August 25, 2006

Color Changing Coffee Lid

A company has come up with an innovative lid that changes colors from coffee bean brown when cool to red when hot. The company, Smart Lid Systems, has pitched the idea as a way to both indicate that the coffee is hot, and put a little bit of advertising right in the face of consumers. So, the next time you grab a Latte from your local coffee shop and you have absolutely nothing to do, think about just hanging out, enjoying the day and watching your coffee lid change colors right before your eyes.

ReadMore at Smart Lid Systems

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Fungi in Coffee - Yum


“Humm, nice body, good acidity, with a slight nose of fungi….” Researchers in Brazil are finding that some of the nice characteristics that we appreciate in a coffee’s flavor may be attributed to the presence of fungi in green coffee. Like the effects of local sun, water and soil climates on coffee, the local fungi may also be playing a large part in the development of a coffee’s good character. We're not talking about mushrooms growing on green coffee - these are microscopic fungi growing inside the bean, naturally. It is well known that fungi can also help develop off tastes in coffee that are undesirable, but this researcher has found that some fungi may be responsible for characteristics such as floral, citric, caramel, chocolate and toast. So next time you get that cup of excellent coffee and notice some nice aroma, think that it might just be due to some lovely strain of fungi back in the producing country. Don’t worry though, the roasting process is sure to kill these things long before the coffee reaches your cup.

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Original Java Cafe


In what might be described as the best little coffee shop in the Middle East, the soldiers of the 57th—the Army’s original MEDEVAC unit, have constructed a pretty nice little coffee shop among the helicopter hangers and the sands of their base in Iraq. The Original Java was constructed out of old shipping containers and scraps from around the base and made into the center of off-duty life. Serving up some peace and maybe even a bit of quiet along with coffee, the soldiers are able to unwind from what must be a tough day’s work. The Original Java café works on a donation system, and more can be read about this and who the donations help through the link below. Also, you have to check out some of the pictures at their Blog; amazing what shipping containers can look like with a little love and white paint.

ReadMore about Original Java
See the Original Java Blog

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August 24, 2006

Stomping Grounds Espresso Concentrate Arrives for Review at


So a while back, we posted the announcement of the Stomping Grounds launch of a line of four espresso concentrates for your enjoyment. They come in Espresso, Caramel, Vanilla and Mocha, all in 32 ounce shelf stable containers. The preparation is pretty easy, pour in an ounce of the concentrate into a cup, add milk and heat. If you want to enjoy it cold, pour over ice. Easy espresso. We have the Espresso and Caramel varieties in house and we’ll be drinking up a storm over the next few days – hope I can sleep after this! We’ll get back to you on what we think about the Stomping Grounds Espresso concentrates.

They are available nationally at Cost Plus World Markets and some select Whole Food stores. Also available at Amazon.

ReadMore at Stomping Grounds Website

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August 23, 2006

Espresso Hand Tamps


So, some of the magic in getting a good espresso pull is getting a good tamp on the espresso. This allows you to pack the grounds into a nicely formed puck for the hot water to force its way through, extracting delicious espresso. Does everyone need these, no, but they are definitely fun and add a bit of flair to the experience of making espresso for your guests. This Espresso Hand Tamp has a clear top to the handle and is 49mm is diameter, just a bit under 2 inches. Check your portafilter diameter to make sure this works. Otherwise there are other tamps available for different diameters.

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August 18, 2006

Espresso Bean Chocolate Bark

I came across an old recipe that we had and though I would pass it along. It’s easy to enjoy some of this and get a kick out of it; no sleep required. Makes a great snack before late night parties.

Espresso Bean Chocolate Bark

1/2 - 3/4 Cup Espresso Beans
1 Pound semi-sweet chocolate

1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, then stir in espresso beans.
2. Pour chocolate into prepared 9x9 pan, or spread on waxed paper on counter until about ½ inch thick.
3. If in pan, put in refrigerator for 1-3 hours until cooled. If on counter, leave several hours until cool.
4. Break into pieces and enjoy.
5. Store in a cool, airtight container.

Enjoy responsibly; these will give you a kick of caffeine!

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August 17, 2006

Excellent Mira Valle Espresso – Artisan Quality Selection and Roasting


If you haven’t heard, there’s a little revolution going on in the world of coffee, and it’s way beyond wholebean kicking the canned coffee out of your kitchen. Artisan roasters are popping up giving you incredible finds from all over the world, often times selected not just from a single country, but from a single region, single estate, or a single lot of beans from one farm. The carefully cupped and selected coffees are then small batch roasted and sold directly to you for your enjoyment. One well regarded artisan coffee outlet is Terroir Coffee, who is offering their espresso of the month this month as and espresso from the Mira Valle farm from Honduras and this specific tiny lot of coffee beans won the Cup of Excellence Presidential Award, receiving an overall score of over 90 from a distinguished international panel of judges.

Sure the Mira Valle espresso is a bit more than a can of coffee, but when do you get to taste something that is among the best in the world for under $20.

ReadMore and order at Terroir Coffee

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Would You Like a McLatte with Your McMeal?

McDonalds is testing specialty coffee drinks in Rochester NY area McDonalds in a market test to see if the drinks should go nationwide. The drink machines, like everything else at McDonalds must be pretty automatic and fool-proof as they have such a wide variety of skill levels working there and the focus on quick service like nobody’s business. I’d swear I had espresso based drinks in Seattle area McDonalds a decade ago, but they weren’t anything to write home about. Hey, hook them on the sweet stuff and move them to the good stuff. If people find their way to espresso via a McDonalds drive-thru, I say great, bring it on.

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August 16, 2006

Lavazza Blue Coming to US Restaurants

Lavazza, one of the world’s largest roasters of espresso coffee, has signed an agreement with Sara Lee Foodservice to bring the Lavazza Blue system to US away from home outlets across the US. The Lavazza Blue espresso machine system is a capsule system that allows the user to quickly offer espresso drinks easily, consistently in a high quality manner. Let’s face it, a good espresso drink out at a restaurant can be hard to get sometimes, especially if the place doesn’t specialize in coffee; this can bring the high quality espresso or latte that you expect to the restaurant that you want.

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August 15, 2006

(Good) Health Effects of Espresso and Coffee

Interesting article today about coffee and its POSITIVE effects on health. Maybe that cup of espresso or Latte isn't all that bad? So, we've all seen the bad news, and you might have heard about the good news, well here's a quick rundown:

  • The Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that habitual coffee consumption is associated with lower risk of Type 2 diabetes.
  • Coffee contains antioxidants that can control cell damage often linked with developments of some diseases.

    ArrowContinue reading: "(Good) Health Effects of Espresso and Coffee"

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