Driven to Espresso: Drive-through Coffee Stands in the Northwest

If you think coffee culture is cool, you have come to the right place. I have loads of information and opinions to share about espresso in the Pacific Northwest, especially the drive-through phenomenon.

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Location: Edmonds, WA, United States

Friday, December 21, 2012

Nudge your coffee with the holiday spirit

Here is a great way to make your coffee get into the celebratory nature of the season. For folks in the colder winter climates, this should make you feel all warm and cozy. Plus a little buzzed.

This is not so much a recipe as it is a suggestion about what you can add to coffee to make it more of a cocktail.

Coffee Nudge
(eight servings)

8 cups hot coffee
8 oz. coffee flavored liqueur
8 oz. brandy
4 oz. creme de cacao
Whipped cream

I'm not sure why I am giving specific measurements for the booze. Or why it's written so it makes 8 servings. You could just make one serving.

Basically, you put equal amounts of coffee liqueur and brandy, and a small amount of creme de cacao in the cups, then fill with coffee. Top it off with whipped cream. Yum!

Now I'm thinking of cutout cookies, too.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Gift for coffee lovers - part 4

If you want to make a really big impression with the coffee lover on your list, how about giving them a coffee shop chain?

Caribou Coffee in Minnesota is off the market, I'm afraid, now that they have been acquired by JAB of Germany, but there's an obvious opportunity left: Tully's.

The Tully's brand, which includes 57 company-run stores and about 70 franchised or licensed stores, filed for bankruptcy this year and has been receiving bids for purchase. None have been accepted, yet, so there's still time for you to step in and snap it up!

The current bidder is Baristas, a drive-through coffee chain operating so-called "bikini barista" stands. But with total net income of $110,000, I believe the offer is just a short watery decaf.

So with Christmas only one week away, act now!

If you can't afford a coffee shop chain, think about a copy of Driven to Espresso. At $19.95, it's supremely affordable and will probably outlive any coffee shop you might purchase anyway.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

4 Reasons why Santa should not give your child a Starbucks gift card.

More and more children are drinking coffee and like to hang out at cafes, so it may seem like an acceptable idea to some parents to give their child or teen a coffee shop gift card.

Not a good idea.

Here are the 4 primary reasons why coffee is not good for a child's health:

Insomnia: Growing children need more sleep than adults. Caffeine will drain their overall level of energy, even though it seems to give them spikes of energy immediately after drinking it.

Cavities: Because coffee is acidic, drinking it regularly can create a hostile environment for a child's dental health. At their young age, enamel is more vulnerable to decay.

Bone loss: Both the diuretic nature of caffeine and the calcium-leaching quality of caffeine will decrease the calcium in one who drinks it. In children, the need for bone-building calcium is much greater than in adults.

Hyperactivity: Caffeine can get in the way of a child's need to pay attention in school, even though it may increase their energy level temporarily. There are many instances during the school day when focused attention and non-disruptive participation is more important than highly energetic behavior.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Gift for coffee lovers - part 3

If you truly love your favorite coffee fanatic, how can you give them anything less than the world's most expensive coffee?

Black Ivory Coffee comes from Thailand, and more specifically, from Thai elephants. The elephants eat coffee beans, and I'm not sure why they would do that. then the next day you simply pluck the beans from their dung. Certainly this is worth $500 per pound. Comes out to about $50 per cup.

If that's a bit steep, perhaps a copy of Driven to Espresso will fit your budget. No elephant poop involved, and it will last a lot longer.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Gift for coffee love - part 2

This suggestion is for residents of Washington or Colorado, where marijuana has been legalized. I found this recipe on a website, and will admit I have not tried it. But it just seemed appropriate for we Washington state residents! I can imagine there will be a bit of cannabis stuck into some (adult) stockings this year around here.

The recipe calls for caster sugar. I had to look that up. It's superfine sugar, but not confectioner's sugar. It may be harder to find that the marijuana.

Weed Coffee Recipe – Mary Jane Meets Tia Maria

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Gift ideas for coffee lovers - part 1

Put a (whiter) smile on their face!

Lots of products out there!

Monday, December 03, 2012

Expressly espresso

Have you ever heard someone call espresso "expresso?" Of course, expresso is not an actual word in any language, however the word espresso actually comes from the notion that the espresso machine "makes coffee expressly for you." I suppose it might be almost correct to call it a "coffee express."

You probably already know that what we Americans think of as espresso is, in Italy, simply called caffé, which we would translate in English to coffee. When I was in Italy, if I ordered "un caffé" the barista invariably double-checked that I wanted an espresso. Apparently, it was obvious to them that I was an American, and they have grown accustomed to Americans asking for a caffé and being surprised when they get an espresso. So they often double-check.

In Italy, espresso can mean expressed, made-to-order, special delivery, or fast, so I suppose if you order an espresso they may think you are asking for them to hurry up. But more likely they will detect that you are an American, and make you a caffé.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Try a rum coffee flambe!

This is an adult-only recipe, due to the alcohol and fire. Cool!

This will take the winter chills off like no one's business. This is a recipe we've had around the house for years. We have not had a rum-related "incident" yet, which is significant considering there's fire involved.

Serves 4 or 5 (your mileage may differ)


6 cubes sugar
1 stick cinnamon
6 whole cloves
peel of half an orange, cut into 1/2 inch strips
peel of half a lemon, cut in 1/2 inch strips
1 cup rum
6 cups strong, hot, black coffee

Put sugar cubes, spices, and peels into a pottery bowl (that is, not plastic which burns and/or melts). Put 2 tablespoons of the rum into a metal ladle and pour the rest of the rum into the bowl.

Here's the fun part! Light the rum that is in the ladle and lower the flaming ladle into the bowl to light the rest of the rum. (Did I mention sending small children and pets out of the room?)

Stir slowly until the sugar melts and flames gradually decrease. Pour coffee gently down the side of the bowl, taking care not to put the rest of the flames out.

All normal people will wait till the flames go out before enjoying this winter drink.