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I will quite openly admit that I don’t know much about tamping, and tampers in specific. What makes one tamper better than the other? Not sure, want to research.

But as far as attractiveness goes, this one did catch my eye:

I also think I’m partial to ones that are more natural looking - you know, wood or steel or things like that. Granted, I’d need one seriously high end espresso machine to warrant this puppy, but maybe it’d be an appropriate decorative piece given our passion.

Via kitchen contraptions

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Coffee for Christmas

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Here are some ways to bring the warmth of Christmas together with, what else, coffee:

- toss some chocolate covered coffee beans into stockings as the best morning treat

- make a coffee cake the night before to nibble on in the morning

- try some coffee pancakes - just add 1 tsp instant coffee to your flour when mixing. Not the best coffee, but the flavour is there.

- Jazz up your coffee - add peppermint or gingerbread or eggnog syrup to your drip, your americano, your mocha, your latte or your whatever

- whip up some heated eggnot and toss it into your coffee, topping off with some yummy nutmeg

- Brew some spiced coffee

Spiced Coffee Recipe (french press)

6 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
2-3 nutmeg, cut into halves

1. Add the nutmeg and cloves to your french press and brew along with your coffee

2. Pour finished brew into cups with a cinnamon stick each

And Merry Christmas!!

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Coffee Music

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Who would think there would be so many songs about coffee? Locust St. has all the coffee songs listed for your mp3 listening pleasure…

Bob Dylan, One More Cup of Coffee.
Emmett Miller, You’re the Cream in My Coffee.
The Boswell Sisters, Coffee in the Morning and Kisses in the Night.
Jaybird Coleman, Coffee Grinder Blues.
Serge Gainsbourg, Couleur Cafe.
J.S. Bach, "Ei, Wie Schmeckt" (from the Coffee Cantata).


Via J-Walk

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Coffe at Microsoft

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Robert Scoble points to a new Microsoft employee talking about his experience of his first six weeks working there. What may interest you is what he says about the coffee that Microsoft provides for his employees:

First, something negative that I hadn’t expected: the coffee. It sucks, all over the Redmond campus. I would never have thought that a company managed like Microsoft would be incapable of providing decent coffee to its employees. But it’s true. This stuff is gut-wrenching bad. Coffee-addict-repulsing bad.

Read the rest at Doug’s World.

Time for peppermint

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Christmas is a time for many yummy things. But, to me, it’s a time for peppermint. For peppermint Americano. Peppermint mocha. Peppermint hot chocolate. And peppermint steamed milk.

I keep some peppermint in the cupboard for just those occasions. I am topping off my latest steamed milk a la peppermint.

You’d truly be surprised how well peppermint goes with so many things!

Mulling Spices Recipe & Mulled Apple Cider/Wine

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To kick of Christmas and the decoration of our tree last week, we made some mulled cider. Here is how:

Mulling Spices

1 mandarin orange, or other orange

6 cardamom pods

1 tbsp cloves, whole

1 tbsp allspice, whole

12 cinnamon sticks of a small-average size

1. Eat orange but keep skin

2. Bake orange skin in toaster oven on 400degrees until golden and hard, but not brittle and burned

3. In a mortar, open cardamom pods and remove seeds. Crush some, but not all, to release flavour but not make into dust

4. Add remaining spices along with 1 tsp of orange peel, broken into little bits (reserve remaining skin for your next batch)

5. Tie into cheesecloth or like bag so it can be used in mulling. You can also use a few tea strainers in the same way. Cinnamon sticks can go free.

Mulled Cider or Mulled Wine

4L of apple cider or wine*

1. Dump the cider/wine into a large pot

2. Add mulling spices (in bag or tea balls) and cinnamon sticks. Heat to boil and simmer 25 minutes or more.

3. Serve warm.

*Note, you can use all of this at once, or do 4 smaller batches of 1L each.

Coca Cola Blak bottle

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Here is what the Coca Cola Blak bottle looks like:

Kind of unusual for coke to make the bottle fully opaque, but it is fairly attractive. Almost feels Sci-Fi.

Via wikipedia

Pepsi Cappuccino

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In the footsteps of Coca-Cola Blak, Pepsi has released a new product: Pepsi Cappuccino.

Not sure which came first, but in terms of markets, Pepsi is only launched in certain test countries such as Russia and Romania right now. I think Pepsi used to have a coffee-type product a long time ago, but it didn’t work out for them.

Via Strange New Products

Coca Cola Blak - Coke with Coffee

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Coca-Cola announced a new product that combines Coca-Cola with coffee. This new product, termed “Coca-Cola Blak” seems a little crazy. We don’t really need any more caffeine in Coke.

Oh well, I guess it would taste better than Red Bull, if that’s what they’re aiming for.

The new drink, a combination of Coca-Cola Classic and coffee extracts, will be first launched in France in January before being rolled out in the United States and other markets during 2006.

A Coke spokesperson said Coca-Cola Blak will be a mid-calorie drink, similar to Coca-Cola C2, which was launched in April 2004 and contains half the sugar, calories and carbohydrates of regular colas. The formula for the new beverage is expected to vary based on local tastes.

Analysts have said one of the keys to the company’s future is capturing more consumers who have moved away from sugary soft drinks to diet versions, or to healthier low- or no-calorie beverages.

Via Strange New Products & ABC News

The Smart Lid

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The Smart Lid is a new innovation in disposable beverage lids that tells the consumer if the lid is on correctly and if the beverage is hot - it goes from brown to red when placed on, then cools to brown when the liquid becomes less hot. The bottom of the lid will stay brown if, and only if, the lid is on correctly.

Neat application. I’m still more for advocating innovation in the green area - with biodegradable products mostly - than for more plastic. But, it is innovative.