way I like it.

My bag is now empty but Fonté is full of other great blends of coffee.  You're sure to find one that suits you perfectly.

If you're not near their café in Seattle, don't worry, you can order online at Fonte.com.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Peet's Coffee Power Couple for a Rainy Day - Oatmeal and an Americano



It's raining today and I wanted to do something different for breakfast.

So, instead of going downstairs to the other major coffee chain, which would have been the easiest, I decided to walk a little further and venture out into the elements for something that would make my trip worthwhile.

A creamy cup of Peet's Simply Oatmeal (with the dried blueberries that I love so much) and instead of opting for my normal "tall drip," I made it an Americano.

On days like today, you have to force yourself to smile.  And what puts a smile on your face faster than hot oatmeal on a cold day and a steaming cup of strong (but not too strong) coffee?

Rainy days don't have to get you down.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Another Favorite Time of the Year that comes After the Most Favorite Time of Year - Starbucks Guatemala Casi Cielo


I can't lie.  I have many favorite coffees.

But one of the my very favorites that I wait for in anticipation is the Starbucks Guatemala Casa Cielo* which arrives between Christmas and Valentine's Day.

I wanted to "stage" the bag and show you how I'm brewing it these days (K-Cups, French Press, Chemex and Automatic Drip), but I figure that you already know how to do all those things.

And if a picture is worth a thousand words, Casi Cielo is worth a thousand sips.

So, here's to a Starbucks Original - and "Tasty Tuesday."

*Limited Offering 


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Sunday Coffee Vibes with Four Barrel - Say Hello to my Little "Friendo Blendo" Espresso


It's been a long time since I've blogged about Four Barrel Coffee.

Not because it's not amazing coffee.  It just hasn't come across my mug.  Shame on me.

Thank God for good friends who know what you like and give you great coffee presents.  

Friendo Blendo is composed of Ethiopa Hunda Oli, Guatemala La Colina and Rwanda Muhororo.

Sort of sweet, a little fragrant.  All-around delightful.

Make new friends, but keep the old.  Four Barrel.  It's been a long time.

So happy to reconnect.

Friendo Blendo.  $17.50 for a 12 ounce bag.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Coffee Is My Comfort Zone



Some people use the cliche, "to know me is to love me."  My motto is "To know that I love coffee is to love me."

Today I received the most exciting holiday gift.  Yes, it's post-holiday, I know.  But that's really not the point.  The point is that not only did someone think enough of me to honor me with a gift.  It was the gift of coffee.

A trio of the most exciting blends I've seen this year.  True statement.  I can't wait to write about them.  Another post for another day.

But today, I was reminded of how many wonderful people I've connected with over coffee, how many bright (and not so bright) ideas I've come up with while drinking coffee and just how much joy coffee brings to my life.

It might sound corny to some.  But if you know me, it's just right.

It's going to be a great coffee year.  I feel it in my mug.