09 December 2013

coffee with a cop

this wednesday, 11 december, arcadia ca is participating in coffee with a cop. if you are in the area, stop in for a chat. you can find them, with coffee in hand, at the mcdonald's at 143 e foothill bl from 7-9am.

27 November 2013

need. coffee.

i have been getting up a little earlier than usual because we've been having some work done on our house. this means i've been making my coffee a little earlier than usual. apparently my brain knows the difference. this was evident when i was going to make myself a cup of coffee. check out the picture below. do you see what i did?

yep, i put the coffee beans in the filter before i ground them! good thing i noticed before i poured in the hot water! lol

18 October 2013

dean & deluca

while in new york, i stopped in at dean & deluca. i had read wonderful reviews of their coffee so i stopped in for a bag. they had lots of blends to choose from and after reading all the descriptions, i picked the napa valley blend. they describe it as having "distinctively wine-like notes of fruit and berries" and they aren't kidding! this coffee is definitely on my top 10 list. after it cools a bit, it explodes with fruits and berries! it's a good thing daughter #2 lives in new york because she can supply me with a constant stream of this wonderful coffee.

they have several locations to choose from and we chose their soho store. this location is part coffee bar, part gourmet market (that's why you can see fruit in the front corner of this shot). if you want a munchie or a meal with your coffee, this is the location to pick.

560 broadway, ny, ny

07 October 2013

kaffe 1668

while walking in tribeca, i came across this sign in front of kaffe 1668. i thought it was so cute, i just had to take a picture of it. (i don't get the sheep/coffee connection but whatever.) i couldn't stop in for a cup because i still had a cup of laughing man in my hand. it was a cute cafe with plenty of indoor seating and there was quite the buzz going on in there.
i have added them to my "must visit" coffee list and the next time i am in new york, i will stop in for a cup.

04 October 2013

laughing man coffee

while visiting new york, one of the places i wanted to try the coffee was laughing man. two reasons:
1) all profit goes to charity [gotta love a company that gives back]
2) it is owned, in part, by hugh jackman!
it is a tiny little shop, not really what i expected. there is only room for a handful of customers at a time, then the line will be out the door. there is no indoor seating and outside there are only a couple of seats. if you want to sit & relax with your cup, which is what i like to do, that isn't really an option here. we had to take it to go.

to bring home, i purchased the kenya roast which is described as full body, orange, cherry & black currant. and of course i had to buy one of their mugs because once the coffee is gone, i will still have the mug to remind me of my visit.

all be happy!

184 duane st, new york, ny

12 September 2013

coava coffee roasters

on a recent trip up to portland, we stopped in at coava coffee roasters. i had seen it online and i was excited about seeing it in person. well i have mixed feelings of the place. it was a very large store with cement floors and an industrial vibe (which i love). however it was quite sparse. even though they opened in 2010, it looks like they aren't finished moving in. they had maybe 3 communal tables in the front, a bar along the length of the store (but it didn't have enough stools) and there was a huge table way in the back but it looked like it might be used for cupping, plus there were no seats. they also had some flooring samples on display which i thought was strange. my daughter and i just stood there wondering where we would sit if we were to buy a cup of coffee because the few seats they did have, were all being used. unless we sat on the floor, there was no room for us so we only purchased bags of coffee to bring back home.

1300 se grand ave, portland oregon

i chose el comun because the description said it "has flavor notes of orange liqueur, lavender, walnuts, and sugar cookies" plus it was from costa rica. we've been drinking it for a few days now and while it does have a very nice flavor, the package seems to be running quite low very fast. i checked the weight and noticed it was 250 grams. normally the coffee bags are 12 ounces. so what does 250 grams mean? i had to go online to convert grams to ounces. wow! 250 grams is only 8.81849 ounces! i paid $14.00 for the coffee, which is about average, but it's average price for 12 ounces. since i only got 8.81849 ounces, it was a bit on the expensive side. it seems a bit deceiving to mark the package weight in grams. i mean really, who knows how many grams are in an ounce? (fyi, it's 28.3495.) so i feel a bit ripped off. i think if i ever go back to portland, i am sad to say i will not return to coava.

02 September 2013

blue kangaroo

when traveling to new cities, i like to seek out the independent coffee shops. blue kangaroo is one that i came across on a recent trip to portland. what sets them apart from other coffee shops is that they roast their own coffee on-site. i tried their signature blend, the sundog.

speaking of dogs, they are dog-friendly but ask that if you come with your pooch, to please sit around the corner. along the side of the building there is lawn, a fire hydrant and a bowl of water. the front of the building only has a sidewalk so the side is more comfy for your doggie.

there is comfy seating as well as some wooden tables and chairs. so if you wanna relax or if you need to get some work done, they've got you covered. there is also a children's corner with some toys and books to keep junior busy while you caffeinate yourself.

how do you know you're not in los angeles? when you see a store work off the honor system. to pay for your coffee, just drop your money in the can that is sitting next to the self serve coffee pots. you don't see that in the los angeles area. kudos to portland.

7901 se 13th ave, portland

30 August 2013

coffee head painting

i found this painting on the side of the hawthorne theatre in portland oregon. we were on our way to a coffee shop, of course, when i noticed it. we had to go around the block so i could get a photo of it. i didn't get off the car to see if there was a signature on it so i don't have any info on it other than it's a painting of a guy with a cup of coffee on his head. it looks like it's been there a while because it's really weathered and worn. i don't know why it's there or who put it there but i do know that it's cool and i'm glad a got a photo of it.

27 August 2013

stumptown coffee roasters

i had been hearing about stumptown coffee roasters for quite some time now, but since i live in so cal, i didn't know when i'd ever visit their store in oregon. it just so happened that daughter #1 had to go there on business and she invited me along. my answer? "when do we leave!?" our trip was this past weekend. stumptown, here i come!

we went to the store on division street, since that's where it all started. it's a tiny little place with very little seating indoors with additional seating out front.

the counter and this roaster take up just about 1/2 the store.

i ordered their kenya ngunguru, which they prepared in a chemex. they describe it as being a "tart cup that bursts with juicy flavors of peach, red currant and orange zest." the flavors didn't kick in until it started to cool a bit then, bam they flood in!

i liked it so much, i bought a bag to bring home, and a mug to drink it in :)

cold brew on tap?!

gotta check-in on foursquare :)

4525 se division street, portland oregon

05 August 2013

breakfast with the beatles & a cup of coffee

does anyone still listen to a radio? every sunday morning, hubby and i listen to breakfast with the beatles on klos fm. it is 3 hours of solid beatles music, info and trivia. "all you need is love" .. and a cup of coffee.

03 July 2013

caffeinated garden whimsy updated

looking back to when i first posted caffeinated garden whimsy, it was cute but now i think it's cuter. i updated my thrift store coffee pot by adding a wind chime "pouring" out of the spout and hanging it from a taller shepherd's hook. now it's not only cute, it's music to my ears when the wind blows.

16 June 2013

happy father's day!

happy father's day to my hubby, my daddy and (even though you are no longer with us) my grandpa!
these 3 men exemplify what it is to be a man and to be a dad. i especially thank them all for showing my daughters how a man should treat a woman and i love them all for that. if my girls find a man that is 1/2 the man these men are, they will be a-ok.

17 May 2013

workspace essentials

i was just sitting here gathering my thoughts for my next post. i looked around my workspace and noticed the odds and ends that i keep around me. i have my cup of coffee [of course], my iphone, a pen, a nail file, my blistex [that i can't live without] and a credit card just in case i feel like shopping online. my ipad is also at arms length but i needed it to take the picture. these are my essentials, what are yours?

15 May 2013


this post is part review and part rant. as you can see my coffee cup is not full. this is how i received it from the barista. they use a 12 ounce cup (i measured it when i got home) but they only fill it with about 10 ounces of coffee. they charge a premium for their coffee ($3.55!) so to not receive a full cup is a bit of a fail.

when you step into the cafe, you don't see a menu board behind the counter, instead you see several hanging clip boards with the day's offerings. you choose what you want before you get to the cashier. i ordered the ethiopian and hubby ordered el salvador.

they hand pour each cup individually at the brew bar so they are in full control of the amount of water that is added to each cup. we told them "no room" so why then, did they not fill our cups? [this was our 2nd visit here, and the 2nd time we felt shortchanged.]
it's a cozy shop with additional seating in their upstairs loft and a quaint outdoor patio. the coffee was very good, and i would totally order the ethiopian again, but i'm really on the fence about a 3rd visit.

their coffee is fair trade certified and most of their coffee is also usda certified. and of course they sell the typical accoutrements: bags of coffee (though the ethiopian was a whopping $21.95 for 12 oz!), brewing equipment, branded merchandise, etc.

dripp, the shoppes at chino hills

19 April 2013

the carmel coffee house

last year, daughter #1's job moved her up to monterey county. monterey county is famous for their wine and not so much their coffee, but she has managed to find a few gems up there. the carmel coffee house is one of them. their organic coffee beans are hand roasted in small 25 pound batches, on site. on her last trip back home she brought me a bag of their organic sunrise blend. their website describes it as a balance of light and dark roasted beans. if you are looking for a little bolder taste, this would be a good choice.

did you notice the cute little sea otter on their mug? carmel and monterey are known for their sea otter population. you can see them floating around in their natural habitat up and down the monterey bay.

26 March 2013

irish coffee

do you know how to make irish coffee? just because st patrick's day has ended doesn't mean you can't make yourself an irish coffee. do you have a margarita only for cinco de mayo? of course not! this is how hubby & i make it.

-6 oz coffee
-1.5 oz jameson irish whiskey
(or your whiskey of choice)
-2 tsp sugar
-heavy cream (whipped)
-warmed irish coffee glass

note: i only put 1 oz of whiskey in mine because i'm such a lightweight but hubby puts 1.5 oz in his.

1. brew coffee
2. add sugar to empty glass
3. add coffee & stir to dissolve sugar
4. add whiskey
5. pour whipped cream over the back of a spoon so it floats on top

it's that simple.

22 March 2013

10 cent credit

do you take your own travel mug when you go to a coffee shop? i must admit, i don't always. did you know some coffee shops will pay you if you bring in your own cup? starbucks for example will credit your bill 10 cents. ok a dime won't make you rich but just think of the trash you won't be adding to the landfill. starbucks usually writes your order on their cups, but if you take in your own cup, they write your order on a little post it note.

the keepcup is a good choice if you're looking for a new travel mug. it comes in 4 sizes (4, 8, 12, or 16 oz) and dozens of color combinations. you can choose one of their stock color combinations or design your cup to match your mood, choose your college or your favorite sports team colors! their web site allows you to preview your cup so you'll know what it's gonna look like before you hit "add to cart." i've had my keepcup for a while now and like it so much i ordered one for hubby and another for daughter #1.

19 March 2013

coffee w/ bailey #33: some crust bakery

we love going to super dog-friendly claremont to stroll up and down their quaint streets, filled with indie shops. when it comes to coffee, of course they have a starbucks and a coffee bean, but today we caffeinated ourselves at some crust bakery. added bonus: it's a bakery!

i don't know how many coffee shops actually bake their own goods or how fresh they really are but you can be sure you aren't going to get day old breads here. plus they serve a really good coffee. they brew monkey & son coffee, which is fair trade and organic. that's a win win to me!

i ordered two pour overs but i noticed the water they used was just sitting in a pot on a warmer. i don't know if this is standard practice or if the girl just didn't know but a warmer is only going to keep water warm. you need hot water to brew coffee; around 200 degrees hot for proper extraction. they are ruining a perfectly good bean by under extracting it. i would rate their coffee as being mediocre :(

i will give them another try to see if this was a fluke but if that's how they prepare a pour over, i will not be seeking caffeine at their establishment. as a bakery though, they are top notch.

some crust bakery, claremont ca

17 March 2013

happy st patrick's day!

today i decided to use the good stuff. no dorky leprechauns or "irish" mugs made in china. nope, not today. today i am drinking my coffee from a fine bone china, genuine royal tara cup and saucer made in galway, ireland. granted, this cup holds much less coffee than my mugs, but today i am being a refined lady. haha. (ok, only i can laugh at that, lol)

beannachtaí na féile pádraig oraibh

translation: st patrick's day blessings upon you

16 March 2013

coffee & a shamrock cookie

do you like sweets with your coffee? i don't usually like really sweet treats with my coffee but when i was at the bakery the other day, this shamrock cookie was calling my name: "jooo-deee." i must admit, it kinda creeped me out but i bought it anyway, then i ate it! lol


15 March 2013


bailey tried to photobomb my picture! i was photographing my coffee yesterday, when who comes walking around the corner of the chair? bailey! i decided to use this picture anyway because well, that's life.

this is another of my silly leprechaun mugs. this guy doesn't look as sly as my other leprechaun mug but the blessing is spot on, plus this mug holds more coffee. lol

may the good lord take a liking to you...
but not too soon

14 March 2013

coffee by a cairn

today's irish coffee cup is pictured by a mini cairn. there are many rock formations all over ireland; from simple stone walls to the ancient dolmens and of course newgrange. stones are everywhere. this little cairn is my way of paying homage to the laborers & stone masons of ireland that helped landscape a beautiful country.

13 March 2013

erin go bragh

it's time to break out my dorky irish mugs! this is one of my favorites. this little leprechaun has such a mischievous look on his face, you can be sure he will be up to creating some sort of havoc as soon as he finishes his libation. sláinte!

12 March 2013

coffee table book

my 1st trip to ireland was back in 1998 and i have been lucky enough to be able to return several more times over the past years. this country holds a special place in my heart. aside from being absolutely beautiful, it is where my grandmother's roots are planted.

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