Behind The Mugshot: Tristan

Tuesday, 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.


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.

Behind the Mugshot: Meg

Tuesday, 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.


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

Friday, 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.


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.

Behind the Mugshot: Joel

Tuesday, November 4th, 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 little more about Joel, our Label Master, reining chili cook-off King, and October mugshot star.


Would you care to share any of your previous career incarnations before becoming our label master?

Sure I’ll share. Going way, way back, while going to school, I was at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital, it’s where I met my lovely wife (uncomfortably long pause) we were both youth counselors working with adolescents in the SRE (Social Re-education) Program. While with SRE I also met someone who was starting a multi-media company that did training and advertising and was asked if I would be the art director for the company, later I became a co-owner. While with that company I became involved with a few video projects, fell in love with video and made a jump to NJN (New Jersey Network). I produced graphics for NJN News and documentaries, designed sets, motion graphics and supporting print designs. I both loved and hated the 27+ years at NJN.  I was in charge of producing the graphics for the daily nightly news program, and so, from 12:30 until the 5:30 deadline things could get extremely tense, but you felt totally connected and on your game to get the news on the air.  If you’ve ever watched “the Newsroom” on HBO, NJN News was like that but on a smaller scale.  Despite the tension and fast pace, I stayed at NJN until it was closed by the NJ State Government. I miss NJN and my friends from there very much.  I’ve worked at Big Boulder Ski Resort for a season, bar-tending at the main lodge and I was in charge of the cleanup crew.  For a while I ski instructed when most of the mountains’ ski school left in the middle of the season to go skiing in Colorado.  I’ve been a lab technician.  I’ve freelanced and consulted and done a few other things.  Now I have new friends here at CBD.  They’re all really nice people, very talented, easy to get along with, and they don’t seem to mind listening to me, yet.

You recently painted a life-sized ox sculpture as part of a benefit for the Hopewell Valley Arts Council. What else might your coworkers be surprised to learn about you?

That’s right, the ox was named “Daisy” after the Oxeye Daisy.  I painted a field of Oxeye Daisies all around the sculpture, treating the sculpture like a canvas.  The project took several months and on October 19th was sold for $3000 during an online auction.  The money went to the newly formed Hopewell Valley Arts Council. I love to paint, portraits and landscapes, and was instructed by the great american artist Mel Liepzig.  For years I enjoyed making stained glass and was once asked to restore a large window in a residence in Princeton.  I enjoy camping and was involved with the local Troop 44 in Pennington for 10 years, the last 3 as their Scout Master. I’ve skied for 40 years, but not much any more (my knees aren’t what they used to be) and a regret I have is that I never became a member of the ski patrol.  I do most of the construction and repair work around my small house in Pennington that I share with my wife and son, (my daughter lives on her own), and our two dogs, Morgan an australian border collie/shepherd mix and Kaylee a very large 4 year old golden retriever that thinks she is actually a much smaller dog that doesn’t want to grow up.  Besides the 2 Emmy Awards I was honored with while at NJN, my greatest honor was having a painting stolen from an art show.

When you don’t have oxen to paint, how do prefer to spend a day off?

Sleeping, if the dogs will let me, but then, I’m usually working around the house. In the summer time I’ll spend time in our pool but prefer the beach. Winter time it’s rides in the hills, if it’s snowing out then hot chocolate by the fire watching the snow come down, no sound, twilight is best. Painting, tinkering with an old tube radio I’m trying to restore, it’s a radio/phonograph floor console from the 40’s. Walking the dogs or taking them to the local dog park. Did I mention working around the house?

If you had an evil superpower what would it be?
I do actually have a superpower.  I wouldn’t call it EVIL unless you’re a member of a certain segment of the population. I am unbeatable at “Whack-A-Mole” the arcade game.  I can take a $1 investment and turn it into the biggest prize at the game. When my kids were small we would go over to Point Pleasant Beach Boardwalk, and there was a Whack-A-Mole game in one of the arcades, I never lost.  It got so bad for the gamesmen that they would cringe when they saw me coming.  I won’t say I was banned from playing–but–we had an understanding.  I just go into a “zone” and can sort of predict where the little critter is going to pop up. So, if you own a Whack-A-Mole arcade game I guess you could say I have an evil superpower.

You will be competing in our cut-throat chili cook-off for the first time this year. Do you consider yourself a foodie and if so, what is the best and/or weirdest thing you’ve eaten?

I’m not sure what a “foodie” is? I like to eat (just look at me), but I also like to cook. My wife hates and loves my ability to go through our house at the end of the week and make a decent meal with what is left around. Bits and pieces, half of this or that, whatever is left in the pantry.

I like good food, it doesn’t have to be fancy, fresh is best and simply prepared, few sauces, good vegetables and rice, I love rice. I once had a very fancy meal at a restaurant in Philly with friends, it included foi gras, everyone else was raving about it, I wasn’t impressed.

The best food I’ve had is my mom’s cooking, of course. She makes a fabulous tomato sauce, even though she’s Slovak and the best spanish chicken and rice, if I was going to have something before I left this earth, it would be her spanish chicken and rice. I’m also a texas wiener fanatic, the best I’ve ever had was at a place near Rutgers, called “Johnny’s Hotdogs” it’s not there anymore.

The weirdest thing I’ve eaten, salty sea snails in a strong garlic sauce, oh that’s right, escargot, and raw sea urchin, mild, but didn’t taste like chicken.

Meet the Mugshots

Tuesday, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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.