Coffee Joulies – A new idea to keep coffee the perfect temperature

Looking around Kickstarter this morning, I noticed a new project called Coffee Joulies. The end product from the project is Stainless Steal ‘Beans’ with a chemical inside that melts at 140 degrees, absorbing excessive heat out of the coffee. Then, they hold that heat to keep the coffee warm beyond what would be a normal length of time. I am in no way involved with this project, but it seemed interesting for my readers that might suffer from their coffee being too hot or for folks that take their time drinking their coffee which gets cold before finished.

There is a time limit to the project (29 days left as of the posting of this). After that date, the project folks go off and manufacture the Coffee Joulies and start to ship. So, if you read this after the project ends and are interested, you may still want to jump to their project to see where you can buy.

The Coffee Joulies developers had a few FAQ items:

How do I use Coffee Joulies?

Pop a few Joulies into your coffee as soon as it’s poured. The hotter the coffee, the more energy Joulies can absorb, and the longer they can keep your coffee the right temperature.

Are Coffee Joulies really safe to put in my coffee?

Yes! Joulies are perfectly safe when used properly, and in fact make drinking coffee safer than usual by reducing the risk of burning your mouth. They sink in your coffee to keep them away from your lips, they won’t ever be hotter than 140°F when used properly (meaning they’ll never burn you), and all the materials used in their construction are food-grade.

What are Coffee Joulies made of?

Joulies are made of the hightest grade stainless steel used in silverware production, ensuring that they are completely safe, will last forever, and will keep their polished finish for a long time.

What’s inside of Coffee Joulies?

Joulies are filled with a proprietary substance called a “Phase Change Material” (PCM) that melts at 140°F and is 100% edible food-grade magic.

How long will my Coffee Joulies last?

Coffee Joulies are made using the same materials and a very similar process as table knives, and will last a lifetime.

If you are new to It is a site that people can present their projects to accept funding from anyone. There is a set amount that must be reached for the project to be considered ‘funded’, if that isn’t reached the people committing money will not be charged. Generally, the project pay off is the product as if you had purchased it at a highly reduced price, mentions and other ways of saying thanks. Money put into a project does not result in any ownership of the project product and is generally not tax deductible.


News: Starbucks, Starbucks and Personalized Coffee Bags

Starbucks has two news items worthy of a mention and there is also the new ‘personalized coffee bags’. We had mentioned late last year that Starbucks was raising their prices. We got a lot of emails stating that folks didn’t see the increase in their area. We do not know if the increase was delayed or if it was just being rolled out across the states a few stores at a time. We did see specialty drinks go up 30 cents in Ft. Worth and then a week later go up in Dallas. While we still hit a Starbucks when we have a espresso need and no small shop is available, this price does put the drinks just over our comfort level. We’ll report back on what we end up doing.

Another Starbucks news item was the announcement that the beta for smartphone payments of in store purchases was successful so they are rolling it out to more stores. Currently, there is just over 7,000 stores around the US that you can pay for your coffee and snacks using your smartphone. There is an app for the iPhone (free on the iTunes store here) and there is a BlackBerry app too.  There are most likely Android and Microsoft solutions but we don’t have links to those yet. The iPhone version of the app has a way to ‘reload’ your card and a location finder too.

And to wrap up the coffee news is an offering we found from Boca Java: Personalizing Your Coffee is as Easy as 1-2-3! Choose from either 8oz. bags or 2oz. bags. Fun for Weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, Grand Openings, Holiday Gifts, In-Room Coffee Service, Invitations & Announcements, Reunions, Conventions & Trade Shows and Corporate Gifts. You can see their offerings on their site. Personalize Boca Java Coffee with Your Own Image!


Don’t get hooked on the Keurig Donut Coffees at Costco

While the Keurig is not as sophisticated of a coffee system as the Tassimo, they do have an impressive line of K-Cup coffee offerings. The system treats each pod the same so the many providers of the coffee options pick and choose which of their line will work best with the system. Several brands offer many of their regular drip coffee versions, while others may offer just a regular and decaf.

Costco carries the standard machine, packaged with a few of the coffees on the market to sample which you may like best. They also offer large 80 K-Cup boxes of a few coffees. Most notable has been the Folgers Gourmet Lively Colombia (medium roast).

Also in the ‘big’ box is The Donut Shop Coffee from Coffee People. Well, they ‘did’ offer it, for a couple months.

Many times at Costco, things appear and then go away a short time later. Sometimes this is because the offering isn’t as popular as hoped but many times it is because the product manufacture was just getting folks to try. Then, they pull the bulk product and the only place to buy is in smaller quantities for more money in regular retailers.

There is actually still ‘Donut’ K-Cup coffee at Costco, but it is “Donut House” Coffee.

There is nothing wrong with the Donut House compared to the Donut Shop coffee… we just found it interesting that Costco stopped a coffee and replaced it with a very similarly named product.

For those that care, the Donut Shop is a bit ‘stronger’ tasting, while the Donut House is more ‘bold’. Both are fine… and it’s always great to have new options to try.

As a side note, if Donut Shop did do a bit of test marketing at Costco, it worked. In a visit to Crate and Barrel this weekend, the K-Cup area had only the Decaf version of the Donut Shop coffee left. The counter person said the regular option is always out of stock due to popular demand, now.


‘TODAY’ says that flavored coffee drinks have calories

If you missed it, this morning the Today show let us know in their Drink This Not That segment, many flavoried coffee drinks where covered. The guest speaker was the author of Eat This, Not That! 2011: Thousands of easy food swaps .

As you would expect… big drinks with lots of syrups and whole milk is like eating a lot of candy. Well, calories wise, it isn’t the best thing for you. Before folks get really excited, what we comparing the calories against? If a person has a drip coffee and four donuts, they could have skipped the crumbs and just had a tasty drink. All fun aside, it is an eye opener on how the calories count up. Here is the info from the show… I had to type fast!

Peppermint Mocha Latte whole milk
700 calories

Cafe Mocha Skim Milk
220 calories

Dunkin Donuts
Large Gingerbread Latte
440 calories (= 4.5 of their “Sprinkle The Cheer donuts”)

Dunkin Donuts
Medium Gingerbread Latte
170 calories

Panera Bread Peppermint Hot Chocolate
610 calories

Panera Bread 10 oz Hot Chocolate
270 calories

Large Frappe Carmel
680 calories

Non-Fat Carmel Cappuccino
190 calories

Vente Eggnog latte with whole Milk
630 calories

If you want to see the video of the actual show bit, take a look on their TODAY Holiday Guide Web page.


Starbucks® Christmas Blend is in – Including VIA Too!

Buzzing by the local Starbucks, we knew the holiday season was upon us as the Christmas Blend was available! If your new to the Christmas Blend, you might want to give it a try if you like slightly stronger coffee without the burnt taste and without the afterburn most often found with the stronger day coffees.

Starbucks describes it as: Multi-Region Blends, Tasting – Sweet, spicy, herbal.
The normal bags of the regular Christmas beans are available. Normally, we enjoy for the month to two months, then they are not available anymore and you can only drink ‘older’ beans. This year, Starbucks has added a Espresso bean version.

And finally, for us folks on the go, a VIA version. Yes, for the first time we can have a cup of the Christmas Blend even when a bean grinder isn’t available. We are normally talking about what a little speciality coffee shop can do better than the big chains, but in this case we are really happy we can take our seasonal coffee with us.