How to Throw a Weird and Wonderful Office Baby Shower

January 29th, 2015 by

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Today we threw the mother of all baby showers for our COO Marcie. In celebration of the much anticipated baby Walter and his Greekness, there were Gyros, togas, columns dripping with plastic grapes, and the delicious love child of two wonderful things: baklavacheesecake. Here are the ingredients for a great baby party:

1. A radiant pregnant woman in a gold laurel headpiece.

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2.  Your coworkers wearing their bed sheets.

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3. High hair.

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4. A ton of delicious food.

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5. Art projects/creepy souvenirs (below: design-a-onesie and the play-dough baby challenge).

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6. Babies and dogs in togas.

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7. Just a little violence. No CBD baby shower is complete without a pregnant woman wielding a stick. We wrapped things up with a pinata. Sesame Street fans should skip this part. 

Behind The Mugshot: Tristan

December 23rd, 2014 by

In case you haven’t heard, #MugshotMonday is a weekly feature in the world of social media in which our staff steals the spotlight from our handsome coffee and tea.  You can find our mugshots on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter and follow along for more behind the scenes photos, new products, and discounts on staff favorites.

Meet Tristan, our Copy Writer and and one of our No-Shave November mugshots. Here he ponders a world without whiskers, dabbles in deflection, and shares a glimpse of his Dark Black soul.

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You are our Copy Writer, but if you could assign yourself an alternate profession, what might that be?

Captain aboard the Starship Enterprise. First Officer would be okay too. Just not the Chief Engineer. I’m not especially competent in the field of theoretical physics.

What is your preferred leisure-time reading material?

Most of the time, I read fantasy, horror, and sci-fi. HP Lovecraft is a favorite author of mine as are Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, and Ayn Rand. I also read a lot of non-fiction centered on the middle ages. Currently, I’m infatuated with the Byzantine Empire and the 4th Crusade. I’m currently stalking a book on Amazon by a dude named Lars Brownworth called Lost to the West which explores Byzantine history through the eyes of some of its greatest and most infamous figures. I could go on like this ad nauseam so I’ll stop before you and I both end up asphyxiated from a lack of oxygen in the air.

What facial hair style or facial hair icon, from any time or place, real or fictitious, do you most admire?

Definitely Ambrose Burnside. If you are what you eat, then Mr. Burnside most certainly ate a legend. He was a pioneer in the art of beard design. Once, he was summarized as, “tall, just a little stout, wearing what was probably the most artistic and awe-inspiring set of whiskers in all the bewhiskered Union Army.” In other words, if we had no Burnside, we’d have no sideburns, and who would want to live in such a dreary de-whiskered world?

Assuming you were allowed to play, what was your favorite childhood toy/game?

It would be easier for me to deflect this question with humor than to actually answer it. Let’s just say my memory is known for being a little spotty and that conjuring up this information could prove to be quite taxing. I do recall enjoying my Ghostbuster toys immensely. During the day I’d zap ghosts and save the city, and at night, I stood them up in front of my bedroom door so they could protect me from any monster that might have been prowling through my house at night.

If you were a new addition to the crayon box, what color would you be and why?

Do I have to pick a color? The crayon box has shades in it too. The shades always get neglected. I feel bad for them. I’d want to be a shade… like Dark Black or some such.

If you could be any character in fiction, who would you be?

I’d want to be Eddard Stark from the Song of Ice and Fire series. Despite anything that might or might not happen (notice the lack of spoilers), he encompasses all the virtues I aspire to. He lives according to his own code and conscience, following it without reservation and without asking permission. Even in the most difficult of circumstances, he treats others with dignity and respect. Truly, Eddard Stark is the man.

Matcha: 800 years of history, culture, and wisdom in a neat little can

November 14th, 2014 by

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It only took us 8 centuries, but Coffee Bean Direct is proud to say, “we finally carry matcha!”

Famous for being the only tea used in the formal Japanese Tea Ceremony known as chado or “the way of tea,” matcha is stone ground green tea powder. Only the highest quality shade grown green tea is used. The soft and supple leaves at the top of the tea plant are picked by hand then processed to remove the veins, stems, and impurities. The result, known as tencha, is stone ground into a fine powder. Over-grinding can give matcha a burnt taste, so the process must be done very slowly and with great care. It takes about 1 hour to produce 1 ounce.

Matcha’s origins began in China, but the tea took on a whole new life in Japan where it was forever tied to Zen spirituality. A Japanese monk named Eisai brought the tea to Japan in 1191 AD after studying Buddhism in China. Eisai is credited with spreading both green tea and Zen teachings throughout Japan. In the 1500s Zen monks in Japan turned making matcha tea into the ritual of chado. Today, matcha is such a large part of Japanese culture that only about 4% is exported out of the country.

But what does it taste like!?

Matcha has a flavor that is uniquely distinct from all other green teas. While many green teas are vegetal or grassy, matcha is savory. The frothy green tea is smooth, creamy, and delicious. In general, matcha is historically famous for its bitter flavor and is often served with a small piece of candy to counteract the taste. However Yame Matcha, a high grade of premium matcha, has absolutely no bitterness or astringency at all, instead it is subtly sweet, with a soft creamy mouth feel.

Yame Matcha earns its amazing flavor and qualities from the garden in which it is grown. Yame is located in the southern part of the Fukuoka prefecture on Kyushu Island in Japan. Japanese lovers of green tea know of Yame’s long tea history; warm in the day, cold at night, with just the right amount of rainfall to make ideal growing conditions for cultivating the highest quality of green tea. The area is famous for growing teas that are both sweet and rich. Yame is famous for producing award winning teas time and time again. Each year the highest quality matcha and Gyokuro teas come from Yame. This very matcha was first runner up at the 2010 World Tea Expo.

This sweeter tasting matcha has become very popular in both Japan and America. Matcha is used to make green tea ice cream and in Japan many sweets are flavored with matcha, including famous brands like Pocky and Nestle Kit Kat bars. In America, matcha is very often used in baked goods, green tea lattes, and frozen drinks (check out our recipe for matcha sugar cookies). 

How do you prepare Matcha?

Matcha is meant to be served frothy, with a nice foamy head. The beauty of matcha is that you can make it instantly—no tea bags or steep times. Simply add a small amount of the powder to hot or cold water. The only “rule” is to not use boiling water (about 175° Fahrenheit will suffice). Matcha can be enjoyed thin or thick, ranging from 1/3 of a teaspoon to 2 heaping teaspoons for 3 ounces of hot water. 1 gram of tea in a 16-oz bottle of water will make a perfect light, creamy tea.

Traditionally matcha is whisked to perfection during the tea ceremony. Many people will use a small, battery powered milk frother. Around the office at Tattle Tea, you will frequently see people dropping a small amount of matcha into a bottle or air-tight thermos and then shaking vigorously (PLEASE make sure your lid is screwed on nice and tight and your thermos will not leak before you begin shaking scalding hot liquid!)

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The Japanese Tea Ceremony is deliberately slow and drawn out. The purpose is to force you to stop and appreciate the beauty in simple things, like a perfect cup of hot tea. Truly, there is something special about creating the perfect cup of matcha—you experience something subtle yet sublime.

Unfortunately most Americans do not have time to “stop and smell the roses.” This is sad, because with our hectic schedules, we could really benefit from a slow-down every now and again. Luckily, every tiny grain of matcha powder is infused with 800 years of wisdom and enlightenment. Whether you make your matcha on-the-go, or have time to sit, relax, and see the beauty in the mundane, it can still be a Zen experience. Whisked, stirred or shaken, each sip will bring you bliss.

Behind the Mugshot: Meg

November 11th, 2014 by

If you don’t already know about #MugshotMonday, check out our post on the subject and follow us on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter for more behind the scenes photos, new products, and discounts on staff favorites. Last month Meg, our Tech Whisperer, was kind enough to share her sunny mug with us, and answer a few questions too.

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A Tech Whiperer’s day starts early. How many cups of coffee do you typically have before noon and how do you drink it (hot/cold/cream/sugar, etc) ?

Most mornings, I have 2 cups of hot coffee. The first one of the day, I add 2 sugar packets and a little half-and-half, the second one usually with a flavored creamer. Caramel type creamers are my favorites, although we recently started getting White Chocolate Raspberry creamer in the office, and my-oh-my is that tasty! I only drink cold coffee when my mug has been sitting on my desk too long – not a big fan of intentionally cold (iced) coffee.

Your coupon code was LADYBASSIST20. Please explain.

In Real Life, I’m a professional musician. I play a variety of instruments, but bass is my passion. I play regularly with a jazz group that (other than me) is all guys, so I’ve become known as “the lady bassist.”

Do you have any additional secret talents you care to share with us?

Professionally, I play flute, piccolo, clarinet, alto & tenor sax, acoustic guitar and I’ve been known to dabble with oboe and baritone horn.

Cats or dogs and why?

Cats (I am owned by 2 orange boys, Bixby and Max) because they’re less needy than dogs. However, I do hope that Anthony, our Tea Expert, bequeaths to me his Jack Russell, Winston, should the need ever arise.

Please list 3 non-practical items you would bring if you were stranded on a deserted island.

Well, first of all, there had better be electricity on the island.
1. My favorite-of-all-time CD, Steal Away – Charlie Haden on bass, Hank Jones on piano. Listening to Charlie Haden’s bass playing feeds my soul.
2. My 5-string fretless Carvin bass and Roland amp. And that doesn’t count as 2 items because you can’t have one without the other!
3. Tap shoes – maybe that should’ve gone under the “secret talents” question?

 

Behind the Mugshot: Liz

November 7th, 2014 by

If you don’t already know about #MugshotMonday, check out our post on the subject and follow us on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter for more behind the scenes photos, new products, and discounts on staff favorites. Here’s a look inside the mind of Liz, our Commercial Accounts manager, and October mugshot star.

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You are our Commercial Accounts Manager, but if you were a utensil, what would you be?

I’d be a spoon because it has no sharp edges and it’s like a tiny bowl for your mouth.

Why was Organic Bai Mu Dan was your pick for favorite beverage? 

It’s smooth, naturally energizing, woodsy and subtle. Like me.

What are your five favorite smells? 

1. Cleaning products. I tend to overdo it. I hear it’s good for your brain cells though.
2. Coffee. Obviously. It’s the reason I wake up in the morning.
3. Thai food because it nourishes my soul.
4. Spring. Because I can stop being freezing and the whole world comes alive again.
5. Dove soap. An age old tradition for the women in my family.

If you were forced to sing a song that represents your life in front of a crowd what would it be?

Cold as Ice by Foreigner. So people think I’m hardcore. To deflect my fear.

Would you rather be able to smell rainbows or feel clouds and why?

I’d rather feel clouds. And trust me that’s a difficult decision for me. I’m just a feeler, that’s my truth.