Tag Archives: coffee

What is the Best Temperature for Tea and Coffee Water?


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The folks behind the XPress lid turned me on to this awesome gadget when they sponsored Gnomedex. It is the simplest way to make the perfect cup of tea or coffee.

The Cuisinart PerfecTemp Cordless Kettle allows you to choose the right temperature for your hot beverage at the touch of a button. You can even set it to keep water at that exact temp until you need it for the next cup.

The stainless-steel cordless electric kettle has a concealed heating element. You can easily remove the filter to clean it or throw it in the dishwasher.

I’m always on the hunt for perfection. I’ve found it with this gadget. Never again will my drink be too hot or too cold. It will simply be perfect.

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Free WiFi Rolls Out at Starbucks

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood when you can sip your favorite coffee drink while surfing the Internet for free. Starbucks rolled out their free WiFi access across the US and Canada today, much to the relief of millions of caffeine-powered Geeks. Grab your phone or laptop and head over to the store nearest you. You can sip those Frappuccinos while replying to everything in your Inbox.

Best of all, there’s nothing to sign up for. You don’t need a password, and there are no time limits. As shown in the photo above, you only have to click twice to get online: once to agree to the Terms of Service and again to actually connect. You won’t be locked out (or thrown out) after an hour. You don’t have to come up with yet another fifty-character super-secret password. Just click twice… and go.

Starbucks claims that they feel no one will spend more time languishing over their laptops and drinks than they did before. I have a feeling they are very, very wrong in that assumption. I can already see the work-at-home sector dragging their gear to their local coffee joint and setting up shop at a corner table for an entire day. What better way to make connections, observe others, see and be seen and manage to look as though you are doing something productive is there?

For Coffee, AeroPress Impresses


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What drink do you enjoy first thing in the morning? Is it coffee? Is it something else caffeinated? Join the club. Well, it’s not an official club or anything – just that there are millions of us who love the wake-up juice.

I recently learned about an easier way to make “French Press” coffee without the French Press. The AeroPress is an entirely new way to make coffee. Lower water temps and faster brewing combine to create rich flavor and lower acidity in your cup. The grounds are completely immersed in water, which is what gives you that bold, rich taste.

I picked up the AeroPress for only about twenty bucks, and have been using it regularly at home. It’s really easy to use: place the paper filter in the little cup and screw it onto the bottom. Add your coffee and water, then stir. Pop in the aero portion and press down gently. It “cleans” the chamber as it forces air down through the chamber.

It takes less than thirty seconds to press the coffee into your cup. Pop the grounds into the trash and rinse the chamber – and you’re finished! You’re left with a “sip-tastic” cup of coffee.

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A Portable, Recyclable French Press


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Everybody has their own morning routine. Mine happens to include making a good cup of coffee. Mind you, there are several ways of crafting what tastes best – since “best” is typically relative. If you drink coffee, I’m wondering how you choose to make it (if you make it at all).

I need caffeine to get me going… in more ways than one. It provides quite a boost of energy, ya know? Okay, so I could down a 2 liter bottle of some random soda, but that’s full of junk. At least coffee and water are natural ingredients, yo!

The Xpress SmartCup Lid is faster and easier than using a normal French Press. It also cleans up in a snap. XPress is comprised of a disposable/recyclable lid, rod and press that will fit most standard 16 & 20oz. hot cups.

French press systems deliver a superior flavor profile, smoothness and finish for both coffee and tea. The XPress lid technology delivers the preferred qualities of the coffee drinking experience to everyday coffee lovers at an affordable price (compared to restaurant French press).

So, French Presses can be messy – and they’re far from portable. What say you to this little piece of coffee tech?

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Did You Order Your iPad Today?

The iPad officially became available for pre-order earlier today. A group of particularly prudent Apple fans from the APPL Sanity Board at Investor Village decided to put together a spreadsheet of order numbers, times that orders were placed and contents of those order. After six hours of tracking the data, the group reported that nearly 90,000 orders had been placed for the iPad. This does not count multiple orders (a single consumer can order two at a time), nor ship-to-store orders, for which no payment is required. In reality, the number of iPads ordered today is likely well over 100,000!!

According to Victor Castroll from the Valcent Financial Group and AAPL Sanity, “$54 million in revenue in a quarter of a day is a great opening. Looks like contrary to much speculation about who would actually want one of these, like the iPhone, people are voting with their wallets. Considering these are just pre-orders for a product still three weeks out, iPad is home run.”

Whether or not you think you want an iPad, a whole lot of people out there have already decided! What are your thoughts? Are you planning to get an iPad, or did you pre-order one today?

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How to Make Espresso at Home


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Just before I left for France the other day, I decided to make myself a cup of Espresso. One of the sponsors of the LeWeb conference I spoke at was Nespresso, and they sent a unit to all of us as a gift! So, I decided to try it out, and let all of you know what I think… since it really does make an excellent cup of espresso!

The genius thing about the Nespresso is that it’s easy to use, and there’s no mess involved. You fill up the container at the back, press a button, and out comes the espresso. I probably already drank more than I should, but who cares?! I like it!

I also have a container that allows me to server cold or warm milk, to allow me to change up how I want to serve the drinks. Once I finished making my espresso, it was a very simple matter to clean the Nespresso machine. Simply pull the container out, and clean it off. It pops right back into place very quickly.

You can buy different espresso flavors, of course. You can join a club and receive even more options than what the standard machine comes with.

I’m very happy with this machine. It’s easy to use and to clean… and it tastes great. The Nespresso is now my best friend. Thank you for the gift that is going to keep on giving in my house!

What’s your favorite coffee-type machine?

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Peet’s Coffee in My Hawaii Hotel!

Peet's Coffee in my Hawaii Hotel

This trip keeps getting better with every passing minute. I can’t believe there’s a Peet’s in the Sheraton Waikiki. Thanks again to Hawaii Vacations for the connection (and @starwoodhawaii for officially helping bring Peet’s to Hawaii)!

The barista told me yesterday that Peet’s does plan on placing more stores around Hawaii – which is good. Was rather surprised to see they weren’t serving any Kona, though. Not like I’m going to complain with this hot cup of Gaia Organic Blend in hand!

It’s nice to have a little bit of “home” away from home, ya know? While I’ve taken a liking to Starbucks VIA (for its consistency and ease of brewing), you know how much I love Peet’s…

Starbucks or Bust?

I can’t say I’m all that surprised about Starbucks closing 600 stores – given that we have fourteen stores within a two block radius of our house. You can’t turn your head in a modern city without seeing at least one Starbucks sign. It’s always depressing to hear that someone has lost their job, but aren’t there other neighborhood coffee shops in dire need of a good barista or two? Assuming, of course, that one has the skill set required to brew.

It’s no secret: I’m not a huge Starbucks fan (I’m a Peet’s man, through and through). Still, I wondered what my friends thought of the news:

Peet's is infinitely better, anyway. 🙂 In other news, Starbucks leaves 54,230,918 stores open. – Me

Agreed. Starbucks is not particularly good coffee, as far as I am concerned. But obviously there are may that don't agree with me… – Pascal Sijen

Too bad we don't have Peets in Maryland – Aaron Brazell

There go 600 free iPhone hot spots (with a Starbucks card of course) – Steve Pribut

I don't really see that as a problem. I'm surprised they aren't closing more. I like their coffee, but there are just too many of their stores. – Eric Truman

Love Peets. There are 2 Starbucks in my town within 5 blocks. Overkill. – Chris

I've always thought Starbuck's coffee tastes cheap and over-roasted. A couple months back, they began retraining their baristas and upgrading their quality across the board. That's probably the right move. They're being flanked on all sides and can't become a discount brand. – Chris Baskind

it's about time. reminds me of: New Starbucks Opens In Rest Room Of Existing Starbucks http://tinyurl.com/cbrzdSean Savage

+23 for Peet's. Major Dickason addiction. – AJ Kohn

I've always preferred Seattle Drip to Starbucks. (no idea how widespred "the drip" is.) – Tim

i wonder if i should apply to a starbucks… maybe not… – Justin

I'm not a fan of their over-burnt beans but I've been forced to consume their version of coffee since they crushed all of my local independent coffee houses. Crazy, there are four Starbucks locations within an eighth mile of each other a few blocks from my house. – Glenn Batuyong

the only thing I drink at Starbucks is the Chai Tea Latte. That's it. – Chris Cavs

Hmmm, Starbucks makes the best coffee in Australia. Maybe Peet's should consider coming here! – Toastpaint

Just about the only thing I ever learned to tolerate at Starbucks was a double shot of espresso. I’m sure you have your own “Starbucks drink” – and you even have the proper order of the words memorized, too.

Types of Coffee Beverages

Once again, Christopher Alexander offers food for thought… or drink, to be precise. What coffee’ish beverage do you sip, if anything?

  • Latte – Steamed Milk and Coffee, usually 1:1 ratio
  • Cappuccino – Espresso, Steamed Milk and Foamed Milk at a typical ratio of 1:1:1
  • Macchiato – Espresso ‘marked’ with a tablespoon or so of milk foam on top commonly
  • Ristretto Espresso – ‘restrained’ espresso – only pouring 2/3 or 1/2 of the espresso shot – and tossing the bitter remnants
  • Lungo – the opposite of ‘ristretto’ – this is a longer shot or double the water brewed through a single dosing of grounds, produces a milder (but more bitter espresso some may find)
  • Americano – very hot water topped with a shot of espresso (in that order) – to produce a coffee similar to American Coffee. Adding the shot on top of the hot water, preserves more of the Cafe Crema.
  • Espresso Doppio – double shot of espresso, vs Espresso Solo – single shot. There are other varieties of these too – Doppio Con Panna (With Whipped Whipping Cream) etc.
  • Corretto – literally “corrected” espresso – add a shot of Brandy, Whiskey, Grappa – or other spirits.
  • Romano – regular Solo Espresso served with a slice of lemon peel on the side.
  • Mocha – chot of espresso with melted chocolate, or as american coffee shops do it, chocolate sauce from a bottle. You could make a pot of hot chocolate with milk, and add 1/2 Hot Chocolate, and 1/2 Espresso.
  • Freddo – great on hot summer days, this is chilled espresso.

He left out the Pirillo, which is a cup of coffee with real cream in it. Yes, it’s true – that’s called a Pirillo. Half-and-Half doesn’t count.