Meet the Mugshots

September 30th, 2014 by

Coffee Bean Direct/Tattle Tea is powered by a small army of dedicated foodies, geeks, gamers, fitness nuts, creative types, and smart, talented people of all stripes. That’s why we’re featuring a staff member on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter every Monday, along with a coupon for their favorite coffee or tea, #MugshotMonday. Here’s a look back at our September mugshots, and a little more about the people behind those handsome mugs.

Anthony

Anthony, Tea Expert

How long have you worked for Coffee Bean Direct/ Tattle Tea?

9 Years! And I’m ruined for working anywhere else.

Many of our employees have had a varied job path. Would you care to share any of your previous career incarnations before becoming our tea expert?

When I first started my job was responsible for all of the flavors and blends of coffee and tea needed for the day. I would start in the morning hand-blending everything, then in the afternoon I bagged all the coffee and tea up by running it through the weigh-n-fill machine. When this became a 10-12 hour job we hired someone to take over making the flavors and blends. My job was bagging the coffees and teas all day. Around that time I became responsible for ordering all of our teas. Shortly there-after I took over the shipping department, packing every order going out to customers for the day.

When we moved to our larger warehouse I stepped back from the hands-on order packing to manage the warehouse, with a focus on logistics and shipping. Now I over-see all things Tattle Tea, over-see the warehouse and work with the warehouse managers, and I’m half the HR team.

Your coupon code was DAPPLE40. Please explain.

That refers to my dog Asher who is a dapple dachshund. A dapple coat is spotted. He kind of looks like a moldy hotdog.

Why was Yunnan Black Needle your pick?

Because I want everyone to try it! It’s an incredible tea and I wanted to use my power as “the tea guy” to offer a huge discount so people will get to experience this typically expensive premium tea.

I have a lot of favorite teas but Yunnan Black Needle really surprised me. I’m used to strong black teas that basically give you a coffee-like punch in the face when you drink it. Yunnan Black Needle is about as far from that as you can get. It’s soft and mellow with a strangely buttery flavor. It has so much more depth of character than I’m used to from black teas. Even its golden leaves are completely unique.

Do you have a favorite unconventional use of tea?

I make really good salad dressings, sauces, dips and condiments and brewed tea is a great ingredient in all of those. My favorite was a creamy green tea dressing with sencha, pinhead, Greek yogurt, and fresh herbs. It was like a green goddess dressing boosted with tea. I used the dressing on a salad with blackened Cajun chicken. I made my own dry rub for the chicken using our ultra premium silver needle white tea. The soft, downy leaves of the white tea were perfected for blackening on the grill. Using such an expensive tea might be a bit exorbitant – definitely one of the perks of working for a coffee and tea company.

Are there any other areas in which you might be considered an expert?

Useless knowledge about random TV shows. Got a question about Lost?

Al

Al, Roast Master

How would you describe a really good cup of coffee?

A good cup of coffee for me is smooth, balanced, and a bit on the stronger side.  I want to know I’m drinking great coffee but I don’t want the shakes after my first cup.

Your coupon code was GLOVESAVE. Please explain.

Hockey is life.

For those of you that don’t follow me on Twitter (shameless plug-@CBDRoastMaster), I enjoy getting hockey pucks shot at me in my free time.  Being a goalie can be a bit stressful, though.  You’re either the hero or the zero.  If you make a mistake, EVERYONE knows.  But at the same time, if you make a big save, EVERYONE knows.  Why GLOVESAVE?  Although STICKSAVE, KICKSAVE, and BLOCKERSAVE are all fun as well, there’s nothing like sticking your glove out and robbing someone who had their heart set on the top corner.  Also, it’s better than 5-HOLE and HELLBOWS, the latter being a reference that all my MMA friends will get.

Do you bother brewing coffee at home, and how do you brew it?

But of course!  I’m not insane.  I make an 8-cup pot every morning, drink half of it before I leave the house, and take the rest of it with me to the warehouse.  I was given a Cuisinart grind and brew as a Christmas present and I absolutely love it.  It makes great iced coffee, too.  I make a pot of that every few days when it’s warm.  I had a French Press that I brought in to use, but Marcie broke it.  Just between us, I’m pretty sure it was on purpose.

What else is in your cup? Cream? Sugar? Details, please:

It depends on my mood.  Most of the time I just use half and half, but sometimes I’ll get some light cream or heavy cream.  They make the coffee a lot creamier.  Once in a blue moon I’ll use sugar.  My 3rd mug of the day contains whatever flavored creamer I like the most that’s sitting in the fridge at work.  I absolutely hate, hate, hate, HATE, HATE, HATE milk in my coffee.  I’d rather take pucks from Shea Weber without my cage while Bas Rutten is behind me continuously punching me in the liver.

Why was Panama Boquete your pick?

Panama doesn’t get a lot of love from people and I think it’s one of the best coffees we offer.  It’s delicious no matter how you make it, and it’s great in blends.  We’ve been using it in a few of the more recent Roaster’s Blends, so if you were a fan you can thank the Panama.  It’s also in the Iced Coffee Blend.  But remember, just because the label says Iced, it doesn’t mean that’s the only way you can make it.  Try it out and thank me later.

If you weren’t our Roast Master, what would probably be doing for a living?

Well, I drove tractor trailers in my early 20s, so I’d probably be doing that.  It was fun for the most part, especially since I was home every night.  Pretty sure I used to scare people when they saw me behind the wheel because I looked like I just started high school.

Or I’d be wandering the Earth trying to find my purpose in life.

Jenn

Jenn, Graphic Designer

Why was Forbidden Love Oolong Chai your tea of choice?

I’m a huge fan of both chocolate and chai so when I heard this tea was both, I knew I had to try it. It’s smooth, not bitter at all and so easy to make. It has easily become one of my favorites.

Your coupon code was MBT30. Please explain.

As a gamer, I knew I had to make my coupon game related. MBT stands for “Main Battle Tank”. I chose this because of avid tanking in Battlefield 4. There’s no greater feeling than completely dominating in a vehicle and shooting down all the opposing forces. Bunch of noobs.

Do you ever drink coffee, and if so, what kind?

I LOVE coffee. No way I can live without it because it is so delicious and helps me wake up every morning. I’m really into light roasts cause it packs a punch with the caffeine. My favorites are, Peaberry, Kilimanjaro, and Indian Monsooned Malabar. They are coffees that offer different tasting notes while retaining that smooth, delicious coffee taste.

What is your all-time favorite meal?

As someone who loves to eat, this is a tough question. Let’s just say all foods I love are definitely not date foods. Ribs? Yes! Chili cheese dogs? Yes! Korean BBQ? Hell yes!

If you weren’t a graphic designer you would probably be a…

Probably something involving video games such as concept art or 3D modeling. There’s nothing like being able to bring your visions to life using today’s technologies and being able to create environments or creatures with 3D is absolutely fascinating.

Other than Steve, what is your biggest pet peeve?

OMG you know what I hate? When people who have eaten greasy snacks touch my video game controller and then ruin it with its greasy-disgusting texture! Completely ruins my game play experience or when I see food bits stuck in other people’s game controllers. Absolutely makes my skin crawl. ugh!

Steve

Steve, Web Developer

How would you characterize your relationship with coffee/tea, on a scale from casual to dependent?

My relationship with coffee/tea has been an on and off for years. About once every year I am convinced it’s bad for me and try to break the habit, but it proves to have too strong of a hold on me. So, I give in and enjoy a little pick-me-up in the morning.

Do you ever drink tea? If so, what kind?

I drink tea almost daily! My favorite type of tea has to be just plain old green. And when it’s late, I enjoy chamomile tea. Never sweetened.

Your coupon code was POTATO. Why?

My coupon name comes from our designer, Jenn. She mentioned that I am a potato since I like to have experience with a lot of things. A jack of all trades is what I aspire to be so, like a potato which is versatile in many dishes, I am diversified in my skills.

What exactly were you thinking about the moment this photo was taken?

My hopes and dreams.

Why did you pick French Roast Papua New Guinea?

French Roast Papua New Guinea was recommended to me months ago by a co-worker. I love how dark the roast is while at the same time having a very smooth flavor. An overall decent cup of joe.

What is one thing your coworkers would be surprised to learn about you?

That I like to paint landscapes. I think that’s a thing not many people know about me, but it’s something that is personal and it’s a rarity that I paint anything. So, new pieces are created very rarely.

Hit the Books with Eyes Wide Open!

August 19th, 2014 by

Eyes Wide Open

 

Whether of not you’re heading back to school, caffeine can be a real friend on slow mornings (afternoons, or evenings).  It’s a little known fact that caffeine is lost during the roasting process and the lighter the coffee, the stronger the buzz, generally speaking. Naturally high in caffeine, we keep the roast level light on our Eyes Wide Open Blend to supercharge your study sessions, or anything else you need to stay awake for.

Fall Preview

August 15th, 2014 by

If you’re having the summer of your life and the early arrival of Halloween decorations at stores everywhere seems rude, stop reading. Enjoy the pool, we’ll see you in a few weeks.

If however, you agree that fall is the most delicious time of the year, get ready! All of your favorite fall flavors will be returning to our site soon along with new creations like Pumpkin Roll coffee (see below). Excited? Well, the truth is they’re already here. You can have them. They never really left. All of our seasonal flavors are available year-round by phone. You can have your Autumn Harvest flavored coffee, or your Candy Cane, or your Chocolate Bunny, any time you please. Give us a call.

Pumpkin Roll

Pumpkin roll: gooey pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese filling. Coming to your coffee cup.

Waiting for fall? Tell us your favorite flavors of the season, coffee & tea related or not!

Strawberry Wave Cheesecake: The recipe behind the flavor

August 11th, 2014 by

Like long days lounging at the Jersey shore, enjoying buckets of fried seafood and spectacular people-watching, Strawberry Wave Cheesecake coffee is a seasonal delight you won’t find anywhere else. Inspired by the glorious cake below — baked by our shipping supervisor Lori — it’s here for only a short, sweet time, so enjoy it while it lasts!

Strawberry Cheesecake

Cheesecake may not be the first dessert that comes to mind if you’re in the mood for something light, but this recipe, adapted from a letter published in a 1962 issue of Gourmet magazine, promises to be just that — for 1962 anyway. The original recipe, titled “Mrs. Davis’ Unsinkable Cheesecake”, was named for the creator’s unsinkable determination to create a fluffier, less disastrously caloric version of the classic dessert.

 

Ingredients

1 1/2 lb cream cheese

14-oz can sweetened condensed milk

4 large egg yolks

1 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon Confectioners sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon orange or lemon zest

Strawberry jam

For the topping:

2 pints fresh strawberries

3-6 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

 

Directions

1. Beat together the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk. While beating, add the egg yolks one at a time and beat until very smooth.

2. Add the sour cream, Confectioners sugar, vanilla, and citrus zest.

3. In a separate bowl, beat 4 egg whites with 1/2 t salt until stiff. Fold into the cheese mixture.

4. Pour batter into a 10-inch springform pan lined with a cookie or crumb crust.

5. Drop spoonfuls of strawberry jam into the batter and cut through the jam and batter with a knife to create a swirl effect.

6. Bake at 275 degrees for 1 hour. Turn off the heat and let sit (door closed) for 45 minutes or more. The cake should cool completely in the oven. Remove from the pan when cold.

7. For the topping, mix 2 pints of fresh strawberries, sliced, with 3-6 T granulated sugar and 1/2 T fresh lemon juice. Serve on the side if you’re proud of your swirling knife work or just smother the whole thing in gorgeous juicy berries.

 

Strawberry Wave

 

5 ways to Enjoy Your Coffee Cold

July 21st, 2014 by

Last week’s post explained how to adjust our hot steeping instructions to make loose leaf iced tea, and it’s only fair to give coffee its due. Even if you already brew and drink it by the bucketful, there’s probably something on this list you haven’t tried.

1. Over Ice

…and in a glass. It sounds obvious, but there are many ways to skin a cat. The lazy version: pour hot coffee brewed the usual way over ice. If you’ve ever ordered iced coffee and it wasn’t on the menu, this is probably why you were disappointed. Hot brewing typically produces a livelier, more acidic cup than trendy cold brew, and it’s perfectly fine for iced coffee, but the key is to brew it strong. Double the grinds per cup of water, and if you’re using a drip machine, don’t let it sit on a burner for long after brewing. Allow it to cool and/or pour over frozen coffee ice cubes for a more concentrated flavor.

Cold brewing is hardly more complicated, but it does require time. Check out our post for a step by step tutorial. The results are mellow and slightly sweet, closely approaching the delicious smell of freshly ground coffee (or coffee roasting, if you’re lucky enough to experience that). Cold brews yield a concentrate that tends to store better than hot and still taste delicious a week or more in the fridge. Dilute the concentrate 1:1 with water or milk (or try almond milk, coconut water, or anything else you can think) and pour over ice.

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2. Vietnamese

Combining strong coffee with sweetened condensed milk, Vietnamese iced coffee is addictively delicious. You can easily make it with espresso or with cold brewed coffee, whichever you prefer. Simply pour 2oz of sweetened condensed milk over ice, top with coffee, and stir.

3. Blended

A banana almond smoothie like this one would be a motivating start to your day with a shot of cold brew. Drink it for breakfast or before a workout, and get your swole on – minus the shaking and anger induced by some bro supplements.  Or go in a different direction altogether, and throw in some ice cream and chocolate syrup. Top with whipped cream and enjoy on the couch.

4. Shaken

A simple twist on iced coffee, the frothy shakerato is easy to make and looks impressive served in a fancy cocktail glass. Combine a shot of hot espresso, 4 teaspoons of simple syrup, and 6 ice cubes to a cocktail shaker and SHAKE for a good half a minute (a mason jar also works in a pinch). Serve immediately.  Top with whipped cream if you like. For variations on this theme, try shaking with milk for more of a latte style drink, flavored syrup, or liqueur.

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5. Boozy

Speaking of liqueurs, coffee makes a great mixer. That’s no secret, but most popular adult coffee drinks are hot. Why these same drinks aren’t served iced in the summer is a mystery to me. Try using cold espresso or cold brewed coffee concentrate with your poison of choice: Frangelico, Bailey’s, Kahlua, tequila, whiskey, etc.