Delocator for Canada

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I got a tip about a new online database that compares the number of Starbucks stores with other cafes within a specific postal code. has been around for a while but is US only. But now we have that lets you do the same in Canada.

A couple of days ago it was missing lots of cafes, but I just checked and the list is growing. You can help too by adding your favourite cafe. And then go write a review at Cafe Geek.

Karma in Action

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Watch what you say at Starbucks next time, or you could become victim of the decaf revenger.


Via Pete Quily

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W00t! Blog fuel, er coffee, is good for you!

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I heard about this on the radio this morning and was just about to Google for it and lo and behold it was waiting for me in my feeds!  Given that I consume a litre of coffee (two big mugs) every morning, this is good news.  Sure there is the jitteriness, okay the cream might not be great for me, but I’m awake!
WASHINGTON, Aug. 28 — Coffee provides more than just a morning jolt; that steaming cup of java is also the number one source of antioxidants in the U.S. diet, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Scranton (Pa.). Their study was described today at the 230th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society.
“Americans get more of their antioxidants from coffee than any other dietary source. Nothing else comes close,” says study leader Joe Vinson, Ph.D., a chemistry professor at the university. Although fruits and vegetables are generally promoted as good sources of antioxidants, the new finding is surprising because it represents the first time that coffee has been shown to be the primary source from which most Americans get their antioxidants, Vinson says. Both caffeinated and decaf versions appear to provide similar antioxidant levels, he adds.
He cautions that high antioxidant levels in foods and beverages don’t necessarily translate into levels found in the body. The potential health benefits of these antioxidants ultimately depends on how they are absorbed and utilized in the body, a process that is still poorly understood, says Vinson, whose study was primarily funded by the American Cocoa Research Institute.

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Coffee as health food

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BreadCoffeeChocolateYoga has all the scoop on using coffee for your health. Yep, it’s the easiest indulgence I can think of.

The blog references a study that shows the use of moderate coffee intake and the resulting decrease in getting some health problems, especially diabetes. Women had more benefits from drinking coffee than men (I can live with that).

I agree, though, that the issue is about what is beneficial. Caffeine or one of or a mix of the other 1100 components in coffee?

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Where to get your caffeine

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Here’s a handy list for when you need to pull a few extra hours out of your day. Which product has the most caffeine?

Espresso 100mg to 150mg a cup.

Instant coffee 65mg to 100mg a cup.

Decaffeinated, instant 2mg to 3mg a cup.

Tea 40mg to 80mg a cup

Cocoa and chocolate drinks 40mg to 80mg a cup.

Cola 35mg to 50mg a 330ml can.

Chocolate 150mg a family-sized bar.

Red Bull Marketed as an energy drink, a 250ml can provides taurine, a stimulating amino acid, and about 80mg of caffeine.

ProPlus With 50mg of caffeine a tablet, it has gained a reputation for giving an instant jolt to the weary.

Guarana This berry, grown in northern Brazil, produces seeds with the caffeine-containing substance guaranine. Drunk as carbonated cola, it contains two to three times more caffeine than coffee or tea.

Times Online

Coffee will help you work out better

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Apparently, coffee is great for getting that little extra juice (and results) out of your exercise routine.

Say goodbye to water and Gatorade, and say high to coffee, tea and pop as the new fashion at the gym.

Why? Here is the premise of the study:

1. Caffeine helps people work out longer

2. Caffeine leads to greater fat loss

3. Caffeine does NOT promote dehydration during workouts


…an amount considered acceptable by most health experts — only a cup or two a day — is needed to get better results at the gym.

They have shown that there are substances in caffeine which trigger the release of body fats into the bloodstream during activity. This means fat is burnt during exercise, rather than carbohydrate. Carbohydrates are stored in the muscle as glycogen but the amount that can be stored is limited. If you burn body fat first, it reserves carbohydrate for later use. The upshot? You have more energy and can exercise for longer.

Although most research into caffeine’s fitness benefits has been carried out on elite athletes for whom its boost could mean the difference between winning and losing, its effects are equally helpful to anyone looking to get more out of their gym session. Jane Griffin, a sports dietitian and author of Food For Sport (Crowood Press), believes that caffeine’s ability to help the body to “use fat efficiently” means that “when taken in conjunction with regular aerobic exercise, in theory it could help you to lose weight more quickly”.

Caffeine can also prevent workout fatigue. Feeling wired after a coffee is the result of caffeine’s stimulant effects. It works by increasing neurone activity in the brain, which then triggers the pituitary gland into secreting more adrenalin. The result? A perceived injection of energy that leaves you thinking that you aren’t suffering as much on the treadmill as you thought. A study at the University of South Carolina, published in the American Journal of Physiology (2003), revealed that one or two cups of coffee up to an hour before a gym session can delay or prevent post-exercise tiredness by up to 60 per cent: “People seem to be able to work harder without realising it when they take caffeine before a workout,” says Louise Sutton, the principal lecturer in sport and exercise nutrition at Leeds Metropolitan University…

For each of the trials, the cyclists took one of three different drinks — glucose, glucose mixed with caffeine, and plain water. Results showed that caffeine increased the amount of carbohydrates absorbed from the drink by 26 per cent.

Read more from Times Online

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Nespresso - an interesting coffee machine

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What do you think about this coffee machine?


My take - very cool looking bad coffee! Don’t waste your $259 (CAD)


Nespresso has revolutionized the way of preparing coffee to deliver the ultimate coffee experience for each one of life’s moments of indulgence.

At the heart of this concept is the unique Nespresso trilogy: the hermetically-sealed, iconic capsules with the large variety of Grand Cru ground coffees, the state-of-the-art, easy-to-use, sleek-looking coffee machines, and the Nespresso Club which offers unmatched personal service…

The Nespresso Grand Cru coffee has the best in-cup quality due to unmatched crema, body and taste. And, the great assortment of coffee blends enable Club Members to select the coffees that match their personal taste preferences, thus creating very individual moments of pleasure and indulgence time and time again.

So, you have to not only buy the machine but join a ‘club’ because you are locked into the coffee they provide, and no others. And, crema? I doubt it. Oh, and it’s from Nestlé. Mass market does not equal quality.

Via gadgetryblog

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Coffee Consumption up

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Coffee Consumption has gone up by 4% over last year - now, 53% of the population consumes coffee daily. Well, that’s some figure. I am right in there - had my cup for the day already (soon to be one of many - gotta love days filled with really really long travel!)

Iced Mochaccino Recipe

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From Bakingsheet:

Fill up one large cup (16 oz.) with ice and pour strong, cool coffee (add a shot of espresso if you have it) over ice to the top of the cup. Pour this into a blender. Add 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp cocoa powder, 1/4 tsp cinnamon and 2 tbsp sugar. Blend until smooth.

Makes 2 servings.

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Tea Bag Timing Device

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I may love my coffee, but I actually am a really huge fan of tea as well. Tend to drink my tea in the afternoon or sometimes an hour or so before bed to relax - yes, even a caffeinated tea relaxes me. Always has.

Anyway, I am pretty much a lazy steeper. Unless Ianiv is doing my tea (and he uses a timer) I just leave the darn teabag in there. Can’t be bothered to take it out.

Well, this product is made for people like me. Great for the perfect cup of tea! The Tea Bag Timer, for just over $50, can make a great brew of tea cause it does all the work for you. Plus, since you control the time, you can steep it to your perfect level, or that recommended for the tea vs. water amount you are using!

The tea bag timer steeps the tea bag (or included tea ball) into the cup for the time you specify. Just set the timer for between 2 and 20 minutes, depending on your preference. When the time is up, the stainless steel arm lifts the tea bag up and rings a bell letting you know your perfectly brewed cup of tea is ready.

The tea bag timer operates with a spring mechanism and therefore requires no batteries.

tea_bag_timer Available here

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Via Popgadget

The Starbucks Logo is a Mulesine

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So, what’s in a logo? Apparently, a lot. Have you ever looked at the Starbucks logo, for example? The green is, obviously, what it is now. But, the red was where it all started.


Unless you really took time to look at it, you probably didn’t notice that the figure in the current Starbucks logo is not just a woman but actually something else. It’s more obvious in the older logo. The figure is like a mermaid - but with 2 tails. It’s called a Mulesine.

A Mulesine is a 2-tailed siren from 15th Century French mythology.


In European legends and folklore, Melusine (or Melusina) is the name of a spirit of fresh waters in sacred springs and rivers. She is usually depicted as a woman who is a serpent or fish (much like a mermaid) from the waist down. She is also sometimes illustrated with wings, two tails or both…

the most famous literary version of Melusine tales, that of Jean d’Arras, compiled about 1382 - 1394 and worked into a collection of “spinning yarns” told by ladies at their spinning…

It tells how Elynas, the King of Albany (a poetical euphemism for Scotland) went hunting one day and came across a beautiful lady in the forest. She was Melusine’s mother, Pressyne. He persuaded her to marry him but she agreed, only on the promise — for there is often a hard and fatal condition attached to any pairing of fay and mortal — that he must not enter her chamber when she birthed or bathed her children. She gave birth to triplets. When he violated this taboo, Pressyne left the kingdom, together with her three daughters, and traveled to the lost Isle of Avalon.

The three girls — Melusine, Melior, and Palatyne — grew up in Avalon. On their fifteenth birthday, Melusine, the eldest, asked why they had been taken to Avalon. Upon hearing of their father’s broken promise, Melusine sought revenge. She and her sisters captured Elynas and locked him, with his riches, in a mountain. Pressyne became enraged when she learned what the girls had done, and punished them for their disrespect to their father. Melusine was condemned to take the form of a serpent from the waist down every Saturday.

Raymond of Poitou came across Melusine in a forest in France, and proposed marriage. Just as her mother had done, she laid a condition, that he must never enter her chamber on a Saturday. He broke the promise and saw her in the form of a part-woman part-serpent. She forgave him. Only when, during a disagreement with her, he called her a “serpent” in front of his court, did she assume the form of a dragon, provide him with two magic rings and fly off, never to return…

The tales are really quite fanciful and vary from region to region around the same theme of marriage with a contract of ‘private time’ as stipulation - contract broken - serpent form discovered and the wife then disappears. It’s an interesting fable that is connected who-knows-how with Starbucks. Perhaps they liked fables or fables of the sea.

Over time, the Starbucks logo mutated to cover both the breasts and the navel. Quite PC now.

Via Industrial Brand Creative

Copycat Starbucks drinks

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A great resource for copycat recipes to Starbucks beverages.

Includes such recipes as the Java Chip Frappucino and the Caramel Macchiato. Now, I cannot say I like all Starbucks beverages, or whether these are great reproductions, but it’s an impressive compilation nonetheless.

I stumbled across this today as I was thinking about making an iced coffee of some sort. It was good. Just ice and coffee. The only change I would make would be to prechill the coffee before blending.

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