Monday, December 18, 2017

Exceptional Coffee - Exceptional Cause - Fonte Coffee's Limited Edition Holiday Blend

You already know how much I love Fonte Coffee.

But you may not know how much Fonte loves giving back.

When you purchased Fonte's Limited Edition Holiday Blend, 100% of the proceeds go to The Pike Market Child Care and Preschool.

Pay it forward while enjoying masterfully crafted coffee.

Fonte Coffee Roaster's 2017 Holiday Blend.

Do it for the children.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

La COLOMBE Peppermint Mocha Draft Latte(C)

How do they do it?!  

La Colombe is an excellently packaged, tastefully sophisticated, aptly labeled,  Peppermint Mocha – Draft Latte.

I thought I would steal a few moments during morning break to try out this new coffee drink, and boy was I surprised and rewarded.  I am what you would call a purist/minimalist, when It comes to my Java, so, I do maybe a dozen or fewer, mixed flavored drinks per year.  When I was asked to try this drink, I took it begrudgingly, to bury it in my office fridge until I found it again, amongst my straight-no-chaser cold brews.  

Today was the day and after reading the slim can over and over, I finally popped the top, leaving the lip guard in place, as suggested.  I took a sip and swallowed fast, just in case (you know) it wasn’t good.  Curiously, I took another sip and then another but had to slow down because I changed to a “savoring” mind set.  I was smitten.  Good stuff man!  

Beautifully blended, not heavy on the Peppermint, and I could actually taste the coffee; which is what I think you should taste in a coffee drink.  Okay, so now, I’m acting like my Peekapoo, walking with a limp and barking and looking for another piece of turkey under the table!  Where do I find MORE?!

(Reviewed by JRS)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Starbucks Mobile Ordering App Revisited

Remember, what I said a while back about how I felt that mobile ordering was ruining the coffee shop experience?

Well, forget about it.  I've had a change of heart.

Or, rather a change of schedule.

Now instead of seeing the mug as "half empty," it appears to be "half full."

It seems that when I make best use of my morning break time, the mobile ordering app is a lifesaver.  So easy to use and it's a breeze to run downstairs to Starbucks and pick up my Americano with a small splash of soy.  My new favorite.

However, when I'm out running errands on Saturday morning, and walk into a Starbucks location, I tend to get annoyed when the line is out the door because the baristas are preparing mobile orders for people who work weekends.

I just have to learn to be more patient.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Starbucks' 2017 Thanksgiving Blend Coffee - The Perfect Complement to Your Holiday Meal

2017.  It's a very good year for Starbucks Thanksgiving Blend.

Picked up a pound last week and plan to pick up another pound before Turkey Day.

A hearty blend of coffees from Guatemala Antigua and Sumatra.  Spicy, chocolate-y, herbal and delicious.

Get yours today before it's gone.

Limited Edition.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

I Spy with My Little Eye - A New Coffee Game in Town - Bluestone Lane Coffee San Francisco

Had to put on the brakes on my sneakers when I ran into this sign for Bluestone Lane Coffee.

I was at the end of my lunch hour, so I didn't get a chance to try it yet. 

However, what I could see from the doorway looked super cool.  And perhaps a tiny bit expensive.

But it's getting to be the holiday season and I need to treat myself.

Besides, avocado toast is my weakness.

More to come. . .

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Good Times with an Old Favorite - Catahoula Coffee Three Amigas Blend

I stopped drinking Catahoula Coffee a while back.  

There was no breakup or falling out, I just wanted to do something different.  Sometimes we think we need to do something different.

This weekend, I thought "I haven't had Catahoula in a really long time."  I drove to the shop and discovered the little "red roaster" was no longer there.  There was this spacious seating and people on laptops and even those with newspapers.  Yes, newspapers.

And there was so much coffee on the counter.  Bags and bags.  And immediately I saw all the names of old friends that I hadn't thought about in a very long time.  Lola, Butkus and some names I didn't recognize.

My first question to the barista was, "what happened to the roaster?"  He informed me that they roast next-door to give customers more room to spread out and enjoy all the wonderful coffees and pastries and treats.

My hand instinctively grabbed a bag of "Three Amigas" and I realized, "Make new friends but keep the old."

So happy to be reconnected with Catahoula.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Starbucks Holiday Cups are Here! You fill in the blanks

Every year, I say the same thing but honestly is it already holiday time?

When I ordered my coffee this morning, I was not expecting the new Starbucks holiday cups.  However, they are super cute.

This year you "color your own."  Nice way to show your creativity and release a little stress at the same time.

You know what this means?  The holiday coffee blends can't be far behind.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

What I'm Brewing: Dunkin' Donuts Coffee at Home


Yours truly ran out of the "good stuff."  It's true.  

The only "microroasted coffee" I had in the house was flavored.

So, I did what people have done for decades.  I picked up a bag of Dunkin' Donuts Dark Roast coffee at my local CVS.

Guess what?  It's delicious.  For the last three days, I've brewed a pot and my family didn't even notice that they were drinking good honest coffee for a super reasonable price.  It was on sale for 5.99 for the bag.

The morale of the story - it's not the price - but the product.

It's all good.

Highly recommended.

Dunkin' Donuts Dark Roast.  Delightful.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Starbucks Closes Shop Online - Starbucks (not) dot com

In an odd twist of the times, Starbucks has shuttered its online store.

I heard about it last week when I was out of town.  I can't remember if I was notified by email or read it on twitter.  Whatever, it was a surprising move.

To be honest, I've only recently began to accept the millenial way of life (meaning, never ever go into a brick and mortar store lest you are a dinosaur) and had recently begun spending a lot more online.

What makes it even more disappointing is that many of the items that were offered online are not offered in stores.

I'm hoping this means that Starbucks will return to days of old when you could find everything you ever wanted and more in the store - especially during holiday time.  There were years when I bought half my gifts from Starbucks.  

Just when you get used to a new concept, they turn around and change it up on you.

Good thing I drink a lot of coffee.  It helps to keep your eyes open.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Supreme Coffee at a Great Price - Cafe Bustelo

I was just surfing the web yesterday trying to decide which micro-roasted coffee to try next.

As it would happen, I became distracted and moved onto a bunch of other things before I had a chance to make a purchase.

While shopping for detergent in CVS, I stumbled into the coffee aisle (always looking for new coffee products) and the Cafe Bustelo Espresso Ground "yellow brick" caught my eye.  It was $5.99 for the 8 ounce brick and so I thought, "Well, you love their K-cups, why not try this?"

It was a great Sunday morning when I brewed up a pot of what turned out to be some of the best grocery store coffee I've ever had.

Good coffee doesn't always come in cafes, sometimes it's in your neighborhood supermarket.

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

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.