Starbucks Espresso Christmas Blend – Did we enjoy it or should we pass this year?

Throughout our travels we find we drink a lot of coffee from many different places. Every place has a preferred bean or drink or mix of drinks that the locals feel is better than the rest. It may just be because the locals love the owners which can have a lasting effect on a cup of coffee’s taste. Others have beans they mix to their own special family recipe, though we always wonder how many generations has been importing beans from a particular mountain’s growing fields. No matter the reason for the provider’s labeling of their signature drink, it is important to remember a few key fact because we may be coming back this way in the future. There is nothing worse than settling down for a relaxing cappuccino to remember the second sip in why you didn’t enjoy the drink last time.

Being a self labeled ‘geek’ family, we turned to our mobile devices and set up a little database to track what was good and what was not. Using a simple app, Bento, we are able to make quick notations about the location and what we liked and didn’t like. The next time through, a quick search reminds us if we should grab the special or make an excuse for the daily grind. Using this solution does mean we are dealing with basic pull downs and boxes for entry, with very little effort we were able to sync across all of the family mobile devices so the knowledge is shared.

When talking about the Starbucks ‘Espresso’ Christmas Blend in this mornings espresso, we thought about the need for something a bit more ‘nice to look at’ and graphical that anyone could just load and use. A quick search and we found Coffee Cellar. An app for the iPone and iPad that lets you quickly name a drink, assign an icon to remember the drink by later and then rate via sliders what your tasting results where. Currently there isn’t any way to note a location so the app is really best to use with beans you bought and are using at home. Maybe it will work with something like the FourSquare app in the future. We do like how fast it is to rate a drink then find it later though.

Back to Starbucks Espresso Christmas Blend – this is different from their normal holiday red bag Christmas Blend, most noticeable by it’s purple bag. The beans? A strong smell from the grinder let us know this wasn’t a coffee bean, and it is truly a espresso mix. The taste is not bitter, though there is a burnt taste that lingers after drinking in the back of our mouths. Not a bad experience at all, but much different from the year round Starbucks Espresso coffee option. Very enjoyable as a seasonal treat, though marked in our log as not an every day drink. We like to keep the unique spoils of particular blends for an occasion rather otherwise we might be setting our standards too high for the small stand on the corner and their great grandmother’s secret bean mix.


T-Shirt of the Coffee Lovers

I have nothing to do with the person who created this shirt… I just saw it and had to have one. Then it hit me, you may want one too. So rather than everyone stopping to ask me on the street where I got it, here is the creator’s site.

The design is simple, like my cup of morning coffee. Simple, but strong in statement and with a clear delivery that has an impact on the day going forward.

It’s Always Coffee Time

From the designer:


The lettering and cup design are printed using discharge inks, dark gray and clear respectively. The discharge ink essentially re-dyes the shirt to creating the image. With this method, you don’t have the familiar thickness of Plastisol prints where the ink sits on top of the shirt fabric. After an initial wash, you won’t even be able to feel the design at all. This results in nothing but pleasantly wearable softness.


All my favorite shirts are tagless, so I make sure the ones I produce are tagless as well. Instead of standard tags, the neck tag design is printed directly on the fabric using the same discharge ink. Comfort comes first.


Jerry Seinfeld drives his comedy friends around and stops for coffee, the new show must be funny!

I have high hopes for Jerry Seinfeld and his new comedy show “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee“.

He brings together his comedy friends, they drive around in classic cars with a GoPro on the dashboard, then stop for a coffee to talk a bit. I’m sure there will be some gags along the way that will mean the most to those having seen Jerry work with that comedian in other shows. The quick preview YouTube video covers a few of the cars and comedians to get a sense of how they will be interacting. There is very little in the video about coffee, which is what we here are all interested in. I wonder if they will always be going to the same coffee spot or not… most likely not since the preview shows the cars in a variety of areas.

The show’s actual site “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee” provides little more information other than to say that the show Premieres Thursday, July 19 @ 9pm EST.


Everything you need to know about coffee, from a 1961 perspective

Some people look at coffee and think that little has changed in the last 40+ years. Then, you see this video and remember how really different ‘coffee’ and the preparation of coffee was back in the early 60s. People thought of why they drank coffee differently. They had a different persecutive on what made a ‘good cup of coffee’. And one of the biggest differences is how they made their coffee. We have actually spent the last few years collecting many of the methods they show here, even the unique and very fun containers for the process to be proper. Whether you were drinking coffee in 1961 or even born then, this is a fun video to have an appreciation for where we are now. Now, with little pucks of processed ground beans, we are waiting forever as the machine does it’s thing in less than two minutes.


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