c[_] Video of the Day

Signature drink... with a little flair!


Friday, October 30, 2009

Coffee Corner: Starbucks' First Customer

Here's a trivial but fun bit of Eugene coffee history for you. My Mother, Lynn, and I were across town yesterday running some errands and after enjoying a breakfast at Brails cafe I decided to go over to the Starbucks on the corner of 18th and Pearl, a Starbucks shop I feel a personal connection to. This particular store was Starbucks first in the Eugene area, opening some 16 years ago. My friend Kammi B. & I were both Baristas here in Eugene, we loved the coffee business and Starbucks finally coming to town was an exciting prospect. So in our quest for coffee fun we decided that we wanted to be the first official customers at our town's first Starbucks! (for fun and for bragging rights of course). We arrived at the new shop a full hour before they opened that first day, waited patiently for the doors to open and had a good chuckle over what the Baristas inside must be wondering about these two people sitting out in front of their store.. and nowhere close to opening time. When we did get inside I let my friend order first and I paid for our drinks, making us both the first customers. My friend has since moved from Eugene but I still enjoy visiting Eugene's first Starbucks from time-to-time and reminiscing over a cup of house coffee. c[_]   

Eugene's first Starbucks. 18th & Pearl St.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cafe Snapshot: Vero Espresso House

I finally got a chance to visit Vero Espresso House on 14th & Pearl Street downtown yesterday evening.  You may remember the women's used clothing boutique that used to fill this old two-story house on the corner. The first thing I noticed walking up to Vero was the care and imagination put into making use of a number of outdoor seating opportunities. From park style benches, to table & chair seating and a covered, lit seating area. And things only got better when I walked inside to find possibly the most beautiful coffee shop interior I've seen in my coffee travels. I looked around for a little while and waited in line for a while and just couldn't get a smile, a "Hi" or any other type of acknowledgement, which is always disappointing. But I still enjoyed soaking up the ambiance of this great old house and the gorgeous shop interior. It's always nice when a shop's owner is hands-on a part of the operation and I got to meet Sunny Seo, owner of Vero Coffee House. Sunny and her staff at Vero serve up Stumptown coffee and a great selection of delicious foods including Panini sandwhiches made with quality local and organic ingredients. With Stumptown coffee, delicious food, a warm & comfortable atmosphere, a meeting room with conference table & flat screen t.v.on the wall, free wifi and convenient downtown location you can't go wrong with Vero Espresso House. I highly recommend you check it out for yourself. You'll probably fall in love with it!  c[_]

Vero is having a cool contest this Halloween
 season. Just carve your best jack-o-lantern and
bring it in to add to Vero's collection and get
 a free cup of Stumptown coffee! Then around
 5pm on Halloween day the jack-o-lantern contest
 winner will receive a $20.00 gift certificate for use
at Vero. Fun!

Covered and lit outdoor seating area.

(click on photos to enlarge)

Vero Espresso House. Salud!

Vero Espresso House

205 E 14th Ave

EugeneOR 97401

(541) 654-0504

What's Brewing in Eugene: Last Day to Vote for Eugene's Greenest Coffee Shop!

This is the last day to vote for for your pick of Eugene's "greenest" coffee shop. Carrotmob is an organization that works with community businesses to help them to find and implement greener business practices and also empowers consumers like you and I to "reward" these businesses with our patronage and with positive exposure in the community. The Eugene Carrotmob has a website that you can visit to watch a short video for each of the three competing coffee houses; Gary's Coffee, Perugino's coffee shop, and Eugene Coffee Company. And then cast your vote! Simple. The idea is that on Saturday the 31st (Halloween) all of us that vote will "mob" the winning coffee shop giving the shop with most votes with a boost of business to show our support of their business practices. Great concept. So get your vote cast and I'll see you on Saturday! www.eugene.carrotmob.org

Coffee Biz: Baristas to the Rescue!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Baristas to the Rescue--again!

Your New Mission:

It seems like yesterday that the American barista stepped out from that ocean of green aprons to prepare and declare themselves true professionals in the art of coffee education and preparation.
Now owners of independent retail specialty coffee businesses desperately need you again...as marketing associates to help them, and you, survive and thrive.
Taste EVERYTHING your coffee house sells your precious customers. Pick a favorite. If it doesn't taste great, immediately tell your owner, until it meets the same high standards your set for your coffee.
Once you are as proud of ALL the beverages and food your place serves, your new mission begins:
Every time an order is placed, inspire-not require- that added on sell by mentioning your favorite breakfast, lunch, pastry, gelato or any other item that compliments the time of day and order.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Drive-Through! Romano's

I moved back to the Bethel/Barger area of Eugene this summer after living downtown for the last five years and although we don't have a neighborhood cafe yet, I was delighted to see that my old coffee stand-by was there. "Romano's" drive-through stands out colorfully among the nondescript businesses and housing along Barger Drive. And Romano's owners, Russ and Merson Romano, whom also serve as the drive-through's Baristas, put as much care into the quality of their espresso and food offerings as they do into the aesthetics and upkeep of the businesses building and grounds. My friendly Barista this morning, Merson Romano, remembered me from those years ago when I was a semi-regular customer. I've been craving an eggnog latte lately and didn't know if it was too early in the season yet for eggnog to be available at my favorite coffee shops. I wasn't disappointed. Not only did I get my eggnog latte but it was delicious! The Brothers proudly serve coffee roasted locally by Full City Coffee Roasters and they have a really cool Full City Coffee sign on the outside of the building which adds to the physical beauty of the drive-through. Romano's also offers a mix of other foods and drinks such as pastries, waffles and organic fruit smoothies made to order. So if you're in the Barger area or just want to check out an exceptionally quality drive-through operation, stop through Romano's and say hi to Merson & Russ!(check out the video at he top of the site that Merson suggested to me of Rick Dancer's interview with Full City Coffee's Michael Phinney, courtesy of KATU t.v.'s "you news")

My friendly neighborhood Barista, Merson Romano.

Romano's stands out along Barger Dr.

5019 Barger Drive, Eugene, OR

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Coffee Economy: Free R-G Newspaper With Your Latte!

I just received my first copy of the Register-Guard, a birthday subscription from my lovely sister Moriah, to help me stay up on the local coffee scene. And sure enough, one of the first things I find is the R-G's "Get Something To Buzz About" promotion. Through Saturday (while supplies last), a handful of area espresso drive-thrus and shops will give you a complimentary copy of the Register-Guard when you make a purchase of $3.00 or more. Here is a list of participating businesses in Eugene; Amazon Coffee Co., Barry's Espresso Bakery & Deli, Brewed Awakening, Caffe Pante Vecchio, Court Cafe/Knight Law Bldg., Daily Bagel west, Dutch Bros.- W.7th, Coburg Rd. & Franklin Blvd., The Espresso Bar'n, Joe to Go, The Louie, Original Firehouse Coffee (on Cubit), Palazzo Espresso, Solo Cafe and The Steaming Bean.  

Coffee Corner: Bikini Weather?

I found a help wanted ad on craigslist for a new espresso drive-thru coming to Springfield, calling for Baristas that will fit into company uniforms: Bikini's and lingerie. I didn't apply. You likely have heard some of the buzz surrounding Bikini Baristas, an espresso drive-thru in Everette, WA. First there was the report of a man dressed in womens undergarments, exposing himself to bikini clad baristas in Parkland, WA. and more recently the charges of indecent exposure leveled at bikini wearing baristas themselves, in Everett.
And with all the recent local media attention on the battle between Springfield and downtown exotic dance clubs, I'm wondering what kind of local uproar and drama this new drive-thru will provide us over the coming years. And I would love to hear your thoughts on Bikini Baristas coming to the area. Please feel free to leave comments here or email me (Cash Reynolds) at forloveofcoffee@gmail.com.

Cafe Snapshot: Marche Cafe

I love visiting the 5th Street Public market, I have many fond food & coffee memories from the market over the years.The upstairs cafe & seating area still has that comfortable old-world feel with its dark wood, green painted window frames and brick facade. And though the once popular Coffee Corner kiosk that stood in the center of the room is long gone, you can still find a great  cup of coffee at the market's Marche Cafe, the precursor to local restaurateur Stephanie Pearl Kimmel's Marche Restaurant located on the markets lower level. I met one of the cafe's friendly Baristas; Heather who told me that they served Wandering Goat Coffee, a switch from the Full City Coffee they served when the cafe opened in the late 90's. Heather offered a sample of freshed brewed [Wandering Goat] coffee to me which had a good flavor, I liked it. Ultimately I went with a latte and I wasn't disappointed there either. Served in a pre-warmed ceramic cup & saucer, my latte was delicious and was presented beautifully with Heather's free-pour latte artwork to top it off. I sat down with my laptop and latte and enjoyed some people (and train) watching from the window seating along the markets north wall. I enjoyed my visit to the market and to Marche Cafe. I'ts always nice to find a friendly Barista that will take the time to tell you about their coffee and take care to craft a quality espresso drink.

(click on photos to enlarge)

Upstairs at the 5th St. Public Market.

Marche Cafe
5th St. Public Market

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What's Brewing in Eugene: Vote for Eugene's Greenest Coffee Shop!

Here's something really cool that you can be a part of. The Eugene Carrotmob is hosting a competition between three Eugene coffee shops where we, the coffee loving consumer, get to vote and decide which business we think "..will do the most to save energy, buy locally, recycle, waste less, compost, educate, support the community". Then, after the votes are tallied we all "mob" the winning shop with our collective patronage on a specific day to support them for their efforts to become more socially responsible in their business practices. Carrotmob is a great concept, not only helping local businesses to become more socially responsible in their business practices and creating incentive for them to make changes, but organizing consumers, getting us involved, empowering us to influence change with those we do business with through positive reinforcement. So check out the short presentation videos of each featured coffee shop, Perugino's coffee shop, Gary's Coffee shop and Eugene Coffee Company, and cast your vote online! You can also see which shop is ahead in the poll. Here's the link to Carrotmob Eugene: www.eugene.carrotmob.org. And remember to visit the winning coffee shop between 9am and 12 noon on Halloween- Saturday, October 31st to show your support. See ya there! 

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Coffee Economy: Coupons for coffee and espresso in Eugene!

Want to save some money the next time you go out for coffee? Here are some links to the Coupon Crusaders at couponcrusaders.com where you can find and print out coupons for drinks and food form cafes and espresso drive-thrus in Eugene. And aside from saving a little, it's a great excuse to break up the daily routine a little bit and you may just find a new coffee spot you like. This coupon site features coupons for all types of local businesses as well as for businesses throughout  Portland. I'll be checking back with the Coupon Crusaders so keep an eye out here for more links to coffee and espresso coupons. And please let me know if you find any good coffee deals that you would like to share here at For Love Of Coffee. Here are the links: Caffe Gourmet, The Quick Fix, Creswell Coffee Company. 

What's Brewing in Eugene: Barista competition!

Barista's from around Eugene will be competing at Perk & Play coffee shop on Crescent Ave. at their second annual free-pour latte art competition. Local Baristas from area coffee shops will be showing off their espresso bar tending and latte art skills. The competition features creamy, delicious lattes with hearts, rosettas and other foamed milk designs poured into shots of espresso creating drinkable works of art. The competition is set for Friday, November 6th and begins at 5pm. The entry fee for competing Baristas is $5.00 to help cover the cost of hosting the competition including cash prizes for the top placing Baristas, with $100.00 for first place! So if you haven't been to Perk & Play coffee house yet this will be a great excuse to check it out, grab a cup of coffee, get something to eat and check out some of Eugene's top Baristas at work. Thanks to Brenda at Gary's Coffee and Randy at Perk & Play for providing the information about the competition. See ya there!

Perk & Play
2866 Crescent Ave
Eugene, OR 97408

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cafe Snapshot: Gary's Coffee

Gary's Coffee

Owner Brenda Scott Cervantes behind the bar.

There's a story behind Gary's Coffee, a shop on High Street in Eugene's historic [5th St.] market district. And when Barista and owner- Brenda Scott Cervantes told it, I understood what a special place Gary's is. Over and above having great coffee, (Stumptown) Gary's is about people. And their slogan; "Where friends meet friends", Aptly expresses the heart and soul of Gary's Coffee. I was greeted by Brenda as soon as I walked into the shop which made a great first impression upon me. I don't know about you but being greeted, seeing a smile or being acknowledged, in any way, makes me feel welcome and appreciated as a customer. The interior is pretty unique, with a high ceiling which allows a tree to live and grow in the shop's lobby/seating area. Lots of windows and plenty of tables and seating make it feel comfortable and spacious. The walls featured the work of a local photographer and a chalkboard sign encouraged guests to form groups or clubs and to use Gary's as a meeting place to connect and interact with others. I't was a pleasure talking with Brenda and she made a mean latte too, latte art and all! I've never had Stumptown Coffee Roasters coffee, which a handful of my friends rave about. And when I asked about the coffee, Brenda handed me a printed card with all of the coffee's vital statistics on it. Very cool. Indoor and outdoor seating, a couch, cushioned chairs, plenty of outlets and free wifi are just a few of the amenities that make Gary's a great place to have coffee, meet with friends.. and make new ones.

(click on photos to enlarge)

Gary's Coffee
525 High St
Eugene, OR 97401-2711
(541) 868-1608

Sunday, October 11, 2009

New Food: Fluffles!

I was laying in bed a couple nights ago trying to get to sleep and I was craving something sweet. And that's when the idea hit me! French-toasted, fluffy pancakes. I was so excited about the idea that I jumped out of bed, made my way to the kitchen and began to set up for a yummy culinary experiment. Here's how I did it:
Melted butter in a non-stick frying pan.
Mixed Krusteaz Buttermilk instant pancake mix, one egg, a splash of real vanilla extract and water in a bowl to desired consistency. (the egg makes the pancake more rich and fluffy)
Mixed two eggs, milk and a splash of real vanilla extract in a pie pan. (french toast batter)
Cooked pancake on medium high until it started to brown on each side and then turned it down to medium low until it was golden brown and cook through. (browning the pancake will help it hold together for the next step)
Melted more butter in bottom of non-stick frying pan. Dipped both sides of pancake in french toast batter. (at least four seconds each side to let it soak in a little)
Fried it in the pan for the second time until golden brown on each side and served it up.
As you can see, it's not a waffle and it's not french toast but it's not just a pancake either. It's a fluffle! Serve for breakfast with coffee or for dessert with your favorite decaf. I like butter flavor pancake syrup on my fluffle but real maple syrup or any fruit preserve would be good too. So if your like me and love pancakes, dutch babies, waffles, aebleskivers, crepes and french toast, then here's a delicious new breakfast treat for you to try. Enjoy and please let me know what you think!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Cafe Snapshot: Full City Cafe, 13th & High

Full City 13 & High

This is one of my favorites. Full City Coffee Roaster's cafe inside the Ram's Head building at 13th & High street downtown Eugene. Full City is one of the reasons that Eugene is such a special place for coffee lovers. This is reflected in the loyal following and reputation for quality they've developed in the community over the years. And during this particular visit, as usual, the people behind the bar were friendly, greeting me with a smile. Being familiar with the flavor and quality of Full City's house coffee and latte's already, I decided to try something different than my "usual". I went with the Cafe Borgia, made with Full City's award winning chocolate ganache, (a thick chocolate sauce), double shot of espresso, real orange zest, steamed milk and fresh made whipped cream. And it was every bit as delicious as it sounds. More drinkable than the traditional Borgia I remember, made of equal parts espresso and steamed milk. Full City's 13th & High cafe is a great meeting place and people watching spot. It's the one place I'm likely to find my friend Brice, the "Window Man", and be able to visit over a cup of coffee before getting on with the day. Outdoor seating that wraps around the corner of the building is nice during the dry season here in Eugene and even during the morning coffee rush I can usually find a seat in the cafe. Full city also offers a nice variety of pasties and other light fare. And I also recommend taking some of their whole bean coffee home to brew for yourself. The coffee is roasted right here in Eugene by Full City's owner and roast master, Michael Phinney. I enjoyed visiting Full City once again and I'm already craving my next Borgia.

(click photo to enlarge )

Full City Coffee Roasters
295 E 13th Ave, Eugene - (541) 465-9270

Coffee Snapshot: Dillanos' "Organic Chelba Ethiopia"

While I was at Coffee Fest Seattle last month, the friendly people at Dillanos Coffee Roasters gave me a bag of whole-bean "Organic Chelba Ethiopia", single varietal coffee from their One Harvest project to take home with me. The first things I noticed about this coffee were, that the beans were a lighter roast than I'm used to and the burst of sweet fruity aroma that wafted from the bag as soon as I opened it up. I don't use the word "wafted" lightly, as a matter of fact, I may have never used "wafted" before. But if ever there was an aroma that wafted, the fruity aroma of this Chelba wafted! The cup of Chelba that I just brewed tastes great and to my coffee drinking delight I can detect winy, fruity notes along with hints of nuttiness and cocoa. In other words, it's a delicious cup of coffee. This cup of Chelba is noticeably smooth, flavorful and satisfying. This is a coffee I'll really miss when I run out and I recommend it! If you enjoy trying delicious new coffee's, you can order this and other One Harvest Project coffee's from Dillanos Coffee Roasters by visiting www.dillanos.com and clicking on the "Get your home brew" icon in the upper right of the page.
(If you are a coffee roaster or distributor and would like your coffee reviewed here free in For Love Of Coffee, contact me, Cash Reynolds at forloveofcoffee@gmail.com)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Cafe Snapshot: One Cup Cafe

One Cup cafe

One Cup cafe sits at the edge of the Whiteaker neighborhood's Blair historic commercial district. The former site of The Hub cafe, One Cup remains a hub of social activity for neighboring residents, business people and area commuters who love good coffee. Uniquely "Eugene", One Cup's offerings are as diverse as its clientèle. From coffee and food, internet and artwork to evening yoga classes and special events featuring sushi chef's and professional waffle makers!
As soon as I walked in the door I was greeted by Gloria and Okon Udosenata, the husband and wife team that own and operate One Cup. I started with a cup of house coffee which, to my delight, was rich and satisfying. Before I had a chance to sit down I was invited by another patron to play a game of chess, which I accepted. The coffee, the atmosphere and the people make it easy to relax by one's self as well as interact and connect with other people.
Okon, One Cup's owner and master Barista took care in preparing my latte, displaying his craft and producing a delicious work of art!

I like the fun colors used on both the exterior and interior of the cafe. The first thing I notice walking in is the wide couch and coffee table which seem to set the tone for a comfortable and relaxed visit. The walls feature work by local artists and a community bulletin board hangs above the Mac desktop computer provided for customers to access the internet free of charge. And yes, free wifi is provided for those of us toting our laptops. And to top it all off, One Cup has a great collection of Jazz, Blues and other favorites on vinyl and a turntable in the customer seating are where guests are encouraged to play whatever they're in the mood to listen to. There's even an area in the back yard that's smoker friendly. I enjoy my visits to One Cup. And the coffee, roasted locally by Equator Coffee, is delicious. Check it out for yourself!

Okon Udosenata

Pulling a beautiful shot of espresso.

Free-pour latte art

This latte tasted as good as it looks.

The bar at One Cup cafe.

298 Blair Blvd.
Eugene, OR 97455
(541) 683-5046


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