November 17, 2010

Buy One Get One at Starbucks Starts Tomorrow


Saw this ad in the paper the other day; Starbucks is starting a Buy One Holiday Drink and Get One Free during the hours of 2PM - 5PM. The promotion should help people get through a busy shopping weekend with a little late in the day pick-me-up; the offer is valid 11/18 - 11/21.

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

November 8, 2010

Roast Magazine: Micro Roaster of the Year - Conscious Coffees


If you haven't checked out Roast Magazine, you should - they offer a great set of articles that are focused on the coffee trade primarily, but also articles that regular consumers might enjoy too. The most recent magazine has their awards for Roaster of the year including Micro Roaster and a Macro Roaster categories.

The Boulder, Colorado based Conscious Coffees roaster is this year's winner as they expect to roast about 85,000 pounds of all organic coffee this year. The six person operation takes such steps as to deliver their coffee all over town by bicycle - a work looking bicycle with a cargo container on the back (hit the link below to see an image). The roaster also puts their coffee in steel, not the throw away plastic laminated bags that many sell their coffees in. the move, which happened in 2009, allowed them to get into a reusable and recyclable packaging material that also protects their product well.

Head over to Roast Magazine for more on their Micro Roaster of the year - Conscious Coffees

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November 5, 2010

How Many Calories in that Gingerbread Latte?

People are lining up for the holiday drinks at Starbucks these days. Don't want to rain on anyone's Christmas parade, but I thought it would be best to be an educated consumer.

Calories in specific drinks (For Starbucks: no whipped cream and whole milk):

Starbucks Gingerbread Latte Calories

Grande 16 ounce: 280 calories, 39g Carbs, 10g of fat - (6 Weight Watchers Points)
Venti 20 Ounce: 350 calories, 48g Carbs, 13g of fat - (8 Weight Watchers Points)

Move to Skim Milk and the numbers improve:

Grande 16 Ounce: 200 calories, 40g Carbs, 0 g of fat - (4 Weight Watchers Points)

Venti 20 ounce: 250 Calories, 50g Carbs, 0g of fat (5 Weight Watchers points)

Source: Starbucks, 11/5/2010

Dunkin Donuts Gingerbread Latte Calories

Medium 16 ounce: 330 calories, 51g Carbs, 9g of fat. - (7 Weight Watchers points)

Source: Dunkin Donuts, 11/5/2010

For reference: McDonald's Quarter Pounder, no cheese: 420 calories, 21g fat.

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

Amazon $100,000 Wishlist Sweepstakes


Hey, we know that you buy a lot of coffee and espresso, and a lot of people trust Amazon for good prices and good customer service on coffee and espresso items. As such we thought we would pass this along; the chance to win a $100,000 Amazon sweepstakes. We figured that with the economy as it is, and $100K up for grabs, you might just want to take a shot.

The deal is that you need to add and then use the Amazon Wishlist toolbar to your browser; a bit of a pain, but a small task if you end up winning the grande (and only) prize of $100K in the form of a gift card.

At Amazon - See the main Amazon Wish & Win $100,000 Sweepstakes page for more information

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

November 4, 2010

Illy iperEspresso Capsule Review


FrancisFrancis/Illy's Y1 brewer is a modern take on the espresso machine with its new lines, innovative shape and its use of the illy iperEspresso capsules. Each capsule contains 6.7 grams of coffee (Medium Roast variety), and is available in four varieties: Medium Roast, Dark Roast, Lungo (long shot), and Decaf. All capsules are sold in metal canisters and come 21 capsules to the canister, except for the Decaf which comes 14 to the canister. Considering prices, that comes out to be about $0.75 a shot for regular and over $1 a shot for Decaf; not cheap but not expensive given the costs of cafe quality espresso.

We wanted to test two of the more popular varieties, the Medium Roast (Red Can) and the Dark Roast (Black Can) to see what they offered and which one I might start drinking with looking ahead.


The two roasts are noticeably different to the naked eye, but not dramatically so. While I expected a darker roast and a more dramatic difference, the flavor differences were obvious and certainly had a right to exist as different offerings.

Medium Roast - Chocolate like flavors with a slight sweetness reminiscent of syrup that also offered a tangy acidity that one would see in a high quality arabica blend.

Dark Roast - again tangy acidity, but with a slightly smoky and darker medicinal flavor. It is distinctly dark roasted without the ashy hollowness of being over-roasted.

For me, the dark roast is the more pleasing variety offering a bit more robust flavor in the cup to balance out the tangy acidity.

Both are available at Amazon:

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November 3, 2010

Illy Issimo Looking to Add a Mocha/Chocolate SKU in 2011


The Illy Issimo Line of RTD Coffee is looking to expand next year by adding a Mocha/Chocolate flavor to the line-up. The current Ready to Drink (RTD) line-up has three products with a Latte Machiatto, a Cappuccino and a straight Caffe. With Mocha's being a popular drink, it's not a surprise that they are moving in this direction.

You can help them pick a name for the drink by taking their survey. The new product will "incorporate illy's authentic quality coffee with low fat milk and pure chocolate."

The current choices are:

  • Chocolatte
  • Mocha Latte
  • Choco Cafe
  • Mochachino
  • Chocoate Caffe
  • Mocha Caffe

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

Starbucks: Eggnog Latte is Back

starbuckslogo.jpgThe Starbucks Eggnog Latte is back in cafes helping to mark the holiday season along with cooler weather and election day. The nog-licious drink is pretty polarizing, but I'll admit to having a few in in Christmas Seasons past. I plan on gulping a few down this year too. They will be serving them up in their signature Red Cups starting soon also.

The sweetened latte is well known for its syrupy taste and unfortunately its calories, coming in with more calories and fat than a McDonald's Quarter Pounder. Enjoy everything in moderation.... including moderation.

The Eggnog Latte is joined by a Caramel Brulee Latte that has a caramel latte topped with crunchy bits of caramel, the Peppermint Mocha, and of course the Gingerbread latte.

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October 27, 2010

Starbucks is Going to Sea: Allure of the Seas to Have Starbucks Cafe


Starbucks is going to sea on Royal Caribbean's new ship the Allure of the Seas, the first time the Starbucks name has been used onboard a cruise ship. The GIANT ship also sports a "Central Park" (image above), water parks and an ice rink, yes, an ice rink. The ship will sail this December.

Most people know that the coffee chain was named after the first mate in the book Moby Dick. Hopefully the Allure of the Seas won't have the same fate as the Pequod, or have a run in with that giant whale....

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

October 15, 2010

Illy at the NY Wine and Food Festival


If you around the Big Apple last weekend, you may have checked in at the New York Wine and Food Festival (NYWFF) where Illy was brewing up a Make your Own Espresso Sundae. You had the choice of 20 high quality ingredients to create a fun, caffeinated wonder.

Not sure if you have heard, but Giorgio Milos, Illy's master barista, has been traveling around the US, meeting with the public and sharing his knowledge on coffee, espresso and Illy. At the NYWFF, Giorgio hosted one hour sessions covering coffee and espresso topics in a small limited attendee setting. I talked with Illy and Giorgio will be in the US into next year hosting these sessions around the country. Stay tuned for more information on his speaking tour and how to get in.

Illy also did their share of beautifying life in the city by hosting an art exhibit in the AuthentiCity Lounge (shown above) featuring artwork Illy's sponsorship of the New York School of Visual Arts. The exhibit entitled "Revealing Purity and Authenticity in Urban Life" comes from their aim of challenging new artists to explore their environment.

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October 14, 2010

Single Serve Coffee and Espresso - Holiday Sales and Ad Push


It's no surprise that companies are making a push for the holidays, but the WSJ reports this morning that the single serve coffee and espresso marketers are starting to push hard this year after what appears to be a milestone 2010 for them. Again, the WSJ is reporting that single serve coffee sales are up 101% over year ago, which is partly why the makers are looking to make the 2010 holiday season a big one. (Data from Symphony IRI which most likely does not include Nespresso direct sales and definitely does not include WalMart.) That compares to a 3% gain on the overall coffee category; whoa, big difference!

Single Serve Coffee/Espresso Machines - Big Holiday Sales

The other reason is history, again the WSJ reports that the sales of single serve coffee and espresso machines are heavily weighted towards the holiday season citing that 60% of the sales occur in that time period. Because only 7% of US households claim to have a single serve brewer, across the board from maker to maker, the WSJ cites that ad campaigns are kicking off with increased spending this year on robust sales and anticipated rewards this coming year.

The article didn't touch on the launch of the Dolce Gusto line of single serve makers by Nestle, which will surely be a focus at retail stores this season for Nestle, as they try to play both the coffee and espresso markets with the Dolce line and the Nespresso line.

That may not mean great prices and huge discounts for us as consumers, but it does mean that we'll be in good company come the new year, with increased attention and sway in the marketplace.

More on Single Serve Coffee and Espresso at WSJ

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

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