The Bean Stalker

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Coffee Cocktails December 12, 2008

It’s mid-December and everybody is in the holiday spirit.  Learn how to make your own coffee spirits with these recipes.

Chocolate Hazelnut Coffee Recipe
     – consists of coffee, chocolate liqueur and hazelnut liqueur

Jamaican Coffee
     – consists of coffee, Tia Maria, White Rum, and thick cream

Night in Florida
     – consists of  coffee, Kahlua, Frangelico, Grand Marnier & Bailey’s Irish Cream

Irish Coffee
     – consists of coffee, Irish Whiskey and sugar.  Watch the video below to learn how to make this San Francisco favorite.


Coffee Customers Pay It Forward December 8, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — mwarren06 @ 10:24 pm
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The month of December presents an atmosphere of joy and giving and in the past few weeks, coffee drinkers have shown that Christmas giving is not just limited to family and friends.

Recently, a line of customers in a Starbucks drive-thru in Des Moines, Iowas decided to “Pay It Forward” one morning by buying each other coffee.  The line started by one lady deciding to buy coffee for the person waiting behind her.  The next person decided to return the favor by buying coffee for the next person in line and the pattern continued for 103 customers.  

Although a Starbucks worker reported that this has happened before, she added that the pattern has never lasted for so many customers before.   This incident has made national news and has spurred customers all over the country to spread a little generosity.  CNN recently covered an incident that occured at a few coffee shops in Loveland and a grocery store in Greeley.

If you have had a similar experience, please feel free to share!


The Barista Wars December 6, 2008

Most coffee drinkers know that consistency and quality of a good cup of coffee depends on the barista.  The importance of a  barista is so great that it has even been turned into a sport.  The World Barista Championship is an annual contest where 50 of the world’s greatest baristas compete for the world trophy. 

Stephen Morrissey was the 2008 World Barista Champion.  The Prize?  A La Marzocco GS/3  expresso machine (you can buy your own for $7,000)  and a Compak  K-10 WBC expresso grinder(add this to your kitchen appliances for $1,400). 

The competitors are judged by seven judges who score the contestants on taste, cleanliness, creativity, technical skill and overall presentation.   The presentation includes the appearance of the drink, which can be a contest in itself.  The video below displays some of the potential of latte art.

Participants must first attend one workshop at the beginning of the year.  The next workshops are scheduled for Jan 13-14, 2009 in Stockholm, Sweden and Jan 14-15, 2009 in Melbourne, Australia.  The 2009 World Barista Championship is set to take place in Atlanta, GA on April 16-19. 

For those wanting to participate at a more local level, the Mountain Regional Barista Competition is Jan 16-18 at the Adams 12 Building in Thornton, Colo. Contestants are
judged based in the areas as the World Championship. 

More information can be found on the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s website.


A contestant attempts to impress the judge with his unique take on coffee at the 2008 Mountain Regional Barista Competition in Thornton, Colo.


Poetry Reading at Mugs Coffee Lounge November 18, 2008

The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures of CSU will be hosting their annual, “Odes of November” annual poetry reading at Mugs Coffee Lounge on Nov. 20. 

The event will be held in the basement of Mugs and begins at 7:00 p.m. and ends around 9:00 p.m.

Features Poets will be:

Francisco Leal
Fernando Valerio

Gretchen Gaede

For more information please contact:

Fernando Valerio
(970) 491- 5022

Mugs is located in Old Town on the corner of College and Olive Street.


Coffee Sales Suffer from Recession November 15, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — mwarren06 @ 7:54 pm
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As Starbucks sales continue to fall, reports have shown that bagged coffee sales from stores such as Stabucks have continued to grow. Although people continue to brew at home, the company’s shares have dwindled down by more than 50% in the past year.  Starbucks has recently closed around six hundred stores in the United States. There have been no closings in Fort Collins yet but click here for a list of closed stores nationwide.

Loyal customers of Starbucks have started online petitions to keep the stores open. Local businesses worry that their local Starbucks will result in less traffic intheir area that would lead to lostbusiness.  This is a dramatic shift fromthe protests that occured whenStarbucks began their rapid expansionof stores.  Local businesses ownerswere felt threatened that Starbuckswould take away their business butnow see that Starbucks has actuallyadded to the commercial value ofproperty.

With the future of the economy looking bleak, Starbucks will have to find ways to brand itself as a product work splurging for in a tight budget.  A recent partnerships with Costco has pushed that strategy ahead.  Five $20 Starbucks cards are available to buy at Costco for $79.95.  This offer is a holiday special and one millions cards were sold in the first month that they were sold.  Starbucks also offers $25 gold cards that give customers 10% off each purchase.  These cards were initially test in Denver and Vancouver and were made available to the rest of the world on Nov 4.

Starbucks sales started to see a dramatic drop in the first few months of 2008.  A fellow blogger set up this diagram to poke fun at the coffee giant's growth and decline.

Starbucks sales started to see a dramatic drop in the first few months of 2008. A blogger at set up this diagram to poke fun at the coffee giant's growth and decline.


Alley Cat: Politics, Games, Music and Daily Specials October 28, 2008

Alley Cat Coffee shop will be holding an open forum to educate voters on ballot issues on October 28th. The forum starts at 6:45 p.m.

Tuesday night is also game night at Alley Cat. Games include Ticket to Ride, Blokus, Settlers of Catan and Set. Games begin at 7 p.m.

Both events are in the basement on Tuesday, October 28th so visitors are welcome to play their favorite board game while listening in on the ballot issues.

If you are not able to make these events, Alley Cat has a poetry night every Monday at 8 p.m. and an open mic night every Friday night from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Alley Cat also offers daily specials listed below:

Sunday – Soup De Jour – $3.00/bowl
Monday – Double Shot – $1.00
Tuesday – $2.45 Chai
Wednesday – Flavored Latte – $2.00
Thursday – $1.00 Ginger Milk
Friday – $5.00 Veggie Sandwich
Saturday – $2.00 Canebrie

The Alley Cat is located between College Avenue and Mason Street, in the alley behind Pizza Casbah.


Starbucks in deep water with environmentalists October 8, 2008

Starbucks has recently been criticized for their use of six million gallons of water each day.  According to an ABCNews article, this is enough to fill an Olympic pool every 83 minutes.

This usage of water comes from their practice of leaving a tap running all day to prevent germ buildup on used spoons and other utensils.

The water waste appears to be a bit contradictory to what the company strives to achieve through the marketing of their “Ethos Water“, a brand of bottled water that contributes a portion of its proceeds to water projects in developing country so children around the world can have access to clean water. The Sun’s investigation into this issue reported that the wasted water “would provide enough daily water for the entire two million-strong population of drought-hit Namibia in Africa “

 The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the company’s branches in Australia have also been highly criticized because of droughts and water restrictions in many areas.

Starbucks  responded in the Chicago Sun-Times by defending themselves and arguing that they have good intentions.

“”We recognize that the . . . amount of water that is used by the system is an issue that needs immediate attention. Starbucks’ challenge is to balance water conservation with the need for customer safety.”

Environmentalist have a different take on the issue.

Do customers care more about safety and service or social responsibility?  How important is it to customers that their coffee shop of choice be environmentally friendly?  Let me know what your opinion is and take my poll below!

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