World Market Chocolate Turtle

My well-meaning daughter picked this up whilst out shopping: World Market Chocolate Turtle Coffee. It’s pre-ground flavored coffee.
I like many of World Market’s products, and while I’m not a huge fan of flavored coffees, I do like some of them. However, you would think that they would know that turtles don’t taste good, and not put them into coffee.
This actually tastes like they ground up a turtle’s shell and mixed it right in. Seriously. There’s this odd aftertaste of old ground-up bone, which is probably just a tang of staleness picked up by the coffee as it sat in a warehouse for seven years.
I’ve had canned coffee that tastes better than this stuff. I’ve had instant coffee that tastes better. The hint of coco that makes the “chocolate” in the “chocolate turtle,” even that tastes stale.
It could be that this was just a bad lot. It could be that this usually tastes fine. But unfortunately this one didn’t.
If World Market wants to send me a fresh batch to try, and I like it better, I’ll revise my opinion. Until then I have no choice but to advise people to avoid it.

Says the coffee machine: “I’m sorry Dave, I can’t brew that for you now”

JL Hufford Coffee and Tea recently issued a press release stating they were designing coffee machines that use Artificial Intelligence to learn what people want and to make it for them before they even ask.
What will it be like to use such a machine? “For the first several weeks, the machine learns the drinking patterns of its users. Then it adapts. Every Sunday afternoon, it’s French vanilla cappuccino time. Each weekday morning, it starts brewing a triple espresso at 7:00 am. After dinner, it does up a creamy decaf café au lait.” How does it know where you are or at exactly which moment you’ll be ready for your drink? Product Manager James Pappas is tight-lipped about this aspect, but he hints at GPS tracking or existing RFID technology. What is certain is that some machines, like the Jura-Capresso Impressa F9 already have ports which could be connected to a computer. Once the computer is networked, the possibilities are many.”
Okay, the science fiction reader/writer in me loves this idea. But as fun as it sounds, sorry, it’s actually ludicrous.
I probably wouldn’t have said that 5 years ago. I used to be one of those people who went by the saying, “He who dies with the most toys, wins.” A divorce, the liquidation of nearly all my worldly possessions, and a bit of philosophical and spiritual learning have taught me otherwise.
Hand brewing coffee with a little 49¢ maker is very Zen. Having a computer controlled machine make it for you … even decide what it is you want … is not.
The pleasure in life is in the things you do. I’m sorry if I’m coming off preachy here, but I believe this with all my heart. The more we relegate our thinking and decision making to machines, the less human we become ourselves. Sure, a coffee maker that decides what and when to make something for us is in itself harmless … and in fact, probably fun … but it’s another step down that path that will eventually lead to a dark place.
Or hasn’t anyone remembered lessons we’ve learned from John Conner?
I have nothing against a well designed tool that does a good job. However, I am critical of a tool — no matter how well designed and built — that over-complicates a simple job.
So you want to built a autonomous device? Build something that will disarm a bomb, or explore the oceans of Europa looking for extraterrestrial life. Don’t waste your time and talent designing a machine that does a simple job already done perfectly well by an ordinary person.
It doesn’t take a computer scientist to make a good cup of coffee. Nor does it take a very expensive piece of hardware controlled by an Artificial Intelligence. So if on Sunday afternoon you really do want a French vanilla cappuccino, go make yourself one. A little $30 machine available at your local big box store does a perfectly fine job. Colombian Supremo

If only office coffee tasted like this.‘s Colombian Supremo is a regular, everyday good coffee. It’s got a warm, toasty flavor with nice body and a natural sweetness. In fact I’m drinking it straight right now, no sugar, nothing, just pure coffee, and I could drink it all day long.
Like I said, it would be perfect as an office coffee. It’s what office coffee should aspire to be. Yet, no, it usually isn’t.
As CoffeeBeanDirect’s Floyd Wallace told me, it’s their closest blend to a “regular coffee.” And looking at it on their website right now, man, the price is definitely right.
I urge all the businesses out there to replace their disgusting office coffee with this one. Just do it. Just go buy a 25lb bag of it and start brewing it up Monday morning, not saying anything to your employees, and watch all the faces light up and say, “Wow, what happened?!” It will be the happiest Monday your office has ever seen, and moral will shoot upward, followed by productivity.
Just do it. Do it for yourself and for them. Do it for mankind. Be the hero.
Coffee makes the world go ’round, and good coffee makes it go around happy. “New York New York”

I just had some of the best coffee I have ever tasted. Ever.
Coffee and the Internet have always gone hand-in-hand, usually at Internet cafés that let you surf while you get wired. Most of the time it’s free, unless you’re at Starbucks who for some reason feel you need to pay for ‘net access (never figured that one out). But, I digress, because this is about the Internet/coffee partnership turned upside-down.
I recently discovered, a place where you surf to and buy coffee, instead of buying coffee and then surf. Their stated mission is to import the world’s finest coffee beans, personally fresh roast each order, and deliver it to your door as fast as possible.
Is that cool or what?
They sent me their best seller, which they call New York New York, and I ground some up and brewed it.
Oh my. I mean, OH MY. I actually said that out loud. Then I said, “Oh my God this is good coffee!”
Here’s how they describe it on their site (I’m quoting because it’s very accurate): “A fantastic, rich, aromatic, full-bodied, smooth, low-acidic blend. We combine a SHB Central American, a South American and a select Indonesian to create a truly unique, high impact cup. Striking!”
And it is. Smooth, dark and rich with nutty notes, strong but not overwhelming. The taste itself is good up front but does this amazing bit where it gets better and better as you drink it. This coffee gives your palate a long, luxurious java massage, and tickles the taste buds long after the coffee is gone.
Better than good, it’s fantastic, but I do have to add a warning:
Coffee this good is most likely addictive.

Starbucks Café Verona

Starbucks Starbuckaroos may sing to you if you ask them.
After dinner last Saturday I knew I’d be up writing, and since we were out and about my elder daughter and I swung by Starbucks so I could get caffeinated. Their coffee of the day was their standard Café Verona, which I hadn’t had in a while.
But, oh my God, they didn’t have any brewed. Usually when I catch them with a daily coffee not ready to serve they offer me a free cup. These Starbuckaroos weren’t privy to this custom, however, and simply told me it would be about five minutes before the coffee would be ready.
“Five minutes?” I tried to sound disappointed, hoping for that free cup. Hey, $2 is $2, you know?
“Yes,” she said. “I’m sorry.”
“Well, what am I going to do for five minutes?”
Starbucks Inc. had not taught them how to answer that. She looked stricken and I felt bad. Usually Starbuckaroos have some social skills, but alas, this was not the case.
“Tell you what,” I said, “I’ll ignore the five minute wait if you sing me a song about Café Verona.”
She and her compatriot were up for that challenge, and they made up a song for me on the spot. Now remember this is Texas, so here “Verona” rhymes “Loner” … somehow the “a” is replace with an invisible “er”.

Café Verona
A drink for the loner
Who sits like a stoner
Talking on their phoner!

It dissolved into giggles at that point.
Their Café Verona is bold yet smooth, good straight or with sweetener. Not something I’d like with cream but that’s just me. A good wake-me-up blend if you’re in the mood for something more than a mild breakfast coffee but not quite up for an in-your-face French roast.
According to the singing Starbuckaroos, it’s a Starbucks internal favorite.

Dunn Bros Sumatra

When a coffee is really good, it’s hard to write a review about it. I mean, how many ways can you say “good”?

Dunn Bros Sumatra is mild, smooth, with an excellent flavor … this is an all day drinking coffee.

Cup after cup, keep it coming.

Being that it’s Dunn Bros, it’s always fresh because they roast the beans right there at the store.

No, they don’t pay me. No I don’t get free coffee there.

It is, quite simply, one of my favorite coffees at my favorite local café. Starbucks doesn’t hold a candle to this place.

Sorry Starbucks, but that’s my opinion.