Archive for November, 2010

Shop Small this November 27

November 27, 2010

Small Business Saturday is the day coffee enthusiasts can give favorite coffee houses a java jolt of appreciation.  I’m off to The Grind, a Coffee-house and Roaster, in Fort Myers, Florida, where the Barista knows your name. Coffee lovers make a list and check it twice.  Two packages of freshly-roasted Brasil Bourbon beans are on my list.  On my wish list….a new coffee maker.


Coffee Facts Friday

November 26, 2010

Inquiring minds want to know.  Why is November 26 called Black Friday?  Well Virginia, theories abound about the origin of Black Friday, but they are only theories.
Theory Number One. The day after Thanksgiving is the day when throngs of shoppers descend upon merchants, clogging the stores and streets resulting in disruption and chaos; and hence in 1966, police in Philadelphia referred to this day of snarled traffic and snarling shoppers as—Black Friday.
Theory Number 2.  Strange as it may seem dear Virginia, years ago, accountants actually tallied receipts by hand and recorded in red ink financial loss and in black ink, the profits.  Retailers geared up for the day after Thanksgiving by offering tantalizing bargains hoping the day would end “in the black.”
The truth.  Black Friday emanated from the pleas “I—need—black—coffee” heard around the country as exhausted crowds stood in long lines.  Black Coffee, rich, aromatic, invigorating black coffee is needed, no desired, to fortify oneself for hours upon hours of waiting to snap up a bargain.  Over time Virginia, “I Need Black Coffee this Friday” was abbreviated to the now familiar Black Friday.
And that’s the unmitigated truth.

Wordless Wednesday

November 24, 2010


National Espresso Day

November 23, 2010

Today is the day to enjoy an Espresso at your favorite coffeehouse.In 1901 Luigi Bezzera, a coffee-savvy Italian, invented the first espresso machine, and the world over enjoys this heavenly drink.  Frothy. Smooth. Aromatic.

National Espresso Day, November 23, 2010

The Hello Heard ‘Round the World

November 20, 2010



Greet ten strangers in person with a “Hello” in one day? In this environ when the economy could use a Prozac and the neighbor next door could be a serial killer or a reality TV star? How can the brainiac grads of Harvard and Arizona State University who promote World Hello Day on November 21st really think a simple verbal gesture is a “global expression of peace?”

These optimistic guys, along with 31 Nobel Peace Prize winners, have realized that personal communication is an important factor in preserving peace, and that with World Hello Day anyone can contribute. What do we think?

Let’s start with, “Hello.”

In its present form – leaping over historic implications of origin in archaic English, Old High German, and of course, Shakespeare – the “hello” salutation gained popularity with the telephone. (Remember that antiquated piece of technology that was rooted in one place by a cord to a booth or a wall?) And yet its inorganic progenies are obstacles in the “Hello” objective’s required predecessor: eye contact.

Engaging a Twittering stranger in a mutual gaze is a skill. Too intense may be contrived as aggressive; too lingering may be interpreted as invasive or even culturally inappropriate. But, because eye contact is “… the most powerful mode of establishing a communicative link between humans (PNAS, 2002),” it is a crucial part of the “Hello” peace process. What then is the best course of strategy?

Shift to “Mutual Ground.”

Where do liberals and conservatives, citizens and foreigners, shepherds and shitsus find commonality? The coffee shop. Whether lured there by leash, stroller, Ethiopian Sidamo or Wi-Fi, society would be hard pressed to think of something as ubiquitous as coffee. Opportunities for peaceful interactions in cafés are bountiful: “Hello (pause for reply), would you like this seat?” “Hello…is that a blueberry scone?” “Hello…where’s the bathroom?” Even the most absorbed patron, the writer, tapping away on their laptop can hardly resist looking up when they hear the words, “Hello – what’s your story about?


Find hello in many languages at

Nate Barksdale’s You Had Me at ‘Hello’ article on hello history at

Check out a mythical theory at endicott-studio by Googling: Heaven and Hello by Heinz Insu Fenkl

Introduce yourself to a fair trade coffee company out of Minneapolis with bicycle-powered delivery at

Coffee Facts Friday

November 19, 2010

Geography Awareness Week, November 14 to November 20.

This afternoon I really needed coffee, and while sipping my freshly ground and brewed Papau New Guinea coffee I read that this is Geography Awareness Week.  Hmmm, where in the world is Papau New Guinea?  Let’s bone up on our Geo-Literacy.
Geography of Coffee Quiz
Where are Aloha Kona beans grown?
In what African nation will you find Arabica Ethiopian coffee?
Where in South America will you find Columbian coffee farms?
Where is the best coffee?
The brew you are now savoring.

The Great American Break Up: Coffee without Cigarettes

November 17, 2010

Love coffee, but want to quit smoking?  Here are some helpful links for coffee loving smokers wishing to participate in The Great American Smokeout.

For a good quit tip article: “Enjoy Coffee or Tea Without Cigarettes” at: (click “Downloads” on tool bar, then “Fact Sheets to Download” – do not need to register as a user unless you want to).

How to Drink Coffee Without a Cigarette, Part II of Relapse Free Method |

via How to Drink Coffee Without a Cigarette, Part II of Relapse Free Method |

 Good Health and Good Luck!

Wordless Wednesday

November 16, 2010

Grounds for Recycling

November 15, 2010

So. I’m sipping my cafe` Americana on a blue sky fall morning when I step out onto the back deck to hear the report of rifle shots echoing off of the Colorado National Monument. I look out into our back yard toward the Chitalpa ‘Pink Dawn’ tree  my husband and I recently planted. The nursery told us that this drought resistant specimen would do well in our climate, grow quickly, and fill with pale pink flowers next spring into summer.

I’m sceptical, and with good reason.  I have a history of botanical aspirations with a high failure rate. Still, we dug the spade into the ground, planted the five-foot tree according to the nursery’s directions, and refilled the hole with a  magical dirt enhancer. A few weeks went by of watering and watching the willow-like branches bare up for the coming winter. Then deer hunting season started and we began to see a handsome young buck frequenting the neighborhood.  

I walk down the steps and over to the barren Pink Dawn. Bark is nibbled up and down one side, and a once sturdy branch dangles by a sinewy green thread. I call the Bookcliff Gardens Nursery. Thank Mother Earth for Master Gardners. Without hesitation Debbie tells me to put some coffee grounds in cheese cloth and tie it to the tree, along with sprinkling some around the perimeter: apparently, deer are not coffee snobs.

Coffee Facts Friday

November 11, 2010

Accountant’s Day was Wednesday November 10th, but, hey, who’s counting!

Luca Pacioli, a true Bean Counter, is called “The Father of Accounting” because he outlined a sensible method used by Venice merchants during the Italian Renaissance period.

Furthermore, he stipulated that a person should not go to sleep at night until the debits equaled the credit.  No surprise that he also operated a coffee shop.

Aaah, those Italians, late nights and espressos.