February 27, 2008

Get Stok'd - Extra Shot of Caffeine

Stok Coffee Shot

So the folks who came up with Stok must have had late night study marathons in mind or those overnight road trips where a cup of hot brown coffee stuff just wouldn't beat back the on-coming sleep. Stok is a tiny shot of black coffee with 40 mg of caffeine; equivalent to a shot of espresso. Stok in a bit of marketing hype claims that you should have a 2 per day limit - I mean when was the last time that any espresso shot drinker could deal with less than 2 per day! Maybe given that these are designed to be tossed in on top of another cup of coffee, you could get the jitters pretty quickly without even trying. Available in regular and sweet versions in those little creamer cups.

Check out their Website - Stok


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February 25, 2008

Seattle Chocolates - Pike Place Espresso Dark Chocolate


These are always a fun diversion from sipping espresso and getting wired; eating chocolate and getting wired. This trip to the chocolatier brings me to a bar of Seattle's Chocolates "Pike Place Espresso" - an espresso infused dark chocolate bar. The 100% natural "Truffle Bar" is a 2.5 ounce little wonder that won't break the bank. The bar is made with decaffeinated espresso (too bad), and has a creamy center to it.

The Pike Place Espresso dark chocolate has a nice snap to it and a subtle flavor to it that is definitely dark chocolate with a hint of sweetness without the classic bitterness of an over the top dark chocolate bar. The truffle center is a wonderful experience that has a nice creamy finish to the bar, with a lingering chocolate flavor that lasts for a a nice reminder of the indulgence. I would not say it has a strong espresso flavor, or much of one at all. In the end though, who cares, it's a pretty good chocolate bar. 2.5 ounces, 43% cocoa, 2 servings per bar, 200 calories each.

More at Seattle Chocolates

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February 21, 2008

"Espresso Maker" - $12.99


Yea, I don't know if this thing is for real, but it caught my eye as much for the price as for its lack of any specifics on its features. Maybe because It doesn't have any to speak of?

"This compact countertop wonder brews two perfect cups of European-style coffee with the flick of a switch." - Not so sure this really means espresso.

At Amazon - the $12.99 "Espresso" Maker

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February 21, 2008

Starbucks Slashes 600 Jobs


In trying to keep the focus on the consumer..... and on the bottom line, Starbucks under their new again CEO Howard Schultz, is slashing 600 jobs in non-retail support roles; some through attrition and some through a pink slip. Recall that next week, all baristas are reporting for re-training in an effort to boost the quality of the product, and most likely the experience of their shops.

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February 20, 2008

Timothy's Rainforest Espresso K-Cups


If you're looking for a bold alternative to the espresso shots, a cup of Timothy's Rainforest Espresso might just do it for the weekend. I took a look at these last year, and I continue to thow these into the rotation these days still. Right beside the espresso machine is our Keurig B70 brewer.

Pretty bold and dark, the Timothy's Rainforest espresso K-Cups are a good little choice. Not quite the full body of an espresso shot, but hey, a good sipping coffee.

Free shipping if you spend more than $25.

Timothy's at Amazon

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February 19, 2008

Rooibos Tea - Red Espresso

redespressocup.jpgPeople are rediscovering Red Espresso in this country, and I have seen a few published reports on it lately. I wrote about it a while back when some shops in South Africa started making Red Espresso shots - pulling a shot of Rooibos Tea through an espresso machine that allows you to get a fruity highly flavorful red drink that can be a great alternative to an espresso. To be clear, it does NOT taste like coffee. I even went so far as to pull shots of a Celestial Seasonings Rooibos tea; not bad.

Read (a little more) at Seattle Post

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February 18, 2008

Starbucks ESE Pods

StarbucksESEPods.jpgA lot of people may have been introduced to espresso drinks through Starbucks, and as a result have developed their taste for that signature flavor. After getting a machine home that brews espresso with ESE pods, they might just want that taste you can find in the stores. Well, you can to some extent by picking up Starbucks ESE Pods - 7 grams of espresso ground and pre-packaged to work easily in your ESE compatible espresso machine. I liked them when I reviewed them a while back and I continue to work them into my usual rotation when using my ESE pod machines, like the Cuisinart EM-200 that I am using right now.

Starbucks ESE Pods are available in Decaf and Regular, at Amazon and at most full sized Starbucks cafes.

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February 15, 2008

Starbucks Testing the Clover

According to a recent Boomberg article, it sounds like Starbucks is looking to the $11,000 Clover brewing machine to help lift sales in its stores after founder Howard Schultz came back to the CEO post to help fix the sagging coffee giant.

In its hometown Seattle, Starbucks is testing a 12-ounce (360-milliliter) cup of ``fresh-pressed'' coffee at $2.50 each. The price is $2.25 in a Boston trial. Starbucks charges $1.55 for a regular brew. McDonald's Corp. has been stealing customers with $1.39 coffee and is challenging Starbucks by adding espresso counters.
- Bloomberg

Well, we'll try to find out more since it's being tested in our own back yard.

Check out our story on the Clover, The Ultimate Single Serve Coffee Machine?, and a Trip Report on the Clover over at our Sister Site, SingleServeCoffee.com

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February 14, 2008

Colombia Coffee Growing

Roast magazine is a well regarded industry magazine that this month takes a look into Colombia. I've enjoyed a cup or two of Colombian coffee and I enjoyed reading up on some of the different growing areas. With a half a million coffee farmers growing 10 to 25 bags of coffee each, things really add up.

Coffee farming in Colombia is, to put it quite simply, woven into the fabric of everyday life. People farm the land, producing most of the food and raising the animals that they eat. Money from coffee farming provides cash to improve homes, buy clothes, maintain cars, motorcycles and equipment and buy necessities for their children—and they always have children! Without the extra income that coffee provides, these farmers would be subsistence farmers. It is for this very reason that Colombian coffee farmers are so willing to try and please coffee buyers from North America. It is not uncommon to find a wet-mill architecturally integrated into a coffee farmer’s home.

[From Roast Magazine]
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February 13, 2008

Calling All Baristas ... for Training

Starbucks has been under pressure recently for not growing sales, and as a result the company brought Howard Schultz back as acting CEO. Next stop, a big back to basics for the baristas. I know the airport Starbucks aren't the best examples of their art, but I had a terrible latte the other day, and had to bring it back. The next latte was better but not excellent so if that's any indication they could use some re-training work.

Apparently all 7100 stores will shut down for 3 hours starting at 5:30PM on February 26th, to retrain baristas and hopefully improve quality.

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February 12, 2008

Pantone Espresso Cups


Saw these and thought I would pass them along. For anyone who works with graphic arts, you might just think that these are great. I like the brown tones for a well thought out espresso experience.

Via Design Crush - at Totally Funky

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February 11, 2008

Nutella Espresso Mocha Mash-up

nutella400_250.jpg I stumbled across this recipe this past weekend, and since I love both Nutella AND Espresso, I had to give it a try. Not bad. If it's cold, like around here in the wintertime, a quick, and I mean quick trip to the microwave means the tablespoon of Nutella melts a bit easier into the espresso. Do it before mixing into the Espresso. I found mixing the Nutella and Espresso in a large coffee mug then pouring in the milk made things (and clean-up) easier.

Nutella Mocha

1. Two - Three shots very hot espresso
2. One heaping teaspoon of Nutella
3. Half cup of low fat milk

Make fresh espresso. Stir in Nutella, smashing it against the sides of the cup to ensure it is mostly melted and dissolved into the coffee.

Add milk to mixture, stir and enjoy.

Via Arizona Coffee

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February 6, 2008

Valentine's Day Special - FrancisFrancis X5 Deal

Illy is running a Valentine's Day special - order now for on-time delivery. They are sellig the Francis!Francis! X5 an all metal pump driven machine that is a pretty sight and a pretty good deal right now.

It features an angular, sloping body, the X5 was designed by Italian architect Luca Trazzi for Francis Francis to take up less counter-space. This state-of-the-art machine features:

  • All metal, pump-driven machine with brass boiler
  • Professional-diameter brass handles which can be used with either ground coffee or E.S.E. pods
  • 48 oz. capacity water tank
  • Side steam arm for frothing milk and making cappuccino
  • 8-9 bars of dynamic pressure, 18 bars of static pressure
  • Contemporary clock on machine face
  • Measures 8.3"w x 10.5"d x 11.5"h.

    With this deal you also get 2 cans of Illy ESE Espresso pods and two espresso cups. If you like this machine, not a bd time to buy.

    At Illy - FrancisFrancis! X5

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  • February 5, 2008

    Bodum Pavina Glasses Only $7.99

    So these are my favorite glasses, and now they are only $7.99 down a bit from recent prices. The espresso just hangs there in all of its crema-topped beauty. The double walled laboratory glass keeps the espresso hot and your fingers cool. So while you might need to add a bit to get the free shipping, it's a great deal on these glasses.

    At Amazon - Bodum Pavina Double-Wall Espresso/Shot Glass

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    February 1, 2008

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