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Over a cup of joy

Brewing Coffee with Style

by Jonathan Kevin Castillo

Brewing Coffee with Style
Single-cup coffees are definitely brewing or shall I say growing. From cafeterias to transport terminals, even in some local wet markets, it seems to be virtually everywhere! And why shouldn’t it be? Lots of people love coffee and to pay for about five pesos for a tasty cup of coffee within seconds is not a bad deal at all. In fact, it is good business. Such technology has started to hit the mainstream and others are taking this opportunity to add some twists to it. Enter the Krieg Vue V700.

The Krieg Vue V700 has about 30 flavors available. So, there is a large selection to pick from and each coffee variant tastes spectacular. Krieg uses their own new Vue capsules to brew coffee from, instead of the more common K-Cups. It can brew either coffee or tea, which is actually a nice treat. With it, both coffee and tea lovers will get to enjoy their hot yet simple guilty pleasures.

The entire machine is built with plastic and the container uses reusable coffee and tea filters. That alone makes it quite interesting – eco-friendly, if you will. As it’s one of the latest techs out there, you can set this machine in multiple ways: brew temperatures, cup size, brew strengths, and timer. Put all of these together and know how to use it well, then you’re in for a quite a treat.

Lots of us love Starbucks, and it’s almost a guarantee that the next person we suddenly think of, would love to have something from Starbucks. Well, the massive barista company came up with something fun, cozy, and heart-warming way to share your love of this huge coffee hit.

Tweet-a-Coffee program is a new service by Starbucks (only applied in the US) where you can link your Twitter and Starbucks accounts together. And then when you Tweet “@tweetacoffee” and your buddy’s Twitter handle, that friend of yours will get an e-gift. No, coffee won’t just miraculously appear on you friend’s PC or phone; what it does is it will send a link for redemption. So when your friend visits a Starbucks branch all he has to do is show the link sent on the phone and Starbucks will scan the barcode.

This has been applied to Facebook as well; but the mobile app comes down to a humble $5, which is pretty much more than enough to buy a thing or two.

Now you may be wondering what good this would do for you? Well, not much really. It’s mostly more about the person you’re thinking of. A sign of good gesture. A way to pay back your friends, rewards of any sort, and as Starbucks said, “just because.”

The receiver of the e-gift can also print out or show the notification that tells them they’ve received it and show it to Starbucks store to enjoy their freebie. Alternative methods involve by showing the e-gift from the mobile phone, or through the Starbucks Mobile app.

For those receiving their e-gifts, be sure to pay-it-forward to extend gratitude.

Nespresso Pixie and U
The Nespresso Pixie is one fanciful machine. It brews excellent coffee and covers a wide range of styles that would definitely suit everyone’s taste.

One of the best features that the Pixie offers is its small size. It can fit in small kitchens, offices and even study rooms – that is, if you’re the type who would stay there to prepare for an exam or to write a novel.

Its smaller frame, however, means it has a smaller water container. And so, this machine would require more frequent refilling. If you don’t mind that small limitation, then there shouldn’t be anything else that this fairy device could bother you.

Besides the Pixie, there is also the Nespresso U. The Nespresso U is all about you and what you want with your coffee. It is another excellent machine with excellent coffee capsules. It’s not a very high-end one. It is perfect for casual coffee drinkers who just can’t seem to get enough coffee. Its simple design features a quick select mode where all you do is just press a single button and your favorite coffee will be ready in a jiffy.

Oh, we just need to mention that in its ad, just seeing George Clooney having that one good cup with the Nespresso machine, what else do we need to know?

Starbucks Pay by Phone
That’s right folks. With all the gizmos available today, we have little to no reason at all why we shouldn’t maximize all these amazing technologies to give us a richer, luxurious, comfortable, albeit, spoiled, lifestyle.

Starbucks has tapped into the smartphone market and developed this cool app where you can pay for your coffee in advance and pick it up as soon you get there. It checks out your credit card load or the remaining balance from Starbucks cards and sends all data once you’re done. So, you can order a couple of fraps from your office, walk toward the nearest store, and there you have it. Without waiting in line.

We don’t believe this method has reached the Philippines yet; but if it ever does, this will definitely play out a lot of interesting potential for caffeine lovers. I for one will surely try this service and see how efficient this could be for our local baristas. Definitely looking forward to its potential.

While we’re in the topic of Starbucks going innovative. Some branches in the US have wireless charging pads. Where you just place down your phone on the pad, and it will begin charging to your account. Let’s just repeat that, wireless. Like the payment method, this hasn’t reached Philippines yet, and we believe it won’t be coming anytime soon. We can cross our fingers in two or three years’ time the company might start considering this as high-end smartphone features are slowly creeping its way down to entry-level devices. But it is still a bit too early to guess.

Yawn Activated Coffee Machine
Innovation has its ups and downs. Some are really cool and some are just not. Not all cool things are actually practical or pretty much helpful. Take this Yawn activated coffee machine, for example. I personally find it an unconventional machine. What it does is it detects one’s face and if that person yawns, the machine will start brewing coffee… for free! (well, at least for now)

It has actually generated a lot of coffee already when it was launched-tested in an airport in South Africa. The idea seems pretty good. Tired or sleepy people (who are either arriving, leaving or waiting) in the airport will just go up to the machine and start yawning (considering all tired/sleepy people yawn). From here, the machine will start brewing coffee for you. And yes, you have to be standing in front of the machine and yawn before it gives you something to drink.

So, if you’re starting to feel the need to yawn, hold it, and run in front of the machine and then let it go – assuming you can actually hold that yawn. That would be a fun and clever way to stretch your muscles while waiting for your next flight.

As we take a closer look into the machine. This could be applied quite well in offices or at homes. Where people bustling in their cubicles begin to see the Zzz’s behind their eyes, and then pop comes the coffee. One clever thing though—it only recognizes authentic yawns.