9.23.2016

Six (6) Autumn Pumpkin Spice Coffees!



It's officially Autumn!  (No matter what the temperature gauge says.)  Yesterday was the 'first day of Fall' so this morning as I sip my morning coffee (strong, hot and black) I was thinking perhaps a fall themed coffee post was in order. 

Autumn brings thoughts of pumpkin and spice so that became the basis of this post and Amazon was my search engine.  Below are six (6) options for a pumpkin spice blend coffee and I made sure to look for three styles;  whole bean, ground and k-cups!






Christopher Bean Coffee Flavored Whole Bean Coffee, Pumpkin Spice, 12 Ounce
With flavors of pumpkin pie, nutmeg and spice this highly rated coffee hits the top of my list because it is whole bean.  Coffee tastes best when it's freshly ground and brewed and this one allows you to grind and brew when you want to.  I did see that a reviewer on Amazon suggested this blend with a bit of honey and cream.  Honey, pumpkin, spice & cream.  Sounds like a winning combination!



Green Mountain Coffee K-Cup for Keurig Brewers, Pumpkin Spice, 24 Count

I'm putting this one in a top slot of this mornings list for the reason that you can get your pumpkin spice coffee in a k-cup form.  So many of us use a single cup brewer that the little cups are our 'go to'. The sweet, creamy flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg make Pumpkin Spice just right for fall's crisper days and cooler nights.






Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Spice Flavor K-Cups
Dunkin Donuts Ground Coffee (Pack of 2) (Pumpkin Spice)11 oz (22 oz Total)
This one is chosen for this mornings list for a couple reasons.  One - it's Dunkin' Donuts and a lot of people really love their coffee. Two:  You can get this in ground coffee OR k-cups and the single brew option is pretty darn important for those with single cup brewers.  But Three:  You can usually find this locally pretty easy.  As a matter of fact, the cost of the ground coffee option on Amazon is pretty darn expensive in my opinion since I can usually find Dunkin' Donuts brand flavored coffees at my local Walmart.  However, the flavored coffees locally are not always in stock and they are seasonal (and I've read conflicting stories on whether or not Dunkin' Donuts is going to be easy to find in the stores this year) so Amazon is worth checking out if you love Dunkin' Donuts and can't get it at your grocery store.






GOURMET PUMPKIN SPICE Flavored Ground Coffee | 1 LB Bag | Freshly Roasted Holiday Blend | 100% Colombian Arabica
100% Ground Colombian Coffee with premium pumpkin spice flavor.  This is an already ground option, but their packaging seems to be pretty decent and has a triple layer to help keep it fresh.





Paramount Coffee Flavored Fall In Love Pumpkin Spice, Ground, 12 Ounce
This one is made with Arabica beans and if you are looking for heavy flavor, this seems to be your guy.  Reviews often mention the STRONG taste of this one.  Great for those who want a lot of flavor (more flavor than Dunkin' Donuts) but I thought this deserved a mention; the heavy flavor of this one makes it perfect for those who like to add creamer, milk, sugar or sweeteners to their coffee.  Many times the additions make the flavor disappear.  Sounds like this one will hold up to your milk and honey or sugar.  An interesting side-note: On the package are passages from love letters that were written by President John Adams and Abigail Adams.






McCafe Coffee Ground Coffee, Pumpkin Spice, 12 Oz. Bag 2-pack
EXPENSIVE ALERT...  I decided to include this because it's really highly rated by reviews and I know people LOVE their McDonalds coffee.  I have to admit - I've never had this.  And as a matter of fact, I don't eat fast food but maybe once or twice a year and only when traveling cross country.  The last time I've had any McDonalds coffee at all was a cross country trip in the Fall of 2011 and I got an iced coffee to give me a bit of caffeine in the middle of my 15 hour drive.  But people love it... and if you can't find it locally I found 1 seller on Amazon offering a double pack.












9.18.2016

To sin by silence, when we should protest, Makes cowards out of men.

To sin by silence, when we should protest,
Makes cowards out of men.

Protest 

To sin by silence, when we should protest,
Makes cowards out of men. The human race
Has climbed on protest. Had no voice been raised
Against injustice, ignorance, and lust,
The inquisition yet would serve the law,
And guillotines decide our least disputes.
The few who dare, must speak and speak again
To right the wrongs of many. Speech, thank God,
No vested power in this great day and land
Can gag or throttle. Press and voice may cry
Loud disapproval of existing ills;
May criticise oppression and condemn
The lawlessness of wealth-protecting laws
That let the children and childbearers toil
To purchase ease for idle millionaires.

Therefore I do protest against the boast
Of independence in this mighty land.
Call no chain strong, which holds one rusted link.
Call no land free, that holds one fettered slave.
Until the manacled slim wrists of babes
Are loosed to toss in childish sport and glee,
Until the mother bears no burden, save
The precious one beneath her heart, until
God’s soil is rescued from the clutch of greed
And given back to labor, let no man
Call this the land of freedom.

- Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850–1919)

ELLA WHEELER WILCOX, “Protest,” Poems of Problems, pp. 154–55 (1914).


You might also be interested in these related books from Amazon;

The Essential Ella Wheeler Wilcox Poetry Collection
Ella Wheeler Wilcox's Collected Works: Poems of Passion, A Woman of the World, and More! (20 Works)


    

iCoffee Update: I've found one issue with the new icoffee machine - it leaks and pools coffee






Just a quick update to my brand new iCoffee machine (About 2 1/2 weeks ago we bought a brand new  iCoffee Davinci Single Serve Coffee Brewer and I said I'd update after using it a bit).


While I love the idea of spin brew technology; it swirls the hot water around in the k-cup to reach more of the grounds and the yummy coffee flavor than just shooting the water straight down like our Keurig(s) - I've found it's been leaking a bit.





Surface Tension
As the coffee stream starts to flow out and into the cups, part of the stream clings onto the machine and follows it towards the back of the k-cup-undercarriage and then runs down the backside of the front cup/mug opening.

If you look under the k-cup-holder-carriage while the cup is filling you will see the thin stream of coffee going into your mug but there is a second thin stream running back towards the wall of the mug/cup opening, down the plastic and avoiding the drip pan, but running behind it and then after a couple cups, there is enough coffee under the drip pan that it starts to pool out in front of the machine.

I first noticed that I wasn't getting a full 6 or 8 oz. in my brewing.  I thought it wasn't sucking enough water through.
After a few days though I would wipe up spilled coffee.
And then finally, started to watch the brewing process carefully to see where the problem lay.

It's obvious once you stop and watch it try to fill the cup.
The stream isn't strong enough to shoot/pour it all straight down so while part of it does, the other part is clinging to the surface of the machine and following the fastest route down by surface tension - which ends up pooling on the counter.

This afternoon I decided to make a cup of coffee and since my phone was on the counter next to me, I grabbed it and filmed the icoffee leaking.  Then I took photos of the clean paper towel I had placed under the drip catcher before brewing... you can see just how much coffee leaks and is wasted with every cup brewed over the last 2 1/2 weeks we've owned the machine.

You can see the stream coming down into the cup but notice the second stream
following the plastic under-carriage of the k-cup holder to the back 'wall' and running down the machine
and pooling under it.  This is with the drip pan pushed all the way in and clicked into
place.  The liquid leaks behind and around it and pools on the counter.








The drip pan catches what comes out of the machine if you remove your cup before it's finished but the water following the under-carriage and leaking down the back is clinging to the wall of the brewer so it bypasses the drip catcher and leaks around and behind it - even though it's clicked into place as it should be.


Ahhh the waste of such glorious, yummy, liquid gold!








9.17.2016

What's Your Sign? Umm, you're probably wrong. Astrology signs are about a month off and there are 13 - not 12!



"What's your sign?" But before you ask or answer that question, consider this: Your zodiac sign corresponds to the position of the sun relative to constellations as they appeared more than 2,200 years ago. Your zodiac sign is not what you think it is.

The Earth continually wobbles around its axis in a 25,800-year cycle. This wobble—called precession—is caused by the gravitational attraction of the Moon on Earth's equatorial bulge.

Thanks to Earth's wobble, astrological signs are not what you think they are!

Astrological signs are determined by the position of the sun relative to certain constellations on a person's day of birth. The problem is, the positions were determined more than 2,000 years ago. Nowadays, the stars have shifted in the night sky so much that horoscope signs are nearly a month off.

"Astrology tells us that the sun is in one position, whereas astronomy tells us it's in another position," said Joe Rao, SPACE.com's skywatching columnist and a lecturer at New York's Hayden Planetarium.

The shift is caused by precession, the wobble in the Earth's axis caused by the gravitational attraction of the moon to the Earth's equator.

"The earliest known astronomer to recognize and assess the movement of precession was Aristarchus of Samos, who lived around 280 B.C.," Rao told LiveScience.





Here are the "real" dates of astrological signs, according to astronomers:

Capricorn: Jan. 20-Feb. 16.
Aquarius: Feb. 16-March 11.
Pisces: March 11-April 18.
Aries: April 18-May 13.
Taurus: May 13-June 21.
Gemini: June 21-July 20.
Cancer: July 20-Aug. 10.
Leo: Aug. 10-Sept. 16.
Virgo: Sept. 16-Oct. 30.
Libra: Oct. 30-Nov. 23.
Scorpio: Nov. 23-29.
Ophiuchus: Nov. 29-Dec. 17.
Sagittarius: Dec. 17-Jan. 20.

The list includes Ophiuchus, a formation the ancient Babylonians discarded because they wanted 12 star signs, not 13.


Another neat fact to ponder over coffee:
The North Star, Polaris, for example; It's the star most closely aligned with Earth's North Pole. But back when the pyramids were constructed, the star that aligned with the North Pole wasn't Polaris at all: It was a star in the constellation Draco called Thuban. In 12,000 years, Earth's North Star will be Vega, the brightest star in the constellation Lyra.


Sources:
  • Astrology: Why Your Zodiac Sign and Horoscope Are Wrong https://shar.es/1xWobv via @LiveScience
  • http://www.nbcnews.com/id/41062376/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/wobbly-earth-means-your-horoscope-wrong/#.V92n1MBIvkl.twitter via @msnbc








9.14.2016

What I'm drinking this morning: Pablo's Pride Coffee (It's good. I mean really good!)





  It's a quick fly-by post this morning as I decided to post a quick "hey, here's what I'm drinking this morning".  Actually, it's what we've been drinking exclusively for 2 weeks.  Remember my post about the new icoffee brewer and the eco-cup and JavaJig we were going to use for a bit?  Well, we have been.  And since you put your own coffee into them, the last time I went to Sam's Club I decided to try this brand -Pablo's Pride - instead of the more expensive brands (like the Starbucks next to it that briefly went into my shopping cart before I changed my mind and swapped it out to try Pablo's).

Here is what they have to say about their own coffee... then I'll chime in after:

  • A favorite of Coffee Lovers worldwide, this delicious coffee is roasted Medium-Dark, has a rich and lively aroma, velvety body, low acidity, and sweet pleasant aftertaste. This is a high altitude, shade grown coffee, and because Guatemala has numerous active volcanoes, the sulfur in the soil adds to its unique taste and depth of flavor.
  • 2LB - Whole Bean - 100% Arabica - Origin: Guatemala, Sharing Certified Program(TM)
  • At Café Don PabloTM we feel that our coffee is the finest available. We use only the largest, most desirable Arabica beans, grown in nutrient-rich volcanic soil in the lush mountainous terrain of the world's coffee growing regions. These are award-winning beans that were cultivated by skilled farmers whose methods, knowledge, and passion for coffee have been handed down from generation to generation since the very first seed was planted.
  • We roast these special beans in small batches to ensure our customers optimum flavor and freshness. We have found that people who really appreciate a great cup of rich, aromatic coffee can taste the difference between our fresh, just roasted product, and others that are roasted by the metric ton by huge corporations. We hope you agree. - Darron J. Burke President, Cafe Don Pablo

As you can see from the picture I took and posted above, we have gone through one entire bag of Pablo's and this morning I'm opening a second.  I'm actually glad I decided to buy a 2nd bag at the last second or we would be 'out' of coffee this morning and no funds to replenish until payday Friday!  But in the store I read the package, I squeezed the bag to get a whiff of the aroma through the little air lock hole and from what I could tell, it was going to be good coffee - and it was a good price - so I took a chance.

Glad I did!  This is good coffee.  Really good coffee.

I like my coffee in a medium to dark roast and I drink it hot, strong and black.  If it's a bad coffee it's going to be 'in my face' obvious since I'm not adding any sugar, cream, syrups or anything else to mask the flavor.  It is what it is.  And this... is good coffee.

I can't say what the flavor would be in a big old 'pot' of coffee - I assume it's still just as good but I brew mine freshly ground, in single servings in my reusable cups in my iCoffee brewer (and in our Keurigs and our Mr. Coffee single serve brewers) and it's perfect.  The aroma has no disgusting smell of cigarette ashes, nor 'burnt' scent.  As it brews it fills the area with the fresh, deep scent of a yummy coffee.. and it it fulfills that promise.

What I like best about this coffee:  I like it strong so I brew mine at 6 oz. and the flavor is smooth, easy and not a hint of bitterness nor is it acidic.  Even the after taste is good.  There is nothing I find to be a downside to this coffee.

I found it at my local Sam's Club - and I'm going to buy 2 more bags this weekend if they still are stocking any (you know how membership clubs sometimes only carry smaller brands for a short time and then they disappear).  However, checking this morning I found it available on Amazon as well;

2LB Pablo's Pride Gourmet Coffee - Guatemala - Medium-dark Roast Coffee - Whole Bean Coffee - 2 Pound ( 2 lb ) Bag

As well as their 'signature' blend and if organic is what floats your boat, they had that available too!


   Pablo's Pride Organic Coffee - Whole Bean Coffee 12oz - Dark Roast Coffee - USDA Certified Organic Coffee - 12 oz bag