Category Archives: coffee

“Eartha Kitt – Santa Baby (Original) HQ


“Santa Baby” is a 1953 Christmas song written by Joan Javits (the niece of Senator Jacob K. Javits) and Philip Springer.

The song is a tongue-in-cheek look at a Christmas list addressed to Santa Claus by a woman who wants extravagant gifts such as sables, yachts, and decorations from Tiffany’s.

Source: Baby


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France! Cafes! Coffee and Culture!

France! Cafes! Coffee and Culture!

140 Years of Parisian Culture

by Glamourdaze
 Carousel Film Tribute to Paris 

Anaïs Nin -“Paris intimate like a room.”



Stills and Stories and a video tribute to Paris.



Carousel – 140 Years of Parisian Cafe Culture – 1877 to 2015

Think of France, and you think of Parisian cafe’s, the Belle Epoch era, the paintings of Edouard ManetEdgar Degas and Renoir, who first evoked into image Paris’s liberated counter culture and the beauty of its people.

Ernest Hemingway: “London is a riddle. Paris is an explanation.”



To this city of dreams, all the greatest artists and free thinkers of the 20th Century have flocked.

Pablo PicassoJames JoyceSamuel Beckett, and even a certain Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov ( Lenin) were all drawn to the allure of Paris, its glamour, its decadence and its inspiration.The city has endured much pain in its history, and yet again this past week.

Oscar Wilde – “When good Americans die, they go to Paris.”


Actress Pola-Negri-1927,-Cafe-de-la-Paix,-Paris

The terrorist attack on Paris.

The immediate solidarity shown by Parisians that awful night for anyone needing safe haven,by using the #PorteOuverte hashtag – inspired us, and the determination not to give in to hatred were most movingly expressed by the words on Facebook of Parisian Antoine Leiris who tragically lost his wife Helene Muyal Leiris in the Bataclan massacre.

This post and film is an ode to what is best in all of us.

A Photo history of the Paris cafe culture.


Table for one – Paris through the years

Honoré de Balzac – “Whoever does not visit Paris regularly will never really be elegant.”

The cafe culture in Paris is old, very old. The first coffee house was opened in 1672 by Pasqua Rose, who maintained a monopoly until Cafè Procope opened later in 1686. It remains open to this day.



Cole Porter – “I love Paris when it sizzles.”

In its heyday it was known as the theatrical cafe, where members of the French enlightenment such as Voltaire were regular guests.
The image of Paris as a city of free thinkers was sealed, along with the association of its cafe culture.



From the 1870’s onwards, the paintings of Manet, Degas, Van Gogh and Paul Cèzanne illustrated the cafes of Montparnesse and Montmarte in all their Belle Epoch glory.

Allen Ginsberg – “…the bewildering beauty of Paris…”





By the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, Paris cafes were the hangout for many of the emerging impressionist artists, writers and composers, from Oscar Wildeto Toulous Lautrec to Eric Satie and Claude Debussy. Coffee was often a polite cover for the more sinister addiction to absinthe.


Left:1930-The-Girl-in-the-Window–La-fille-dans-la-fenêtre-Eduard-Boubat-Paris-Cafe. Right:1935-Parisian-cafe–Claudioc

The names are iconic – Les Deux MagotsCafè de FloreLe Dome Cafè, Le Deauville, Closerie des Lilas , Le Select and La Rotonde – all homes during these early years to some of the most creative people ever to have lived.

Gertrude Stein – “Americas is my country but Paris is my hometown.”


1940-Edith-Piaf in paris cafe -Jean-Gabriel-Séruzier

Revolutionary’s like Vladimir Lenin and Trotsky, and Karl Marx before them, plotted their overthrow of Capitalism and royalty in the cafe back-rooms of Montmartre.


James-Joyce-and-Sylvia-Beach-in-Paris 1925

Irish writer James Joyce found publishing fame in Paris, and spent the last years of his life there.

By the 1920s, political thinking was replaced by existentialists like Simone de Beauvoir and Jean Paul Sartre.



Wandering round Montparnasse or Montmartre, you might easily have bumped into the likes of Pablo PicassoSalvador Dali or Ernest Hemingway ( not necessarily sitting together of course), or Paul Poiret and Coco Chanel having a public slanging match perhaps?



F. Scott Fitzgerald – “The American in Paris is the best American.”



Coffee houses continued to be free thinker zones, and fashionable places to be seen in until the shadow of World War Two and the occupation of Paris.



Paris Fashion and the Cafè Culture.

By the 1930s, model shoots bwere becoming quite common in the trendy cafe settings of Paris’s cafes. By the 1950s, they were almost considered a priority during the Paris fashion seasons.

Charles Dickens – “Paris is the most extraordinary place in the world!”

Love on the Left bank – 1954



In the post war era, one name Vali Myers, perhaps encapsulates more than any other woman, the post war bohemian. Born in Brisbane, the actor, dancer, artist moved to Paris in 1949 full of dreams, but found herself living on the streets of Saint-Germain on Paris’s Left Bank.



Here she is captured in a wonderful series of photos by Dutch photographer Ed van der Elskin, documenting the bohemian life on the Rive de Gaucheand entitled Love on the Left Bank and published as a Photobook story in the British Picture Post.
Myers life,look and work inspired many future artists from Bob DylanLeonard Cohen and Patti Smith.





A Paris bloggers view of cafe culture in 2015.

Today perhaps, you will more likely see flocks of tourists in these iconic places. Parisians have thousands of cafes to choose from.
Paris blogger Flore der Agopian writes in A Woman’s Paris, a beautiful ode to her culture.“Even in winter we sit outdoors, whether it’s raining or snowing, at cafés where there are heaters for warmth and awnings for protection.”







Jean Cocteau – “In Paris, everybody wants to be an actor; nobody is content to be a spectator.”



She described one typical conversation she overheard between a woman in her 80s – “graceful, very delicate and wore a silk scarf with a pearl necklace and red lipstick. Aristocratic!” and a man in his 50s who had sat down beside her – ” he carried a motorcycle helmet and in the other a black leather briefcase. A businessman”.





The woman talked emotionally about the Second World War, and the conversation moved on to today’s society.

It was clear says Flore der Agopian, that they did not know each other, “but when they parted it was as if they had known each other for a long time”.

Just one cafe, and a chance encounter between two strangers, and there you have Paris in a nutshell. Long may she live.







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Posted by on December 15, 2017 in coffee, entertainment



What You Must Know To Have An Honest Cup Of Joe!

What You Must Know To Have An Honest Cup Of Joe!

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5 Crimes against coffee that will ruin your brew.

Coffee Crime #1. Making your coffee too weak.

This is definitely a felony. Weak coffee isn’t coffee at all. And it’s not just about “weakness”. When you use too much water and not enough ground coffee you do more than just dilute the taste, you lose most of the subtleties of the coffee as well.

If this is you, I hope you are buying really cheap coffee. Because if you are buying good coffee, you’re wasting it. And if you are serving this to your friends, don’t be surprised if they don’t come back!

If you are genuinely struggling with finding the right proportion of water to ground coffee, all is forgiven. For now. Just be sure to read our page on how to measure your coffee.

Coffee Crime #2. Letting the coffee stew on a hot plate.

Nasty, nasty. If you have a coffee maker with a hot plate beneath the carafe, then it’s going to keep your coffee nice and hot…indefinitely.

The downside is that it will cook your coffee to death, particularly after you have poured a cup or two.

This crime is at its worst in the office, when someone pours most of the pot of coffee, but leaves half an inch at the bottom. He walks away without making a fresh pot because, well, there’s still a half cup on the pot.

Sure, a half pot of cooked up, evaporated and nasty coffee.

To avoid this problem altogether, get a coffee maker with a thermal carafe. The carafe is insulated to keep the coffee hot for at least a couple of hours. And there is no heating plate, so the coffee is good to the last drop.

This is the kind of coffee maker we use at home. You can read our review here.

Coffee Crime #3. Storing your coffee with the bag open.

Yes mom, I’m talking to you! Whether you buy whole beans or ground coffee, you must seal the bag after you open it. And seal it well.

If you don’t, the coffee will quickly lose its flavor. Much of the flavor in coffee is found in aromatic oils that bind to the coffee bean. When exposed to air, these oils evaporate.

Bottom line – air is the enemy of coffee.

If you can’t find a way to effectively seal the bag, pour the ground coffee or beans into a separate container with a lid that seals tight. 

Coffee Crime #4. Buying coffee beans from supermarket self-serve bins.

This is a variation on the last crime. It’s about the air.

When you walk down the coffee aisle at your local supermarket, you probably find a section with self-serve bins filled with coffee beans. Hold a bag under the spout, and open up the spout until the bag is full.

The things about these bins is that they give the impression that you’re getting fresh coffee beans. But you’re not. These bins are not sealed. They are open to the air at the top.

And…who knows how long the beans have been sitting there, losing more and more of their flavor. I don’t know about you, but I have never seen a line-up for these bins. It’s not like they are refilling each bin twice a day. Some of those beans have probably been sitting there for weeks.

Don’t buy from the bins! Buy sealed bags, preferably from roasters who have the decency to print the roasting date on the bag.

Brewing old coffee beans is a crime. Serving that coffee to family and friends is a felony

Coffee Crime #5. Drowning your coffee with sweet stuff.

I’m not a total coffee purist, or a coffee snob.

Plus I have a sweet tooth. So I have been known to drink an espresso-based drink with all the trimmings, including flakes of chocolate.

Just don’t confuse these drinks with coffee. And don’t waste good coffee when you make them. Use cheap beans. Hey, you’re just adding a little coffee flavor to a drink that is dominated by milk, cream and candies.

As crimes go, this one is more of a misdemeanor. Unless you use your best coffee beans and then kill the taste with all that sweet stuff.

These are just 5 crimes against coffee. 

If you want to dig deeper, and explore all 11 crimes against coffee, and how to solve them, check out my new guide, Coffee Crimes.


Posted by on December 13, 2017 in coffee



“The Beatles Penny Lane”


“Penny Lane” is a song by The Beatles.[5] It was written by Paul McCartney but credited to the Lennon–McCartney songwriting partnership. The song was created in response to John Lennon’s “Strawberry Fields Forever”, and its lyrics refer to a real street in Liverpool, England.

Recorded during the Sgt. Pepper sessions, “Penny Lane” was released in February 1967 as one side of a double A-sided single, along with “Strawberry Fields Forever”. The single was the result of the record company wanting a new release after several months of no new Beatles releases. Although the song did not top the charts in Britain, it was still a top ten hit across Europe. The song was later included on the band’s US album, Magical Mystery Tour, despite not appearing on the British double EP of the same name.

In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked “Penny Lane” at number 456 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[6]


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Life Focusing – Barista?

Life Focusing – Barista?

How Being a Barista Changed My Life

By Emily Schromm

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“What the heck am I doing with my life?” If you haven’t asked yourself that question at some point, I don’t think you are human — or you are just one lucky person! Growing up in small town Missouri, I was on the mission to go to college, become a veterinarian, have a car full of rescue dogs, and live a happy life. Pre-accepted into veterinarian school, this seemed possible.

However, the reality check of college hit me hard. This childhood dream of being a veterinarian was losing its luster each time I attend a class or went to my internship at the animal clinic. I realized was working toward a career I had no intention of following through with, and I was terrified to admit this to my peers, my family, but most of all, myself. I felt like a robot, going through motions of over-populated classes while overdosing myself with caffeine from the campus Starbucks to get through each day. I drank so many lattes from that campus coffee shop it was only logical I should work there.

One Saturday morning as I started my Starbucks shift as usual, I discovered MTV Real World auditions were being held next door. People from all over were coming in anxiously awaiting their chance to impress the casting directors so they could have their moment of fame. To be honest, reality television had never been my thing, although entertaining; I didn’t see myself going down that path. But at the same time, as each hopeful ordered their caffeine fix, I couldn’t help but have a sense of admiration for the confidence in each person giving it their all in these auditions. Knowing that I was searching for what my next step should be, I decided to ask one of these reality wannabe’s what the process was like. Unbeknownst, I was quizzing the show’s casting director who convinced me to take a chance and audition.

My life changed in that instant as I was chosen to be one of the eight cast mates on the oldest reality television series that exists — MTV’s The Real World and then the Real World Challenges. But it took watching myself on the shows to realize all of the very clear mistakes and stupid decisions I was making. It’s a little “reality shock” to re-live every moment months later with thousands of eyes from around the world. Self-critical and unhappy, I realized there had not been one moment when I looked into a mirror, let alone a television screen, and liked what I saw. I needed a change, a big one.

I decided to make my fresh start in Colorado where I could make a plan for my future. It was there that I found my sanctuary: the gym. I still had yet to find peace within myself. Thinking I was there to just lose a few pounds and get toned shoulders, I soon came to the realization that fitness was so much more than vanity — it taught me to embrace myself and feel empowered. Before I knew it, fitness became the real path to my future. I said goodbye to Starbucks and got certified with NASM CPT. I wanted to bring the confidence I found in health and fitness and help my clients find that in themselves. I began working on expanding my training methods, including CrossFit (where I also compete in the CrossFit games), and help my clients push themselves to the next level to achieve their goals.

I believe in finding your inner superhero — knowing you can conquer anything you put your mind to. After all, you are in charge of your happiness and making changes in your life. I encourage everyone to get a little uncomfortable — you can get off the couch, lift that weight, go that extra mile, join that group fitness class. But you have to start somewhere, even if its small and then make little goals to grow each step of the way. I push my clients to show them they can overcome the challenges they face in fitness, and those principals they learn while improving their bodies will trickle into other parts of their lives. The result is simple: You’ll walk taller, feel confident and start feeling like that superhero you are meant to be.

Here are a few tips I share with my clients:

If you don’t like something, change it. Find a program that speaks to you, a trainer that motivates you, and make it happen.

Measure progress outside of the scale. Muscle weighs more than fat. Judge your progress by how your jeans fit, how much stronger you are, or how your monthly measurements change instead of the number on the scale.

Limiting calories is not the answer. Throw out the processed foods, stick with things that grow from the ground or need to be hunted, and stop driving yourself crazy with calories in/calories out. It will only hurt you in the long run and this is never sustainable.

I wouldn’t be where I am today without taking chances and following my dreams — then being open to changing my mind to chase another dream. We shouldn’t get stuck on a path that makes us unhappy or unfulfilled — and that goes for fitness and health too. Your body will change, and with that you have to adjust your goals to get the results you want to achieve.




Posted by on December 13, 2017 in coffee



Heartwrenching Love Story in a Coffee Shop

Heartwrenching Love Story in a Coffee Shop

Originally posted on:

Redditor Tyler Wattley passed along this story,

“I was in the coffee shop at my school when two older men came in and sat down on the other side of the room. One of the men started talking about his wife, and when he asked the other man about his wife, this is what was said.”


Man…I was 21 when I met her. I saw her across the room and didn’t nobody have to tell me who she was. I said to my friend ‘there goes my wife’, and the rest is history.

That girl was something else, man. Every single day, I’d go to work for 12 hours and when I came home, she had dinner on the table waiting on me. After the kids were asleep, we were both so tired that we would just go straight to bed and hold each other. I was always content knowing that she was right there. I told her every night that as long as she was there, I was just fine.

She was my queen, man. I told her that every day, that she was the queen of my whole life. And she pushed me all the time to be the man that I needed to be. She pushed me to seek God and follow Him and love Him with all my heart. She pushed me to be a better daddy; you can ask my little girls and they’ll tell ya, we wouldn’t be where we are today if she didn’t keep on making us better. Some folks just have a way of doing that, ya know? Some people just make you want to be a better man.

Well, one day, she started getting sick. I didn’t worry much at first, because everybody gets sick sometimes, but the doctors seemed to think it was something we should worry about. Well, they were right.

She asked me if I would marry anyone else if she died. She worried about it. She couldn’t imagine me being with another woman. I told her I could never have a second queen. But you know what? She didn’t believe me.

That girl looked me in the eyes and said ‘I know you better than that! You’re the kind of man who needs a woman by his side. You couldn’t be happy alone!’

I looked her straight back in those big brown eyes and I said,

“Sugar, I don’t need no woman in my life, I need you. You’re the only one for me.”

Well, after a year of her fighting it, a lot changed. There wasn’t no more dinner on the table when I came home. Instead, I worked 12 hours a day, and I would come home. I would carry my wife out of bed and bring her to the table. I would cook dinner with her sitting there watching me, and we would talk like nothing ever changed.

Sometimes, we would sit and eat together and smile and just be happy that we could look at each other. On the bad days, I would feed her… She would cry and apologize, but I told her, that was what I was there for. She was so sick, man. She was just so sick. She could hardly do anything.

Once we ate I’d carry her to bed and lay her down, and I would crawl in bed beside her and hold her just like I used to, and everything was ok.

Just like I said before, it didn’t matter what was going on, as long as I could hold her in my arms. But I could only lay with her for 4 hours at a time, because then I’d have to get up and bring her that medicine. But those 4 hours in between when I got to just be there beside her… man I wouldn’t have traded that for nothing!”

There was a long silence, a profound peace that none of us eavesdroppers dared disturb with our poorly disguised sniffles.

“But the body can only handle so much, ya know,” the man continued. “It took 2 years of her being sick before it got the best of her. I saw it coming, and so did she.

We both knew she wasn’t coming back from it, but it still felt like it came outta nowhere. I mean….one day she’s there in my arms, and the next day she’s gone.

It killed me at first, but it didn’t take long before I realized that she was better off. She didn’t have to take no more medicine, she didn’t have to eat no more of my nasty cooking.. all she had to worry about now was praising the Lord!

Ya know what still gets me though man? I don’t know what to do about her stuff. I mean…I can’t get rid of it. All her clothes are still in the closet, I got pictures of her everywhere, her side of the bed is just how she left it. I just wanna believe she’s still here. My daughters tell me I should get it out of there and fix the place up, but I spent my life in that house with her. It’s still our home, as far as I’m concerned.”

Silence again overtook the room. None of us had ever heard a man speak with such absolute respect and admiration. It was obvious that he had truly loved and adored that woman, and it wasn’t changing any time soon.

The other old man broke the silence and said…

“Man, that had to be so hard. I mean…taking care of her like that and having to do everything for her.”

A smile crept across the old man’s face. His entire face lit up and he said…

“Brother, it was my privilege to be able to serve my queen for as long as I did.”

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Posted by on December 13, 2017 in coffee



Christmas Coffee Cocktail

Christmas Coffee Cocktail


4 oz strong coffee
1 1/2 oz amaretto liqueur
1 1/2 oz coffee liqueur
1 oz butterscotch schnapps
1 oz creme de cocoa
fresh whipped cream
grated chocolate, for garnish


Combine strong coffee and liqueurs in a glass. Stir to combine and top with fresh whipped cream. Garnish with grated chocolate.

Serve warm or over ice.

To make this fabulous little cocktail, I used my new toy, The Keurig Vue® Brewing System. I’ll admit, I was one of the first ones to jump on the single cup brewing system, another brand years ago, and it was terrible. Actually awful.  So I was really apprehensive about trying another brand. But, when I heard about the new Keurig Vue® Brewing System, I knew I had to try it

Screen shot 2012-12-18 at 9.38.12 AM

Here’s some of the features I just loved about this machine:

Brew Stronger – Custom Brew Technology™ allows you to brew your coffee at the “strong” setting

Brew Bigger – Want to fill your travel mug? Now you can with  Vue®packs specially formulated to brew a bigger cup with the strength you expect.

Brew Hotter – Want 195°? You got it! The average drip coffee maker brews around 180°. The best coffee is brewed at 195°-205°. This machine has a heat setting that goes up to 197°, making that coffeehouse temperature attainable at home.

Brew More – In addition to coffee, tea, hot cocoa and iced beverages, Vue® brews delicious café beverages.

You can find the Keurig® Vue® V700 Brewing System online and have it shipped for free. You can also find it at many retailers, including Target.

I received the above Keurig for review purposes only. 

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Posted by on December 13, 2017 in coffee

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