six days and counting without coffee

what did you give up?

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

It seems that whenever it’s not the Lenten season I have no problem figuring out what I would give up for Lent. Then, the Lenten season sneaks up and I have no idea what to give up. In years past I gave up the classics: sweets, chocolate, soda. Yes, those are always challenging items. But last year, I wanted a real challenge. Last year, I gave up cheese. Yup, you read that right CHEESE. A classic Wisconsinite staple and I was abstaining from consumption of all cheese items. When it came down to the nuts and bolts of it, it included anything really with the word “cheese” in it, for example, cream cheese, cheese spread, and cheese item those were all out. 45 days without cheese may have been one of the most challenging and most difficult things I have ever done, but I did it.

Needless to say, after a year like that, I couldn’t very well “top” what I would give up this starbucks-iced-coffee-156x300year. I could come close, but nothing can top cheese.  As you know, Lent started last week and I was a half day in without coffee when I uttered the words, “well, I guess I will give up coffee for Lent.” It’s been 6 days and the effects are surprisingly sparse. Now, understand I am by no means going caffeine-free, but 45 days sans coffee seems rather similar. Rather than having a morning coffee, I opt for tea. I’ve been downing tea like a camel hoping to see the same effects as coffee, but there’s just no use. Truthfully, it’s not that bad. I can last 39 more days.

You’re probably scratching your head thinking, “Lent is only 40 days why does she keep saying 45?” Though traditional Lent doesn’t count Sundays, I do. What’s the point of giving yourself a “cheat day” when Jesus didn’t get one? What’s the point of the cheat day now? If you are giving up smoking you don’t giving yourself the option to have a cigarette on Sundays.

April 5th, you will find all of these iced coffee options (and more) in my refrigerator. Just give me a straw and I will be good to go. Starbucks should probably sponsor my iced coffee habit that day._-Stsarbucks-iced-group-shot-page-14_slide

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self-service

paying on the honor system

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Today we unfortunately live in a  society where the honor system doesn’t seem to work. But sometimes we have to step back and look at humanity and really let things take course.

Yesterday I found out about this awesome self-service coffee shop in North Dakota. Basically the idea of a self-serve coffee shop means it operates without baristas. The Vault, a new coffee shop in Valley City,  is where customers are on the honor system. When you get up to make your own cup of joe, you also pay by using the honor system. It seems like a pretty incredible concept, huh?

After reading more about this concept, I found out that the owner installed cameras but only for a safe atmosphere. The owner also commented on how people are more generous. “When I add up how much has been taken and how much is in the till at the end of the day … people are 15% more generous than thieving.” It’s a great feeling to know there is still faith in humanity. Honestly, it warms my heart.

coffee

drink it in

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Here are the awesome facts. Sure coffee is an addictive drink, but it’s not all bad. Take a look at this awesome infographic to set yourself straight on the coffee front. You can thank me later, after you replenish your cup of coffee. 6df5f3c036a0fd43084385e918ee580d

fair trade

& Leonardo activity

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

After Leo didn’t win another Oscar, a million articles were posted about how deserving he was. I found a really interesting article that didn’t just speak about Leo’s acting career, but rather his life outside of acting. Leo seems to be a huge humanitarian, donating a lot of his hard-earned cash to philanthropic endeavors and even sponsors some free trade coffee.

Now you can get your morning coffee fix celebrity-style with Leo’s fair trade, organic coffee that’s farmed in Haiti, Peru, Ethiopia, and Brazil: LYON, the new high-end line of “green” beans from coffee roaster La Colombe Torrefaction.

The best part, ALL of the proceeds (yes that means 100%) will benefit the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF) which supports a range of sustainable initiatives. This latest campaign of his, “Raising awareness on the most pressing environmental issues of our time” is more important than ever.

If you are interested in trying this coffee, you can grab one in Shaw at La Colombe Coffee. La Colombe is located at 924 Rear N St. NW (Blagden Alley). 

I for one, can’t wait to get my hands on a cup of this joe! 

 

tip & baristas

do you leave one?

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Tipping is more confusing than ever. In some countries, tipping is looked down upon. Here in America, it’s looked down upon if you don’t tip or if you leave a “bad” tip but shouldn’t a tip correlate with the service you received? Let’s face it, times have changed. Americans got used to tipped and settled on some basic rules.

Basic Rules

  • $1-2/bag for skycaps, bellhops, doormen, and parking valets if they handle bags, $1 per coat for coatroom attendants, $1 per diner at buffets, $2-5 per night for housekeeper, $5-10 for concierge (only if they arranged tickets or reservations), $1-3 per bag for grocery loaders (not in all areas of the US). Doormen who merely open doors are not tipped, unless they call a cab or provide another service. Parking valets are paid upon pick-up $3-5, depending upon much effort is required to retrieve a vehicle.
  • For waiters at sit-down restaurants, bartenders, barbers/hairdressers/attendants at beauty salons, taxi drivers, tour guides, and food delivery folks, the tip should be calculated as a percentage of your total bill as follows: 10% usually means you aren’t totally happy, 15% usually means all was acceptable, 20% for excellent, over 20% for outstanding. 15-20 percent is considered standard in most communities.
  • For ski instructors, tipping 15 percent for adult groups and 10 percent for private clients is pretty standard.

In addition to all of the other “rules” we have to keep straight, there is potential for another to be added: Baristas. As a former barista of a mom and pop-shop, it was more an accustomed norm to receive tips. At my coffee shop, we didn’t rely on tips we had a normal wage.

Last week, Starbucks released a new App where you have a digital tipping option. Because the payment system is handled digitally, customers can tip the Starbucks barista up to two hours after buying a drink. Instead of tipping before tasting their cappuccino, users now have more than enough time to decide if the beverage merits a tip. The system will push out a tip notification after each eligible transaction.

Of course, I tip my barista every so often, but I don’t make it a frequent thing. Now that a tipping option is added to my iPhone App, I don’t see why it would make me more willing to tip them.

I want to hear you thoughts! How do you feel about the option to tip on your app? Is this taking the power of tipping too far? By adding a tipping feature, is this pushing tips to be more of a requirement rather than optional?

gift giving is encouraged

thanks, Starbucks!

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

As I am sure you’ve already heard, and if not please let me tell you some amazing news. Today Starbucks launchedtweet me coffee “tweet-a-coffee”! What an excellent idea! It’s really easy to use and fun. It’s a new way to send $5 egift cards to your Twitter friends and followers. Currently this is only available for those in the US, but I am sure that won’t be the case for long.

Currently, to entice consumers to try the program, the first 100,000 who link their accounts with their Visa cards will receive a $5 gift card for themselves when they tweet a gift card to someone (a perk for Visa cardholders–that’s me!). About three hours ago I started to follow @tweetacoffee and sent my first gift to my sister. My sister and I live states apart, but we both love fall and the famous Pumpkin Spice Latte. I wanted to send her a gift because it is Monday and just because. Tweeting her a coffee is an easy way for her to enjoy a PSL on me until we could enjoy one together.

Some people are calling this groundbreaking, which I can see why. Now having the option to tweet a coffee to a friend is really excellent. This will allow you to be in connection with others on a more intimate level than just over a computer or phone. Now we can share experiences. We can send people gifts for events we cannot attend, and making it based on Twitter is an easy option. Now this allows us to send a gift right at our fingers tips.

Tweet-a-coffee now allows us to do something unique and different in eGifting, like I said you can now be there and give a gift at any moment.  With this platform it can be used with anyone, close friends, coworkers, and even people you’ve yet to meet. Tweet-a-coffee shows a sense of community. It allows us to  share acts of kindness with one another, both near and far. Tweet-a-coffee is a next step as we innovate our social digital gifting offering.

a pumpkin chai latte

a little taste of heaven

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Everyone, including myself, loves a pumpkin spiced latte (#PSL10). Who doesn’t love them? They are a delicious treat and perfect for autumn. This little taste of db8acaf139a8a961c30e1d2377261a0fheaven warms your heart, hands, and dare I say it–your soul. I get it sometimes you don’t want the coffee taste, the espresso flavor or just down right the caffeine (and honestly, who wants to go decaf?)

Attention, tea drinkers across the nation, rejoice! You can now get your pumpkin fix and jump aboard the pumpkin spice latte train. A drink with a beautiful Pumpkin Spice Base  will be exactly what you are searching for this autumn season.

Personally the best part about this little treat is you can make it at home, or you can find one at your local coffee shop. It may not be on the menu–but order it! I promise they will not laugh at you!

Opposed from making it at home, I will head down to Ebenezers for a Pumpkin Spiced Chai Latte and it is the most glorious thing known to touch my lips. I do not know what they put in this little cup, but it is pure joy. Honest, it is a little taste of heaven and totally perfect. If I could live at Ebenezers and drink this all day year long, you better believe I would.  Maybe I am the biggest advocate for Ebenezers, which I am okay with, but let me tell you, if you are living in the city and have yet to try this bundle of joy, I advise you to. You will not be disappointed. You can find Ebenezers Coffehouse at 201 F St NE. Come on by, I am sure I will see you there.

Whenever the craving strikes pick up that sweet pumpkiny cup of chai.

pumpkin spice

and everything nice

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Ladies and Gentleman, it is finally back! The Pumpkin Spice Latte has arrived. And even better, Starbucks is celebrating the Pumpkin Spice Latte’s 10-year anniversary! There is nothing better about the enjoyment of the crisp weather, and a PSL. As DC is still 86, sunny, and not a cloud in the sky–I settled and enjoyed a PSL yesterday. Don’t worry ya’ll, it was iced. That first sip of the PSL was the most heavenly thing I have tasted in a while, or…dare I say ever?

Guys, did you know that the PLS ALMOST wasn’t invited?

pumpkin-spice-latte-sign-785463Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte, the drink that heralds the arrival of fall for its many fans, almost never happened.
Ten years ago, when Starbucks’ espresso wizards were brewing up new seasonal drink ideas for fall, they came up with a list of 20 finalists and market tested them. The pumpkin concept was initially greeted with a “meh,” falling somewhere in the middle of the pack, outshined by stars such as chocolate caramel or cinnamon spice.
But Starbucks’ product developers saw potential.
“It wasn’t the natural winner, but there was something there,” said Peter Dukes, espresso brand manager for Starbucks, who was on the original team that developed the drink. (check out the rest of the article)

Here I sit a true advocate of everything pumpkin, fall, and harvest. I truly love this season, and if it could be autumn all year round, I would not hate that. Anyone know where I should move, or where the climate is perfect crisp, and fall all seasons? As harvest season is upon is, it is true the PSL is back, and maybe it’s unconventional to enjoy something pumpkin or harvest this early in the season. Unconventional or not, I will be enjoying many flavors of the harvest before they leave.

Go ahead and let out a little #PSL yell–I know you want to. Go grab one, sip slow and enjoy.