April 3, 2007

Starbucks; Where It’s Going, Is Because Of Where It’s Been

So there has been a lot of debate lately about Charles Howard Shultz’s memo talking about the fact that the Starbucks shops have become commodities with automation that has all but eliminated the ambiance of the coffee shop that they started out as their mission. In the end, this is what they spoke of a couple of years ago. I recall the statement that they wanted to be the McDonald’s of the espresso world, so that where ever you go, you get a high quality cup of coffee standardized and unquestionably good. So, when you set the goal and obtain it, should you be surprised?

The thing is that with local coffee shops, there are rough edges, there are inconsistencies, and that’s what makes the experience a little bit enjoyable. Do I always want good espresso? Yes. Do I want cookie cutter decorations; the same merchandising displays and an overall look that is the same? No. Come on Howard, even McDonald’s has different motifs that make the experience different, but uniquely McDonald’s. I mean can’t you convey the brand image of Starbucks and still offer a different look and feel to shops based on local flavor?

Recently the LA Times had a similar article that talks about this subject. It’s worth a read.

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

April 1, 2007

Skip the Espresso

We're always in the moof to try new things around here at The SingleServeEspresso.com test kitchens, and I think that we've stumbled onto a good one. We're having some friends over for diner and they are expecting a nice cup when they come to visit, as they know I write this blog. I grabbed this on the reco of my local barista for its ability to brew up some excellent coffee. I wasted no time and went out to get a can of Chock Full of Nuts coffee. (You know nothing is too good for guests.)

Of course I had to do a test run on my own. I put 8 scoops in the pot, filled it full of water and put it on the stove. After it came to a boil, I let it perk for about 25 minutes.

Tasting Results after the jump...

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March 29, 2007

Happy Birthday Peet's


Peet's Coffee & Tea, kicked off its 41st Anniversary with two special signature blends, one of coffee and one of tea, available throughout its retail stores, home delivery service at http://www.peets.com and selected grocery stores nationwide, for the next eight weeks.

Customers can also purchase limited-edition commemorative merchandise and sampler gifts. Additional information is available online at http://www.peets.com, or by phone at 1-800-999-2132.

"Over the years, Peet's has maintained a rigorous commitment to offering handcrafted quality and freshness in every cup," said Pat O'Dea, Peet's president and CEO. "We are proud to celebrate our 41st year and continue to uphold our tradition of artisan roasting in small batches," he added.

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March 22, 2007

Barbera Aromagic Decaf ESE Espresso Pods

I wanted to point out another ESE Espresso pod to the marketplace for us, the Barbera Aromagic Decaf ESE Espresso Pod. The coffee is described as "Probably the best coffee blend in the world. Seven different types of pure selected Decaffeinated coffee beans, singularly roasted to its best and blended wisely."

at Espresso Tiamo

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March 21, 2007

Molinari Kenyan AA Espresso ESE Pods


Still looking for new espresso pods that you haven’t tried before? Look no further than the new Molinari Kenya AA espresso pods from Molinari. Molinari has been in the espresso business since 1804, and these pods are coming from the “old” world to the new world via Espresso Tiamo. The Kenyan AA pods are said to have an acidic flavor with a fruity fragrance, which is not unlike a typical Kenyan AA coffee.

at Espresso Tiamo

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March 20, 2007

Barbera Espresso Casa ESE Pods

Looking for a new ESE Pod to try out? The new Barbera “Espresso Casa” pods are at Espresso Tiamo. These traditional flavored type pods (read NOT 100% Arabica), are made in Italy, where for over 130 years the Barbera family has been roasting coffee, generation after generation. Things started with a small sidewalk business, and has blossomed into an international shipper for fine espresso.

The Barbera Espresso Casa Pods are available in sizing from 2 pods up to 200 pod cases.

At Espresso Tiamo

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Nespresso Sales Soar

Nespresso is doing well, very well. Apparently they have had global sales growth of 42%, driven by the number of machines sold… which has grown by 32%. Once you buy a machine, you’ll need to buy capsules through their exclusive club, and membership has grown, with over a million new members in 2006, for a total of more than 3 million worldwide.

That’s a lot of beans. We’ll have our review of the Nespresso C100 up soon!


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March 14, 2007

David Schomer Pursuit of Espresso Excellence

If you are a lover of great espresso, you will be a lover of this story. Businessweek has profiled David Schomer and his unending pursuit of the very best espresso you can get. The former Boeing Engineer decided to step out and bring his engineering talent to helping re-design the espresso machine and also launch a two store homage to awesome espresso. His research into espresso not only created a great knowledge base, but he shared the findings with the world too through his book on Espresso: Espresso Coffee: Professional Techniques.

Read the entire article about David and his journey from Boeing Engineer to being the owner of two Espresso shops in Seattle, Vivace Espresso and an espresso demi-god - at BusinessWeek.

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

March 13, 2007

Free Cup of Joe?


Starbucks is running a promotion to give you a free cup of drip coffee when you stop by for a coffee break 10AM - Noon March 15th. If you want to get a text message reminder, they can help you do that too. For a coffee break text message reminder, text "BREAK" to MYSBUX (697289).


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

March 12, 2007

Improve Your Game - Espresso Training

Just in case you weren't cranking out the best espresso you thought you could, well word is out that you can get some training from some of the better shops in Seattle that can offer courses from tasting sessions to week long workshops. There you can learn some latte art, how to pull a great espresso. In the hyper-competitive Seattle area market, the automated Starbucks espresso pull just won't do for many, and these classes are an outreach to those who want a little more out of their cup.

More at the Press Telegram

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

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