You might have thought that squirrels got their seemingly endless energy for chasing each other, gathering nuts and taunting other animals naturally, but it turns out that squirrels might like coffee just as much as we do. Or at least they have a thing for coffee mugs. Archie McPhee sells a Squirrel Coffee Cup that is perfectly sized for our rodent friends. The porcelain cup measure 1-1/4″ x 1-1/4″ and is just the right size for a squirrel to pick up and sip from – as illustrated by this squirrel in A Squirrel’s Life, who certainly seems pleased with his.
Scifi and coffee have long gone hand and hand. I suspect that it has something to do with the fact that a cup of coffee – or a whole pot – helped to keep many gamers going when they wanted to stay up all night playing space-themed games and movie fans up for all-night space movie marathons. This Ray Gun Mug allows you to combine the two once and for all. The mug is shaped exactly like that ray gun you pictured as you romped through “outer space” as a kid, blasting space monsters and rocks alike to cosmic smithereens. You can hold it by the grip of the gun as you drink. The mug wholes 12-oz, which should give you plenty of fuel to complete any daily tasks, even if they are on the mundane side when compared to actual space exploration.
Peru is one of the top coffee-producing countries in the world, although it doesn’t necessarily come to my mind first when I think about coffee. So, I was slightly surprised to see that a Peruvian coffee was the newest addition to the Starbucks Reserve line on my last visit. Perú Aladino is named after one specific farmer – Aladino Delgado – in the Chontali District of Peru who uses an unusually processing method for preparing his beans. The beans are fermented in earthenware tanks before being dried in greenhouses which create a controlled microclimate to dry the beans as evenly and carefully as possible.
After one cup, I knew that this coffee was worth going out of your way for. It has a velvety texture and a strong toasted nut and toffee flavors, with a more subtle flavors that hinted at cream and cocoa. It is actually quite light and so well balanced that it is exceptionally easy to drink. I liked it best straight from the Clover at Starbucks, but it brews well in a french press and also makes very good iced coffee if you brew it a little stronger before pouring it over ice.
Peet’s is celebrating their 47th anniversary this year and, although they have been offering anniversary blends for many years now, it seems that they are getting more dramatic as the coffee house closes in on their 50th anniversary. The 2013 Anniversary Blend combines Ethiopian Yirgacheffe with beans from Colombia and Java. Fans of floral and slightly citrusy Yirgacheffe wont’ be disappointed with this coffee, since that provides the base for this blend. It has a lot more body and fruitiness to it than Yirgacheffe alone (and, full disclosure, I tend not to be a big fan of Yirgacheffe), thanks to the two beans blended with it, and so the final blend has a rich, smooth and flavorful profile that appealed to me much more than I anticipated.
This is definitely a bold coffee and works just as well when put through an espresso machine as it does in a french press. You could opt for a regular drip coffee maker, if that’s your preference but you’ll get a little extra body and mouthfeel from this blend if you opt to press it instead.