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Found 520 results

  1. Ouch. Talk about world domination. The 'bucks is currently expecting to have 14,000 stores worldwide by the end of 2006 and has now upped their estimate for long range plans to a level 10,000 stores more than they had previously projected. Starbucks Expansion Plans The bizarre aspect of this - to my thinking - is that half of the new stores will be in the US. That makes for 18,000 additional Starbucks in the US. I guess the old standup comic's joke (was it Carlin who said it?) about opening a Starbucks inside a Starbucks was not too far off. It's both bad news and good news for independents. Bad news because Starbucks will cut buying contracts for more beans than ever - thereby reducing the supply of some of the better-than-commodity level beans currently used by most independents (and driving up prices in the process although if the coffee farmers and their families see the bulk of the extra money it then becomes a good thing). But the good news is that they can't possibly improve quality and it may decline even more than it has in recent years - when you operate on that massive a scale it's inevitable that quality has to suffer a bit. That opens even more doors for quality driven independent operators to distinguish themselves and gain more customers and more loyalty. And here's the cartoon that makes more sense than ever after this news update. Starbucks Relativity
  2. "Msk" posed a good question in another thread and I believe it deserves some space of its own for discussion.... Wow. This is wide open and there are so many. Plenty more are sure to be forthcoming but here's what I look for and want to know.... ==================================================== What To Look For: 1) Is the portafilter being left in the grouphead of the espresso machine when it's not in use? The thermal mass of the brass portafilter asembly is crucial in retaining heat so the brewing temp does not drop off as the water is forced through the grounds. If you walk into a cafe and see the portafilters sitting on the counter separately from the machine, waiting to be filled and used... fuggedaboudit - chances of getting really good espresso are nil. 2) Do they make a practice of grinding large amounts and leaving the doser filled with already ground coffee? Not good. Grounds sitting in the doser will literally, within an hour or so, start getting flat and losing the potential for creating good crema and superior shots. If they grind to fill the doser every ten to fifteen minutes or so during the morning rush, it's fine but if you walk in at a slow time during mid afternoon or evening and they don't grind the coffee right then for your shot - chances are you just won't get a good shot. Some of the very best cafes use timer assemblies that grind the right amount of reach shot and the beans for every shot are ground when you order the drink - this is the best. 3) Does it appear that they're tamping and doing it well? Usually the mark of a place that cares enough to try for good results. In some places you may see a LaMarzocco Swift grinder - this is the one where the barista actually locks the portafilter onto the grinder and hits a button. In this case the barista does not tamp. The grinder automatically grinds the right amount and tamps. Some purists believe that hand tamping is the best but a Swift can actually do a better and more consistent job than all but the best baristas. A relatively inexperienced barista with a well maintained and tweaked espresso machine and a Swift can produce very good results indeed. 4) Is the steam wand nice and clean and does it get wiped down and purged after each pitcher of milk is steamed? If you see a milk crud encrusted steam wand it's safe to assume that, at the very least, they don't do a good job of steaming milk. More important - it speaks to the big picture. Lack of attention to a crucial process detail like this generally indicates that the owner/manager/staff either doesn't know or doesn't care enough about milk preparation to do it correctly and more likely than not.... that attitude extends to espresso preparation. 5) Is the barista continually adding milk to pitchers that have sat around for extended periods of time on the counter or re-steaming milk that has sat around for awhile? During a busy morning or evening rush it's a resonable practice to steam in the same pitcher for awhile and keep adding more cold milk but the use old milk/warm milk/re-steamed milk means the same thign as the previous comment - lack of attention to process control. What To Ask: 1) Do you roast your own beans, how often is this done and how fresh are the beans you use? They should not be using beans more than ten days past roasting date. 2) If you don't roast them yourselves, where do they come from? In some areas you may find cafes using five pound bags of the popular Italian bar blends like LaVazza. Beans like this can make very good espresso but they have to be coming from a trusted source that monitors dates and has good turnover. Good microroaster beans will still be better in nearly all cases. Other cafes will buy from reputable microroasters. I know of a place in Brooklyn that buys from Caffe Vivace in Seattle. One of Vancouver BC's better local cafes actually has their beans shipped in from Chicago IL in the US! (Intelligentsia Roasters) 3) How many ounces in your double shot? If they say 1.5 to 2 ounces and they really deliver this amount - chances are good that they're trying to do it right. Perhaps they won't be hitting it on every shot - nobody does - but it likely means they understand what's needed. ==================================================== These are only a few but in my experience if any of the above don't meet the right criteria.... chances are slim that you'll get really good espresso.
  3. birder53

    Starbucks Burr Grinder

    I picked up my grinder last night - can't wait to use it this weekend! The regular price was $125. The sale price was $99 and they threw in a free bag of coffee. A sign in the store said the sale was going on through March 16, 2004.
  4. I'm the family's resident food geek, but my husband is the coffee geek. And he never ceases to be amazed when the fine dining restaurants we go to serve really standard or even subpar coffee. Are there are any restaurants out there offering Kona or Jamaican Blue? If not, why not? In Eric's opinion, if customers are paying $100/head for food and wine, they probably wouldn't object to paying $5 or $10 for a cup of really good coffee. Thoughts?
  5. Fresser

    Chris King Machinist's Blend

    I'm a cycling nut from the Heartland as well as an avid coffe drinker. So I'm curious to know if anyone has tried this coffee: http://www.chrisking.com/store/coffee_beer..._directory.html King Cycle Group (KCG) is a high-end cycling parts manufacturer in Portland, OR. Folks at KCG openly say that while they love to ride, they do so primarily so that they can enjoy more sweets, munchies and fine coffee drinks. So I have to wonder: is the Machinist's Blend any good?
  6. I drink a fair bit of coffee (5-6 cups a day). For years I've had my coffee with a bit of cream or milk - no sugar. Recently I've started to like it black. I find there's more coffee "flavour" that way. Am I just going through a phase, or is this part of a normal taste progression?
  7. Richard Kilgore

    Tasting: Fall 2008 Tie Guan Yin

    eG Society member Greg Glancy, who is the owner of Norbutea.com has contributed samples of tea for three tea tastings here on the eG Forum's Coffee & Tea Forum. This first tasting will feature a Chinese Oolong - a Fall Harvest 2008 Tie Guan Yin from Anxi county in Fujian province. Greg sent me five samples of this tea, which will go to the first five members who PM me and who 1) have been a member of the eG Society for at least 30 days, 2) have 5 or more substantive posts in the Coffee & Tea forum, and 3) agree to contribute to the discussion. Please PM me with a mailing address and I will send the samples out this week. Here's some interesting information on this Tie Guan Yin from the Norbutea.com website (used with permission). (In the interests of full disclosure, I should note that I have known Greg for two or three years. I originally met him at a presentation he did for The Cultured Cup's T-Bar Club of his travels in the tea regions of China, including Tibet. I have no financial interest in Norbutea.com.) [Edit: criteria changed to five or more substantive posts.]
  8. Geetha

    India Coffee Bar

    I've been ever experimenting the ways in which to prepare coffee the way my mother makes it at home. I am never tired of it and even though I have a stable version of coffee available, I not completely at home Pleasae give me some way of preparing coffe the way it used to be at home. I think this especially goes for the people of south India. I know many others too have a love of coffee, but nothing beats the home coffee. Please share your tips for ethereal coffee land today...
  9. warwart

    Coffee service for work

    My current place of employment is auditioning vendors for coffee service. (Coffee is the one amenity that supposedly increases productivity and so pays for itself.) I was thinking of starting a ‘coffee club’, as I had at other workplaces, with contributory membership. In the past, I used a cheap espresso machine, but this time I was planning on using Illy’s coffee membership program, so we’d get a good machine and good coffee. Illy: http://www.illyusa.com/AB1666000/webpage.c...ge_ID=110&DID=7 It was suggested the I hold off on the club till they finished their search because I might like the new coffee enough to drop the idea and because this company has no policy on clubs of any sort and wants to set one first. Do folks have any experiences with good coffee service or alternatives at work? I’ll keep you posted on how things go here. (We’re located in lower Manhattan.) I’ve heard they have looked at Starbucks so far favorably, since it’s stronger. warwart
  10. emhahn

    Home Coffee Brewers

    I found mine by accident, and I absolutely LOVE IT! It's a Melitta. It's a Melitte Mill and Brew. It has a grinder built in. So all you do, is put in your beans. Water. Set the timer. And *presto*..... you've got an awesome brew waiting for you every morning. A wonderful addition to my mornings! I love making coffee at my house! Eric RestaurantEdge.com
  11. Hardly an original concept for a thread but since our companion thread has folks spending so much time on the dark side.... how about some warm and fuzzy memories of your favorite coffee/espresso experiences? Perhaps it's not really the best cup you've ever really had per se but for whatever reason is very memorable. Mine would have to be back around 1979 or so when my GF spent six months in Colombia South America teaching. She brought back a few vacuum packed pounds of a special grade of Colombian Supremo that was available only for export - much higher quality than what was sold for the local Colombian market. I promptly brewed up a small pot with my trusty Melitta and for the first time ever, discovered a coffee that was ruined rather than benefiting from having half 'n half added (I have typically always added half 'n half to my coffee - even the good stuff). This stuff was so good that drinking it black was the only viable option. Thinking about that first cup still evokes tangible taste recollection not to mention the intensity of being in love for the first time. I'd be remiss if I failed to mention the first time I tried Ethiopian coffee made in the traditional manner, which is the preparation method used in the Ethiopian coffee ceremony. It was like drinking liquid gold (or so it seemed.... never having drunk liquid gold but I'm struggling for an analogy). I exited the restaurant (in Denver CO) and was greeted by the largest and most visible double rainbow I've ever been lucky enough to see - somehow very apropos.
  12. Honkman

    Movenpick coffeee

    I am looking for a online shop in the US to buy Movenpick coffee (a swiss brand). Weren't successful so far. Anybody with suggestions where I might find such coffee ?
  13. weinoo

    Bonavita Immersion Dripper

    Since I can't ever have enough different ways to brew coffee, I got me one of these... It combines (imo) the best attributes of French press without the muddiness that sometimes comes from same. So far, after brewing with it twice, I am liking the hell out of it. rotuts will be happy to know that I ordered it from BB&B, and got 20% off ! Here's how I roll drip...
  14. Carolyn Tillie

    Coffee and Tea

    I know purists that will roast their coffee beans immediately prior to grinding their cup of coffee and drinking it immediately. If a shot of pulled espresso sits around at a Starbucks for more than 30 seconds or a minute, it gets dumped. However, I have a brother-in-law who will walk into my house and if there is cold coffee still sitting in my pot and there are no moldy floaties on top, he'll drink it. As I write this, I'm still sipping on a latte that Shawn made for me when I left for work this morning. He pulled the shots at 7:15 a.m. and it is now 1:30 p.m. I consistently make an entire pot of tea and re-heat cups out of it for a day or so afterwards, despite the fact that I PREFER it fresh, just having it made and ready to heat is often easier on a busy morning. What about you? How old is too old for you?
  15. jpr54_

    Tea and Coffee

    I drink both tea and coffee- I appreciate the separating tea and coffee out as a special group of its own- I will be traveling to Fort Lauderdale and would like suggestions/recommendations for tea! Joanne
  16. Gifted Gourmet

    Coffee and wine:

    Very nice article from Wine Spectator
  17. ON HGTV this weekend there was a 1 hr show of International Housewares- There were several items for coffee and tea that were interesting- www.hgtv.com----search products to see items
  18. Schielke

    Intelligentsia Black Cat

    I recetly picked up some Black Cat blend for the first time while I was up in Vancouver recently. My wife and I totally love this coffee and see the supply dwindling. I know you can order it from Intelligentsia online, but would like to find something similar and local. We used to use Vivace beans exclusively, but the Black Cat is so much better suited to our Drip Machine. Any suggestions for Seattle? Thanks! Ben
  19. viaChgo

    yerba mate

    Just tried yerba mate for the first time yesterday. I liked it. The flavor is not my favorite among teas but it was still enjoyable. Maybe I wasn't sure what to expect. And it had a nice, pleasant caffeine kick that was different from a coffee or black tea. Other than being from South America, I don't really know anything about yerba mate.
  20. goldie

    Mobile Coffee Cart Food

    We are starting a mobile cafe and selling fresh roasted, prepared coffee to commuters from our AirStream located south of Boston. We are trying to think of the best food to sell from the cart. One thought is muffins, scones, or "real" bagels (not easy to get here). Obviously, relatively neat, premade, quick, and easy to hold in one hand and eat on the train is the objective. The branding is cool and hip so the food needs to match and be of high quality to match the coffee. Does anyone have any thoughts and ideas? Really, any ideas are welcome so let your imaginations fly. Thanks so much! Goldie
  21. Ellen Shapiro

    Coffee around the Globe

    It’s inevitable—one of the first things I do when I land in a new country is sample the local coffee. Sometimes it isn’t all that different -- in Wellington, New Zealand, there were Starbucks a plenty -- but in others like Singapore, the local brew is a thick brew of beans and condensed milk. I’d almost be willing to fly the 25 hours to Singapore just to have a couple of cups. Anyone ever had any life altering coffee experiences while traveling? Oh -- and what is it about coffee on airplanes? Must it always be so vile?
  22. cupojoe

    Cuban Coffee in East Midtown

    Anyone know of a place to get real cuban coffee near Grand Central???? I'm from Miami, and I miss it so. Note: moved to the Coffee and Tea forum in hopes of getting a response for "cupojoe"
  23. What is supposed to be so great about them? And don't they make it very difficult to get the coffee into an espresso cup?
  24. phaelon56

    CT Index - Cooking and Dining

    Cooking and Dining Good Coffee in Expensive Restaurants - why not? Espresso and Haute Cuisine - is espresso taken seriously? Hard Coffee Drinks - what do you add? Return to Coffee Topics Master Index
  25. Jason Perlow

    Self-Heating Coffee Cans

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/f...at_x.htm?csp=15
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