October 6, 2010

Starbucks Flavored Via Now in Stores - Cinnamon, Caramel, Vanilla and Mocha - Free Tall Drink Coupons

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I Tweeted about Starbucks Flavored Via (Follow SingleServeEspresso on Twitter) being in stores yesterday on the first day of the launch as I was out and about. The new Flavored Via was announced about a month ago and the local stores are starting to launch it big with window clings, stand alone displays and a perky sales pitch at the drive through and the counter on my two visits yesterday and today.

It's big business for SBUX, and adds the opportunity to grab sales for in home and away from home coffee occasions when users can't get to the store.

Limited Time - Buy Via - Get a Free Tall Drink

I also received the coupon below for a free tall drink when I buy a 6-pack of Flavored Via ($6.95) - It's only good for a few days, as they are trying to drive up trial among their loyalists. If you are remotely interested in Flavored Via, hit the local store before the end of the day 10/6, ask for the coupon below and grab a pack to get your free tall drink. Don't skimp, and try the new Starbucks Toffee Mocha or the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte.

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Big Online Push for Flavored Via
Starbucks has advertised on NYT.com before, and they are not being subtle this time either with this ad online about the Flavored Via launch. Don't say they didn't try to get the word out......

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

September 29, 2010

Cheers: It's National Coffee Day - Free Stuff and Prizes

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Hope you have a great National Coffee Day today - we are already celebrating in grand style trying out some new coffee as well as some old favorites. Yea, we drink coffee a lot around SingleServeEspresso.com.

Free Coffee From SingleServeEspresso.com
In honor of National Coffee Day, we're giving away a $25 Starbucks Gift Card to one lucky winner (US Shipping Only) who Follows us (@espressonews) AND Retweets our Contest Tweet.
We will contact the winner via Direct Message tomorrow......

Dunkin Donuts is celebrating by giving away some great prizes:

  • A five-day trip for two to tropical Costa Rica, including a visit to one of the region's premier coffee farms (with a personal tour led by Dunkin' Donuts coffee excellence managers) and other exotic adventures.
  • A trip for two to Boston, Massachusetts, home of Dunkin' Donuts' world headquarters, for an exclusive behind-the-scenes visit with the Dunkin' Donuts coffee excellence team. The day features personal coffee education, an inside look into how the brand brews the perfect cup of coffee, and lunch featuring coffee-themed recipes prepared by Dunkin' Brands' Executive Chef, three-time James Beard Award nominee, Stan Frankenthaler.
  • 60 months of free Dunkin' Donuts coffee, delivered directly to the winner's house.
  • To enter, visit the Contest Application on the Dunkin' Donuts Facebook page at www.facebook.com/dunkindonuts between September 29 and October 20 and upload a video no longer than 60 seconds that expresses your love for Dunkin' Donuts coffee and why you believe you are the most passionate and loyal fan. Videos may not include footage taken inside a Dunkin' Donuts restaurant.

Also, today FilterFresh released results from a survey that uncover some fun coffee facts:

  • 72% of coffee drinkers say that it improves their focus,
  • also 72% of coffee drinkers say that they enjoy it with co-workers; it's a social thing, and
  • 69% of the people who consume coffee at work would make the next pot of coffee if they happened upon an empty one - hey; what about the other 31%? (Maybe this is a case for Single Serve Coffee Makers at work?)
  • Finally, FilterFresh is running a contest too. Filterfresh is launching a video contest that asks folks to show why they are the most caffeinated person in America.  The contest rules will be available online at http://filterfresh.com/blog/ in mid-October. Final entries will be due by January 15, 2011. The winning entry will be selected on January 31, 2011 and announced on the company's website.  


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

September 28, 2010

Nestle (Nespresso) in Talks to Buy Green Mountain/Keurig?

Rumor on the street is that Nestle is in talks to buy out Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR), owner of the Keurig brand single serve coffee maker. If true, Nestle, maker of the Nespresso line of single serve espresso brewers would become the overnight single serve giant globally with a strong overseas presence and a strong US presence where brewed coffee and not espresso coffee is the norm. With the recent acquisitions by Green Mountain in the K-Cup space, pulling in Van Houtte and Tully's, they are quickly becoming a recognized player in the global coffee market.

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September 23, 2010

Andrea Illy Talks about Brewing and Drinking Great Espresso

The WSJ published a short article where it talks to Andrea Illy, the CEO and Chairman of the world known Illy coffee company. Sitting here drinking an espresso from the FrancisFrancis Y1, I enjoyed the article where he talks about his coffee drinking ritual and the keys to success in brewing espresso at home. He prefers a lighter roasted coffee for his espressos, and follows these general rules:

  1. Grind beans in a commercial grade grinder - most home grinders can't do an adequate job. This powdery grind will give you maximum extraction of coffee flavor. As long as you can grind what you need for just a few days, I would agree. I would not advocate grinding a pound of espresso if you are only going to drink a shot a week; the coffee will be terrible several months later by the time you finish it.
  2. Brew with water at the right temperature - 190F - 200F - hotter may extract off-flavors and bitter/burnt notes.
  3. Pull your shot for about 30 seconds on a single dose brew - longer times may over extract and pull out bitter off flavors.
  4. Drink your espresso immediately in a nice, pre-warmed cup that has the mass to keep the espresso warm, without cooling off the brew. Drinking it soon after brewing, he explains, offers the drinker the enjoyment of the crema, without losing the espresso's wonderful aromas that can dissipate as the espresso cools and loses its cream layer.

He also noted that he enjoys several espressos a day ....

QWell worth the short read... at the WSJ

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September 20, 2010

Starbucks Toffee Mocha Review and Tasting Notes

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The Starbucks Toffee Mocha is a new seasonal creation for 2010, that comes to us alongside the seasonal favorite Pumpkin Spice Latte. I stopped by a local packed Starbucks to test one out. After wading through computer cords, and long occupied seats to the counter, I ordered up the new creation in the Grande size, setting me back nearly $5. I had to add the whip cream as the clerk indicated that most people were getting it that way today anyway. Salesmanship or not, I liked it.

Tasting Notes - Toffee Mocha

The Toffee Mocha has a definite nutty flavor up front, without trying so hard that it tastes like a chemical factory. A lot of nutty flavored syrups taste chemically and pungent trying to over do the flavor impact while coming off as artificial. This is a very very sweet drink without added sugar.

The dusting of cocoa adds to the mocha experience. The full bodied flavor is well recognized as a mocha with the nutty flavor fading the more you drink. Unfortunately, the sweetness remains without much of a hint of coffee in it. This is very much a coffee beverage with the emphasis on beverage. It is more like nutty hot chocolate than a latte. The quality of the toffee flavor is the only thing that separates this from one of those cloyingly sweet flavored instant coffees from a hot chocolate machine in convenience stores.

If you are looking for a sweet warm beverage as a pick-me-up, this is one to try. If you are looking for a great coffee with subtle nuances in the blend look elsewhere.

Nutritional Value - Starbucks Toffee Mocha

The Grande size Toffee Mocha is reportedly 350 calories with 7 grams of fat and 58 grams of carbs. Adding Whipped Cream will add about another 70 calories and 7 grams of fat. While the calories and fat content seem right, the other nutritional values at this writing don't.

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

September 17, 2010

New Starbucks Toffee Mocha - Tasty Treat with 70 Day's Worth of Calcium?


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Starbucks is talking up their new Toffee Mocha hot and cold drinks this fall as a seasonal addition to the menu. The blend of flavors is certainly indulgent and according to Starbucks is made with "Espresso, toffee sauce, fresh steamed milk foam, and cocoa powder."

When looking at the Starbucks website for the Toffee Mocha, I was struck by the nutrition that they pack into the drink. After a closer look, it appears that in a Venti sized drink, you can get ten weeks' worth of calcium (7000%) and 1,000% of your recommended level of iron; that's 10 day's worth! That's as much calcium as 230+ regular glasses of milk and as much iron as over two hundred eggs. Ouch!

Humm, since these things don't taste like rusty bits of chalk, I am thinking someone messed up their math on the website. Anyway, Like the Pumpkin Spiced Latte, the Toffee Mocha is only around for a few weeks.

UPDATE: See my Tasting Notes and Review on the Starbucks Toffee Mocha


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September 16, 2010

Elektra Espresso Machine Explodes at Sainsbury

The Sainsbury chain of stores is shutting down all of its Elektra espresso machines after one blew up in its store this week. The apparent pipe rupture caused the machine to explode sending several people to the hospital; later to be discharged. The picture on the linked page at the BBC shows the machine after the explosion.

While the boilers are only a liter or two, the resulting pressure build-up and force can be significant when something goes wrong. While these are complex machines, a simple over pressure valve failure can allow the machine to over-pressurize and find the weakest part, often with dangerous consequences.

Elektra, maker of the machine says that in in their 50+ years in business they have never been involved in an accident.

ReadMore and see image at the BBC

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September 7, 2010

Why Barista's Are Worth Their Weight in Fair Trade, Shade Grown Organic Coffee Beans

I visit a lot of espresso shops, chatting with patrons and baristas about the topic of the day, coffee beans and flavors in the cup. It's a great time that always has me discovering what's important and what's not in the coffee shop, often carrying away one little nugget of information that gives me new insight into the beauty of coffee. In these conversations you can find that baristas range from hourly workers who pull a paycheck and don't otherwise care to artists immersed in their trade delivering the very best that they can each and every pull.

The one thing that keeps me coming back to a coffee shop is the love for the art in a barista; the serious craft work that elevates a barista above the class of an operator, to a caring specialist and maybe even an artist.

"Dialing-In" the Shot for the Day
Unknown to many drinkers, some barista/artists take the time every morning to "dial in" their espressos for the day of shift. They warm up the espresso machine to steady state temperatures, and test the espresso for the day under different conditions and brew times to come up with what they feel offers the very best expression of the flavors that their coffee offers. It is under those conditions that they brew the shots for the day. While temperature and humidity of the day, the coffee blend flavor subtleties and the grind will affect the flavors, the barista/artist will work to tease the very best shot each and every day no matter what the conditions. For this I say "Thanks".

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September 1, 2010

Petspresso - Coffee Grounds in an All Natural Organic Pet Shampoo

A True Coffee Addict who loves all things coffee? Maybe just interested in using an all natural product to wash your dog? There is a new dog shampoo that promises all natural ingredients including coffee grounds that apparently neutralize pet odors in a base castile peppermint shampoo. It is brought to you by the Coffee Bump.

So maybe this is a good use of used coffee grounds beyond warming your house and composting?

"Petspresso is a foaming dog shampoo for all breeds made from organic ingredients, including essential oils, designed to reduce dryness in the coat and neutralize odors through the use of coffee grounds as an ingredient. Petspresso was created as an alternative to many of the chemical pet care products on the market as an eco-friendly option for pet owners who would like to avoid chemical ingredients in their dog shampoo. The Coffee Bump focuses on the use of real coffee grounds as the leading ingredient within Petspresso since they are proven to neutralize stubborn odors and exfoliate dry and flaking skin from the coat."

UPDATE: Now with link to product page: From the Coffee Bump

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

August 31, 2010

Starbucks Via Adds Flavors - Cinnamon, Mocha, Caramel and Vanilla this Fall

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Starbucks is planning the launch of three flavors on their Via line of instant coffee. They are also reporting that the line has sold about $100 million in sales so far which is a surprise considering the low penetration of all SKUs in the grocery channel. The new flavors are slated to be Cinnamon, Mocha, Caramel and Vanilla, all good solid coffee flavors for the coffee line up.

A significant number of coffee drinkers already drink flavored coffee, especially those who include instant coffee in their regular rotation. Starbucks indicated that they serve 60% of their patrons flavored coffee in their outlets already.

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

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