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  • kc 5:43 pm on March 8, 2008 Permalink |
    Tags: alameda, Coffee, peets, tour   

    Peet’s Founder’s Day 

    Today I went to the Peet’s roasting facility in Alameda and went on a tour. Apparently, it is a one day event for the , no longer living, Mr. Peet’s birthday. We got there after my GPS, in the car, told us to take a right into the San Francisco bay. I didn’t listen to her, she has been out to get me for a while now, in Seattle she was trying to have me drive off of overpasses and bridges. We finally arrived at Peet’s and after waiting in a short line, which was much longer earlier on in the day, we got to go on a self guided tour. We watched the post roasting process where the beans were cooled and then vacuumed up a long tube and into a hopper then the hopper was moved over to a machine and the coffee was jettisoned then bagged. All in all, it is a very neat process. After that we went to see a tasting room with lots of yummy looking shots of coffee lined up, but we didn’t get to taste, for testing to see if they would buy the new beans. Then we waited in line for comparative taste testing and after 15 minutes or so we decided to skip that event, since we got a sample in the line. The warehouse is very large and chalked full of neat automation machinery. It made my little boy inside clap and hop around, I love all of the clinking machines.  Then we got to the end and we got to try the chocolate cherries, raspberry truffles and coffee (JR Reserve) all of which were very good. Upon exiting the door we received a free pound of house blend. Not a bad haul for a nice afternoon excursion.

  • kc 8:27 pm on March 3, 2008 Permalink |
    Tags: Coffee, dating, sex   

    Hot Coffee 

    I went to Peet’s today and picked up a coffee and I think that the temperature of the coffee was about 4998 degrees fahrenheit. Despite the coffee burning through three cups and my cup holder in my car it tasted all right, once it cooled down. Then this got me thinking about coffee and dating.

    Let’s say that you are on a date and everything in the evening has gone great. You eventually get to the part of going home, then once outside your date’s home you are invited in for coffee. Now in this day and age, being invited in for coffee means sex. So, you get out of your car and stroll up with your date to their home.  Once inside, you get comfortable and then your date brings out coffee. Then you think, how novel, we are going to actually have coffee. You continue to talk and have great conversation, over your perfect 167 degree coffee, and then once the coffee is done, you are invited to leave. You think, ha ha, that was a good joke, as you are escorted to the door and kissed good night. Now what exactly just happened here? Is coffee still sex or is coffee just coffee?

  • kc 9:17 am on February 26, 2008 Permalink |
    Tags: Coffee, Starbucks, Training, Tuesday training   

    Starbucks to Retrain Today 

    Due to Starbucks popularity starting to wane with its over-expanding, and venturing into fields not related to coffee, it appears that Starbucks is going to do something about it. Soon, gone will be the days of the sub-par breakfast sandwiches and drinks that are correct only about 80% of the time.

    It seems that Starbucks will close its doors for today and begin retraining its staff. This comes as great news to me, because I used to frequent this place quite often. Then the quality of coffee and service took a dive. I noticed that they switched to automatic espresso machines for starters and that combined with the random wares they were trying to peddle, the baristas ceased being baristas and became clerks that occasionally make coffee.

    The point that drove this fact home, ironically enough, was when I visited Pike Place in Seattle and visited the original Starbucks. The line was enormous. The wait was long. The place was crowded, but the coffee was amazing. Then I thought to myself, what is it that is so different here? For one thing, it appeared that the Pike Place store still uses manual espresso machines and they have their own roast. Also, the amount of merchandise in this store was much less than its other branches. The baristas here were having fun, even if they were busy, flinging empty cups from counter to counter to make the drinks and they were pulling the shots by hand. Not only were they pretty quick about the orders, especially considering the volume but most importantly, the coffee was good.

    After I realized that the quality was declining due to the merchandise and auto-espresso machines I wrote Starbucks and stated my opinions. I got a reply stating that they put the automatic espresso machines in place because they yielded consistent shots (which they do, I got three burnt shots in a row) and for the baristas to avoid repetitive stress disorder. After reading this I thought to myself, so screw the original store employees and let them suffer with their repetitive stress disorder? No, that wasn’t quite right.

    A while back Starbucks had the summer of store openings, and this is when I noticed these machine popping up. It wasn’t because they were concerned about repetitive stress disorder, it was about ease of training. So, after this statement I received from Starbucks, I have pretty much just stopped going to Starbucks at all. There are a few Peet’s coffee stores near me that I will go to but when I want good coffee I visit San Francisco, usually at least once a week, and go to Ritual Roasters. So, I have options. It is unfortunate that there are probably alot of people who don’t have the options to pull away from Starbucks. I think a severe drop in business would help them realize that people don’t got to Starbucks for CD’s, games, and lunches. They go for coffee.

    I hope that they can turn it around because I would like to get a good cup of espresso for them again.

  • kc 12:24 pm on February 21, 2008 Permalink |
    Tags: Coffee, gibraltar, mmm coffee, ritual roasters   


    For any people traipsing through the mission district of San Francisco, head to Ritual Roasters.  They are not the faster cup of coffee in the world but it is usually pretty damn tasty.   If you are looking for something in a shot type glass, try the Gibraltar.  It is dark, creamy, thick, and strong.  Very good.   Now go!!!  Go forth and drink the dark nectar!

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