Starbucks Via instant coffee packs are great when you are in immediate need of a caffeine fix

I never travel without a few Starbucks Via packets in my bag. They are a godsend when I need a coffee fix and don't have time to seek out a coffee shop. My friend Kent Barnes recommended them, and I'll be forever grateful.

The packets are easy to tear open, and they dissolve quickly even in cold water. Sometimes I pour them in a small plastic water bottle, replace the cap, shake, and guzzle. I've mixed packets with cold milk, too. The coffee tastes pretty good, especially if you don't use too much water.

They are popular with backpackers, too. Read the rest

Cold-brew chocolate: advanced topics

Ever since I blew my mind by cold-brewing ground cacao nibs, I've been experimenting with the process, and have discovered some amazing variations on the formula. Read the rest

This video captures exactly what it's like to order a coffee in San Francisco

This PBS video is basically a play-by-play of the last time I got a latte. Created by Steve Goldbloom and Noah Pink and produced by Nic Pollock for “PBS: Everything But The News.”


Read the rest

San Francisco's Philz Coffee to Go National

San Francisco's favorite chain is hitting the big show, with plans to expand by 50% over the next year, according to TechCrunch. Read the rest

Free "freedom clip" turns off K-Cup DRM

Rogers Family Company Coffee and Tea is offering a free "Freedom Clip" that disables DRM in your new-model K-Cup machine, letting you use it with anyone's coffee pods. Read the rest

Rancilio Rocky Coffee Grinder, commercial quality grinder that fits on your counter

In the eight years I've been grinding my own coffee, I've burned out the motor on three grinders: a cheap blade grinder, then a Cuisinart burr grinder, and finally a Capresso grind 'n brew. Either consumer-level grinders are poorly made, or my workload of 4-5 pots of filter coffee per week plus the occasional enemy (no space for a wood chipper in my city apartment) is too intense. Having spent more than $300 on now busted grinders I decided to investigate what it would take to acquire a grinder that I might reasonably expect to last for a decade.

The Rocky has commercial grade grinding burrs and is rated at 7.7 lbs per hour. Rancilio refers to the Rocky as "quiet during operation", and maybe it is in a relative sense, but I've yet to find a device that crushes things at a volume level approaching "serene". It is slightly less obnoxious than my previous grinders at close range.

Though I was sufficiently assured that the grinder would stand up to my usage, the quality that tipped the scales towards the Rocky is one most coffee nerd sites don't mention: height. At 13.8" tall, the Rocky is much shorter than most prosumer grinders, and it was the only grinder of its quality that fits easily under my shelves. I've had it for two years at this point and it still grinds as if I'd just taken it out of the box.

Rancilio Rocky Coffee Grinder ($363) Read the rest

Defeat Keurig's K-Cup DRM with a single piece of tape

Keurig's dumbass coffee-pod DRM tries to prevent your machine from brewing pods that don't come from Keurig, but you can defeat it in seconds with a single piece of tape. Read the rest

Bean-to-cup coffee with the push of a button

Let me start by saying I like coffee; strong, black coffee. Some years ago I treated myself to a proper home espresso machine. I also bought a burr grinder. I didn’t go as far as buying green beans and roasting them myself (I did consider it), but I did by small batches of freshly roasted quality beans. Read the rest

Cappuccino in a bell pepper

Italian specialty coffee master Ettore Diana introduced a new menu item during a visit to NYC cafe Crave.It: Cappuccino served in a yellow bell pepper.

"Don’t knock this bell jar until you try it," writes Justin Rocket Silverman in the New York Daily News. "The bitter kick of the coffee is perfectly balanced by the cool sweetness of the pepper." Read the rest

Jean Baudrillard predicted the Pumpkin Spice Latte

When a "seasonal" drink has no "seasonal" ingredients, including pumpkin, what can it be, but simulacrum? Read the rest

Keurig sued for anti-competitive K-cup tactics

Chris sez, "Club Coffee, maker of K-Cup compatible pods, has taken Keurig to court in Ontario, alleging anti-competitive behaviour, including telling retailers that they can't even talk to Club Coffee, let alone carry its products." Read the rest

Space-themed latte art

NASA knows how to celebrate National Coffee Day in style!

(via IO9) Read the rest

How caffeine evolved

At the New York Times, Carl Zimmer examines new research on the genomics of the Coffea canephora plant and the evolution of caffeine: Read the rest

Which is better: coffee or an electric shock to the head?

Kiki Sanford on a strange scientific study comparing the effects of caffeine to zapping your brain tissue with electricity.

Keurig's K-Cup coffee DRM cracked

When they unveiled the stupid idea of locking out competitors' coffee-pods, I predicted this would happen, and I still wonder if Keurig will be dumb enough to bring a test-case that makes some good law; after all, they are a good candidate for Battle Station Most Likely to Have a Convenient Thermal Exhaust Port. Read the rest

Civil War carbine with a "coffee grinder" for corn and wheat

Notwithstanding the rumors of Civil War era carbines with attached coffee-grinders to help soldiers with their bean-juice, the grinder on on this 1859 "Coffee Mill" Sharps Carbine is thought to have been used for corn or wheat. Read the rest

Vacuum stainless-steel coffee press

For French press coffee geeks who also happen to be klutzes like me, no more broken carafes with this bad boy. I’ve had mine for years and it is still like brand new. Also for whatever reason, the plunger mesh is MUCH tougher than on the Bodum products and does not shred nearly as easily. Next time you smash your carafe on your Bodum just buy one of these. -- A.T. Salzman

Thermos 34-Ounce Vacuum Insulated Stainless-Steel Gourmet Coffee Press: $40 Read the rest

More posts