Dec 3, 2012

Latte Art from Ritual Coffee

Latte Art from Ritual Coffee

Couldn’t resist sharing a picture of this picture-perfect latte from Ritual Coffee that I picked up on a recent visit to San Francisco. In the interest of full disclosure, I will say that they don’t have my favorite coffees, but these baristas made a wonderful latte.

Nov 30, 2012

Take-Out Coffee Necklace

Coffee Necklace

I can tell you with confidence that most of the coffee-drinkers in your life will not be disappointed with a holiday gift that includes a gift card to their favorite coffee shop – chain or otherwise – or a pound of some really good quality coffee beans. There are some ladies that you might want to get something a little more personal for, while keeping it coffee-related, you could easily opt for something along the lines of this very cute Take-Out Coffee Necklace. The pendant is completely handmade, from the lid down to the cardboard-like patterning on the tiny sleeve. The only thing it is missing is a tiny logo to brand it. It is made out of polymer, which is lightweight and perfect for everyday wear.

I think that this is a great little stocking stuffer and definitely something that will get lots of admiring oohs and aahs from other coffee-drinkers. It’s not going to replace anything from Tiffany, of course, but then most of us are going to the coffee shop more often than out to a formal dinner anyway.

Nov 28, 2012

Coffee Makes the Glass Half Full

Espresso Close Up

Coffee has many wonderful properties. It can make you more alert, and there are plenty of studies that have shown that caffeine can help you to concentrate better. More recently, some researchers have found that coffee can help boost your dopamine transmission which makes your process positive words and rewards much faster. Picking up on positive words and actions more quickly makes everything seem a little brighter – in other words, it makes you a bit more optimistic and a bit happier overall.

A little bit of caffeine isn’t going to completely turn a frown upside down (and I think if you were truly having a bad day and tried to counteract it with coffee alone you would get jittery faster than you would be gleeful), but it is going to help take the edge off. I’ve experienced this myself on a rough day – but usually gave credit to just relaxing in a comfy chair at a coffee shop, rather than to the coffee itself!

Nov 19, 2012

Dangerous Grounds: Coffee gets its own show

Todd Carmichael from Dangerous Grounds

Coffee is a drink that most of us associate with getting up in the morning, but it is making its prime time debut with a coffee-centric show on the Travel Channel! Dangerous Grounds follows Todd Carmichael, an extreme coffee lover and co-founder of the artisanal coffee roasting company La Colombe Torrefaction, as he traverses the globe in search of some of the world’s best coffees.

Carmichael’s methods for coffee sourcing may seem extreme to some, but he is a serious explorer known for being the first American explorer to cross Antarctica to the South Pole alone, on foot and with no assistance. His unusual sourcing methods are also excuses for adventure that make for exciting TV. He definitely knows how to find coffee!

I still think that it is fairly implausible that one man (and a camera man) could plunge into the jungles of a hostile country (they’re pretty much always hostile) and just happen to randomly stumble upon the best coffee that country has to offer. Find coffee, yes, but to know that that one farm just happens to have the best is a little bit of a stretch for me. Still, it’s a TV show, even if this really is the way Carmichael goes about sourcing coffee at least some of the time, and I still enjoyed watching it. I’m willing to take a grain of salt along with my coffee because I’ll be back to watch the next episode. And hopefully you will check it out, too!

Dangerous Grounds is on the Travel Channel on Tuesdays at 9/8 central.

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