Off Topic: Coffee and Tea

coffeeWell, I’m still hobbling around so I haven’t been out anywhere to test anything new. I have however signed up for Amazon Prime and have been getting deliveries of various teas and coffee that I don’t feel like limping over to Trader Joe’s to buy.

One of my neighbors got for a Christmas present a coffee maker that does both brewed and those pod things. I hate the pods on principle, since I personally feel that they’re likely as good for the environment and lead-painted styrofoam, but I’ve been using them. Primarily because I have found that since I an woefully out of practice, my brewed coffee is pretty terrible. So I have been using the pods. I’ve been pretty boring, sticking to Starbuck’s Pikes Place blend. I suppose at some point I will branch out; if you have any suggestions I’d love to hear them.

As far as tea, I had already laid in a pretty good stock of Trader Joe’s teas, in Chai, English Breakfast and Earl Grey. I actually think I like tea even better than coffee, but the thing I’ve noticed about it is that it really stains the interior of my cups- far more than coffee. Makes me wonder what the he!! it’s doing to my teeth, but oh well.

I know that there are scents that feature coffee as a component, but I can’t think of one that I really liked that much. Suggestions? Leave them in the comments.

Image: Wikipedia Commons.

  • Jen says:

    Just make sure you have cups that arent white inside; the dentist says tea really stains your teeth, but added his hygiene person is always available.

    • Tom says:

      I’ve been told that about tea. I was told green tea is the worst. I was told to drink it through a straw and rinse after drinking.

      Still drinking it though. You’ll pry my Earl Grey from my cold dead fingers…

      • Das says:

        I’ve considered the straw method. Even bought a nice glass one. But you have to make sure the liquid touches the front of your tongue and gets good contact all over so you don’t miss out on tasting what you’re drinking, right?! If you drink through a straw, doesn’t most of the tasting occur in just the back of the palate? So I don’t use it except for water :-/. But I hate going to the dentist, even for just cleanings. It’s a quandary. 😉

  • Nemo says:

    For k-cups, some places online sell a refillable, reusable k-cup pod that is pretty inexpensive! I haven’t used them myself, but maybe other people can chime in about how well they work.

  • Ann says:

    Tom, as you know, I am a tea girl from waaay back. Love all kinds, but lately have been drinking mostly white and green. Am currently working my way through a Kusmi Wellness sampler. I love the elegant muslin bags with tags that they come in, but it probably adds to the expense.

  • LaDona says:

    I broke the handle off my espresso machine, and freaked out over the price of a new one. So I toddled on over to Amazon and bought one of those stovetop Bialetti Moka makers. It makes wonderful coffee! I went to Italy a few years ago, and turned into a terrible coffe snob…there’s just no excuse for crappy coffee. I can’t stand the k cups…though a friend has reusable ones that she fills with Peets coffee, and they are more tolerable. As for tea, I do like Teavana, but I’m not as passionate about it. Get well soon!

    • Deb says:

      I have had so many cups of coffee with a nasty ashtray flavor that I have practically given up on this beverage unless it is severely adulterated with milk and flavorings. My sister told me that there are many different notes, and some do have that as one of them. If only there were a way to know before purchase….

    • Tom says:

      I have one of those and it makes great coffee if you buy the proper coffee for it. I have to use mine more often.

  • apple says:

    If you have a dishwasher Palmolive Eco+ liquid is the best I’ve found for completely removing the tea and coffee stains from inside cups and mugs that are dishwasher safe. I used to use a more expensive one and the inside of my teacups were still stained. When I switched my fiancé even asked how I removed the stains.

    • Tom says:

      Is that a liquid or a pod? Since I’m diagonally across from the building water heater pods don’t really work in my dishwasher. But if I had a house..

  • greennote2 says:

    My mum showed me that you can clean tea stains with a dose of salt (a teaspoon or so) and just enough water to be able to rub it with your fingers but not dissolve it. It hasn’t ruined the surface of her china cups after decades of doing this when it’s needed.

  • If you’re going to do Starbucks pods, see if you can find them with the “Gold Coast Blend”. It’s the best tasting, non-bitter bean that they roast.

    For tea, Kusmichoff (Kusmi) Tea has a blend called Troika which I adore. At my Cafe we served exclusively Republic Of Tea b/c their quality and consistancy are spectacular. They are credited with reviving tea-drinking in America in the early 80’s, right after selling Banana Republic to a major corperation, in the 70’s BR was a stand alone surplus store (tiny) in Mill Valley, CA. I shopped there alot as a poor college student, it was cheao!

    • Tom says:

      First off, where is your café?

      I will note the Gold Coast Blend. Starbucks blends tends to be a bit rancorous..

      • Tom says:

        And I remember when Banana Republic pre-acquisition. Back when the sold foreign army surplus and had a WWII Jeep in the window..

      • Our Cafe was/is on Lopez Island, WA. My husband and I just sold it last october after 13 years. Loved it, my favorite business ever! I just met up with some FB fragrance pals down in LA last weekend. One of them owns an organic coffee bar in Hollywood (not WEHO) called Javista. The coffee was spectacular!

        Good luck! Robert H.

    • Jen says:

      Oh wow, I remember that store; I got a surplus Israeli army shirt there that lasted for years.

  • HeidiC says:

    Another trick for de-staining porcelain (coffee cups, toilets, etc.) is to fill with water and add a denture-cleaning tablet!

    I haven’t smelled many coffee scents — Arquiste Nanban supposedly has a coffee accord, and although I love it, I don’t smell the coffee. But I do love tea scents!

  • Ron Slomowicz - Notable Scents says:

    A few things..

    I am a huge fan of Nespresso – received the machine in 2005 and it works as good today as the first day I got it. When you pick up pods at the store, you can get a plastic bag to store used capsules. The store will recycle the used capsules to make new ones.

    As for teas and fragrance, if you have any friends going to Paris – ask them to go to the Guerlain boutique to pick you up a tin of a fragrance inspired tea. Le Petite Robe Noire is my favorite with Shalimar being a second.

    Though if they are going to Paris – a trip to Mariage Freres is essential for tea exploration.

    I am currently in love with Kusmi Tea Sweet Love – a black tea with Licorice, spices and guarana.


  • Deb says:

    Tea~how I love it! Rishi makes two that are incredible for flavor and scent: Tropical Oolong and a Dancong oolong with, IIRC, iris and orchid notes. Adagio’s Katsumi is wonderfuly floral. And Keemun Mao Feng is fantastic in all its sturdiness sans floral notes of any kind. I could go on and on about tea…..

    • Angela says:

      Deb, tell us MORE about Tea!!!!

      • Deb says:

        I would not know where to begin, but could mention two more interesting teas that highlight differences in jasmine tea, jasmine being one of my favorite aromas. Adagio’s Jasmine Yin Hao is the perfect cup of jasmine. I believe it was every bit as good as the Jasmine Pearls, which is twice as expensive. For an interesting contrast, there is Jasmine Chun Hao. It is like eating jasmine-scented cookies. :o) .

        • Tom says:

          I haven’t had jasmine tea in decades. I used to adore it; thanks for reminding me. I’ll have to get some. Soon.

      • Deb says:

        Somewhere I tasted a masters keemun that had the most clean mouth feel and taste with mineral, flinty notes…..and now I can’t find it. (sniffle) That was an *incredible* cup of tea.

    • Tom says:

      I am so taking notes- why don’t you do a post about tea?

  • Dina C. says:

    I love hot tea and drink it year-round. My favorites are green tea varieties in teabag form. Tazo and The Republic of Tea, available at Whole Foods, are two favorite brands.

    I love the smell of coffee, but only enjoy eating it in ice cream form or tiramisu. Yum! A neat, unusual coffee scent mixed with lavender is Sonia Rykiel’s Belle en Rykiel. It’s still available at some discounters and ebay from time to time. I’ve only got a sample of it, but it’s memorable.

    • Tom says:

      Coffee ice cream is the best. Like you, I think I like the smell of coffee better than the taste. Walking into my apartment after I’ve made coffee is so much more delicious than the cup I drank..

  • yellow_cello says:

    Top tip for tea-stained mugs – bicarbonae of soda! Make a paste with a couple of drops of water and scrub your mugs with it, or add 1tbsp to the mug and soak in boiling water. Unless the stains are really scratched in, your mugs will be as good as new (and if they are scratched in they will be almost as good as new) 🙂

    • Tom says:

      I use a few drops of bleach and hot water. Or I just use my Beverly Hills Police Department mug which they thoughtfully made with black glaze on the inside..

  • Diana says:

    Are these Kcups or those mini pockets of grounds? I’ve neve tried Kcups, but have friends who love them. I recently tried the mini pocket things at a hotel and found them pretty convenient.

    My coffee is Trader Joe’s Bay Blend or Zekes Tell Tale Dark. Both are dark roasts. As i understand it, the darker the roast, the less caffeine it contains.

    Coffee smells are tricky. I love my two brands’ smell, but find Starbucks brewed to have a burnt smell. We used to have a Columbian roast at work that smelled like cat pee as it brewed.

    As for perfumes, I adore coffee scents! Jo Malone Vetiver Cafe was my 1st. Now I have a parade of L’Artisans, SLs and *finally* I got ahold of Amen Pure Coffee on the re-release!! I horde it. I’ll only spray it on my husband or myself for super special occasions.

    • Tom says:

      They’re K-cups. I feel bad about using something that the inventor of wishes he hadn’t created. I console myself with the fact that I drink coffee rarely ( I prefer tea.)

  • jilliecat says:

    Redbush (rooibos) is even worse at staining! I end up soaking my cups in chlorine and water.

    I quite like tea-based perfumes, and find the thought of wearing coffee a bit weird, but do enjoy it in Cacharel’s Noa. This is a comforting fragrance – soft, incensey and just right for molly-coddling yourself at home on a grey day. While you drink a steaming mug of coffee.

  • Geo says:

    Try Blue bottle coffee (SF). Be prepared to line up for it.

    What city in the states are you in ?