Category Archives: Coffee

Win a year of coffee from Peet’s Coffee & learn about holiday drinks

Photo credit: Peet’s Coffee, used with permission

Earlier this fall, Peet’s Coffee launched a campaign called “What Fills Your Cup?” In honor of this new campaign, it’s offering fans a chance to win a year’s supply of coffee (via a $1,000 Peet’s gift card)—and there will be five winners. Peet’s invites you to “Share Your Passion” by uploading a photo of yourself in pursuit of your own unique aspirations or passion—such as art, sports, or music. The contest will accept submissions through Nov. 20, 2017 on peets.com/passion. Winners will be randomly selected in a drawing conducted around Nov. 29, 2017. No purchase is necessary.

The Peet’s “What Fills Your Cup?” promotion has a cast of well-known characters who are driven by their passions. “The success of Peet’s Coffee is intrinsically tied to our passion for crafting the finest and freshest coffee sourced from the highest quality beans and hand-roasted in small batches,” said Andrea Fernandes, Director, Brand Marketing, Peet’s Coffee. The individuals whose stories Peet’s chose to highlight include:

  • Kristen Kish, an acclaimed chef (winner of Bravo’s Top Chef) releasing her first book, Kristen Kish Cooking
  • Brianna Cope, a professional surfer from Kauai chasing waves since the age of four, currently traveling the world as a member of the World Surf League
  • Scott Borrero, a lauded commercial photographer and winner of Nigel Barker’s Top Photographer

In other Peet’s news, the 2017 holiday blend coffee is now available at Peet’s coffeebar locations, select grocery stores across the country and online. Each season, Peet’s seeks the year’s best beans to create a unique, celebratory blend. The 2017 blend features beans from Guatemala (“for notes of bittersweet chocolate), Sumatra (“for a hint of warm spice”) and Ethiopia (“for a floral twist”). At the beginning of November, coffeebars started serving two new beverages for the holidays in addition to traditional seasonal favorites. The new drinks are Holiday Spiced Latte and Winter Solstice Tea Latte, both featuring a mix of holiday baking spaces. Returning drinks include Peppermint Mocha, Eggnog Latte and Pepperming Cocoa.

Last but not least, Peet’s is permanently adding House Made Chocolate Sauce to its menu. Coffeebar baristas will prepare it fresh each day with premium ingredients. I’m very excited to try this delicious-sounding treat next time I visit Peet’s!

To find a Peet’s Coffee location near you, use the online store locator.

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NEXTies honor Santa Cruz businesses and individuals

The 2017 NEXTies will be awarded March 24

The 2017 NEXTies will be awarded March 24. Photo credit: Event Santa Cruz

The 2017 NEXTies event will include people from Santa Cruz’s food, coffee, art and music communities. The NEXTies, which celebrate “the area’s brightest doers,” are in their eighth year. For the annual awards ceremony, held this Friday, March 24, event organizer Matthew Swinnerton invites the public to “pull out the pearls and cufflinks and join us for an evening in honor of those in Santa Cruz County who inspire us to reach further and higher and inspire the community.” Danielle Crook and DNA are hosting the program.

 

New award categories this year include “Best Writer.” The inaugural recipient is Good Times food writer Lily Stoicheff, who is honored to receive this accolade.

 

“As a journalist who writes about food culture in Santa Cruz County, I’m drawn to the stories of people who are fearlessly passionate about enriching our community through what we eat, be it a chef, farmer, small business owner or brewer,” says Stoicheff. “I gravitate towards writing about food because it’s something we all share, and as such it holds the possibility of creating a path to understanding and connection with each other and our environment. Plus, eating is an opportunity to bring joy into our lives daily.” Being acknowledged by the NEXTies, she says, shows that the Santa Cruz community values this type of storytelling.

 

Cat & Cloud Coffee is receiving the 2017 NEXTie for “New Business of the Year.” Owners Chris Baca, Jared Truby, and Charles Jack were thrilled to hear the news.

 

“We opened this business because we love community, and we wanted Cat & Cloud to be a hub for the community. We live in the neighborhood, and its awesome to see the community recognize us and really participate in the vision we have for Cat & Cloud.”

 

Vendors from the Santa Cruz Food Lounge’s monthly “Night Market” (held the second Friday of each month) will be selling food at the NEXTies. Vendors include My Mom’s Mole (mole nachos in chicken, veggie, and combination options), TanglewoodArtisan Hand Food (with hand pies including meat and veggie options), Hanloh, and La Sofrita (empanadas and mango-cucumber salad). I personally recommend every single one of these fabulous food businesses! Andrea Mollenauer, Cat Hernandez and Sally Kane operate the Santa Cruz Food Lounge, located at 1001 Center St. in downtown Santa Cruz. Mollenauer actually won a NEXTie in 2015.

 

At the event, there will be music from 2017 NEXTie award winners The Coffis Brothers and Taylor Rae. McCoy Tyler will also perform. Beer from New Bohemia Brewing Co will be available for purchase.

 

The full 2017 NEXTies winners list:

Entrepreneur of the year: Sindy Hernandez de Cornejo
Musician of the year: Taylor Rae
Band of the year: The Coffis Brothers
Artist of the year: Irene O’Connell
Writer of the year: Lily Stoicheff
Give Back person of the year: Mariah Tanner & Natalie Anne Oliver
Foodie of the year: Elizabeth Birnbaum
New Business of the year: Cat & Cloud Coffee
Athlete of the year: Ryan Navaroli
Under 18 person of the year: Ashley Solis-Pavon: Community Agroecology Network
Non-Profit of the year: Warming Project
Mentor of the year: Keisha Frost
Innovative Business of the Year: Inboard
Innovator of the year: Nick Halmos from Cityblooms
TECHie of the year: Gabriel Jesse Medina (From Digital NEST)
Green Business of the year: Khordz Handmade Mugs
Wildcard: Happily Ever Laughter

 

Buy tickets for $30 online.

 

The NEXTies were first awarded in 2010. Four years later, Santa Cruz Next asked Matthew Swinnerton of Event Santa Cruz to take over the NEXTies. Swinnerton launched the organization Event Santa Cruz in 2013 to help tell the stories of local businesses and the people that make these businesses run. The organization presents monthly happenings around town.

 

In an effort to reduce waste, Event Santa Cruz has partnered with ReCRUZ for the NEXTies. Guests are encouraged to bring their own mug or “rent” one from ReCRUZ for free during the event.

 

Details:

Friday March 24, 2017, 6:30-9 p.m.

Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz

eventsantacruz.com/2017nexties

 

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Manresa Bread in Los Gatos now ships nationwide

Manresa Bread now ships across the U.S. Photo credit: Manresa Bread

Manresa Bread now ships across the U.S.
Photo credit: Manresa Bread

Fans of Los Gatos-based Manresa Bread who live outside the Bay Area are now in luck: starting Nov. 22—just in time for Thanksgiving—the bakery will ship its artisan bread anywhere in the Continental U.S. The web site manresabread.com is already accepting orders.

In addition to bread, customers can order items like coffee from Santa Cruz’s Verve Coffee Roasters  (served at both retail locations, Los Gatos and Los Altos) plus granola and limited edition Manresa Bread coffee mugs. Orders are baked fresh, packed, and shipped on Tuesday of each week to arrive at people’s homes via 2-day, or less, shipping. Deliveries include information on how to store and rewarm the bread so guests can enjoy the product as if they picked it up that day from the bakery.

Manresa Bread was conceived by Head Baker and Partner Avery Ruzicka in the kitchen of Chef David Kinch’s three Michelin-star Manresa restaurant. Using high quality, artisanal products, a carefully selected variety of produce and dairy are mixed with house-milled grains, salt, and water to create an assortment of naturally fermented sourdough breads.

“We started with a small stand at our local farmer’s market and as we’ve continued to evolve we’ve realized there’s a demand for our breads on a national level,” says Ruzicka. “We tested a lot of options and this shipment method is the best way for us to ensure that the quality is preserved while it’s en route to our customers who can’t visit in-person.”
All orders ship on Tuesday of each week and include the customer’s choice of four loaves of bread ($40, not including shipping). Here are some bread highlights:

Manresa Levain
Organic white and edison flour. 90% hydration. 3% salt. Naturally fermented

Pumpernickel Buckwheat Rye
House-milled pumpernickel meal, fermented rye berries, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, toasted buckwheat. Naturally fermented

Fruit & Nut Loaf
Organic bread / hard red spring / edison / durum flours. Dates, pumpkin seeds, walnuts.
Naturally fermented

Whole Wheat
House-milled einkorn, hard red spring, edison wheats. Pinch of organic white flour.
Naturally fermented

Pullman Loaf
Organic White Flour. Fresh Yeast.

See manresabread.com for more information.

Retail shops:

Flagship Los Gatos location: 276 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos, 408-402-5372

Second location, Palo Alto: 271 State Street, Palo Alto, 650-946-2293

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Manresa Bread in Los Gatos adds espresso bar and more bakery space

Manresa Bread recently added 200 square feet of bakery space and an espresso bar Photo credit: Stephanie McKinnie

Manresa Bread recently added 200 square feet of bakery space and an espresso bar
Photo credit: Stephanie McKinnie

Manresa Bread in Los Gatos has expanded its bakery space and added a full beverage program including an espresso bar, which is open as of Oct. 1. The new offerings feature Santa Cruz-based Verve Coffee Roasters, and include espresso drinks, fresh brewed coffee, and cold brew. Guests can also enjoy hot chocolate, Chico Chai Tea (out of Chico, California), and kefir on tap.

“Our guests have been asking for these changes for quite some time. We are excited we’re in a position now where we can expand into the adjacent space and offer an experience that’s more than just grab-and-go,” says Avery Ruzicka, Partner/Head Baker at Manresa Bread.

Inspired by the delicious success of the bread program at the three-Michelin-star restaurant Manresa, Manresa Bread opened its first retail storefront last year in Los Gatos and offers hand-crafted, small batch breads and pastries.

The retail shop stocks a rotating selection of breads and sweet and savory pastries. Weekly staples include Manresa Levain, Sourdough Baguette, Edison Whole Wheat Flax, Brioche, Monkey Bread and Croissant (Plain, Almond, Pain au Chocolat). Seasonal items include Pumpernickel Buckwheat Rye, Fruit and Nut Loaf, Polenta Cake, Tea Cakes, Quiche and Tartines.

Hours are 7 a.m.-3 p.m. daily (or earlier if they sell out). A second retail space, located in downtown Los Altos, opened in June and has the same hours.

Manresa Bread is also available at the Campbell and Palo Alto farmers’ markets on Sundays and the Portola Valley market on Thursdays. Manresa Bread pastries are featured at Verve Coffee Roasters  locations in Santa Cruz.

With the expansion, Aevan Balan joins the Manresa Bread team as Lead Barista. A Bay Area native, Aevan first learned about coffee when he started working at Yahoo!, as a Lead Barista and Mentor as a way to make ends meet while going to college. He later became a Coffee Specialist at Yahoo!, working exclusively with Verve Coffee Roasters, training directly with the Verve team.

Flagship Los Gatos location, opened 2015:

276 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos, 408-402-5372

 

Second location, Palo Alto, opened June 2016:

271 State Street, Palo Alto, 650-946-2293

 

See manresabread.com for more information.

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Peet’s Coffee celebrates 50th anniversary with new signature blend coffee

New Big Bang blend at Peet's Coffee

New Big Bang blend at Peet’s Coffee

Peet’s Coffee is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and in honor of this occasion it has launched a new signature blend called “Big Bang” coffee. It’s now available in grocery stores and Peet’s cafes nationwide, including Northern California cities like Santa Cruz, Capitola, Berkeley, San Francisco, and Monterey.

I had the opportunity to sample this coffee recently by brewing some Big Bang coffee at home, and I enjoyed the resulting coffee quite a bit. It’s described as  a medium roast, and I liked its bold flavor. Big Bang features some of the same premium coffees that are found in Major Dickason’s Blend (the best-seller out of all of Peet’s coffees) but it also has “Ethiopian Super Natural” which includes citrus notes.

Curious about why Peet’s named this coffee “Big Bang?” Peet’s founder Alfred Peet, who opened the first Peet’s retail café in 1966 and essentially kickstarted the craft coffee movement, died in 2007. A quote from “The Joy of Coffee” author/Atlantic Monthly editor Corby Kummer that appeared in Mr. Peet’s New York Times obituary said, “He was the guru of everyone in the gourmet coffee revolution. He was the big bang. It all started with him.”

To find a Peet’s Coffee location near you, use the Peet’s online store locator.

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12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Day 2: Win Peet’s Coffee holiday blend

Holiday blend from Peet’s Coffee and Tea

Holiday blend from Peet’s Coffee and Tea

It’s Day Two of Santa Cruz Restaurant Examiner/Santa Cruz Foodie’s “12 Days of Christmas Giveaway.” See end of article for how to win great coffee from Peet’s. And if you haven’t finished (or started) your holiday shopping, here are some items to consider for coffee fans on your gift list.

Peet’s Holiday Blend: An annual tradition, this year’s special blend is spicy, rich and satisfying, slightly bittersweet balanced by notes of ripe fruit to create a smooth and full finish. It’s available at Peet’s cafes, local grocery stores and online (peets.com). It can be purchased by itself or as part of several gift packages. For example, if your gift recipient has a sweet tooth, there’s a gift set with a half-pound of 2015 Holiday Blend coffee and a three-piece package of popular Jo’s Peppermint Bark.

Exclusive Single-Origin Coffees in Festive Gold Tins: Peet’s exclusive line of exotic and rare premium coffees – CoopeDota Micro, Kona Peaberry and Jamaica Blue Mountain–are hand-scooped into golden keepsake tins. They’re available at all Peet’s stores nationwide.

DIY Coffee Lover Gift: You can use Peet’s premium coffee beans/grounds to make something creative. Peet’s suggests either 1) a DIY cold brew kit with the Holiday Blend or Peet’s Baridi (a special blend formulated for cold coffee), a re-usable coffee filter and a sampling of sweeteners. Stuff into a large mason jar and tie with a festive ribbon; or 2) a holiday survival kit including Peet’s coffee, bath products, candles, energy bars, a stress ball, and medicine for when you’ve attended one-too-many Christmas parties.

 

****

NOW FOR THE CONTEST:

Five lucky readers will each win a pound of Peet’s holiday blend coffee

To enter, email your name to tfatemi@gmail.com by 9 pm. Tuesday, Dec. 15 and include the word “Peet’s.” The drawing will take place the next morning and the winners will be notified via email.

Employees of Examiner.com are not eligible for the promotion.

Good luck and happy holidays!

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

 

National Coffee Day: Peet’s is giving away free coffee with food purchase

Peet's Coffee and Tea (used with permission)

Peet’s Coffee and Tea
(used with permission)

Peet’s Coffee and Tea has a promotion to celebrate National Coffee Day Sept. 29, 2015: all Peet’s across the country are offering a free small cup of Peet’s Major Dickason blend with any purchase of a baked good, Simply Oatmeal or fresh food item. Baked goods may include pastries, cakes, and cookies. In Northern California, the stores’ fresh food selections include cheese boxes, fruit bowls, and turkey sandwiches. To find the Peet’s Coffee & Tea near you, use the Peet’s online store locator.

Major Dickason is the #1 coffee favorite at Peet’s, and one of my favorites too! A blend of coffees from the world’s premiere growing regions, it’s named after a regular customer at Peet’s original Berkeley store. Retired army officer Key Dickason brought the idea for this blend to company founder Alfred Peet in 1969. Peet worked diligently to refine it, and he and his team sampled countless combinations before arriving at what is now the company’s all-time bestseller.

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Love Fest at Whole Foods Market: 25-cent coffee and other discounts/prizes

Whole Foods Market (used with permission)

Whole Foods Market
(used with permission)

At Whole Foods Market locations across the country, including our local Santa Cruz and Capitola stores, customers can get 25-cent cups of coffee (just for a few more days) and win a $500 gift card as part of the company’s Love Fest, which began Sept. 9.

Here are the details: Until Sept. 30, all 12-ounce brewed cups of coffee at Whole Foods Market’s coffee bars will cost just a quarter, with no limit per customer. How to win a $500 gift card? There’s no contest to enter; at various points over the next few weeks, stores across the country are randomly selecting a few customers to win these. The Capitola and Santa Cruz stores each have four to give away, and they’ve given away two so far. The local $500 giveaways will be over in early October.

During Love Fest, which runs through Nov. 3, every Whole Foods Market store will be creating their own ways to “say thanks and give back to customers.” These include special events and unexpected giveaways. For example, yesterday the Santa Cruz store announced on its Facebook page that there are 10 “Love Fest Hearts” hidden at the store, and that those who find one can exchange it for a Gift Card valued at up to $50. Other promotions include that the Santa Cruz store will be doing free 5-minute massages for customers on Wed., Oct. 21, from 4 – 6 pm and the Capitola store will be hosting a free breakfast for customers Friday, Oct. 30 from 9 – 11 am.

Also, each Wednesday through Tuesday, several featured products will be specially priced, many discounted by 50 percent. These sales are in addition to other discounts and promotions throughout each store.

Details
Whole Foods Market Santa Cruz is located at 911 Soquel Ave. Call (831) 426-9901 for more information.
Whole Foods Market Capitola is located at 1710 41st Ave. Call (831) 464-2900 for more information.

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Peet’s Coffee and Tea adds Javiva beverages and partners with Mighty Leaf Tea

One of the new Javiva options at Peet's Coffee and Tea

One of the new Javiva options at Peet’s Coffee and Tea

Peet’s Coffee and Tea recently added a new line of Javiva drinks that’s available in retail locations, including all of its Northern California stores in cities like Santa Cruz, Capitola, Berkeley, San Francisco, and Monterey. It also announced that it now offers Mighty Leaf Tea in its stores.

First, the details on Javiva. If you’re curious about the name Javiva, it means “coffee and life.” I had a chance to try one the other day, selecting coffee-flavored Javiva Light, and greatly enjoyed it as a refreshing afternoon pick-me-up. Javiva is one of the only made-to-order blended iced coffee drinks in the country that is made with fresh brewed coffee—specifically Peet’s Baridi Blend, comprised of East African coffees from Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Rwanda. When Peet’s was working on the new product, they did extensive research over the course of a year, and found out that most of the leading blended iced coffee drinks are made with rehydrated instant coffee, packaged coffee concentrates, or coffee-flavored syrup. Peet’s sister company, Caribou Coffee, is an exception and also uses fresh brewed coffee in their blended iced coffee drinks.

With Javiva, customers can select from several flavors (such as mocha or chocolate), and it can be made regular, light, or decaf. “Peet’s Javiva continues to be a go-to option for coffee lovers, especially as the weather warms up for spring and summer,” said Lisa Giles, Regional Manager for Peet’s Coffee. “Many of our customers love that Javiva is made with our fresh brewed coffee and is extremely customizable. You can also select from various non-dairy and even tea options,” added Giles.

As with all of Peet’s beverages, if people are ordering one of the Javiva selections that include dairy, they will receive fresh, hormone-free milk. Javiva can also be made with GMO-free soy or almond milk.

Next, the tea news: fans of Mighty Leaf Tea will be happy to know that they can now purchase a cup (or box) of this tea at any Peet’s location—this was just announced last month. I have loved this tea since first trying it years ago; the tea always tastes hearty and I think that’s due to Mighty Leaf’s special silken pouches filled with tea leaves. My favorite variety is Organic Breakfast.

To find the Peet’s Coffee & Tea near you, use the online store locator.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Starbucks Coffee’s newest blends including K-cups

Seasonal Tribute Blend from Starbucks Coffee

Seasonal Tribute Blend from Starbucks Coffee

I recently got my first K-Cup brewer, so I’ve started trying out many different coffee varieties including a few from Starbucks.

So far, my favorite K-Cup from Starbucks is its Tribute Blend. I need to stock up on some because it’s only available for a limited time! I noticed when browsing the Starbucks web site there are others who feel the same way and wish it was available more often. It’s a rich, full-bodied blend with hints of cherry. I like it first thing in the morning, and as an afternoon pick-me-up. Originally crafted for Starbucks’ 40th anniversary, it was so popular that the coffee company now releases it once a year during the spring. When it sells out, that’s it until next year. You can find the Tribute blend online at starbucks.com or at Starbucks retail shops, and in addition to K-cups it comes in whole bean packages, Verismo pods, and VIA instant packs.

I had the opportunity to sample a couple coffees from the Starbucks Blonde Roast line. In case you’re wondering, the Blonde Roast was developed due to a customer demand for something milder than Starbucks’ standard offerings. So now, there is a “Starbucks Roast Spectrum” which divides the coffee into three profiles: Blonde Roast, Medium Roast and Dark Roast.

The Blonde Roast coffees I tried were the new Bright Sky and Aria Blends. Aria is formerly known as Willow Blend (it was re-branded this spring), and it’s available in both regular and decaf. It’s a blend of Latin American and East African beans that includes lemony notes. Bright Sky contains Latin American beans, and it has a subtle nutty flavor.

Since I tend to prefer darker roasts in general, these were enjoyable but I like the Tribute better. I ended up liking both blonde ones more when I chose to brew an 8 oz. cup as opposed to the traditional 10 oz. cup I brew. That made the coffee bolder (I have to thank my husband for this suggestion). People that like lighter roasts should definitely try both Bright Sky and Aria; they do have nice flavors. If you prefer darker but happen to live with someone who prefers a lighter roast, you could buy one of the blonde varieties and try the adjustment I made—see if it works you! They are available at Starbucks retail stores and grocery stores, but not online. Bright Sky was made available in grocery stores beginning in January 2014. In addition to K-cups, Aria and Bright Sky come in ground coffee form.

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