Tag Archives: Coffee

The San Francisco Taste

The San Francisco Bay Area is a mecca for great food. Local, sustainable, organic dining may be a catch phrase in many cities, but here it’s the standard. You’ll find artisan chocolate, hipster coffee, the best pizza restaurant, Italian staples, dishes inspired by divas, and burritos that make grown men weep.

The following books and accessories will bring a wee bit of SFlavor into your kitchen.

Alice Waters

The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious RevolutionAlice Waters is more than a chef, she’s revolutionized the dining experience by establishing the local, sustainable, organic food movement.

Unlike other superstar chefs, Waters’ recipes focus on superior products and minimal manipulation. So you can do everything her book. Just make sure you use fresh, organic, seasonal ingredients.

Thomas Keller

While Alice Waters represents simple presentations of impeccably ripe ingredients, Thomas Keller’s French LaundrBouchon Bakery Cookbooky revolutionized Napa Valley dining and made Yountville a destination. Keller’s restaurants bring high-end French dining to ingredient
s grown across the street in a private garden.

Keller’s Bouchon Bakery cookbook will teach you how to make the finest French breads and sweets. It also includes the world’s finest dog biscuits.


Tartine Cafe and Bakery CookbookBouchon’s not the only bakery making waves in the Bay Area. Tartine opens every morning to a line of hungry customers and sells out before the last one is served.

While Tartine’s bread is epic, their tarts are even fancier than those lighting up the Castro district.

This video gives you a glimpse inside the book.

Tartine Bread from 4SP Films on Vimeo.

The San Francisco Treat

Hidden Kitchens: Stories, Recipes, and More from NPR's The Kitchen Sisters
Do you remember the cable car commercials and game show features for Rice-A-RoniĀ® ? It’s the San Francisco treat! But leave it to the Kitchen Sisters to interview the family that created this iconic meal.

“Mrs. Captanian, I had a liking for her right away. So we moved in. Tommy would work until about 7 o’clock at the pasta factory and I was alone a lot,” Lois said. “I was only 18 and I was pregnant. And I had kitchen privileges. Well, I really wasn’t much of a cook. And here was this Armenian lady, probably about 70 years [old], making yogurt on the back of the stove, all day, every day. I didn’t even know what the word ‘yogurt’ meant.”

Mrs. Captanian taught Lois how to make paklava (baklava), soups and her specialty, Armenian pilaf.

“We would bring her Golden Grain vermicelli from the factory,” Lois said. “She wanted us to break it as small as rice if we could.”
Birth Of Rice-A-Roni: The Armenian-Italian Treat – NPR Radio

You can learn more about this and much more in their book.

Hipster and Artisanal

The Bay Area is also home to many small companies that are gaining recognition and rewards for their hyper-attention to quality.

Equator Coffees Bouchon Blend Dark Roasted Whole Bean Coffee
The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee: Growing, Roasting, and Drinking, with Recipes

TCHO Chocolate Bar, Tcho-a-Day

The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook

Cowgirl Creamery Cooks

At the end of the day… It’s time for a Mission-style Burrito.
Mission Burrito

Army Man Coffee Cup

This coffee cup is just in time for Veterans Day. Head down to the commissary and grab a cup of Joe with this Army green soldier cup.
Big Mouth Toys Green Army Man Mug

If coffee’s not strong enough, you can always make an extra stop at the Package store.

New From: 0 Out of Stock

Nespresso Coffee Pod Organizers and Racks

Did you get a new Nespresso coffee maker for Christmas? Are you trying to figure out how to store and organize those colorful pods? Here are some options.

Carousel Pod Tree

At under $24, this is one of the more affordable options. It also displays the pods with the label facing up. So you can read the flavor rather than depending on the hue.

Carousel Tree for Nespresso Espresso Coffee Capsules

Minimalist Pod Rack

This coffee pod grid converts your coffee into a minimalist work of art. It can stand by itself or hang from a rack system.

Rosle Nespresso Coffee Capsule Rack

Coffee and Sugar Together

This storage tower has a center section for holding your sugar Sweet’n Low.

Brabantia 418709 Nespresso Coffee Capsule Dispenser- Matte Steel Finish- Pack of 2

Top 10 Fun Ideas for Office Gift Exchanges

Does your office have a gift exchange? Are you looking for something a bit more interesting than a bottle of wine or passes to the movie theater? These fun ideas will make your co-workers chuckle and start rumors over who is the secret Santa.

1. Unicorn Corn Holders

Everyone loves Unicorns. But those pointy things coming out of their heads can get a bit unwieldy. Put them to good use by shoving corn cobs on their head.

Gama-Go Uni-Corn Unicorn Shaped Corn Holders

2. Great White Shark Pizza Cutter

Every office has the occasional pizza day. This hungry shark will tear up those pies faster than you can call the HR department for some of these other gift ideas.
 Pizza Shark Pizza Cutter

3. The Angriest Coffee Mug

This coffee mug is perfect for the accounting office’s enforcer. You know her, she’s the one that makes sure your invoices are submitted on time. This coffee mug shows off her inner brute.

Fred and Friends Fisticup Mug features a set of brass knuckles as the handle

4. Jolly Roger Lunch Pail

This lunch pail is perfect for protecting the lunch time Twinkies. Nobody will mess with this pirate’s bounty.

Black jolly roger PIRATE DOME LUNCH BOX skull and crossbones domed lid metal lunchbox collectible collectable

5. Twinkie the Kid

Watercooler conversation:
Sally: So Joe, where have you been hiding your Twinkie lately?
Joe: Well, gee Sally, I’ve been trying to keep my Twinkie put away. Did you see my kid?

Hostess Twinkie Snack Container - Twinkie The Kid, Holds 1 Twinkie

6. Give him a big noisy kiss

Not all office kisses will result in an HR violation. This one could be a real crowd pleaser.

Hershey Kiss Singing Candy Dish

7. Splat Stan coaster

Stan likes to keep the desk clean. Just ignore his guts… and the big pool of blood. Heck, you can cover the carnage with a steaming cup of coffee.

Suck UK Splat Stan Silicone rubber drinks Coaster

8. Sporks!

Is your company downsizing? Does your staff do more with much less? Maybe you should give the gift that says “Your options are limited”. Give them a spork, it’s the single utensil that replaces a spoon, fork, and knife. Just like that intern that has replaced the IT department.

Light My Fire Spork 4-Pack

9. The Firestarter

This is the perfect gift for the person that always has a backup plan for any situation. She’ll adore this fire starter that will save the company picnic, when the boss’s son forgets to bring matches.

Swedish Firesteel - Army Model

10. Typewriter Tea Pot

Last, but certainly not least, the antique typewriter tea pot. How cool is this? It’s the perfect gift for your octogenarian secretary that started working on this beast. It’s also great for the modern office worker that appreciates a bit of whimsy with his afternoon tea. This handmade and painted ceramic teapot is from the Carter Teapottery in Debenham England.

Tony Carter Collectible

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base10 Christmas gifts for the kitchen geek

These gifts will be perfect for the cook that can convert from Celsius to Fahrenheit without a calculator.

1. Brain cubes

Fred and Friends Brain Freeze Ice Cube Tray

This ice cube tray converts a drink into a smart drink. Every rock should be a brain.

2. Compartmentalized lunch boxes

These stainless steel lunch boxes are not only eco-friendly, they are downright nifty.

LunchBots Duo Stainless Steel Lunch Box/Food Container

3. Keep your Cutting Boards Separate with Joseph Joseph Color Coded Chopping Boards

Ensure food safety with the Joseph Joseph Index Chopping Boards, which includes four color-coded chopping boards with illustrated tabs. The four boards include red for raw meat, blue for seafood, green for veggies and white for cooked foods. They store in staggered order for visual ease.

Joseph Joseph Index Color Coded Chopping Boards, Set of 4

4. Vacuum Coffee Maker

Drip coffee is elementary. French press = Meh. Bodum’s glass vacuum coffee maker FTW!

Bodum Santos Stovetop Glass Vacuum 34-Ounce Coffee Maker

Wikipedia Describes how this works:

The principle of a vacuum coffee maker is to heat water in the lower vessel of the brewer until expansion forces the contents through a narrow tube into an upper vessel containing coffee grounds. When the lower vessel has more or less emptied itself and enough time has elapsed, the heat is removed and the resulting vacuum will draw the brewed coffee through a strainer back into the lower chamber from which it can be decanted. The device must usually be taken apart to pour out the coffee.
Vacuum Coffee Makers – Wikipedia

5. Data-licious digital scale

The only thing that makes a geek happier than a boatload of data is giving her two boatloads of data. This scale not only tells you how much your portion weighs, it gives you the nutritional information as well. Now, how healthy is this kilogram of Mountain Dew?

Perfect Portions Digital Food Scale - Black

6. Onion Goggles

These goggles let you recreate your glory days in the organic chemistry labs. Doesn’t everyone need a set of goggles for the kitchen to avoid deadly acid attacks to the eyes? Well, how about using them to avoid the onion-based tears. Slap these on and you’ll be making French Onion Soup for the club in no time.

RSVP International Onion Goggles

7. The Coolest Coffee Mug for the Photo Geek

This may look like a lens, but it is a coffee cup with travel lid. This is a great gift for the photographer that likes to drink their coffee with a wide open aperture.

1:1 Coffee Cup Mug for Canon Lens Ef 24-105mm F/4l Is USM 5d (Just a Coffee Cup, Not Camera Accessory)

8. Equal Measuring Cup

Does your recipe call for a human brain sized portion of milk? If so, you’ll need this equal measuring cup, which displays the basic measurements as well as comparisons to other objects.

Fred Equal Measure Measuring Cup

9. Geekiest Clock for the Kitchen

Every kitchen needs a clock and this is one of the geekiest you’ll find. The time is not displayed via arms or digits, rather you’ll need to decode the light sequence on this LED panel. While those who know the code can read the time quickly, others will consider it a nifty piece of art.

TIX Color Code LED Clock, Black

10. Mountain Dew Hackathon Cups

It’s no secret that Mountain Dew powers many non-stop hacking and gaming sessions. This set of glasses embrace the Yahoo! Hack Day concept with their vintage Mountain Dew logo. Keep your geek going by filling these glasses with the caffeine loaded soda.

Mountain Dew Vintage Style Logo Glass, Set of 4

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The greatest espresso machine ever made

What makes a machine the best ever? Is it a hand-crafted machine that echoes the designs of a century ago with the technology of today? Or is it a machine that is built to perform like an AC Cobra.

If your fascinated by a classic Rolls Royce with shiny chrome and soft leather you’ll love the VFA Gold Dome 1930 Espresso Machine. It’s built with Brass for good looks and stainless steel for longevity and easy maintenance.

European Gift G-V2 Vfa Gold Dome 1930 Esspresso Machine

Here’s a video of the VFA factory in Spain.

CoffeeGeek has a different criteria for the perfect espresso machine. The Speedster espresso machineThey look at Ferrari and Cobras for inspiration. The aptly named Speedster is a masterful hand-built machine that takes coffee to a new level.

I even got a chance to pull shots on it, and immediately felt this was a singular moment in my coffee and espresso career (and to put that into perspective, I was at a meeting for the development of the GS/3!). Everything “clicked” – the machine felt comfortable. It steamed exceptionally well. The paddle group put you, as a barista, in direct connection with the machine. It was tight, light, solid, beautiful, industrial, exceptional all at the same time. From that very moment onward, I had it in my mind that, if I ever won a million dollars, I’d make an offer on this machine so I could own my own – and the offer wouldn’t be cheap. After all, van der Westen built only six of these and by 2002, was already saying that was that – there were six and there would be no more.
Speedster Espresso Machine – Coffee Geek

Speedster Espresso Machine Exposed Portafilter Extraction from Mark Prince on Vimeo.

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