Category Archives for "Coffee"

The History Of Coffee

Uncommon Grounds: The History Of Coffee
And How It Transformed Our World

Uncommon Grounds: The History Of Coffee And How It Transformed Our World

Uncommon Grounds tells the story of coffee from its discovery on a hill in Abyssinia to its role in intrigue in the American colonies to its rise as a national consumer product in the twentieth century and its rediscovery with the advent of Starbucks at the end of the century. A panoramic epic, Uncommon Grounds uses coffee production, trade, and consumption as a window through which to view broad historical themes: the clash and blending of cultures, the rise of marketing and the “national brand,” assembly line mass production, and urbanization. Coffeehouses have provided places to plan revolutions, write poetry, do business, and meet friends. The coffee industry has dominated and molded the economy, politics, and social structure of entire countries.Mark Pendergrast introduces the reader to an eccentric cast of characters, all of them with a passion for the golden bean. Uncommon Grounds is nothing less than a coffee-flavored history of the world.

Since its discovery in an Ethiopian rainforest centuries ago, coffee has brewed up a rich and troubled history, according to Uncommon Grounds, a sweeping book by business writer Mark Pendergrast. Over the years, the beverage has fomented revolution, spurred deforestation, enriched a few while impoverishing the many, and addicted millions with its psychoactive caffeine. Coffee is now the world’s second most valuable legal commodity, behind oil, according to Pendergrast, who is also author of For God, Country, and Coca-Cola.

“A good cup of coffee can turn the worst day tolerable, can provide an all-important moment of contemplation, can rekindle a romance,” he writes. “And yet, poetic as its taste may be, coffee’s history is rife with controversy and politics.” For example, coffee bankrolled Idi Amin’s genocidal regime in Uganda and the Sandinistas’ revolution in Nicaragua. Uncommon Grounds provides some fascinating tidbits. Did you know that coffeehouses helped spawn the French and American revolutions? Or that coffee supplanted alcohol as a favorite breakfast drink in Britain in the late 1600s, and later became a patriotic American beverage after the Boston Tea Party? Pendergrast also details the rise and fall of regional coffee brands in the United States, the role of advertising in the industry, the global economic impact of coffee prices, and the recent emergence of specialty-coffee retailers–Starbucks, for example. Finally, he explores the social and environmental ramifications of coffee and highlights recent attempts to encourage a livable wage and environmental protection in coffee-producing nations such as Brazil. Pendergrast also includes an appendix on “how to brew the perfect cup.” This wide-ranging book is a good read for those curious about the history and context behind that morning cup of coffee, as well as for those strictly interested in the business side of the industry. –Dan Ring

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Valentus SlimRoast Coffee


December 7, 2015

Coffee Recipes

Coffee Recipes:

Flavored Sugar Recipe:
Makes 1 cup
Prep Time: 10 minutes


1 cup Finely Granulated Cane Sugar
1 whole Vanilla Bean, broken into small pieces
1 whole Star Anise
1 Cinnamon sticks
1 whole Clove
1/8 teaspoon Ground Fennel
1/8 teaspoon Ground Cardamon
1 teaspoon dried Orange Zest
1 teaspoon dried Lemon Zest

1. Pour the granulated sugar into an airtight glass or ceramic jar with a rubber seal. Mason jars are a good choice.
2. Place vanilla bean, Star Anise, and Cinnamon stick into the sugar.
3. Add the ground spices and citrus zests.
4. Close tightly and store in a dark cabinet for a week or more to give the sugar time to absorb the flavors.

Use to flavor coffee, tea, baked goods, or toasted bread. Rim cocktail or martini glasses with this sweet concoction. Flavored sugar makes a great gift and can be stored for up to a year if kept in an airtight container.

Vanilla Flavored Creamer Recipe:
Makes 2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes


1 cup non-dairy coffee creamer
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Using a jar with a screw-top lid, combine all ingredients and shake well to blend. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons to your favorite coffee or tea.

Chocolate Mint Flavored Coffee Creamer
Makes 2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes


3/4 cup non-dairy coffee creamer
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract


Using a jar with a screw-top lid, combine all ingredients and shake well to blend. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons to your favorite coffee or tea.
Irish Coffee Recipe
Serves 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes


1-1/2 ounces Irish whiskey
1 teaspoon brown sugar
6 ounces hot coffee
Heavy cream, as desired


Combine whiskey, sugar and coffee in a mug and stir to dissolve. Float cold cream gently on top. Do not mix.

Flavored Coffee Drink Recipe
Mocha Coffee
Serves 1
Prep Time: 2 minutes, plus brew time


1 cup hot brewed coffee
1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon granulated cane sugar
2 Tablespoons milk, or 1 tablespoon Half and half
1 Tablespoon whipped cream, if desired


Pour hot coffee into a mug. Add cocoa powder, sugar, and milk. Stir until well mixed. Add whipped cream if desired.

You could also add chocolate shavings, cocoa powder, or crushed peppermint candy to the top of this drink.
Chocolate Chip Biscotti
Makes 2 dozen
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 45 minutes


1-1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup Semisweet chocolate mini-morsels
1/3 cup granulate sugar or Turbinado (raw) sugar
3/4 teaspoon Baking powder
1 tablespoon Water
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1 Egg
1 Egg white
Vegetable cooking spray


Combine flour, chocolate chips, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl or cup, combine water, vanilla, egg and egg white; add to flour mixture, stirring until well- blended. Dough will be dry.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 7 or 8 times. Shape dough into a 16- inch-long roll.

Lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place roll on sheet and flatten to a 1-inch thickness. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes.
Remove roll from baking sheet and place on a wire cooling rack. Let cool 10 minutes. Cut roll diagonally into 24 half-inch slices, and place, cut sides down, on baking sheet. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, and bake 10 minutes. Turn biscotti over,
and bake an additional 10 minutes. Cookies will be slightly soft in center but will harden as they

Remove from baking sheet; let cool completely on wire cooling rack.

Biscotti can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks. Dip in hot coffee or tea to soften biscotti cookie.
Blueberry Buttermilk Coffeecake Recipe
Serves 12
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 50 minutes


1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup honey or maple syrup
1 egg plus 3 egg whites
1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup pureed pitted prunes
3/4 cup buttermilk or soy milk
1/2 cup mashed banana
2 Tablespoons chopped walnuts
1/3 cup brown sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly oil a 13×9-inch baking dish or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Fold in the blueberries.

In another bowl, whisk together the honey or maple syrup, egg and egg whites, oil, prunes, buttermilk or soy milk, and banana.

Combine the contents of both bowls, mixing briefly, than pour the batter into the baking dish. Smooth the top of the batter with a spatula. Sprinkle with walnuts and brown sugar.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the coffeecake comes out clean.

Let cool and serve.



December 7, 2015

Gourmet Coffee

To recognize the value of gourmet coffee a person needs to be aware of the history and facts regarding gourmet coffee. You don’t have to an professional to appreciate premium coffee, but the more you know the more you will take pleasure in the flavor, aroma and total joy that a cup will bring to you.



Treasure Chest of Coffee

Treasure Chest of Coffee

  • Specialty Coffee
  • Coffee Lover
  • Gourmet
  • Coffee Gift

Sure to please just about anybody, our Treasure Chest of Coffee offers a wonderful assortment of our specialty gourmet coffee. Great for any occasion! Gift basket includes: 1-1.75oz Colombian Supremo 1-1.75oz Beanery Blend® 1-1.75oz Italian Dark Roast 1-1.75oz Costa Rican La Minita 1-1.75oz Hawaiian Coconut 1-1.75oz Caramel Apple 1-1.75oz Vanilla Nut Cream 1-1.75oz Chocolate Raspberry 1-1.75oz Swiss Mocha Almond 1-1.75oz Hazelnut 1-1.75oz Crème Brulee 1-1.75oz Breakfast Blend 1-1.75oz Pumpkin Spice 1-1.75oz Sumatra Mandheling 1-1.75oz Michigan Cherry

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