September 11, 2007

Test bench: Single Serve Coffee and Espresso Makers

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This must read article from the Times Online does a pretty amazing job of looking at the current models of single serve coffee machines you can purchase for your home. They take the different models and put them through their test kitchen making lattes, espresso, and cups of single serve coffee. Though the article is UK based, many of these same machines (like the Nespresso Le Cube above) are available in the US. So, if you want to get the low down on many of the preparation methods and machines available in the single serve coffee world, this article is for you.

Why fill the till at Starbucks on your way to work when you can make a cup of authentic morning java for as little as 10p, as well as having a gleaming coffee machine in your kitchen and enjoying the pose value of acting the barista for guests?

Despite many options, all espresso machines employ the same basic method. Water from a tank is heated rapidly to just below boiling point and then driven at high pressure through a filter that holds tightly packed fine-ground coffee. Most home systems can make one or two cups at a time, and the majority also have a steam nozzle or “frother” that heats and froths milk for a cappuccino or a latte.

Read at Test bench: coffee makers

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August 22, 2007

Does Espresso have more Caffeine than Single Serve Coffee?

Small Cup Of Coffee.Preview

We wonder this all the time and the answer is - yes and no. In a nut shell - an espresso cup has about as much caffeine as a cup of strong coffee. Because the serving sizes are very different - espresso being smaller and a cup of single serve coffee being a bit larger - you can often surpass the amount of caffeine in the larger cup of single serve coffee. However, if you are used to putting 2-3 shots of espresso into your latte, then you're really drinking about 3 cups of coffee.

Want the to know even more? Check out the Coffee and Caffeine FAQ.

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August 10, 2007

Why Do People Use WiFi at Coffee Shops?

Coffee Wifi

We're not sure why this article/powerpoint presentation (PDF) infuriates us so - but isn't the answer a bit obvious? You use wi-fi in a coffee shop to get away from the house and feel as if you're hanging with people because you have zero friends. Right? :-) We like wi-fi in coffee shops to surf a bit, get some writing done outside the house, and maybe - just maybe drink some good coffee? How about meeting people in a coffee shop for business instead of the office for a little urban feel? Whatever the reason, the staff at Single Serve Coffee likes to drink amazing coffee at the office and use our wi-fi there.

The nuts and bolts of the real article is debating whether or not - city wide wi-fi would kill business in coffee shops because people go there just for wi-fi and coffee. Come on - how about kill the fee at the coffee shop for wireless, and let us go there and use the free stuff and buy more coffee and scones? And to top it off - what about coffee shop wi-fi squatters...yeah...we're not big fans either.

He found that most coffee shop hotspot users had access to broadband Internet connections at home, so they weren't using it as their primary access point. Instead, they chose their surfing location to get out of the house and concentrate - albeit among a group of strangers.

Based on my own experience with San Jose's municipal WiFi system, I'd surely seek out a local coffee shop providing WiFi over the more accessible muni system due to the intrusive banner placed in the browser. Assuming it didn't have intrusive ads, or was paid and I had already paid, I'd have to find somewhere as accommodating as a coffee shop to do some surfing. That may be easier said than done.

Via Technology Evangelist

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August 3, 2007

What's Happening Over at August


Welcome to the dog days of summer, but who said that summer is a time not to have coffee or espresso. If it's too hot, have an iced espresso, and cool yourself off with that great taste of espresso (pour espresso over ice, add sugar and milk to taste).

Just don't forget to try an all Arabica Blend for the cold coffee; the "Classic" roasts are a bit harsher than most people will tolerate. Check out just a few of the things happening over at

Espresso Machines

  • Etienne Louis Espresso Machine - Spiked Espresso
  • DeLonghi Esclusivo Magnifica ESAM 3500 Espresso Machine
  • Portafilter 101 - Professional vs. Consumer
  • Pasquini Livietta
  • Jura Capresso Ultima 121 Espresso Machine
  • The Four Basic Types of Espresso Machines


  • CoffeePeople Black Tiger K-Cups
  • Caribou French Roast K-Cup Review
  • Espresione ESE Pods Revisited

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  • July 27, 2007

    Take A Single Serve Coffee Vacation to Canada with the Wiz

    Tim Vacation Main

    Sometimes even we are surprised at the amazing things will put together for the world of Single Serve Coffee. If you haven't had a chance to visit their Family Vacation promotional page about a trip to Canada - then you know what you have to do for the rest of the day. Not only is the trip filled with details on Timothy's Coffee - it's really quite funny.


    Check out the CoffeeWiz Family Vacation for a full single serve coffee filled vacation extravaganza. Now where are the keys to the family truckster?

    Jay Brewer at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

    July 23, 2007

    Too Much Coffee Man, the Opera

    Tmcm Opera

    It's Monday and the week of Comic-Con is upon us. If you don't know what Comic-Con is - it's the largest single gathering of comic book authors, artists, and collectors on the planet and the entire staff at Single Serve Coffee would really like to be there (maybe next year). Why feature Comic-Con at Single Serve Coffee? How about a coffee opera. This years opera is entitled, "Too Much Coffee Man" is based on a comic book (which you should read) and features characters like Espresso Guy and others. We've really never seen an opera, but if we had to start our opera going life - we'd love to start it with coffee - and too much coffee at that.

    Comic-Con brings Shannon Wheeler's Too Much Coffee Man Opera to San Diego for three FREE performances for convention members plus two community performances. The Opera will be performed LIVE at the Horton Grand Theater (also known as the "Triple Espresso" Theater), 444 Fourth Avenue in downtown San Diego, a few short blocks from the Convention Center (click here for a map).

    The opera, created by Shannon Wheeler and based on his famous comics character, chronicles the tragedy when Too Much Coffee Man, a simple, average cup o'joe, falls for his caffeine-supplying barista. Vying for her attention is Espresso Guy. Can all this coffee peacefully co-exist in the already-twitchy world of relationships?

    At Comic-Con 2007 - Too Much Coffee Man, the Opera

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    July 18, 2007

    Solar-roasted Single Serve Coffee


    Single serve coffee drinkers who want to start their day on an ecologically friendly note may want to fill their mugs with Solar Roast Coffee--a fresh new brew for java lovers that is roasted using clean abundant solar energy.

    Solar Roast Coffee uses only 100% organic or fair trade coffee beans. Their special solar-powered roasting technique ensures the least impact on the environment. Not just a regular roaster powered by solar panels, Solar Roast's Helios 2.0 catches rays of sunshine directly on a drum roaster filled with beans. The roaster is capable of reaching temperatures upwards of 550 degrees Fahrenheit, and swivels and tilts allowing it to track the sun throughout the day.

    The first Solar Roast Cafe opened in Pueblo early this year, and the company already has plans to open more locations in the western U.S, and also operates an online store. Coffees begin around USD 12 per pound.

    At Solar-roasted Coffee

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    June 13, 2007

    Sara Lee Sees Growth in Coffee Pods Sales for Senseo

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    Looks like coffee pod sales for Senseo are up 30% over this same time last year. That's good news for all of us single serve coffee pod drinkers. We've noticed a much larger coffee pod presence at our local supermarkets, Target's, and other retailers as well. Here's to an amazing 2007 for single serve coffee!

    One is an increased focus on the Senseo coffee pod system, designed for single-serve coffee drinkers, which saw sales increase 30% for the first nine months of fiscal 2007. Sara Lee also has introduced a line of cold ready-to-drink coffees for young customers and wants to capitalize on the shift from in-home coffee drinking to out-of-home coffee purchases.


    Jay Brewer at Permalink | Comments (4) | social bookmarking

    June 12, 2007

    Keurig and Green Mountain Coffee K Cups in Shaw's Supermarkets

    Keurig Shaws-1

    On a recent trip to our local Shaw's Supermarket, we found this mid-aisle kiosk for Green Mountain Coffee and the Keurig B40 single serve brewer. We like the selection, and we really like the idea of being able to get our K Cups at our local Shaw's Supermarket. We're not sure what other grocery stores they are doing this in, but perhaps in the comments you can give us some insight.

    Jay Brewer at Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

    June 5, 2007

    What makes coffee bitter?

    29Qna.1901We ask that question ourselves all the time - what does make coffee bitter? Over at bookofjoe they've found a pretty amazing article on just why it happens - and the interesting answer is how complex the answer to the question is.

    Here's a snippet from the entire article at the New York Times:

    A Bitter Cup

    Q. What makes coffee bitter?

    A. Coffee is a complex chemical soup, and many of its chemicals, including some that produce astringency rather than bitterness, and even some acids, have been implicated in the perception of bitterness.

    Bitterness also depends on variables including the coffee variety; how it is processed and roasted; the brewing method, temperature and time; and even the chemical content of the water.

    Some degree of bitterness is desirable in coffee, according to the Coffee Research Institute, because it reduces the perception of acidity, for a more balanced flavor.

    Some of the possible chemical culprits include quinic, chlorogenic, caffeic, citric, malic, lactic, pyruvic and acetic acids; 5-hydroxymethylfurfural; methyl furan; furfuryl mercaptan; trigonelline; pyrazine; thiazole; quinoline; phenylpyridine; and caffeine itself.

    Studies reported by the institute suggest that perceived bitterness can be reduced by using hard or soft water, as opposed to distilled water; brewing at high temperatures, perhaps because more aromatic chemicals are released, canceling out the bitter ones; and using varieties other than robusta coffee, which has more caffeine and chlorogenic acid.

    The institute also suggests using medium-roast coffee, which has a lower level of soluble solids; brewing using a drip system, which also cuts down the release of soluble solids; and perhaps using a coarser grind.

    Via bookofjoe

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