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February 18, 2009

Starbucks VIA™ Ready Brew -- OK, What?

OK, what? Starbucks INSTANT?

Starbucks VIA™ Ready Brew instant coffee.

Starbucks has found a way to offer a truly great cup of coffee that you can prepare by just adding water. Other instant coffees taste flat and lifeless. Starbucks VIA™ Ready Brew is different – it’s full-bodied and flavorful, just like the Starbucks® coffee you know and love.
OK, what?

I mean, OK, what? Starbucks instant coffee?

OK, I'll head down to a Starbucks and get a sample. I'll bring it home, mix it up and report here -- so you don't have to.

OK, what?

February 17, 2009

French press review

Coffee House Cafe SetForte Promotions, a company that offers custom printed apparel and promotional products, recently sent me their "Coffee House Cafe Set" for a review.

It's a nice set, including a small French press and two matching glass cups with a very classic look. It comes packaged in an attractive black box with plenty of foam to prevent breakage. The materials aren't as heavy as one would find on more expensive sets, but for the price ($20-25, depending on volume), it's a good value. The size is perfect for brewing a small serving for two, say as an after dinner coffee, or for a larger cup for one.

I've been using the press to make my morning coffee for a few weeks now. On my initial brew I had a problem with sediment slipping past the filter into the cup. Unfolding the edges of the mesh filter a bit to give it a tighter seal against the edge of the carafe helped minimize this. I've had better performance since then, though still find an occasional bit of coffee slipping through along with the usual sediment one finds in a French press. Making this filter tighter or adding a second filter to the lid would improve the product.

I was happy to get this as a sample and I think any coffee drinker would be glad to receive it; it's certainly a step up from the usual promotional coffee mugs, of which most people already own plenty anyway. Recipients who don't already have a French press will hopefully be encouraged to try out a new brewing method. If they use it properly, they'll likely find they get a better cup than with their drip brewers.


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