October 31, 2007

Cafe Gioia Decaf Quick Pick

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Caffe Gioia is made by Labcaffe, and is "based on a deep passion for coffee," according to their website. They are certainly concerned with quality, having achieved ISO 90001 certification for their manufacturing facility. I found their coffee available in regular and decaf ESE Espresso pod varieties.

Caffe Gioia Classico "White" (Decaf) - I picked up the Caffe Gioia Classico "White" pods for this review. The aroma is clean but not overpowering. The flavor profile is dominated by the tnagy acid flavor, with hints of smokiness. The body is full, but at the expense of the acidity a bit, not the most well rounded cup I have ever tasted.

These ESE Espresso pods are made to be used in popular makers like the Breville Café Roma, the Krups XP4050, and the DeLonghi EC155 espresso machines; all have the ability to use ESE Espresso pods.

Available at Pod Merchant.

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October 27, 2007

HUGE Espresso Machine Sale

There is a huge espresso machine sale going on right now at Amazon; up to 25% off a few dozen machines. This sale reaches from the $49 Krups FND111 Steam driven machine, to the $99 Delonghi EC155 pump driven machine all the way up to the Jura Capresso Impressa F9 fully automatic Coffee and Espresso center.

This might just be incentive enough to pick up early holiday presents and knock those items off the shopping lists. Remember; free shipping on these items too!

Check out all the machines at Huge Amazon Espresso Machine Sale - up to 25% off

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October 26, 2007

Quick Pick: Timothy's Midnight Magic K-Cups

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A quick K-cup pick heading into the weekend this weekend is the Timothy’s Midnight Magic K-cups. The Midnight Magic blend is a dark roasted coffee that has a spicy flavor; with a mild sweetness and a fairly powerful punch. In our
Keurig B70 brewer brewer I tend to brew these on the small cup setting and brew a couple at a time to get a very full large mug of coffee in the mornings when I am not brewing up espresso. Life’s busy, not much time in the morning, and I always get freshly brewed coffee with the Keurig.

A Two-pack of 25 K-cups each for $20 - special now on shutterfly cards - through 10/31.

At Timothy's Midnight Magic K-Cups

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October 25, 2007

Fantini Decaf ESE Pod Review

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Thought I would start playing around with decafs as a lot of readers are asking for a few ideas on decaf pods to try out. I ordered the Fantini Decaf ESE Pods up and

have been enjoying even more espresso later into the night and am still able to sleep without issue, waking to a fresh caffeinated shot in the morning.

The Fantini company started roasting coffee in the 1960's in Rome and these days they deliver coffee to more than 10,000 espresso bars around the country and around the world. Their new plant, built to ISO 9002.2000 standards for quality and care. The new plant location is about 12 miles south of Rome.

I've been pulling a few of these over several nights and have enjoyed them a good bit. The aroma is good, but not overwhelming like a freshly ground whole bean. In the cup, the crema is nice and full but again, it's not as voluptuous as a freshly ground set of freshly roasted coffee beans. It's not bad and covers the cup giving you a nice pillow of foam.

The roast is dark, and as a result the flavor is spicy, peppery with some chocolately flavors mixed in. It's moderately acidic, and has a finish that is fairly full bodied, but with some sharp pungent notes that stick out. It is by no means a bad espresso, and with the kind of treatment that decaffeination does for a bean, it's good to see these flavors.

The Fantini Decaf Pods are available at Selecto

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October 24, 2007

City Mugs

BostonMug.jpgStarbucks has some city specific collectors mugs out that highlight some of the best coffee drinking cities in the country…. Or some of the largest Starbucks markets where they think they can sell a bunch of mugs. Of course, if anyone wants to buy me a set of four, you can send me the Boston Mugs. The skylines are depicted in an architectural style with a nickname below.

The mugs are available in the following versions: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Orange County, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, Washington DC.

More at City Mugs

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October 23, 2007

Ascaso DR.116 Dream Espresso Machine

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The Dream Versatile espresso and cappuccino machine is a solidly built pump driven espresso machine that might just be the espresso machine of your dreams. The Retro look covers the modern capabilities of the machine.

It is able to brew from both ESE pods and ground coffee utilizing two different brass filter holder. The 44-ounce water reservoir feeds the 16-bar pump that flows through a 900-watt heater to deliver brew temperature water to the grounds. I like the fact that the boiler and piping are brass, and that the operation is classic; thermometer dial, and easy flip switches. It has a steam wand that is driven by its own thermostat, and is controlled with a dial.

The Ascaso DR.116 Dream Espresso Machine is available at Starbucks and Amazon.

The Asco DR.116 Dream Machine is also available in more than TEN Other Colors at Amazon

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October 22, 2007

La Pavoni 8-cup Chrome Espresso EPC-8 Machine

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Interested in a little classic expression of the Espresso roots? Well, a manual, lever style machine may just be what you want to pull your espresso shots. This La Pavoni 8-cup Chrome espresso machine will boil your water for you, but you do the rest. The heavily chromed beauty allows you to tamp your ground espresso, and then hand pull the heated water through the ground coffee puck. Classically designed. The machine is 12 by 7 inches in size (with the handle lowered) and comes with a tamper, screen, screen holder, measuring ladle, and cappuccino attachment, as well as complete operating instructions and a ten-minute video.

At La Pavoni 8-cup Chrome Espresso EPC-8 Machine

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October 19, 2007

Lavazza Crema & Aroma

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Here's a deal for the weekend (actually now through 10/31), order up 3 bags of this Lavazza Crema & Aroma, and save $20! Each 1 kilo bag (2.2 pounds) is a blend of Central American and South American Arabicas and African Robustas.

This deal is pretty good: 6.6 pounds for $52 - $20 = $32, or less than $5 per pound of this espresso blend.

Enter the code: LAVAZZA8 code at checkout.

Lavazza Crema & Aroma at Amazon

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October 18, 2007

North vs. South - the Great Italian Espresso Wars

Did you hear about the great Italian Civil War, or rather the battle of the Northern Italian Blends vs. the Southern Italian blends? Well over at CoffeeGeek.com you need to read all about it. The battle included entries from Italy and then Northern and Southern style blends that were roasted here in North America. The methodology is pretty well laid out, I like it, and the details long, so settle in for a good read.

The net takeaway is that a highly skilled blender and roaster here can beat the pants off a commercial blend from Italy. It all comes down to freshness. It’s tough though if you don’t have a world-class roaster down the street from you, so it’s not always easy to take advantage of the 6,000-mile difference between locally roasted coffee and those from Italy. Now several of the North American blends can be mail-ordered, or in the case of the Allegro, you can get it at your local Whole Foods.

As you read the article, remember that these are ratings by judges, and while they are rating the overall quality of the cup, these blends and roasts might not be the kind of coffee you like; so even if something was rated the best in the world, you may think it too dark for your tastes. I would encourage you to get to know what you like and then seek out examples of that style, roast, body, etc. and strive to get better and better examples of that style.

Check out CoffeeGeek.com for the whole run-down.

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October 16, 2007

Coke and Illy Ink Deal

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Word out that Coke and Illy have inked a deal to develop coffee drinks. This on the heels of Coke and Caribou doing the same thing.... So, if you were keeping score, it's Pepsi and Starbucks peppering the market with cans of iced coffee, double shot espressos and those bottles of cold frappuccinos, while Coke has their Caribou coffee in test market. Hummmm, it looks like Coke hasn't figured out how to make their famous Georgia coffee business from Japan work here.

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October 15, 2007

Old World Cafe Style Espresso Machines for Home

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So, if you are looking for that Euro café feel at home, you can always try out one of these in your house; the Mini Verticale Elektra espresso makers are pure Euro eye candy. Not everyone can get one of these to fit in on their countertops, but if you have the need, the desire, the space and a few grand, you are there.

They come in metal, brass and copper finishes, so that you can emulate that café of your dreams.

Via Slippery Brick

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October 10, 2007

Illy house in a Shipping Container

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Well, it may not be the home of your dreams, but with the recent hurricanes in the US, people are looking for new and innovative ways to get housing to areas that are compact, easy to ship and well designed. The Illy sponsored Quik House by Adam Kalkin is a great concept that offers a few ideas on how to get a few essentials installed on the backbone of the ultra-modern drab seatainer. Very cool.

More at Gizmodo

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October 9, 2007

Typhoon Red Moka Pot

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Need to make a statement with that moka pot sitting on the counter top? Well the Typhoon Red Moka Pot may just be the bright “Good Morning” wake-up call that you are looking for. The 3-cup size is about enough for a regular sized cup of coffee if you like to cut it with milk, or several shots of espresso. While I generally like to use a pump-driven espresso maker at home, I love moka pots for their ability to bring easy and high quality coffee on the road with me.

Typhoon Red Moka Pot at Amazon

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October 5, 2007

Quick Pick: Lucaffe Blucaffe ESE Pods

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Quick pick this weekend for Lucaffe Blucaffe Espresso Pods. I got these in recently from Pod Merchant and think that they are pretty good. They are a premium pod from Lucaffe, and are said to be sourced from the areas of the Indian Ocean, aged 18 months and slow roasted for great taste.

What I noticed is that the Blucaffe pods are fairly dark roasted, and a powerful cup, with a cleaner finish than I like with robusta pods, but fuller than typical Arabica pods. The aroma is good, crema, acceptable, not the best I have seen, and again a fairly dark roast.

Pod Merchant has a sampler pack and larger sizes too.

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October 3, 2007

Designer Coffee Cup Jacket

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Been throwing away all of those extra cup jackets along with the cups? Well, a few million of those hit landfills every day, so why not try out something that adds a bit of fashion to the coffee shop experience while saving trees?

These Cup Sleeves are reusable, washable, and fit most 12, 16 & 20 ounce cups. They fold flat to stow away in your purse, briefcase or backpack, and they only cost about $12.

Coffee Couture Cup Sleeves at Amazon

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October 2, 2007

Refrigerator with in-door Espresso Maker

whirlpoolespresso.jpgNow here’s a refrigerator that would be right at home in the SingleServeEspresso.com kitchen, the new side-by-side refrigerator that has a built-in espresso machine in the door. Of course, there is a water filter so that your espresso tastes great. The unit can dispense espresso from pods and hot water; no real word on its true capabilities as an espresso maker. Let’s hope that they put as much work into designing the espresso maker as they did the refrigerator; I am not so sure you’ll be happy with a broken espresso maker in the middle of your refrigerator door, right?

The Whirlpool Espresso Maker Refrigerator is coming to the UK in 2008.

More at Whirlpool UK

Via Appliancist

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