Massachusetts state senator busted for kickbacks including Dunkin’ Donuts coffee

Brian Joyce, former Democratic assistant majority leader in the Massachusetts State House, was incited for running a "criminal enterprise" that included "racketeering, extortion, honest services fraud, money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the IRS and other charges," according to Newsweek. Part of Joyce's $1 million worth of dirty money and kickbacks included a free jeep given to him by an insurance company along with “hundreds of pounds” of Dunkin’ Donuts from a franchise owner seeking permits. Read the rest

Good deal on the Aeropress coffee and espresso maker

I've had an Aeropress coffee and espresso maker for many years, and it works as well now as the day I bought it. It makes delicious coffee and it's a lot of fun to use. Right now Amazon is selling it for $(removed), the lowest price I've seen.

Filmmaker and photographer David Friedman profiled the inventor of the Aeropress, Alan Adler. He is also the inventor of the Aeorobie Flying Ring. Here's a video of Friedman using the Aeropress: Read the rest

Beloved local restauranteur can't sell coffee or tea because Starbucks strongarmed the landlord

The Arepa Lady started as a food-cart in Jackson Heights, Queens, owned by Maria Cano, whose son and daughter-in-law have continued the family business, moving into permanent digs, with seating for 30. Read the rest

This concrete espresso machine is countertop Brutalism

The stark concrete style known as Brutalism is instantly recognizable in architecture, just as it is with this espresso machine by design studio Montaag of Berkeley, California. Not content with the current aesthetic offerings of espresso machines, they decided to create their own. Bare concrete became the machine's outer shell after the studio's team went on material-discovering expeditions through local salvage yards.

The result of their efforts is the AnZa (which is also available in slick white Corian):

The AnZa is not your typical appliance, collecting dust on your countertop. Concrete. Corian. Wood. Steel. Brass. Glass. These largely ordinary materials are not often found on espresso machines. But their application shows you don’t need to look far to find design elements that create a dramatically new experience—emotional, practical, or otherwise. The result is a spectacular espresso machine, and an unparalleled conversation piece.

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, this high-end coffee maker can now be pre-ordered through Indiegogo for $799 plus shipping.

(Curbed) Read the rest

How to make a goth frappucino

It's Black Friday mixes us a DIY Black Frappucino, which is a blend of bottled sugary "latte," ice, black gel food dye and activated charcoal (warning, don't use this if you're on any kind of important meds, eg birth control, mood stabilizers, chemo drugs, etc). It looks pretty great, even if it's a giant calorie whose key ingredients are terrible "coffee" and a food additive that can lead to accidental pregnancies. (via The Everyday Goth) Read the rest

I found the worst K-Cup coffee

After an exhaustive and uninterrupted search extending over many years, I have finally determined the worst K-Cup coffee. Target's Market Pantry Premium Roast ($15.98 for 48 pods) is about as cheap as Amazon's popular 30-cent K-Cup, but is far worse. It tastes nearly as good as own-brand instant coffee from British supermarkets. It's flavorless yet vile, catching in the throat like air from a house inhabited by forty cats.

Imagine, if you will, old espresso grounds resteeped in sweat and sweetened with flakes of seborrheic dermatitis. You have imagined something no less unpleasant than Market Pantry Premium Roast.

But no snarky turn of phrase or revolting comparison can do it justice. The more you know (or think you know) about coffee—and the more you despise the entire concept of these machines—you owe it to yourself to experience just how bad the K-Cup experience can get, a place whereof one cannot speak, an invitation to the true friend that will never betray, a silence steeped in medium-roast horror.

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How caffeine keeps you awake

TedEd tackles the question of "How does caffeine keep you awake?" The answer is fascinating but I care less about how it works and just thank my lucky stars that it does.

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Coffee makes you live longer? Don't believe the buzz

Two new studies from the Annals of Internal Medicine have made the rounds on news sites, each claiming that an increased coffee consumption leads to a higher life expectancy. While this may sound like a great excuse to fuel a coffee habit, the summary of the studies explicitly states that:

Although drinking coffee cannot be recommended as being good for your health on the basis of these kinds of studies, the studies do suggest that for many people, no long-term harm will result from drinking coffee.

Despite the claims from many news sources, excessive coffee drinking has not been proven to prolong your life. For those wondering why the study in inconclusive, an opinion piece in Forbes clearly outlines why association does not prove causation, and why more coffee will not necessarily benefit you.

A compelling article from last year in New York Times' Well explains a fairly decisive link between genetics and the health impact of coffee-drinking. Whether or not you are a fast- or slow-metabolizer of caffeine may determine its health benefits or consequences. If you are interested in the subject, it is worth reading.

While the two new studies do suggest that coffee drinkers live longer lives, there is no evidence that clearly points to coffee as the culprit. For now, drink assured that coffee will not harm you, but know that it may not be the elixir that it’s currently hyped up to be.

Image: Peter Lindberg Read the rest

Essential coffee GIFs for December

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Every year, Starbucks sends 4 billion nonrecyclable paper cups to landfills

In 2008, Starbucks publicly acknowledged that the plastic coatings it used on its paper cups made them impossible to recycle using the kinds of equipment deployed by municipalities around the world, and kicked off an annual competition to improve the cup design -- but five years later, it shut the competition down, went on using the unrecyclable cups, and adopted the line that the world's taxpayers should foot the bill for upgrading recycling plants to accommodate its cups. Read the rest

Make: an Aeropress/water bottle cold-brew dripper

The cheapest and easiest way I know of to make cold brew coffee is with an almond-milk bag and a water jug, but if you favor the drip method over the steeping method, you can spare yourself the expense of a fancy Kyoto dripper and just use a disposable 500ml water bottle with a pinprick in its lid, suspended over an Aeropress. Read the rest

Why aren't there screw-threads inside the Aeropress sleeve?

I'm staying in a hotel with nothing but paper cups in the room, and I'm not travelling with my usual suitcase in which I stash my emergency polypropelene folding cup, so I'm reduced to making my hotel coffee using the awkward hold-the-sleeve method, in which you grip the sleeve as hard as you can with your left hand while pushing down on the piston with your right, supporting the press so you don't crush the paper cup beneath. Read the rest

Spreadable coffee is coming to Japan

Snow Brand Milk will celebrate its 55th birthday by releasing "spreadable coffee" intended to be eaten on toast; it's a followup to an earlier "Edible coffee" product that appears to be basically coffee pudding. Read the rest

Seriously elaborate, steampunked coffee siphon

Diguo's Luxury Royal Family Balance Syphon Coffee Maker is an amazingly elaborate coffee siphon, a brewing method dating to the 1830s which is said to produce "a delicate, tea-like cup of coffee," albeit with the caveat that it is "quite persnickety." Read the rest

The Moka Express coffee maker will last forever

Kitchen appliances wear out. When they do, it usually means it's time to toss it and buy a new one. But in recent years, it's become easier to buy replacement parts, thanks to eBay and Amazon. This trend has kept my Bialetti Moka Express stovetop coffee maker alive and well.

My Moka is one of my favorite possessions. I use it a couple of times a day. I have the 6-cup orange-colored Moka, which I bought in December 2014. (I use it to make one-regular sized cup of coffee, not six espresso sized cups.) I've made over 1,000 cups of coffee with it. I get excited every time I use it.

The handle melted off a few months ago when my daughter left the burner on. A replacement handle kit is $(removed), but I opted to make one from a bamboo cutting board. You can get 3 replacement rubber seals and an aluminum filter for $(removed) (I've replaced the seals twice).

It's harder to find a replacement safety valve. I have one, scavenged from another Moka, if I need it. But they rarely wear out. When I find it acting up, it's because it's dirty and needs cleaning. Here's a good troubleshooting guide.

If you want a coffee maker that outlives you, it's hard to beat this one.

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Bodum pour-over coffee maker with permanent filter $(removed)

The Bodum coffee maker I posted about a couple of weeks ago is on sale at Amazon for $(removed)

"With the Chemex, even a moron can make good coffee.” Those were the memorable words of inventor and bon vivant Peter Schlumbohm, praising his creation. A Chemex costs $(removed) on Amazon, but you can buy what appears to be a functionally identical semiknockoff from Bodum for half the price. Unlike the Chemex, which requires a paper filter, the Bodum has a permanent stainless steel mesh filter. It's made from borosilicate glass, and is "mouth-blown" as opposed to being blown with another orifice capable of producing pressurized gas. Read the rest

Man enjoys coffee in a flooded Starbucks

Yes, Starbucks coffee IS that good(story in comments)(x-WTF)

Come hell or high water, this gentleman is going to have his Starbucks. Read the rest

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