November 18, 2007

Amazon Black Friday Sale - Espresso Items?

Not t be left out of the fun, Amazon is getting into the Black Friday madness. They are not going to line you up at midnight and hand out numbers or anything.

How it Works: Amazon is going to offer new deals every hour starting at 6AM Pacific time running throughout the day until 6PM Pacific time.

Don't know if you get a new Espresso maker in these deals, it's worth checking out.

You might as well stop by now and sign up for the Amazon $10,000 shopping spree sweepstakes. That will buy you a lot of gifts for friends and family!

at Amazon Black Friday Deals

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 16, 2007

Starbucks Sales up; Store Traffic Down


Uh-oh; Starbucks has reported that its traffic has dropped in its stores, by 1%, spooking investors. The 9 cent per cup price increase apparently was the cause, although it also raised same store sales by 4% in the process.

The coffee giant has lowered its growth estimates from “Try to take over the coffee world soon” to “Try to take over the coffee world a bit later”. They are still growing sales and stores fast as they lay down a new store and open its doors about every 5 hours throughout next year. Poor Juan Valdez, that donkey of his must be tired if he has a hand in delivering any of the coffee to this growing giant.

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 12, 2007

Coffee Drops Skin Cancer Risk

latteleaf.jpgNow we’re talking; researchers say that drinking caffeinated coffee (or espresso) can reduce your chances of skin cancer by more than a third. Apparently after studying a group of white (more prone to skin cancer) women they found that those who drank greater than 6 cups of coffee per day dropped their chance of getting cancer by 35% while those who drank 2-3 cups of coffee per day reduced their risk by about 10-12%.

Researchers think that the caffeine acts as an anti-oxidant and stops the cancer cells from dividing or spreading. The kind of cancer affected is non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC). Apparently drinking decaffeinated coffee had no effect on participants' chances of developing skin cancer.

Make mine a double shot please!

via The Telegraph

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November 6, 2007

Starbucks to Buy Godiva?


Could it be true? According to the Wall Street Journal, Starbucks is considering working out a deal to buy Godiva, which is currently owned by Campbell Soup (I know weird). The idea of Starbucks grabbing the chocolatier, makers of really expensive chocolates and its shops sounds like a good fit for the purveyor of expensive coffee. Who knew?

ReadMore at WSJ

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November 5, 2007

Pod vs. Ground Coffee - A Couple of Opinions

Ahhh, the Pod vs. ground coffee takes on another dimension in this semi-rant by NYT author Alice Rawsthorn. As she goes on about the beautiful designs of yesteryear, you know the ones that were so painful to use that only the true die-hards could use them, she misses the point that espresso machines are a great next step in the evolution of coffee tastes in America from light roasted, robusta-based weak swill that so many outlets pass off as a good cup-a-joe to expertly roasted, full bodied cups of wonderment. It doesn’t have to be burnt like most of Starbucks’ offerings, but it can be espresso based.

So, while ESE Pods and Nespresso capsules can be a tough sell, they are also the crutch that many time pressed Americans need to get over the hump in moving from bad to good. I like ESE Pods and Nespresso capsules and I still consider myself environmentally aware with my Green Tags and recently downsized vehicle, but I see this particular area of my life worth the extra expense. I also enjoy the choice of picking ground or Pod, which I think most readers will too. While I count a Nespresso C100 Essenza in my collection of Espresso machines, I still reserve the right and the capability to use ground coffee too. I just embrace the Pod and hope that if that’s what others need to learn about great coffee, that they will enjoy the pod too.

Worth a quick read at NYT.

Thanks to Barbara for sending this in.

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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 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 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 for the whole run-down.

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October 16, 2007

Coke and Illy Ink Deal


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 10, 2007

Illy house in a Shipping Container

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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September 28, 2007

Buy an Espresso Maker & Save Money

It's not hard to think (hope) that you can save money when you kick the coffee chain habit and bring the espresso experiences home. The idea is that instead of paying several dollars for an espresso you can just pay a few cents for an espresso. A Grand Latte is costing about $3.50 these days, and if you are getting one every day, you are talking $3.50 * 365 = $1277.50.

Wow, even if you cut down to weekdays, that's still $3.50 * 5 days per week * 52 weeks = $910.

Doesn't include the coffeecake or the Venti Latte you have on Fridays....

If you have a seven day habit, you could easily afford a Super Automatic like the Gaggia 90500 or a Jura Capresso E8.

Even on the weekday habit you could still get a nice semi-auto like a Gaggia Classic Stainless.

Add some coffe and milk in and you are your own barista. It may take a few more months to pay out with supplies, but there's nothing like going no further than your own counter for a great espresso.

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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