Retro Espresso Cups… just what the new kitchen ordered

We are always hunting around for the ‘latest’ in retro or vintage looking coffee items. There aren’t many of the old favorites being reproduced so when I find something the whole household gets excited. While we have a nice collection of items on shelves and on the table for looking at… you know, ‘atmosphere’, what we really want is items we aren’t afraid to use. It’s a whole house of clumsy fingers so anything of value is put out of reach.

Last weekend we found these ‘vintage’ looking espresso cups. The site they are offered through was a new find for us as they sell all kinds of retro items that are made today in yesteryear’s designs. Sadly, we have to wait for these little cups and saucers just a bit longer as they are out-of-stock. The site, Retro Planet , does have many other fun items to look through till the cups come back into inventory.

Retro Planet says:

* Made of Designer Stoneware
* Microwave and Dishwasher Safe
* Includes 4 Cups with Matching Saucers
* Includes 1 Cup and 1 Saucer of Each Color:
– Light Green
– Light Blue
– Orange Red
– Brown
* Cup Measures: 3 Dia. x 2H inches, Holds 4 oz.
* Saucer Measures: 4.5 Dia. inches


Fun with Coffee Art… yup, there is an app for that

When a friend told me about the Caffeine tracker app for my iPhone, I spent some time looking around and found a fun Coffee Art app. A glance around the internet finds many food sites that show how creative people can be with their coffee art.

There are books and YouTube videos on how to do those fun bits of art too. All of which are great when sitting on the couch, but when in the kitchen or on the go, you need an app for that. I found one! The iPhone app is called Art of Coffee. And, as the name implies, the application shows you step by step how to create an extra dimension to your morning express0. If not for you, it’s a nice thing to do for someone else you might be pulling a shot for.

The Art of Coffee is only about creating a visually pleasing presentation and not about the actual action of pulling a shot. That said, there is coffee and milk tips in the app, but the 30+ pour instructions are the reason to take a look. Use Art of Coffee for a few tips then choose a design and learn step by step how to make bits that jump out of the cup.

From the software creator:

The designs in the Art of Coffee are divided into two sections and listed as follows:
Essential Art: Chasing Hearts, Four Leaf Clover, Dotted Flower, Seagulls, Etched Rosettas, Simple Heart, Layered Heart, Cradled Heart, Rosetta, Hanging Heart, Rosetta with Heart, Tulip, Smiley

Advanced Art: Butterfly, Ghost, Rabbit, Monkey, Pig, Dragon, Seahorse, Fish, Cowboy, Double Heart, Heart within a Heart, Swan, 6 Leaf Tulip, Double Rosetta, Phoenix, Rosetta with Double Heart, Wreathed Heart, Rosetta with Tulip, Double Heart Double Rosetta.




Martha Stewart plus New Coffee Filters = Holiday Fun Craft

Martha Stewart to the rescue for the holidays. A particularly great idea if you just went from a drip coffee maker to a single cup pod machine… what to do with all those paper filters up in the kitchen cabinet. Why not make a holiday wreath out of them?

The project is actually pretty quick and takes the filters, something to poke the holes with, a bit of ribbon, a paper plate (read the directions, you can substitute for different size wreaths) and a glue gun… the ever crafty ‘glue gun’. She frowns on people taking her plans from her sites and books, so the next step is to jump over to her site and see the ‘very’ simple instructions. The only age restriction is the need for the hot glue gun… maybe a kids glue stick could be used, will have to play with that.



Espresso with the speed of a puck machine but still real frothed milk!

You love the speed of a puck coffee maker but don’t like the ‘pucks’ of so called milk. You enjoy espresso but have a time keeping fresh beans in the house. If this describes you, I have a find you will be interested in. Personally, I was excited.

Illy has several pre-packaged coffee ‘pucks’ options. Their new style, I have mentioned here before are little plastic single use Capsules. And, the long term solution are their E.S.E pods, which are individually wrapped coffee in what looks like filter material. The E.S.E Pods can be purchased from a variety of stores and online suppliers. E.S.E Pods come in Medium, Dark and Decaf.

Their new machine, Mitaca POD1 Espresso Machine, uses these E.S.E Pods. And also has a milk frothing steam nozzle! This is big if you like the speed of the k-cup style machines but don’t want to use the ‘milk’ pucks like in the Tassimo or Dolce machines. The manufactures make an attempt at filling the need of frothed milk but it tastes very different from the milk in your fridge. Interesting enough, from the circle of friends I chatted with about the new Mitaca POD1, they all found it easy to keep fresh milk on hand but difficult to store and grind beans for a quick espresso or cappuccino.

The Mitaca POD1 has the option of the monthly service too. Currently, the machine is just under $400 dollars, but if you go for the monthly coffee delivery option they sell you the machine for $175 US. They also throw in four of their Illy espresso cups on the monthly package.

Particulars from the IllyUSA site:

  • Electronic low water level alarm
  • Steam nozzle makes frothing milk easy
  • Hot water dispenser
  • Adjustable tray for small and large cups
  • Automatic pod ejection
  • Aluminium thermoblock
  • Pump pressure: 18 bars
  • Water tank: 50.7 ounces
  • Weight: 8.6 lbs.
  • Available colors: Red, and Silver

Measures: 8.6” w x 11.4” d x 10.2” h