30 August 2008

Kitchen Designer: Do I Need it?

If you’re renovating a kitchen, don’t skimp on the one thing that will make or break your experience and potentially your kitchen, it’s a professional kitchen design.

A kitchen designer’s job is to stay on top of all of that and manage the project, so it runs as smoothly as possible. They understand how the kitchen works and can save you from a headache and a drained bank account if you’re undertaking a kitchen renovation.

Kitchen design is highly specialized and complex. An authorized designer is imperative, in conjunction with an architect or alone. If you've retained an architect and/or an interior designer, insist on working with a kitchen designer as well, particularly if you’re planning to use a custom cabinet manufacturer, to ensure a well-planned, well-executed design.

There’re very expensive kitchens grow even more expensive, because a kitchen designer wasn’t part of the remodeling process from the beginning. There’s so much to think about, from design elements to very practical considerations. Better if you Involved a kitchen design pro early in the process, whether you're building or remodeling.

Kitchen designers think about the little things that can become big if not anticipated; like the placement of outlets, size and shape of appliances and proper storage spaces. They know about kitchen trends, innovations and specific manufacturer details; they keep abreast of the frequent changes, finishes and options offered by the many companies that will be a part of your kitchen.

Think about your kitchen designer as your advocate, adding value by providing knowledge and ideas. Engaging one is not only helpful but inspirational and smart. A kitchen designer is worth the investment.

Steps to Get Kitchen that You Want

Turning vague descriptions into fully functional dream kitchens is a daily challenge. A homeowner who's new to the process, however, has plenty to learn. Every designer needs time to truly understand what the client wants. You can take the same space and get ten completely different kitchens.

So how can you get your kitchen designer to find meaning in your musings? Here's a steps plan that will help you get the most out of the designer-client partnership, turning your time, money, and ideas into the kitchen you've always wanted.
  1. Leave time for the planning
  2. A kitchen is the sum of many parts, not just cabinets and a faucet. Decisions must be made about layout, proportion, storage, and myriad other things.
    Give yourself at least five weeks just to brainstorm, discuss, plan, refine, andjust as importantcompromise. You should know going in that the design process requires numerous meetings, there's a lot to discuss. After that is the neverending wait for plumbing, cabinets, countertops, appliances, flooring, fixtures, and paint. Ordering and installing each can put another three to six months between a final design and a finished kitchen.

  3. Start off thinking big
  4. Details are important in any kitchen, but designers like to start with the big picture, how you use your kitchenand let details emerge. Even if your budget will inevitably call for compromises get your wish list on the table. The budget should come later.
    It helps to think about what you don't want, too. Make a list of things that bother you about your current kitchen—the mail piled up on the counter, the stockpot you can never reach. Designers say these negative lists are just as helpful at driving the details as having an extensive wish list.

  5. Set the scene
  6. Designers recommend thinking in terms of activities to pull your dream kitchen into focus. Those images could mean the difference between a low marble baking counter and a raised island bar.

  7. Know what you need and don't need
  8. Just as important as defining your dream is setting a bottom line, things you'd really rather not live without. But you also should know where to set the cutoff. Designers have encyclopedic knowledge of fixtures and materials, and you can get drawn in as they introduce you to the latest gadgets. Be clear about what's an unnecessary extravagance.

  9. Think structure, not just finishes
  10. Kitchen designers know about more than countertops. They are trained to know how to work with flow and traffic patterns and room proportions. They might be able to make you see a space in a whole new configuration by moving doors or walls, so you need to be open to rethinking your layout.
    When a kitchen is already completely torn out, sometimes the added cost of moving a door or window is minimal. A kitchen designer can help you figure out the most efficient and least costly way to make footprint changes within the scope of the work you're already planning to do—and might even save you money if a new configuration means fewer custom cabinets and odd-size appliances.

  11. Be smart about scrapbooks
  12. Most designers recommend clients clip photos of kitchens they like. But there's a right way and a wrong way to do it. A better strategy is to collect pictures showing a range of preferences. One might have your favorite sink/island combination, even if you hate the cabinets; another could have the cabinets you've always wanted, but a refrigerator you don't like. Collect photos with an eye to details like lighting, backsplashes, and hardware.
    Some people don't know what they like about a picture until prodded and that's where the designer comes in. Lindquist recalls a client with a stack of seemingly unrelated kitchen pictures who couldn't verbalize what she liked about them.

  13. Ask for a walk-through
  14. Designers are very good at taking a paper drawing and understanding how it will look in 3-D. But if you're not the kind of person who can translate lines on a page into ¬real cabinets, consider asking for a full-size mock-up, a rendering in cardboard of your kitchen's structures. There will be a fee for this, but it gives you a chance to walk through everything and test out placement, sizes, traffic flow, and clearances before everything is permanent.

  15. Spend money to save money
  16. There may be times when a homeowner feels he or she has overwhelmed the designer with info. But that's actually good—the more the designer has to go on, the better.
    Which is why, if there are any parts of the design that aren't working, speak up now—and avoid correcting a mistake down the line. It's worth going back to the drawing board until it's all perfect, even if it means more money in design fees.

  17. Move on if it's not working
  18. Then there are the times when, no matter how much discussion you have, the design just isn't gelling. If a designer keeps coming back with something that doesn't work, then there's a point where you have to stop giving them the benefit of the doubt. Cut your losses and move on. After all, it's your ¬vision, and you need someone who can give you that kitchen you've always dreamed of.

Things you should Consider to Remodeling Your Kitchen

Good kitchen design starts early, even as early as locating the room within the house. If you're lucky enough to be able to choose which direction your kitchen will face, consider orienting it toward the east or southeast, where morning sun will fill it with light. Unfortunately, in rehab, choosing the southeast orientation is not always possible, although we think it's worth working hard to achieve.

Once you get the kitchen oriented, there are some basic design principles that will help you with the layout.

  • A house requires frequent contact with the outside, much of which is accomplished by car. An attached garage closely adjoining the kitchen or a back door opening on the driveway can reduce the burden of carrying groceries in and the trash out.
  • A mud room can reduce kitchen traffic by acting as a staging area for trips into and out of the house. It offers a buffer from cold air, storage space for coats, hats and boots and even pantry shelves for items you won't be using immediately.
The Work Triangle
  • Since most kitchen work is a dance among the three appliances, a good design will make the distances between them comfortable. If they're too short, the work area will be cramped; if too far, the cook will become worn out trotting between them. The rule of thumb is that the three legs of the triangle should add up to between 12 and 26 feet.
  • There are three basic layouts for the work triangle: u-shaped, l-shaped and galley. In the u-shaped kitchen, there's a triangular path from the sink on one wall to the range on another, to the refrigerator on a third. In an l-shaped kitchen, one element of the work triangle is against one wall with the other two along another. In very tight circumstances, all three points are arranged along the same wall, like the cooking facilities on-board ship, thus the name galley kitchen.
  • Ideally no traffic should pass through the work triangle. Nothing is more irritating than having people crash into you when you're trying to cook. If there's going to be an island or table in the room, place it where it will neither obstruct the work triangle nor be too far to be a useful work station itself.
  • The refrigerator should be located at the triangle's outer corner for easy access.
  • The sink should be accessible as well, but the cooking surface ought to be as protected as possible, and therefore at the most remote point of the work triangle.
Necessary Gadgets
  • The sink, cook top and refrigerator each need to be surrounded with a certain amount of floor and counter space. The refrigerator door needs a clear swing and, if possible, enough room for two people to reach in simultaneously.
  • The doors of any cabinets around the fridge should not conflict with its door. And the refrigerator also needs an 18-inch run of counter as a staging area for foods going into or coming out of it.
  • The sink is placed beneath a window, both to provide daylight for chores done there and to give one a view outdoors. Yet working at a sink with a window is still much more pleasant than working at a sink without one.
  • Minimum counter lengths are considered to be 36 inches on one side of the sink and 24 on the other, which gives you a staging area for dirty dishes on one side and a drying area on the other. It seems logical to locate the greatest expanse of counter on the side of the sink closest to the cook top, since that is where most foods prepared at the sink are destined.
  • The optimum location for the cook top is along an exterior wall, rather than on an island or peninsula. With a stove on an outside wall, it's easy to install an effective hood and ventilation system, essential to expel grease, smoke and combustion gases. The stove or cook top needs a 21- to 30-inch overhead clearance so cooks can readily see and access rear burners and the ventilation system can do its work efficiently.
  • If you plan to install a dishwasher, place it close to the sink. Where you choose to put it might depend on whether you're right- or left-handed and on the path dishes are likely to take when cleared from the table. Also consider the choreography of two people loading and unloading the machine.
Storage Areas
  • Glassware and dishes should be stored in cabinets or shelves near the sink. Frequently used pots and pans could be stowed between the sink and cook top or from a hanging rack.
  • Consider locating your silverware drawers close to the drying rack or dishwasher but out of the primary work triangle so that someone can set the table without interrupting the cook.
  • Professional cooks, who spend a great deal of time in their kitchens, prefer to have their utensils within easy reach.
  • Shelves or cabinets above the cook top can hold foods that aren't affected by warmth, such as pasta, rice, and cereal. A shelf just below these cabinets but above the cook top can transform the space into a cooking workshop, providing a handy resting place for timers, spices, cooking supplies and implements.
  • A large volume of kitchen goods can be stowed in a pantry, an efficient, relatively inexpensive means of storage. Since a pantry is essentially a closet lined with shelves, it's easy on the budget. Also plan to reserve part of the pantry as a utility closet, where mops, brooms and cleaning supplies can be easily stored.
Eating In
  • Islands can serve as tables for informal meals. If it's the height of conventional counters, 36 inches, you'll need stools and an ample overhang of about 12 inches to comfortably accommodate sitters' knees.
  • If you're thinking about placing a table in your kitchen, here are some basic parameters: A rectangular table with a seating capacity of four to six should measure 2½ feet by 5 to 5½ feet. You'll need 2½ to 3 feet of clearance all around for chairs and adequate circulation. A round table takes up less space but can accommodate more people if need be. Remember that a small increase in radius makes for a big increase in the circumference of the table and therefore the floor space it will take up.

Starbucks Coffee

Starbucks first opened in Seattles Pike Place Market, in 1971. Now Starbucks has over 15.012 storesin 44 countries. During the past few years, Starbucks acquires the Seattle Coffee Company, whose brands include Seattles Best Coffee and Torrefazione Italia coffee. The Starbucks brand has many types of coffees from all places around the world.

The logo

The logo is an image of a "twin-tailed siren" (the siren of Greek mythology). The logo has been significantly streamlined over the years. In the first version, which gave the impression of an authentic 15th century European woodcut, the Starbucks siren was topless and had a fully-visible double fish tail. The image also had a rough visual texture. In the second version, which was used from 1987-92, her breasts were covered by her flowing hair, but her navel was still visible, and the fish tail was cropped slightly. In the current version, used since 1992, her navel and breasts are not visible at all, and only vestiges remain of the fish tails. The original "woodcut" logo can still be seen on the Starbucks store in Seattle's Pike Place Market, and on both the House Blend and Decaf House Blend packaging.

At the beginning of September 2006 and then again in Spring 2008, Starbucks temporarily reintroduced its original brown logo on paper hot drink cups. Starbucks has stated that this was done to show the company's heritage from the Pacific Northwest and to celebrate 35 years of business. The vintage logo sparked some controversy due in part to the siren's bare breasts, but the temporary switch garnered little attention from the media.

Starbucks Light Coffee :
  • Ethiopian Impanema Bourbon. Well-balanced mellow flavor, a medium body with hints of cocoa and a mild, nut-like aftertaste.
  • Starbucks Breakfast Blend. A bright impression as it sparkles and dances on your tongue - a sign of crisp acidity.
  • Other Starbucks light coffees: Bella Vista F.W. Tres Rios, Columbia Narino Supremo, Conservation Colombia, Decaf House Blend, Decaf LightNote Blend, Decaf Shade Grown Mexico, House Blend, LightNote Blend, Organic Shade Grown Mexico and Panama Florintina.
Starbucks Smooth Coffees :
  • Zimbabwe. Crisp and bright with a hint of citrus. Zimbabwe is a complex and intriguing medium-bodied African coffee. I have to admit that since my parents spent 7 years in Africa I have a biased great love for African coffee.
  • Caffe Verona. A sweetness gilding the coffee's slight smokiness -creating a deep, rich dessert coffee.
  • Other Starbucks smooth coffees: Arabian Mocha Java, Decaf Caffe Verona, Decaf Espresso Roast, Decaf Mocca Java, Espresso roast, Guatemala Antigua, Serena Organic Blend and Yukon Blend.
Starbucks Bold Coffees :
  • Komodo Dragon Coffee. A full-body with a brilliant crispness that is refreshing and unanticipated since Indonesian coffees are low in acidity. I have to admit that I first bought this coffee because of its name and great packaging. Im glad I judge a “book by its coverâ€�.
  • Starbucks Christmas Blend. A carefully crafted combination of mellow, smooth Indonesian coffees alongside the sparkle of lively Central American coffees. It has a special ingredient, which is aged Indonesian Arabicas to add spice for a distinct taste.
  • Other Starbucks bold coffees: Arabian Mocha Sanani, Decaf Sumatra, Ethiopian Sidamo, Ethiopian Yergacheffe, French Roast, Gold Coast Blend, Holiday Blend, Italian Roast, Kenya, Starbucks Anniversary Blend, Sulawesi, and Sumatra.

What You Should Know Before Buy Coffee Brands

There are a million coffee brands and some come from the same farmers, but are marketed differently. That’s why the prize sometimes were different too. Coffee after all is a culture onto itself, some say an addiction.

Here are things to consider before buy coffee brand :
  • The Roast : Ensure you choose your favourite roast. Find out other coffee roast if you are not sure to that brand.
  • The Country of Origin : There are different flavors from different countries due to growing conditions.
  • Arabica and Robusta Coffee Beans are different. Find Out which one is your favourite.
  • The Grinder : What kind of beans do you require if you have a burr coffee grinder or a blade coffee grinder?
  • Freshness : How long have the beans been in their package?
  • The Water : Do you have a charcoal filter in your coffee maker, do you use already filtered water or tap water. These all change the taste of the coffee. I highly disapprove of using distilled water.makes the coffee flat.
  • The Price : Are you paying a reasonable amount? Sometimes price does not equal quality.
  • Fair Trade Coffee : Are you environmentally and socially attune?
  • Organic Coffee : Do the coffee beans have the organic coffee stamp of approval symbol and not just words.
  • Ordering Coffee Online : Are the shipping fees expensive? If you ordered a bulk order would the fees be less? Does the site have a secure payment system? What are the returns policy?

27 August 2008

Peets Coffee & Tea

Alfred Peet known as “grandfather of specialty coffee” opened his first coffee house in 1966, in Berkley, California. No stranger to the hot beverage market, Peet grew-up in Holland where he helped with the family's coffee and tea business. He worked in the tea trade in Indonesia after World War II.

Peets Coffee & Tea currently has a faithful, some say fanatical, following. It has its own mail order coffee service. Its claim to fame is that the beans are not roasted until you order, so freshness is guaranteed. Peet's is especially known for its strong, dark-roasted coffee.
In 2007 Peet's opened its new roasting plant in Alameda, California. This new roasting plant replaced the former operations in Emeryville, California, and is expected to provide enough roasting capacity to allow Peet's to double its current annual sales to about $500M per year.

Reserve Coffees:
  • JR Reserve Blend. Full bodies, complex flavors with chocolate and spicy hints.
  • Kona Coffee. 100% Kona, sweet, mild flavor.
Special Offerings / Seasonal Coffees:
  • Peaberry Especial. Tangy, sweet, lively body and smooth.
Dark Roasts:
  • French Roast. Smoky overtoned, intense, ebony coffee. It's Peets darkest roast.
  • Italian Roast. using beans from Pacific and Latin America, intense.
Coffee Blends:
  • Garunda Blend. Originating from Indonesia with an aromatic, earthy and nutty full-bodied taste.
  • Fair Trade Blend. Originating from Costa Rica and the Indo-Pacific regions, clean character with a distinctive tang. This is yummy and it is afterall Fair Trade.
  • Other Coffee Blends include: Arabian Mocha-Java, Blend 101, Espresso Forte, Gaia Organic Blend, House Blend, Maduro Blend, Major Dickason's Blend, Sierra Dorada Blend, Top Blend and Viennese Blend.
Some other Peets Coffees well worth trying:
  • Aged Sumatra
  • Arabian Mocha Sanani
  • Columbia Coffee
  • Costa Rica Coffee
  • Decaf French Roast (tastes like the real thing)
  • Decaf House Blend
  • Decaf Mocha-Java
  • Decaf Sierra Dorada
  • Decaf Special Blend
  • Decaf Sumatra
  • Ethiopian Fancy (where coffee began, read coffee history - there's goats involved)
  • Guatemala Coffee
  • Kenya Coffee
  • New Guinea Coffee
  • Sulawesi-Kalosi
  • Sumatra
You can also order 3, 6 or 12 months of coffee at a time. You get billed monthly and Peets will send you one pound every month, to anywhere in the world, according to your coffee roast, coffee body and acidity or coffee origin.

Planet Bean Coffee

Planet bean coffee is freshly roasted and only sells Fair Trade Coffees from its co-op growers. All coffee roasts are 100 %organic Arabica beans. Its beans are shade grown in tropical forests meaning it protects nature's habitat and the growers are not exposed to harmful chemicals. The co-op puts job creation and democracy first. It's located in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

Single Origin Bean
  • Deep, Dark Guatemalan. A pleasing hickory aroma with rich body and a pleasant lingering finish.
  • French Roast Mexican Chiapas. Our darkest, richest roast. Smokey and spicy, well balanced with a rich, creamy body.
  • Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. A medium roast with citrus and floral notes and a mildly addictive toffee finish!
  • Ethiopian Sidamo. Our medium roast Sidamo offers delicately fragrant floral notes complemented by a subtle splash of chocolaty tones. Complex to the palate, you’ll crave every sip.
  • Peruvian Café Femenino. A medium roast with deep caramel and chocolate tones complemented by fruity nuances. Grown by the Café Femenino women’s cooperatives of northern Peru.
  • Guatemalan Loma Linda (*SOLD OUT UNTIL MAY '08). A medium roast with fragrant fruit and floral notes. Rich body and crisp acidity are finished with a short, sweet aftertaste.
  • Mexican Chiapas. A medium, bright, well-balanced roast. Creamy body with an earthy flavour that ends with a very light finish.
  • Chatty Matty. A medium blend of lightly roasted and dark roasted Guatemalan beans. This blend is on the lighter side of flavour but there’s no lack of caffeine here. Perfect for those who enjoy a mellow coffee.
  • Morning Glory. This is a lighter blend higher in caffeine, with just a touch of our darkest beans for flavour. Great for getting going in the mornings!
  • Freedom Fighter. The perfect blend for dark coffee lovers. This blend is rich and flavourful, a combination of Vienna & City roast Peruvian beans make this full bodied blend.
  • Lava Java. This lovely dark blend is sure to please. Citrus aromas accent strong hints of dark chocolate. A unique blend of Ethiopian, Guatemalan and Peruvian beans.
  • Peruvian Power. A medium/dark combination that creates a satisfying mix of flavours. A touch of smokiness with underlying fruit sensations.
  • Jumping Bean. This blend produces a rich and flavourful shot. Thick crema and smooth aftertaste make this our recommended espresso.
Decaffeinated Coffees ~ The Natural Way
  • European Blend Decaf. An intriguing mix of roasts that create a medium flavoured blend. With its well balanced taste it has quickly become our most popular decaf coffee.
  • French Roast Peruvian Decaf. Our darkest roast of decaf. Roasted French style, this coffee is perfect for the decaf drinker who appreciates bold flavour in a rich, full-bodied brew.
  • Full City Peruvian Decaf. This medium roast brings out the unique qualities of Northern Peruvian Penachi coffee. Mild acidity and a fruity aroma accompany wonderful notes of cherry and chocolate. It also makes an excellent espresso.
  • City Peruvian Decaf. This lightly roasted Peruvian Penachi coffee is very complex in nuances, with a refreshingly mellow flavour. Medium acidity and full bodied with a pleasant aftertaste.

Seattle's Best Coffee

Seattle’s Coffee Company started in 1970 then change its name to to Seattle's Best Coffee after winning a regional restaurant coffee competition. Seattle Drip Coffee Company has emerged as a leader in America’s Drive-Thru Coffee industry through its Mission Statement of “Serving People, Working Hard, and Having Fun”.

The company’s outstanding service and desire to serve people is based on its “Hiring on Attitude” philosophy and an established and well trained team of “Certified Baristas”. Foregoing the use of speakers, our baristas work hard to meet customers at the car window when busy in an effort to honor our customers’ time and build relationships.

Seattle Drip Coffee Company's current locations are in Jackson, Brandon, Madison, Richland, Pearl, Southaven, and Vicksburg, Mississippi; Homewood, Alabama; and Niceville, Florida. Seattle Drip has offices in Madison, Mississippi; and Nashville, Tennessee. In 2006, Seattle Drip Coffee Company announced it’s Five Year Plan for a rollout of 101 stores in ten markets in Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi over five years.

It is now owned by Starbucks and Seattle's Best Coffee is affiliated with Torrefazione Italia coffee. It has great coffee and simply fantastic flavored coffee.

Seattle's Best Coffee Light Roasts :
  • Colombian Coffee
    • Flavor: Rich & Mild;
    • Aroma: Sweet, Delicate;
    • Acidity: Medium;
    • Body: Medium to Full.
Seattle's Best Coffee Medium Roasts :
  • Henry's Blend
    • Flavor: Nutty, slightly sweet;
    • Aroma: Complex and aromatic;
    • Acidity: Good acidity;
    • Body: Full.

    I chose this coffee because it was named after a big friendly cat.
  • Organic Sumatra
    • Flavor: Hints of cocoa
    • Aroma: Full;
    • Acidity: low;
    • Body: Heavy.

    It is a wonderfully rich coffee perfect for after dinner with a large chunk of chocolate cake.
  • Other Seattle's Best Coffee include : Seattles Best Blend, Tazza d'Oro, Seattle's Best Blend- Decaf and Organic Breakfast Blend.
Seattle's Best Coffee Dark Roasts :
  • Organic Twilight Swiss Water Decaf. Sweet, slightly nutty, smooth acidity.
  • I love the word Twilight. It conjures up such a wonderful time of the day and it reminds me of fireflies for some reason.
  • French Roast Coffee. Low in acidity. A cup of deepest, darkest roast yields a smoky, lightly bittersweet.
  • Fair Trade Certified Organic French Roast. Transfair Fair-Trade Certified dark-roasted coffee. With a full aroma and full body, you can almost taste the mountain where these beans were grown.
  • 6th Avenue Bistro Blend. 6th Ave. Bistro coffee is dark, rich and smooth with a sophisticated finish.
  • Post Alley Blend. Post Alley Blend features a roasty, bold flavor as well as our signature smooth finish.
Seattle's Best Coffee Flavored Coffee :
  • Chocolate Toffee Flavored Coffee : It's coffee, chocolate, and buttery toffee - can anything be better than that?
  • Decaf - Very Vanilla Javanilla Flavored Coffee. Old coffee flavor with richly exotic vanilla. It is and it is fabulous when you mix it with the Chocloate Toffee Flavored Coffee. Someone once said nummie, nummie, num nums.I kid you not!
  • Other Seattle's Best Coffee Flavored Coffees are: Very Vanilla Javanilla Flavored Coffee, Cinnabon Flavored Coffee, Crème Brulee Flavored Coffee and Hazelnut Cream Flavored Coffee.

Kicking Horse Coffee

Kicking Horse Coffee buys its organic coffee via cooperatives, which ensures the farmers get a higher premium and thus a better standard of living. Kicking Horse coffee has some Fair Trade Certified coffee roasts.

Kicking Horse Coffee is roasted 3000 feet above sea level: this is the same altitude for specialty coffee is grown and it gives our coffee its unique taste. Kicking Horse Coffee We buy our organic coffee through small cooperatives (co-ops), defined as an enterprise or organization owned by and operated for the benefit of those using its services (similar to your local grocery co-op). Coffee co-ops have more bargaining power and can demand a higher price for their coffee, in turn giving farmers a better standard of living. So we’re ensuring the farmers a higher premium for their hard work.

There are no pesticides, herbicides or harmful fertilizers in the shade grown coffee Kicking Horse purchases. It sponsors the Wings Over the Rockies festival, in British Columbia, Canada, promoting wildlife and migratory birds via education, conversation and sustainable economic activities. Kicking Horse has fantastic packaging.

Have you heared Kicking Horse legend?
In 1858, adventurer, James Hector discovered the Kicking Horse Valley. His horse allegedly kicked him so hard his team thought he was dead. However, legend has it a that a cup of coffee brought him back to life. Hence the name, Kicking Horse Coffee.

Kicking Horse Light Roasts :
  • Organic Bugaboo. A medium blend of African & South American coffees. The packaging has a great picture of a mountain sheep.
  • Fair Trade Organic Ethiopian Coffee. This roast have floral sweet tones. It has a butterfly on the package and even though I am afraid of butterflies (spiders with wings) I tried this roast and loved it.
  • Other Kicking Horse light coffee roasts include: Organic Hoodoo Joe, Organic Brazil, Organic Mocha Yoho, Organic Timor, Organic Peru, Organic Costa Rica, Organic Guatemala, and Organic Nicaragua.

Kicking Horse Medium Roasts :
  • Organic Three Sisters. Central America, South America and South Pacific coffees.
  • Organic Rundle Rock. Earthiness of Indonesia and high tones of Africa. It has a rock climber on the package. It's a great gift for the rock climbing coffee drinker.
  • Other Kicking Horse medium coffee roasts include: Fair Trade Organic Pacific Pipeline, Fair Trade Organic Sumatra, Organic Z-Wrangler, Organic Cuban (not avail to US), Organic Kootenay Crossing, Organic Sumatra and Organic Timor.
Kicking Horse Dark Roasts :
  • 454 Horse Power. seriously dark roasted coffee. It is roasted to 454 F degrees and weighs 454 grams ( 1 pound). 454 Horse Power it has a picture of a horse on the packaging.
  • Organic Decaf. Removing 97-99 % of caffeine using the Swiss water decaffeinated process. It really does taste like the real thing and has to be my favorite decaf.
  • Other Kicking Horse dark coffee roasts include: Organic Decaf Cliffhanger Espresso, Organic Grizzly Claw, Organic Kick Ass.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is a publicly-traded brand of coffee based at Waterbury in the U.S. state of Vermont. The brand specializes in organic, fair-trade, and specialty gourmet coffees. Keurig is wholly owned subsidiary of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., and sells many of their coffee varieties as K-Cups.

In fact, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters donates 5 % of all pre-tax profits to social and environmental projects. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters was ranked #1 in "The Best Corporate Citizens" in 2006 and 2007.

The company roasts 100% Arabica coffees and offers over 100 different coffee selections, including certified organic, Fair Trade Certified, estate, signature blends and flavored coffees that sell under the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and Newman’s Own Organics brands. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters offers one of the largest selections of double-certified Fair Trade organic coffees in the country.

Keurig sells its single-cup brewers, coffee and tea in K-Cups produced by a variety of roasters in domestic wholesale and retail markets and directly to consumers. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters offers a broad selection of K-Cups for use in Keurig brewers, including Extra Bold coffees and Hot Cocoa as well as Newman’s Own Organics coffee and Celestial Seasonings tea brands, which are packaged and sold by Green Mountain Coffee.

Coffee :
  • Tanzanian Peaberry. Sweet fragranced and spicy with a floral aroma. It has hints of woodiness, vanilla, lemon and black tea. The peaberry coffee bean is round and only has one coffee cherry (bean) in each pod.
  • Fair Trade Organic Peruvian Select. Caramel and sweet hazelnut; with a balanced mild and sweet finish.
  • Other Light Roast Green Mountain Coffee: Jamaican Blue Mountain, Colombian Especial, Columbian Popayan, Fair Trade Organic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, Kenyan AA, Yemen Moka, Zimbabwe AA, Sulawesi (Celebes), Kona Mountain Estate, Fair Trade Organic Breakfast Blend, Nell's Breakfast Blend, Mocha Java, Heifer Hope Blend, Sumatran Decaf, and Newman's Special Decaf.
Medium & Blended Roast Coffee :
  • National Wildlife Blend. A unique, spicy chocolate note with flavors of ripe, dark fruit. This National Wildlife Blend of coffee beans blends Fair Trade and Organic Central and South American coffees from family-owned farms who raise shade-grown coffees, while providing vital habitats for migratory songbirds. I just really like this blend. I'm not sure if it the coffee beans or the fact that I feel as though I am helping the birds.
  • Fair Trade Organic House Blend: Alarmingly bright with teeth-tingling acidity. It really does makes your teeth tingle and these coffee beans make a fantastic kick-start to the morning.
  • Other Medium & Blended Roast Green Mountain Coffee: Fair Trade Organic Mexican Select, Fair Trade Organic Sumatran Reserve, Fair Trade Winter Classic Blend, Fair Trade Organic Joyful Season Blend, Newman's Special Blend, Vermont Country Blend, Harvard Blend, Nantucket Blend, Fair Trade Organic House Blend Decaf, National Wildlife Decaf, Vermont Country Blend Decaf and Nantucket Blend Decaf.
Darker Roasted Coffee :
  • Dark Magic Espresso. Alchemy in a cup, bittersweet liqueur which is thick, rich and languid on the tongue, topped with a dense layer of copper-colored crema. All I have to say is oh la la!
  • Lake & Lodge Roast Coffee. Berry-hued brightness to the blend's bold flavor foundations of East African beans.
  • Other Darker Roast Green Mountain Coffee: Fair Trade Organic Rainforest Blend, Dark Magic Espresso Decaf, Fair Trade Organic French Roast Decaf, French Roast Decaf, Newman's French Roast, Indonesian Dark.
As of January 25, 2007, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. has extended its agreement with McDonald’s USA to source, roast and package Newman’s Own Organics Blend coffee exclusively for more than 600 McDonald’s restaurants in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Albany, NY. McDonald’s introduced Newman’s Own Organics Coffee roasted by Green Mountain to its restaurants in New England and Albany, New York in October, 2005.

Gevalia Kaffe Coffee Beans

Gevalia, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kraft Foods, is the largest coffee roastery in Scandinavia. It is located in Gävle (Gevalia in Latin). Gevalia was introduced in 1920 in Sweden by the trading company Victor Theodore Engwall & Co. After 120 years as a family company it was sold in 1971 to Kraft Foods.

Gevalia produces 40,000 metric tons of coffee every year. Most of it is sold in Sweden, Denmark and in the Baltic area, but some is exported to America. Gevalia has 30 varieties of coffee and 13 varieties of tea on its roster. The majority of these coffees are Arabica blends, using beans from Kenya, Guatemala, Colombia, and Costa Rica. Gevalia Kaffe is composed of up to 6 different varieties of these Arabica beans as well as high-quality Brazilian beans, which creates a balanced acidity for a complex and poignant flavor.

Its coffee is packaged right after roasting and it comes in a vacuum-sealed package for freshness. Gevalia coffee has a catalog where you can order, not only coffee, but gifts, tableware, treats, gift baskets and coffee pods.

Gevalia Kaffe has its roots in Europe; built on fine craftsmanship and tradition, about 140 years ago. In the US, Gevalia is located in Clifton, New Jersey.

Gevalia obtains coffee from small and large farms and say it is committed to the environmental and economic challenges, however, they do not sell Fair Trade coffee. They do buy premium beans and pay a premium, and partner with an international coffee organization to raise standards for coffee, living conditions and the environment. Gevalia also gives to the social needs of the less fortunate including medical aid, food and education.
Gevalia Kaffee features the following coffees :

Ground coffee :
  • Chocolate Raspberry Coffee
  • Gevalia Original Coffee
  • Peruvian Coffee
  • Gevalia Signature Blend
  • Gevalia Dark Roast
  • French Vanilla Coffee
  • Irish Cream Coffee
  • Cinnamon Coffee
  • Vanilla Nut Coffee
  • Mocha Coffee
  • Pecan Torte Decaf
  • Decaf Columbian
  • Decaf Espresso
  • Hazelnut Coffee
  • Gevalia Breakfast Blend
  • Antigua Coffee

Whole Bean Coffee :
  • Cafe de Oriente
  • Decaf Mocha
  • Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee
  • Kenyan Coffee
  • Decaf Light Roast Coffee
You can join a mail order coffee program and choose from over 38 Gevalia coffee & tea products. There is no commitment or no minimum, but you should be aware Gevalia will send you four ½ pound packages about once a month after your first order; if you do not cancel. Gevalia will send free samples if you join the program, from time to time, and it also has special offers.

Gloria Jeans Coffees

Gloria Jeans coffee is the largest coffee retailer with stores in every Australian State. Gloria Jeans coffee has about 300 stores worldwide including the US.

The Gloria Jean brand started in a small shop in Long Grove, Illinois, in 1979, by Gloria Jean. Gloria Jean sold the business in 1993 and after surviving breast cancer wrote a spiritual book called, Journey of Prayer.

In early 1998, Gloria Jean's Coffees franchised its first store and within six years had opened 185 stores - all locally owned and operated by more than 100 franchisees. In 2003, they opened a franchise in Darwin meaning that the brand was now established in every state and territory.

The company which oversees Gloria Jean’s Coffees in the United States is Diedrich Coffee.

Premium & Estate Grown Coffee
More consistent in character and quality, an estate coffee is a coffee that has been grown and processed on a single farm or estate. Near perfect growing conditions and obsessive preparation contributeto the coffee being of "estate" calibre.
  • Bena Bena Organic. Dark Roast. Sweet, full-bodied flavour and fruity finish. An estate coffee from Papua New Guinea.
  • Jamaican Blue Mountain. Spicy aroma with smooth sweet flavor. It retails for about $49.99 a pound.
  • HueHuetenango. Lingering after-taste with intense aroma, bright acidity and sweet fruit flavor. It costs about $12 a pound.
  • Other Premium & Estate Grown Coffees : Hawaiian Gold, Cafe Del Sol, Hawaiian Kona 100 % and Panama Estate.
Light to Medium Coffees
Origins and blends which have been carefully roasted to maximise their potential. Ideally suited for coffee lovers who appreciate the more complex notes of different coffees.
  • Authentic Mocha Java. Medium full body, nutty aroma that has a syrupy finish. This is the world's oldest and most famous blend created when Yemen Mocha and Indonesian Java were the only coffees in existence. It is very gratifying for our coffee buyers to finally locate an authentic Yemen Mocha that meets our stringent quality standards. Winey, light Authentic Mocha Java, creating a blend that must be tasted to be believed.
  • Sumatra. Lingering finish, full bodied and a rich, mellow taste. It's a bit pricy, but worth the cost at about $72 for 5 lbs.
  • Condesa de Costa Rica. A clean finish, floral aroma and intense sweet flavor. It's about $67 for 5 lbs.
  • Other Premium and Estate grown coffee: Authentic Mocha Java, Columbian Supremo, Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, Gloria Jeans Special Blend, Guatemala La Gloria, Kenya AA, Pacific Peaberry and Royal Zimbabwe. The coffees all range in price and pounds available.
Dark Roast Coffees
  • French Breakfast Blend. Rich flavour, caramelly aroma and smooth finish. It is the skilful combination of two different roasts.
  • Gloria Jeans Black Gold. Lingering finish, smoky flavor and medium body.
  • Sumatra Dark. Low acidity, full body, smooth and bittersweet in aroma.
  • Other Dark Roasts: French Breakfast Blend, French Roast and Paradiso Blend Dark.
Gloria Jean's uses the Mountain Water Process, an all-natural decaffeination method which uses only pure water from the glaciers on the highest mountain in Mexico, and is 100% chemical free.
This is a unique patented process which preserves the rich flavour of our coffees.
  • Colombian Supremo Decaffeinated. A balanced, vibrant and satisfying coffee with a very rich aroma. A slight taste of caramel.
  • Other Decaffeinated coffee : French Vanilla Supreme, GJ’s Special Espresso Blend, and Hazelnut
Flavoured Coffees
For the adventurous! Only Rainforest Alliance Certified Nicaraguan beans are used in Gloria Jean's range of flavoured coffees. These coffees are often enjoyed with milk and sugar.
  • Blueberry morning
  • Butter Toffee
  • Caramel nut
  • Chocolate macadamia nut
  • Cinnamon nut strudel
  • Mudslide
  • etc
Gloria Jeans also has coffee for the coffee pod systems, teas, a variety of decaf flavored coffee using the Swiss Water method, coffee mugs and tumblers, coffee grinders and canisters.
Gloria Jeans everyday coffee is Rainforest Alliance Certified, which means it has to have a minimum 30 % of the RAC coffee, which has a similar program to Fair Trade Coffee.

Brewing Coffee Tips

The enjoyment of coffee is a sensual and subjective experience. There are many ways to brew a satisfying cup of coffee, but the secret to the perfect cup is to remember one thing above all else, brew coffee to suit your own taste. If the results aren't what you expected, try again. Make the grind more or less coarse; use more or less water; purchase and evaluate a variety of coffees.
Here are a few basic ground rules to put you on the right track before you begin to experiment with brewing times and blends.

The Art of Brewing Great Coffee

Use nothing but the best quality Arabica coffee beans.
Only use selected Arabica beans from the world over. Use freshly roasted coffee that has been properly stored away from air and moisture.

Use a clean coffee brewer.
Built-up resins and oily deposits can make your coffee taste bitter, so your equipment must be cleaned regularly.

Use fresh ground coffee.
Grind it just before brewing to ensure maximum freshness (ground coffee loses flavour and body quickly).

Match your grind to your brewing system.
It is essential that your coffee beans are correctly ground to match your coffee maker. In general, the longer that coffee and water spend in contact during the brewing process, the coarser the grind you should use. For example, for a plunger the grind should be coarse, as the brewing time is four minutes. An espresso machine only takes a few seconds to brew, so it requires a much finer grind.

Always use fresh, cold water heated to just off the boil.
Bottled or filtered water is best and don't use softened or distilled water as they will affect the flavour of the coffee. For the perfect water temperature, bring the water to a boil and let it cool a few seconds. Water any cooler will not capture the full flavour of the beans. Boiling or reheating coffee literally boils away flavour.

Use the right proportion of coffee to water.
We recommend starting with one rounded tablespoon(10g)of ground coffee for each 180ml of water. Adjust the amount of coffee to suit your taste.

Drink the coffee freshly brewed.
If you brew more than you can drink right away, pour the extra brewed coffee into a thermal container. It can last for up to an hour without seriously changing the taste. Plunger coffee becomes over extracted and cold by the time the second cup is poured. Drip coffee gets bitter and flat if it sits too long on a hotplate. Never reheat cold coffee.

Evaluate coffee by taste.
If it's too rich, or too light, adjust the grind or amount of water used until you have a perfect brew -- the one that pleases you.

Coffee Storage

A major key to excellent coffee is freshness. Oxygen is the staling agent for coffee, so in order to maintain standards of freshness, package all of our coffee beans in one-way valve bags immediately after they are removed from the roaster. By using the valve-bags, the beans remain as fresh as the day they were roasted for up to6 months.

Hints for storing coffee at home
  • Storee unused coffee fresh in airtight containers in a cool and dry place. Glass is good because it doesn't retain odours or oils from previous usage. Otherwise a plastic snap-lock bag with the air squeezed out is ideal.
  • Keep coffee away from the following :
    • Extreme temperatures (too hot or too cold)
    • Light
    • Moisture
    • Strong odours (coffee attracts and absorbs foreign odours)
  • Do not freeze or refrigerate coffee.
  • Purchase your beans fresh and use them within two weeks for peak taste.
  • Purchase coffee weekly and then grind the beans immediately before brewing because ground coffee rapidly loses its flavour, no matter how it is stored. Whole beans stay fresh longer than ground coffee. However, it is recommended that coffee be ground nearest to the time of brewing. Be sure that the coffee is fresh at the start.