Custom Coffee Mug Review : @MugMkr


Have a coffee question…ASK COFFEENATE!

There are several technical aspects to brewing the perfect pot of coffee; the beans, brewer, the right grinder, water quality, etc all play role in the final taste of your brew. Sure, these are all important, but there is something else that I find important too… [Read more…]

#Coffee Lover’s Gift Giving Guide : Great ideas from $25

If you are like me then you absolutely detest having to put up with the huge crowds and endless searching from store to store for the perfect gift for the loved ones on your list.  I know I really benefit from online gift shopping, especially since I don’t live anywhere near an urban center where I can even find what I’m looking for.  If it’s not at WalMart, then I have to buy it online 😉  Also, if you’ve never purchased gifts online, then you are in for a treat.  It is super easy and you always get what you want.  In addition, it is very secure.  Some folks are afraid to use their credit/debit cards online (and with good reason with all of the identity theft nowadays), but do you honestly feel better handing your card to a store clerk that makes $6/hour, or a waitress who makes $4/hour?  I have been using the same credit card online for 10 years and haven’t once experienced any issues.  So check out my recommended gift ideas for the coffee drinkers on your list.  I have broken it down by price range, and there is something for everyone from the regular joe coffee drinker, or the snobbiest of coffee snobs!


bodum chambord french press pictureBodum Chambord 3-Cup French Press

The French Press is a must have for ANY coffee drinker.  Even the most sophisticated coffee snobs hold the press pot in high regard!  I personally love this method because it allows you to experience coffee in its barest form, ground beans + hot water…nothing else to get in the way of the rich flavor!  The 3 cup size is perfect for a single cup, but larger sizes are available too.

aeropress imageAeroPress Coffee & Espresso Maker

The AeroPress looks like a giant coffee syringe, but it really is a coffee brewer.  It is a unique design that uses a combination of pressure extraction, steeping, and paper filtration.  It produces a very smooth and clean cup of coffee that is reported by some to be easier on the digestive system than other brewing methods.  I have yet to meet someone who has tried the AeroPress that did not agree that it makes a super cup of coffee. The AeroPress is likely not in your local store, but you can purchase it online for less than $30.

planetary design travel french press imagePlanetary Design Double-Shot Stainless Steel French Press Mug

A travel mug and a french press coffee brewer all in one! The lid has a plunger attached to it, you simply scoop some coffee right into the mug, add hot water, put the lid on, and push the plunger down 4 minutes later. Now you have a flavorful cup of coffee, and you don’t have to share 😉 This particular model has a compartment in the bottom with a little cup that you can store another cup’s worth of coffee grinds in. These mugs are available in many fun colors and will be sure to be a hit.  This is an updated version with a much improved handle and storage compartment.  The customer service at Planetary Design is super!  The handle fell off of my original mug a year after I had purchased it and they replaced it with the updated version NO CHARGE!  Now that is standing behind your product.

Bialetti Moka Pot ImageBialetti Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Maker

The Moka pot is yet another excellent, yet inexpensive, brewer.  You’ll find my instructional video here. The moka pot, also known as the stovetop espresso maker, brews a concentrated cup of coffee…not espresso.  I love the flavor filled cup that it makes and it is nearly dummy proof.  I’ve seen these in stores for almost $100, but it is much cheaper here.

tightvac coffee storage imageTightVac Coffee Storage Container

Coffee freshness is impacted negatively by heat, light, moisture, and oxygen.  The TightVac coffee storage containers can help with all of the above (unless you store them in the oven).  What I found really cool about the TightVac is the pressure release valve, quite similar to what you find on bags of coffee.  This allows the CO2, produced by the roasted beans, to escape the container without allowing oxygen to enter.  These containers start a just a few dollars and can keep up to 5 lbs of coffee fresh!  See my post on this product.

GIFTS UNDER $100 [Read more…]

The 5 Worst Coffee Gift Ideas Ever


Have a coffee question…ASK COFFEENATE!

If you are a coffee snob like me, then you have gotten some coffee themed gifts from people who have no business buying coffee stuff unassisted.  I’ve gotten some things that I have to say, “Gee…thanks!”, but of course it is the thought that counts and I really don’t expect anything special, but some of this stuff makes me laugh 🙂  Here are a few items that I have found that some people actually spend their money on, although I can’t figure out why…


toilet bowl mug


Toilet Bowl Mug

Perhaps this is a great gift idea if you know someone who drinks nasty coffee.  Who would actually use this thing though?  Really, who wants to be seen drinking from a toilet bowl?! LOL

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The MyPressi Twist Review & Tutorial Video


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Espresso…the purest form of the coffee beverage. No other brewing method holds the mystic, flavor, and esteem as does the coveted espresso. It is truly sad that an estimated %80 of coffee shops don’t even know how to properly brew this great drink! Espresso is unparalleled in the way it exposes the coffee for what it is…there is nowhere for subpar beans to hide. This drink has been enjoyed by the elite, and it has not been very practical for the regular ‘Joe’ to enjoy a genuine espresso for a reasonable amount of effort, or for a reasonable price…until now!

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How To Use a Moka Pot :: Video Tutorial


Have a coffee question? Have it answered on the show, and win FREE coffee!

More than %90 of all households in Italy, the country that brought us espresso, own a moka pot! Invented in 1933 by Alfonso Bialetti, the moka pot became a favorite brewing method in Europe. This video and following text will teach you how easy it is to create a rich cup of coffee brewed in your own Moka Pot. I ordered a Bialetti moka pot, it was very reasonable in price (<$30), and I was impressed with the

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