In just a few weeks hundreds of skilled baristas, plus regional winners from competitions in the Great Lakes, Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Western divisions will converge upon the Twin Cities for the United States Barista Competition, sponsored by the Specialty Coffee Association of America and hosted by Krups... Read More
When do you draw the line between haute couture and brazen excess? Now maybe it depends on what tax bracket you’re in, because Contexture Design, a Vancouver-based firm is offering a pretty pricey coffee sleeve... Read More
Congratulations to everyone who solved the Luck of the Irish Clover Contest. We had hundreds of people figure out the answer and take advantage of the 7% savings... Read More
By Nicole Jones -
If you ask any of my friends there are a few things I vowed never to do, but eventually succumbed when the pressure was on. While most of them aren't for publication, there are two I'm willing to divulge – that is switch from a PC to a Mac and to upgrade my espresso machine.
Replacing the PC was painless, because I'd picked up enough Trojans over the last few months to wipe out a small army. And who wouldn't jump all over the opportunity to swap out their machine for the sleek new Gaggia Platinum Vision – in all its stainless steel glory.
The machine swap came about rather suddenly, because we had a huge shipment of Gaggia Platinum Visions come in and I definitely wanted to give one of them a go. After all, there's no better way to get to know something than to try it out. I once again commandeered a machine from the back, brought it home and broke the news to my husband that it might be time for an upgrade if the Vision was as good as people were saying.
"This was when I started to notice the upgrades – the little things, or maybe I should say not so little things that made a big difference in my perception of the Vision."
By Nicole Jones -
Think you've mastered free pouring and have got latte art down to a science? Well don't get too comfortable, because the competition is going to get more intense as we up the ante once again. But that's because we're giving you a chance to win one of two Gaggia Baby Twins in our Third Annual Latte Art Contest.
That's right – we're giving away two Gaggia Baby Twin Espresso Machines with one winner in each category, beginner and professional. So don't be intimidated as you upload your free pour from start to finish on YouTube once again.
Now whether you want to focus strictly on the artistic appeal or give your video a little flair, that's up to you. And the winner of our contest is up to you as well. Once we receive all the YouTube links we'll pick our favorites in each category, beginner and professional. You'll have a chance to vote online for your favorites in June.
"Your entry must be received by midnight on Friday, May 16, 2008."
By Nicole Jones -
How long can milk sit on the counter if it's not in an insulated jug? Not long, according to New York State Department of Health Food Inspector Mr. Hale.
Refrigerated milk products needs to remain a constant 45°F. If it doesn't, there's the possibility that microorganisms that produce illness and disease will grow inside. So if you see clumps it's more than likely owners and employees aren't minding the Department of Health regulations.
Certainly violations are never intentional, because even the best shops are cited for violations. Recently, health inspectors closed down a popular eatery, Coffee Shop, for several refrigeration violations. This cafe might be recognizable - it was used in the filming of HBO's Sex and the City. The owner disputed many of them, saying that in the 17 years he's been in business, his café had consistently scored very well. Not well enough it seems, because the inspector spent nearly three-and-a-half hours grading the restaurant instead of the usual 60 minutes.
"Keeping things at the right temperature is extremely important. And using equipment that is certified by the National Sanitation Foundation or NSF is important because it ensures certain standards in the food service industry."
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