Tag 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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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.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

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.

 

Santa Cruz and nearby restaurant news highlights, Part 1 of 2

Dinner at Santa Cruz's Mozaic Mediterranean Restaurant

Dinner at Santa Cruz’s Mozaic Mediterranean Restaurant

Here is some restaurant news for Santa Cruz and other local areas. I haven’t published a roundup of restaurant news since June, so there’s a lot of information to share. I’ll be publishing part two in the next few days. I also wanted to remind my readers: if you have any food/restaurant/wine/culinary event news to share, please email me at tfatemi@gmail.com.

Openings
Five Guys Burgers and Fries opened a Capitola location in November, in the old Carl’s Jr. spot at Capitola Mall (1855 41st Ave.). Hours are 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. and you can reach the restaurant at (831) 475-1948. There are hundreds of Five Guys locations in the U.S., including approximately 100 in California. A Santa Cruz location is opening soon at 1101 Pacific Ave. in the old Taqueria Vallarta spot next to Mission Hill Creamery.

Mozaic Mediterranean Restaurant opened in downtown Santa Cruz in August. I went the second day it opened; read my recap. I’ve been back many times since then and enjoyed more dishes such as the fun and tasty flaming cheese appetizer. Last time I split the grilled octopus appetizer with my sister and it was heavenly (a colleague of mine had recommended it, saying she has extremely high octopus standards and it’s the best she’s had in a long, long time). It’s very rich so I advise splitting it with at least one other person. Mozaic is at 110 Church St. off Pacific in the former Louie’s Cajun Grill location, (831) 454-8663. Hours are 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun-Thurs and 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri-Sat.

Steel Bonnet Brewing Company opened in Scotts Valley in October. The family-owned-and-operated brewery produces small batches of craft beer in various styles such as stout and IPA. They usually have about seven beers on tap. Steel Bonnet is at 20 Victor Square, (831) 454-8429. They’re open from 4-8 p.m. Mon-Fri and 1-8 p.m. Sat-Sun.

Café Hanna opened in Scotts Valley in June. Husband-and-wife owners Adbeen and Jamie Karam serve what they call Greek fusion; selections include falafel sandwiches and spanakopita. According to the restaurant’s web site, all sauces and dressings are made in-house, including an olive oil-based hot pepper sauce. Falafel fritters are made from scratch with ground garbanzo beans and several dishes use the restaurant’s housemade yogurt. Café Hanna is at 5272 Scotts Valley Dr., (831) 708-8845. It’s open from 11 a.m. -7 p.m. Mon-Fri (closed Sat-Sun).

Sushi Garden opened its third location in Scotts Valley in August. The other restaurants are in Capitola and Watsonville.  The newest location is at 5600 Scotts Valley Dr. where Yamamori used to be. Hours are 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-9:30 p.m. daily. You can contact them at (831) 438-9260.

Mandarin Gourmet opened in downtown Santa Cruz in October, in the old Little Shanghai location at 1010 Cedar St., (831) 458-2460. It’s open from 11 a.m. -9:30 p.m. Mon-Sat and 5-9 p.m. Sun.

Starbucks opened a new Santa Cruz location in October. It’s located at 21620 E Cliff Dr. Hours are 5 a.m. -10 p.m. Sun-Thurs and 5 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. Fri-Sat.

Opening in the Future
The Bywater, from Santa Cruz resident David Kinch (owner/chef at Michelin-starred Manresa), will open in Los Gatos in January. Read my preview article.

Closings
Taqueria Vallarta at 1101 Pacific Ave. closed in October; the restaurant still has four locations (three in Santa Cruz and one in Felton).

Yamamori Sushi & Grill in Scotts Valley closed during the summer.

Little Shanghai closed at the end of June.

Changes

Lúpulo Craft Beer House expanded in October. Their new space includes a second dining room, which the existing bar wraps into, as well as a “pub” room in the back equipped with two large screen TVs, shuffleboard, and a stand up-piano for “Pianoman” nights. These rooms added extra seating for Lúpulo, plus there are now spaces available for private parties and meetings. Lúpulo’s menu remains the same: the food is a seasonal rotation of tapas and other selections designed for sharing, while the beer is 16 constantly rotating taps.

Santa Cruz Food Lounge: some pop-up tenants have changed schedules, or plan to in the near future. See below.
Ty’s Eatery: although they no longer offer pop-up dinner Wednesdays, they serve pop-up brunch every Sunday from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
LionFish SupperClub: they now serve pop-up dinner every Tuesday from 5-9p.m. (they used to only serve it every 2 weeks)
Mortal Dumpling: the Monday night pop-up dinner (5:30-9p.m.) will stop at the end of December

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.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

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.

On Twitter? Please follow me @santacruzfoodie.

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.

Holiday gift ideas from Peet’s Coffee and Tea

The Holiday Connoisseur Coffee Collection from Peet’s Coffee and Tea

The Holiday Connoisseur Coffee Collection from Peet’s Coffee and Tea

Are you behind on Christmas shopping? Buying for folks who are tea or coffee lovers? Peet’s has some fun options including special holiday packages.

I had the opportunity to receive a wonderful gift package from Peet’s, and I’ve already enjoyed all of the coffees enclosed in the beautiful box (see photo above). The Holiday Connoisseur Coffee Collection ($32.95) includes a half-pound each of four ground coffees: Holiday Blend, Major Dickason’s Blend, Garuda Blend and Uzuri African Blend. Below are details on each of these; the tasting notes in parentheses are directly from Peet’s:
1. Holiday Blend (Exquisite, Complex, Celebratory, Dark Roast): Each season, Peet’s seeks the year’s best beans to create a unique, celebratory blend. The 2014 blend is elegant, smooth, and refined with hints of dark chocolate and brown sugar, with beans from Guatemala, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Sumatra.
2. Major Dickason’s Blend (Rich, Complex, Full Bodied, Deep Roast): One of the first Peet’s blends, it’s the company’s all-time bestseller (and one of my favorites).
3. Garuda Blend (Gutsy, Earthy, Full Bodied, Deep Roast): A blend of first-rate single-origin Indo-Pacific coffees that celebrate the diverse flavors of the islands.
4. Uzuri African Blend (Beautiful, Dark Berry Notes, Deep Roast): A fully sustainable coffee that you can drink while knowing you’re helping small-scale farmers improve their lives.

If you’re not interested in the exact package listed above, the 2014 Holiday Blend ($16.95/lb.) makes a great gift on its own, or as part of a gift package you design yourself. It’s also part of a few other Peet’s holiday gift packs like the Holiday Blend & Gold Stainless Logo Tumbler Gift ($35.95).

Holiday teas include Holiday Breakfast Blend ($11.95/4-ounce tin, $9.95/25 tea bags), a strong black tea that features Darjeeling and other varieties, and the new Vanilla Keemun ($9.95/4-ounce tin). Peet’s is offering a special “Holiday Breakfast Blend Tea Bags Gift” ($25.95) with tea, a red holiday mug, and chocolate-covered cherries.

Interested in a very decadent gift for a coffee & tea-loving friend or family member? The Peet’s Ultimate Holiday Gift ($149.95) includes one pound each of Holiday Blend coffee and Major Dickason’s Blend, Holiday Breakfast Blend Tea, an 8-cup Bodum Young press pot, a Bodum Assam teapot, two red holiday mugs, Jo’s Peppermint Bark, and Semifreddi’s Almond biscotti.

Happy Holidays and Bon Appetit!

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Pressed Juicery expands menu and locations

Pressed Juicery launched new beverages in October 2014

Pressed Juicery launched new beverages in October 2014

Last month, Pressed Juicery revamped its menu of juices and other beverages. After listening to customer feedback, it added drinks such as new juice and coconut water flavors.

On October 6, Pressed Juicery introduced nine new flavors. There are new “classic” versions of orange, watermelon, and apple, catering to adults and kids both; coconut waters in rose and green flavors (alongside the store’s original coconut water); and cold-pressed coffee drinks, at all stores and online. Pressed Juicery also brought back a popular Brazil Nut signature blend made with spinach, kale, romaine, vanilla bean, dates, and sea salt.

I had a recent opportunity to sample a few of the beverages. They were all enjoyable; a couple of my favorites were “Greens 2” (kale, spinach, romaine, parsley, cucumber, celery, apple, lemon) and “Chocolate Almond” (almonds, dates, cacao, and sea salt).

“We took our customers’ comments to heart when creating the new items, and saw an opportunity to improve the juices our fans have grown to love while adding a fresh twist to our menu,” said CEO/co-founder Hayden Slater.

Pressed Juicery now has six San Francisco Bay Area locations, including SF’s Ferry Building and Palo Alto’s Stanford Shopping Center. It has a total of 20 locations including Santa Monica and Manhattan Beach (at the latter, the store is trying out smoothies and soups—this location only). It’s in the middle of a rapid expansion, with lots more stores planned for the remainder of 2014 (Newport Beach, for example) and for 2015 (San Jose’s Santana Row).

The shop also offers juice cleanses, both online and in stores—including at its Northern California locations. There are cleanses geared towards beginners, and towards more experienced cleansers. If you order online, you need to purchase a 3- or 5-day cleanse. If you go to a store, you can buy products for a one-day cleanse.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.