February 27, 2009

Run and Join the Circus Espresso Cups

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Etsy is an artist market online that serves as a clearinghouse for merchandise to find its way to adoring buyers all over the world. I was looking around the other day and found these Espresso Cups and had to pass them along.

these "Run and Join the Circus" cups are just one of the fantastic coffee/espresso related items that are selling on Etsy. Go check it out.

At Etsy - Run and Join the Circus Espresso Cups

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February 27, 2009

Caribou Bucking the Trend

Caribou is a solid little coffee house chain that seems to be bucking the trend on earnings. They recently reported that their net earnings were $0.07 per share, up from a loss of $0.78 per share a year ago, beating the $0.03 per share loss most analysts thought they would hit.

The big deal is that they seem to have taken a conservative approach to expanding stores, and have managed through the start of this recession well, despite a slow down in overall sales of 3%. Not bad. So instead of having hundreds of stores closing under the Caribou name, they appear poised to continue prudent growth of their shops. Maybe there's some light at the end of the tunnel after all.

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February 23, 2009

Nespresso Machines - Great Deals Low Prices

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I know a lot of readers who really want a Nespresso machine but who also feel that they are pretty expensive at the stores. Well if you are OK with refurbished machines, you may not know that Nespresso maintains its own eBay storefront for refurbished Nespresso machines. The most common ones are the Essenza, Le Cube, Romeo and the D90 units.

I have been watching them for some time, and the prices can really be very low; $75 for a Nespresso machine is pretty amazing. The ones that I see feature a "6 month Advanced Exchange Warranty. That means that if the product should need service within the warranty period, Nespresso will send out a a temporary replacement unit while service is being completed. This not only gives you peace of mind but also a working Nespresso machine while yours is away."

Check them out at the Nespresso Storefront on eBay

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February 20, 2009

How to Make Great Coffee at Home - French Press Style

It is not hard to make a great French Press coffee at home, and I think it's a fantastic way to enjoy coffee when you can take the time to do it.


  1. Pick Fresh coffee - yea, it really matters, and can give you so much more when the coffee is fresh.

  2. Grind is right - a course setting is appropriate for the French Press method, almost like the texture of a regular beach sand.

  3. Pour in Hot Water - I like close to boiling, and I aim to wet all of the grounds as I pour; DON'T plunge yet, you want to let it steep

  4. Put on Lid and let stand without plunging for 3-4 minutes.

  5. Plunge Slowly; this filters the grounds without pushing too much of the fines through the screen on the plunger.

  6. Pour and Enjoy - you'll be coming back for more.

Check on the variety of French Press examples here at Single Serve Espresso

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February 19, 2009

Paris Espresso Cups

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If you've been to Paris and sipped Espresso by the Eiffel Tower, you may just enjoy reliving the vacation with this cup. Great gift and way to remember those days in the "City of Lights".

Dishwasher safe, and at only about $6, a steal.

At Sur la Table

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February 17, 2009

Starbucks Via Instant Coffee - Great Taste? Free Samples

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This had better be good; Starbucks Via, an instant coffee that is unlike other instant coffees because it tastes good? Starbucks, at their website, compares their new Via Instant coffee to other instant coffees that use the old processes that strip out the flavor and aroma out of the bean.... (Um, excuse me, isn't that what you want; take the flavor part and leave the bean part? Put flavor part in cup and add water?)

Starbucks of course has the new process that actually micro grinds the bean and has you put it in the cup and drink it; um, so a cup for of coffee grounds mixed with hot water is better? Actually, it should be and could rival brewed coffee. I mentioned this technology last week when I first wrote about Via, but I will say that I have seen this technology where micro ground coffee - think really really small is suspended in hot water adding flavor and body to the cup. The richness of a lot of drinks is about mouthfeel as much as it is about flavor, and the micro particles here may help provide both. You may think that Starbucks is nuts to get into Instant Coffee - but somewhere north of a third of the coffee drinkers out there drink an instant coffee beverage; it's not either instant or ground and no cross-over. Think about all of those instant coffee drinks and "Cappuccino's" that get made out of the hot chocolate machines in the convenience stores. Now whether of not these folks want a Starbucks straight coffee is a different story.

Ether way, you should decide for yourself and get a Free Sample over at the Starbucks website. I'll write up my impressions when I get mine. You can also pre-order your Starbucks Via, and it will ship about March 3rd.

Via Comes in:

Starbucks Via Italian Roast Coffee, Italian Roast

- "A big, bold, full-bodied cup of coffee, with an aroma that lingers all day."


Starbucks Via Colombia Coffee, Colombia

- "The rich and smooth aroma of a real cup of coffee. Because that's what it is."


UPDATE: Check out this early reaction from the UK's Guardian - Not so great.
Fast Company Magazine did an un-scientific taste test among staffers with their samples, and the "Staff Java Junkies" ranked the Via highly in a blind tasting vs. Starbucks brewed coffee.


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February 16, 2009

Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte Recipe

If you're enjoying the Cinnamon Dolce Latte from Starbucks, then you might enjoy a homemade version that tastes pretty good in a low calorie version. Easy to do, and not a bad low calorie indulgence either!

Ingredients:

  • Shot of Espresso
  • Dusting - 1/8 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 Cup of milk for steaming
  • Sugar/sweetener to taste
  • 1 Pump of Da Vinci SUGAR FREE Caramel Syrup 750mL


    Pull your shot of espresso and mix in the ground cinnamon, start small because it's easy to go overboard. Add Pump of Sugar Free Caramel syrup. Mix in sweetener if desired. Steam milk and top off to make your latte.

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  • February 13, 2009

    Green Mountain Cafe Express - Deals Help Save Money on K-Cups

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    I just got a mailer today that reminded me of the deals at Green Mountain; $2 off each box of K-Cups, Free shipping with 4 or more boxes each time, and a free two boxes of K-Cups when you start. For me it was a $35+ savings on the sign-up and free shipping on-going.

    I use the K-Cups in my Keurig B70 K-cup brewer when I am not cranking out a few espressos. The single serve life is just too easy, with each cup fresh.


    Check out the Café EXPRESS and see if it works for you.

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    Nespresso Boutique Opening in Boston

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    Nespresso had their Grand Opening for the Boston boutique tonight and Single Serve Espresso was there along with Single Serve Coffee and a whole lot of the Boston press to celebrate the Grand Opening of the newest boutique in the Nespresso collection. While it actually opened in December, the celebration held off. The Nespresso boutique is in a killer location next to the Taj, in the heart of the shopping district of Boston.

    The fun part of the Grand Opening, other than the great hospitality, was some great art. The Ray Charles above and the Obama below, were there as well as Princess Diana, and Gandhi. They were impressive; up close, a bunch of Nespresso Capsules and you are hard pressed to see the art and the design, but from a few feet away, the portraits came alive. Nespresso is working to auction these off with charities across the country. Each 61/2' square portrait takes around 2500 capsules. For more information on the "Nespressions" art as it is called, see the Nespressions website. The artist, Ricardo Bellino, was there for the evening and the showing of his fun and surprising art. The Press Release about the Nespressions art is attached after the jump, where it explains a bit more about the philanthropical pursuits of Nespresso and Mr Bellino.

    NespressoCapsuleObama.jpg

    Plenty of capsules, plenty of coffee and plenty of fans from the neighborhood. If you are around any Nespresso boutique, you should stop in for a quick shot and see the array of offerings. If you want to see our reviews of the Nespresso machines, or of recent capsule launches, see our Nespresso Category.

    NespressoMachineLine.jpg


    The surprise of the night though was the sining of Charice; the 16 year old singer who has found fame and has been described as the most talented girl in the world. While that may be a stretch, it's not a huge one; she blew the doors off the place from this pint-sized frame.

    ChariceNespressoBoston.jpg


    Nespressions Press Release after the jump.....


    ArrowContinue reading: "Nespresso Boutique Opening in Boston"

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    February 12, 2009

    Starbucks Introducing Instant Coffee?

    Apparently the PR group at Starbucks is telling associates that they are going to begin selling instant coffee, saying that they have been working on this technology for some time and that the flavor can replicate the flavor in the cup. So, while freeze drying can make a pretty good cup of coffee, the struggle is also making the aroma and the body that you come to expect in a regular cup of coffee. I have seen the idea that has coffee microground to super fine particles that are actually put right in the cup; no filtering, giving flavor and body. We'll be interested in seeing (and tasting) the sometime in the near future to see how it stacks up.

    At Seattle PI

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    Nespresso Boutique Grand Opening in Boston - Tonight!

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    Nespresso has a series of shops across the country in an effort to reach out to the masses, and tonight is the grand opening of the Boston Nespresso Boutique along with a press event. We'll be there along with Jay from SingleServeCoffee.com to check the whole thing out. The Nespresso machines are not the most inexpensive, but offer some amazing design work, and a consistency combined with ease of use that no one can match. Check out our news and reviews on Nespresso capsules and Nespresso espresso makers, while we're off to the Grand Opening.

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    February 9, 2009

    Got a Starbucks Card - Get Custom Rewards

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    Yea, it's not a lot, but it's something for nothing and that's not bad these days. Maybe that Starbucks card is worth a bit more than you think. The deal is that if you sign up and register the card at Starbucks, you can get s small handful of free extras. You can get free drink customizations (add soy or a shot of flavor), a free beverage when you buy wholebean, a free refill on brewed coffee, and up to 2 hours of free Wi-Fi every day.

    So, dig that thing out of your wallet, go register it at Starbucks.com and start enjoying something for (almost) nothing. Don't have one, and like that stuff for free? - well then either buy one, or design your own; it's easy.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    February 5, 2009

    NYT - Playing in the Coffee Maker Aisle

    Great little story about the various toys that you can find in a high end kitchen store that all are associated with coffee. Wow - always a lot of fun to read about the discovery of the coffee maker, as well as the art form that coffee making and drinking can become.

    At NYT

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    February 3, 2009

    Coffee Printer - Uses Spent Grounds for Ink

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    From the Greener Gadgets Design Contest, this one surfaces; printer that uses your own spent grounds as an ink source. Drop the grounds in, insert paper, and move the lever back and forth over the paper to make the image/text.

    Innovative, but not sure what to think - Should I use French roast or Full City Roast today in the printer cartridge?

    Update: Voted Coolest Gadget of the Week - over at Coolest Gadgets

    Via

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