Apr 23, 2014

Cafe de Olla

Cafe de Olla

Cafe de Olla is a Mexican spiced coffee that is a very enjoyable way to prepare your coffee if you’re looking for a little variety. The coffee is prepared on the stovetop and it is flavored with cinnamon, orange and cloves, and sweetened with piloncillo. Piloncillo is an unrefined Mexican sugar that you can find sold in cones or large chunks at Mexican markets. It has a unique flavor that is somewhere between brown sugar and honey, and while it takes a little bit of work to chop up the block that it comes in, it is well worth the effort.

This coffee is traditionally brewed by combining all the ingredients in a saucepan and allowing them to steep together, than straining out the spices when you’re ready to serve it. You can also make it in smaller batches in a french press, but I find that it is easies to make it the traditional way because nothing gets caught in the mesh of my french press. With the saucepan method, you can also easily taste your coffee and adjust the sugar level to taste, as piloncillo is quite sweet and you may find that you don’t want quite as much in your brew.
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Apr 21, 2014

White Castle Launches K-Cups

White Castle K-Cups

There are no White Castles in my neighborhood – in fact, there aren’t any on my whole coast – but I am well aware that the fast food chain has some extremely loyal fans out there and the chain tries to do everything they can to satisfy their White Castle cravings. White Castle is known for their burgers, but one of the four original items on the menu when the first White Castle opened was coffee, and they have a loyal following for that among WC fans, as well. White Castle has been selling their ground coffee for a while now, but they just rolled out their own signature White Castle K-Cups so that fans can easily brew their own restaurant blend without having to leave the comfort of their own home – and with very little effort or cleanup. The only difference between using these and hitting the drive through is that you won’t have the opportunity to add burgers or other snacks to your order to go with your coffe.

The cups are being sold online¬†and should also be available in grocery stores in areas where you’ll find White Castle locations.

Apr 20, 2014

Is CUPS a good deal for coffee shops?

Cup of Kenya Coffee

Starbuck is usually perceived as the biggest threat to the “local coffee shop,” though there is plenty of competition out there that aims to capture your business for that first, morning cup of coffee. One company bas designed an app called CUPS that is designed to encourage local coffee shops to work together and offer consumers unlimited coffee for choosing them over one of the “big guys.” CUPS works by selling $45 monthly subscriptions that give consumers free, unlimited regular coffee (drip, pour-over or otherwise filtered) at one of their participating stores. It sounds like a good deal for consumers, since the only restriction is that you wait 30 minutes between cups, but it’s a little less clear as to whether it is a good deal for coffee shop operators.

The app pays the coffee shops for the coffee and keeps the change, if the total dollar amount is not used at the end of the month. It’s not clear how much the app pays the coffee shop per cup until that amount is used up, however, nor is it clear what happens after that price point is hit. The app offers or will offer other options for latte-type drinks and also pre-paid drink amounts.
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Apr 17, 2014

Coffee Makes Employees More Ethical

World's Largest Coffee Cup

It can be tempting to take the easy way out when faced with a difficult problem or task. Sometimes this equates to a simple shortcut that really does help you do a job more efficiently. Other times, this equates to just doing a half-assed job, bypassing important procedural steps or, progressing further down the poor-ethics road, to lying and stealing. A new study that was published in the March issue of Journal of Applied Psychology found that at least two cups of caffeinated coffee could improve the ethical response of tired employees.

The study presented sleep-deprived volunteers with a choice to cheat by going along with a lie on a task with the promise of extra money or to resist cheating. Caffeinated employees were more likely to resist the temptation to cheat. This study also simply shows that tired people may be more likely to take the “easy way out” even if it is unethical.

The solution is for employers to encourage employees to stay bright and alert by suppling them with coffee as needed and by making it possible for them to get adequate rest at the end of a work day. Since you can’t control whether your employees are staying up all night watching marathons of low-budget-yet-addictive SyFy channel movies, stocking the break room with good coffee is the most reliable option.

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