- Food and Cooking
Welcome to the Coffee House!
Welcome! We're so happy to see you!
Is there anything more heavenly than the smell of freshly ground coffee? We're working hard to make our coffeehouse something extra special. For a real Coffee House experience, scroll down and turn on "A Little Coffee House Jazz." Place your order with our friendly and skillful barista. Then, sipping your favorite brew, take a look at some beautiful coffee berries. Find out about all the delicious ways you can enjoy your coffee at some of the world's most popular coffeehouses. Read fascinating stories about how coffeehouses got started, and which famous people throughout history have frequented them. Enjoy some beautiful coffeehouse photography. Check out our coffeehouse entertainers. See some of the cutest coffee mugs we've collected for your enjoyment, and other products available for coffee lovers. We've even got recipes to share with you of some of our most delectable coffee-time treats.
We're glad you're here. Enjoy yourself! And if there's anything you'd like to see here, let us know and we'll do our best to make it happen.
A Little Coffee House Jazz
Enjoy the European Jazz Trio, our tribute to some traditional coffee house music. Place your order, grab your mug, then relax and enjoy it. Make yourself comfortable. If you like, feel free to continue to enjoy it as you wander around the Coffee House, investigating all the treasures you'll find tucked away here. Have fun!
So, what'll you have today? - Ummm... I wish I understood what all those crazy coffee words meant...
We'll try to make it easy for you. Here's a quick list of definitions for you.
Americano: a shot of espresso with hot water added to dilute the espresso to the strength of a drip brewed cup of coffee
CafÃ© au lait: strong drip brewed or French pressed coffee, to which steamed milk is added, served in a cup
Cafe Mocha: a shot of espresso with a shot of chocolate syrup and steamed milk topped with froth or whipped cream
CaffÃ¨ breve: a milk-based espresso using steamed half-and-half instead of milk
CaffÃ¨ Latte: a shot of espresso, steamed milk to fill the cup and topped with a thin layer of froth
CaffÃ¨ Macchiato: see Espresso Macchiato
Cappuccino: a shot of espresso with equal parts steamed and frothed milk, sometimes topped with shaved chocolate, raw sugar, cinnamon or other spices
Espresso: a shot equals one ounce of concentrated beverage brewed by forcing hot water under pressure through finely ground coffee
Espresso Macchiato: an espresso topped with a small spoonful of frothed milk
Frappe: Iced coffee topped with whipped cream and flavored syrup
Iced Breve: Caffe Breve served over ice
Latte Macchiato: milk steamed to microfoam, with a half shot of espresso poured gently through the foamy top layer, creating a layered drink with a spot of espresso on top, served in a glass
Mocha: a latte blended with chocolate
Mocha Breve: CaffÃ¨ breve with an ounce of chocolate, served with whipped cream
May I take your order?
Place your order here, please.
Featured shirt at the Coffee House Gift Shop
Do you know anyone who is very particular about their coffee?
"Coffee Snob" T-shirt by JoieGirl
It's fun to visit a Zazzle shop because you can play around with all the possibilities. For example, this design can be printed on an incredible variety of shirts (men's - 27 styles in 11 colors; women's - 28 styles in a vast array of colors; children's - 15 styles in a dozen or more colors; babies' - 4 styles in 5 colors)! Just click on the shirt to try it out.
Where does coffee come from?
Here's a terrific picture showing the stages your coffee goes through. First, there are the coffee plants growing in pots on the table. These plants grow to be very big. They produce delicate white blossoms, which give way to berries. The berries are green until they ripen. Then they turn red. Notice the red berries in the center of the circle? The outer flesh is removed to reveal the pale beans on the right side of the circle. The beans are dried, becoming a dull light brown color, as shown at the top of the circle. Then they are roasted, producing the rich, dark colored beans you see on the left. Finally, the coffee is ground, as you see at the bottom of the circle.
And there you have it!
"I'm a Coffee Kind of Guy/Gal"
Featured shirt at the Coffee House Gift Shop
What would it look like if you wore the same shirt every time you visited your favorite coffeehouse - and couldn't get the stains out!? (Click on the shirt to see a closeup.)
"I'm a Coffee Kind of Guy/Gal!" T Shirt by JoieGirl
(Whatever you do, don't use LaraineRose's amazingly successful spot-removing suggestions on this shirt, or you'll take away its charm!)
Famous Coffeeshops (Starbucks)
Let us tell you a little about coffeeshops you may see in your travels. Whenever possible, we'll give you their current specialties.
I'd like to start with Starbucks. Why? I have a special memory about my first visit to this famous coffeeshop chain.
I like coffee. I really like coffee. And I really like all the fun ways you can drink coffee - all those neat syrupy flavor thingees and foam and ice and mmmmmm... g-o-o-o-d coffee! But living far from the land of Starbucks as I do, I was totally clueless about Starbucks itself. When I think "coffeehouse," I think sitting around, warm mug in hand, poetry readings, guitar strumming--you know, coffeehouse. I was totally unprepared for my first visit to Starbucks.
My husband drives a long distance to work, and one day I went with him. I planned to spend the day shopping in the "big city." Well, I dropped him off around 7:30, and besides needing breakfast, I needed to kill some time before the stores opened. I drove down the main street of town, my eyes searching for a likely breakfast spot. Say, what's that over there? Looks like it's packed. Must serve good food. Wait - it's Starbucks! I've always wanted to try this place, I've heard so much about it.
I parked outside the crowded parking lot and walked. Then I entered. That's all I COULD do. Enter and stand perfectly still. I found myself at the end of one of half a dozen long lines. I looked around. No smiling, relaxed poetry reciters here... no music... Instead, I saw rows and rows of very well-dressed serious business-like business-minded individuals focused on the business at hand - COFFEE!
I glanced up at the menu board, which was written in Greek. Or might as well have been, for all I understood it. Oh, no... I'm moving forward too quickly in this mass of people who all know exactly what they're doing here, while I - I - I... am totally lost. I am the most unintelligent person in the building. The most ignorant and obviously the stupidest human here - and in about twenty seconds everyone is going to know it!
I listened carefully to the orderers. I'd never heard anyone speak so rapidly in my life. "Doubletallnonfatextradrycappuccino." Huh? "Triplegrandesugarfreevanillalatte." What? "IcedquadVentisugarfreevanillanonfatwithWhipCaramelMacchiato." I was trying to figure out what ANYONE has just said when--
"Ma'am? ahem, MA'AM! Your order?" I turned in a state of utter panic to face an impatient barista. I KNEW she was thinking, "What do you think YOU'RE doing here?" I whispered, "I... ah... er... um... could I have a cup of decaf, please?"
"I beg your pardon - what did you say?"
My cheeks were burning. I was positive that ten thousand pairs of eyes were boring into me. I cleared my throat and raised my chin. "I'd like a cup of decaf," I said bravely. I glanced around. No one was looking at me. No doubt they were too appalled. She handed me my cup and I walked outside briskly and confidently so no one could guess that I wished that the ground would swallow me up.
...That was a few years and many coffees ago... but believe me, I identify with the confusion a person can feel on entering a busy Starbucks for the first time. So to help you out, I've found a couple of baristas who can explain all the hard stuff so that you can pop into your nearby Starbucks and order like an old pro. :)
(The above photo by miss vichan is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.)
What Those Starbucks Names Mean
Are you as confused as I was? Too many names, too many flavors, too many options, and everybody seems to understand what's going on but me! Never fear, the baristas are here! Help is at hand!
- Starbucks Drinks Simplified
A former Starbucks barista explains what all those confusing names mean.
- Starbucks - A Guide to Ordering
Now that you know what you want, here's the way to order it and sound intelligent at the same time!
- What's Happening at Starbucks Right Now?
Why take my word for what Starbucks is all about? Ask Starbucks itself. Their comprehensive web site describes each of their coffees and its respective origin. It describes their Natural Fusions (flavorings). It has a full menu that includes nutritio
- Currently at Starbucks . . .
Order the Pumpkin Spice Latte While It's Still Here! Pumpkin Spice Latte is fall's favorite drink. Espresso blended with the spices of your favorite pumpkin pie - cinnamon, nutmeg and clove - smooth with steamed milk and topped with delectably sweet
How do you feel about Starbucks?
For some folks, Starbucks is the ultimate coffee destination. How do you feel?
What's your opinion about Starbucks?
"I LIVE Coffee!"
Featured mug at the Coffee House Gift Shop
How important is your coffee to YOU?
"I eat drink inhale dream live breath LOVE Coffee!" COFFEE MUGS by JoieGirl
Spotlight on Decaf
Decaffeinated Coffee Can Be Delicious!
Are you a coffee lover who cannot or choose not to have caffeine? Don't worry. We've got some great decafs here at the Coffee House, and we're always on the lookout for more. When we find one that we especially like, we'll post information about it here. We'll also give you information about how you can buy it and enjoy it at home, too.
coming soon . . . TIM HORTONS!
But I Live Far Away from Any Coffeehouse! - Never fear . . . the barista is here!
No coffeehouse in your neighborhood, but you're longing for the taste of REAL coffeehouse coffee?
Never fear! I've arranged for UK coffee consultant/barista Robert Henry to give you personal lessons on how to create your very own coffeehouse treats!
- Know Your Beans: An Introduction to the World of Coffee
What is arabica coffee? Robusta coffee? What is a blend? Which coffee contains more caffeine? Which contains less? Which is stronger in flavor? Which is milder? These and a host of other questions are answered here.
- How to Make Espresso
Does the idea of making espresso feel a bit daunting? Barista Steve shows you how.
- How to Make Flavoured Coffee
Do you enjoy a hint of hazelnut? A vanilla variation? Here's how to do it.
- How to Make a Caffe Mocha
Mmmmmm . . . Mocha! (there's something about the combination of coffee and chocolate . . .)
- How to Make a Cappuccino
Sound hard? Let Barista Robert make it easy.
- How to Make a Caffe Latte
So you like latte a LOT, eh? (ewww... sorry! *grin*) Here's how to make it.
Hint: How to Make the Most Deliciously SIMPLE Espresso at HOME! - Look how easy it is!
It's cheap, it's easy, and it's delicious! Order it on AMAZON below and then enjoy a cup while you visit us here at the Coffee House!
Gift Shop: Great AMAZON coffee gifts at the best prices! - Special recommendation: Aerobie AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker
Have you tried the Aerobie AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker? Right now Amazon has it at an exceptional price of only $25.95! (And if you happen to be an Amazon Prime member, the shipping is free!) It's inexpensive, simple to use, and makes simply the best cup of espresso you've ever tasted! If you combine that espresso with an equal amount of hot water, you have an incredible cup of Americano - ooooh, so good. (You can make one or two cups at a time.)
My son-in-law, who owns 7? 8? coffeemakers of different kinds, swears by the Aerobie, and at present, won't use anything else. I have to agree with him. Give it a try! IF YOU DON'T SEE IT IN THE LIST BELOW, click on any product to get you to Amazon's site, then type "Aeropress" into the search box.
Try it - I promise you'll love it! Enjoy!
"Mr. President Wants Coffee (or Tea)"
Featured mug at the Coffee House Gift Shop
Abraham Lincoln apparently enjoyed a good cup of coffee. He also enjoyed a good cup of tea. But when he couldn't tell what was in the cup, he didn't enjoy that at all!
"Mr. President Wants Coffee (or Tea)" Coffee Mug by JoieGirl
Coffee House History: Leipzig - Isn't this a striking piece of art?
Where would you go to find one of the oldest coffee houses in Europe? Travel to Leipzig, Germany, at Kleine Fleischergasse 4. That's the address of Zum Arabischen Coffee Baum (English: To the Arab Coffee Tree).
The first thing you notice is the striking sculpture above the doorway. There's a cupid handing a cup of coffee to a man in Ottoman clothing. Or perhaps the Ottoman is handing the coffee to the cupid. You decide. But here we see representations of the Christian world meeting the world of Islam.
If you go to the Coffee Baum website, you will find that the origin of this sculpture is unknown. We do know, however, that it has graced the coffee house at Kleine Fleischergasse 4 since 1719 or 1720.
Is that how old the building itself is? Oh, no. The walls were already standing as early as 1556. In 1694 Heinrich SchÃ¼tze opened the building as a coffee house.
But what made this so very special? It wasn't just the coffee. It was the clientele. During the next 300 years, this coffee house became a regular meeting place for famous writers, musicians, and politicians. Stimulated by both the beverage and the intellectual exchange of ideas, people like Hoffman, Wagner, Goethe, Bach, Grieg visited the coffee house. Robert Schumann had a regular table there where he entertained friends.
Ah, if those walls could only talk!
Photo courtesy of Syntax and Creative Commons
Coffee House History: JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH, Coffeehouse Musician Extraordinare
Musician's Political Statement Hidden in Composition in Praise of Coffee
By the 18th century, there were coffeehouses all over Europe. The coffeehouse was THE place to be, whether you were strictly a coffee lover, or were in search of a good political debate, or were a lover of good music, or liked to associate with the artists of the day. Germany had a strong love for coffee, and had many popular coffeehouses where all were welcome.
That is, of course, if you were a MAN. Why? Because at that time in Germany, there was a political movement afoot to prevent women from drinking coffee, since it was believed that coffee drinking caused sterility in women. Ridiculous? Johann Sebastian Bach thought so.
At this time, Bach became fully involved with the Collegium Musicum, a musical society that performed vocal and instrumental music for pleasure. Students, professionals and visiting musicians traveling through Leipzig were eager to enjoy participate in an exciting Friday night concert with Bach. One such concert was a tongue-in-cheek celebration of coffee, including a semi-comedic "statement" about who should be allowed to drink it. He called it "Kafee-Kantate," or "Coffee Cantata."
Would you like to read the libretto of the "Coffee Cantata"?
Confessions of a Coffee Bean: The Complete Guide to Coffee Cuisine by Marie Nadine Antol
Bach, and Bach Again: An account of the reconstruction of a baroque masterwork, the concerto in G major for violin, viola and string orchestra. by Robert Bridges
The Coffee Cantata, by Johann Sebastian Bach - Now that you've read the lyrics, why not listen to a little bit of the music?
Short and sweet, this video lets you hear the fun in Bach's delightful cantata!
Love Bach? Love his sentiments about coffee? - Here's your own quotation from the Coffee Cantata!
This is my favorite quotation from Bach's Coffee Cantata. Maybe you feel a little bit like this in the mornings, too. ;)
Have We Got a Treat for YOU!
You know how we're always on the lookout for the best coffee house experience for our customers . . . well, listen to this:
We've enlisted the aid of one of San Francisco's finest photographers, Jonathan Fleming, in our search for that city's BEST coffee houses. Jonathan has agreed to share some awesome coffee house photography with us, along with some of his comments about the places he visits. (Did I mention that he's also a coffee connoisseur?) Join us now on a photo journey that is close to all of our hearts.
(For even more of Jonathan's awesome photography, check out his blog! It's full of hundreds of pictures of San Francisco, as well as places he's traveled around the world. Read the entertaining stories behind the pictures, as well as note his camera settings and helpful suggestions to improve your photography!)
Some of San Francisco's Finest Coffee Spots, Part I - Blue Bottle!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Programmer Mug I: "C:\COFFEE.POT missing (A)bort (R)etry (F)all asleep?"
Featured Mug at the Coffee House Gift Shop
Where would programmers be without their coffee?
"Programmer Mug I" by JoieGirl
Coffee House Gift Shop: The best deals are on eBay! - For terrific bargains, look no further!
Everybody knows that if you're a good bidder, you can win awesome prices on awesome products on eBay. Just remember, the deals you see here today are only here for a short time, so don't delay...get the deals before they're gone!
Coffee House Writing
It's interesting - at times throughout history, different coffeehouses catered to different groups. Some attracted gatherings of politicians, or musicians, or businessmen, or writers.
It's amazing how many of the writers wrote from coffeehouses, wrote about coffeehouses, or got their inspiration at coffeehouses. Why?
Because the coffee house was "information central." For the price of a cup of coffee, a person could spend hours reading newspapers from around the world. They could listen to the opinions and ideas of fellow writers, discuss world affairs enthusiastically - the enthusiasm stemming partially from the intake of coffee! In London, many of the patrons were reporters for early periodicals like "The Guardian" and "The Spectator." Their writings about things that happened in the coffeehouse and their articles can be considered some of the first "short stories" of English literature.
Did you know that these authors were coffee house writers?
John Dryden (1631-1700) English poet, literary critic, translator, playwright, Poet Laureate
Joseph Addison (1672-1719) English essayist, poet, politician, co-founder of "The Spectator" magazine
Sir Richard Steele (1672-1729) Irish writer and politician, cofounder of "The Spectator" magazine
Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer, poet and cleric, remembered for many works including "Gulliver's Travels"
Henry Fielding (1707-1754) English novelist, dramatist, satirist, co-founder of the "Bow Street Runners"
David Garrick (1717-1779) English actor, playwright, theatre manager and producer
Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English poet, essayist, moralist, novelist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer
Alexander Pope (1688-1744) English poet, satirist
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America - a noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author and printer, satirist, political theorist, politician, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, soldier,and diplomat
Karl Kraus (1874-1936) Austrian writer and journalist, known as a satirist, essayist, aphorist, playwright and poet
Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) Austrian novelist, playwright, journalist and biographer
Peter Altenberg (1859-1919) Austrian writer and poet
Dr. Arthur Schnitzler (1862-1931) Austrian author and dramatist
Hugo von Hofmannsthal (1874-1929) Austrian novelist, librettist, poet, dramatist, narrator, and essayist
Felix Salten (1869-1945) Austrian writer, most famous work, "Bambi"
Kafka (1883-1924) Major fiction writer of the 20th century
KÃ¡lmÃ¡n MikszÃ¡th (1847-1910) major Hungarian novelist, journalist, and politician
SÃ¡ndor BrÃ³dy (1863-1924) Hungarian author and journalist
ZoltÃ¡n Ambrus (1861-1932) Hungarian writer and translator
Endre Ady (1877-1919) Hungarian poet, considered one of the most important poets not only in the corpus of Hungarian literature but also in world literature
Frigyes Karinthy (1887-1938) Hungarian author, playwright, poet, journalist, and translator, the first proponent of the six degrees of separation concept
Dezso KosztolÃ¡nyi (1885-1936) famous Hungarian poet and prose-writer
And there are so many more! Even today, you can see writers in coffeehouses. Some with laptops, others with good old paper and pen. Whatever kind of writer you are, you can keep your creations in a Writer's Notebook. Who inspires you? Maybe it's one of these great authors:
Featured Writer's Notebook at the Coffee House Gift Shop
Why not let a famous author's words inspire you? Slip a 6.5 x 8.75" Writer's Notebook into your purse or backpack so you're ready to jot down those important ideas on the spot. Agatha Christie is only one of the famous authors you'll find on this site. The perfect inspiration: famous authors writing about writing!
(Find it a little hard to read Agatha? Click on the notebook for a closer look.)
"Writer's Notebook - Agatha Christie" by JoieGirl
"Pearl S. Buck"
Featured Compact Writer's Notebook at the Coffee House Gift Shop
I just love the quotation by Pearl S. Buck about her writing philosophy! (If you can't read the quotation, just click on the notebook for a closer look.) The notebooks on this site are more compact - a mere 5 x 8". Perfect for writing on the go! And there are a whopping 34 authors' quotations to choose from! Some are serious, and some are funny. Prepare to be entertained.
Featured Writer's Notebook (binder) at the Coffee House Gift Shop
Robert Benchley was a funny man. According to Wikipedia, "Benchley produced over 600 essays, which were initially compiled in twelve volumes, during his writing career. He also appeared in a number of films, including 48 short treatments that he mostly wrote or co-wrote and numerous feature films."
Robert Benchley is only one of 30 authors whose quotations about writings are spotlighted on these binders, the perfect place to assemble your creative works.
"It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous."
"Writer's Notebook - Robert Benchley" by JoieGirl
More Coffee House Music for You to Enjoy - We've invited special musical guests to entertain you!
Here are some of our favorite Coffee House entertainers:
Bridget Fleming and friends (live at the Epicenter Cafe in San Francisco) give us a classic jazz rendition of "September in the Rain."
Jim and Jimmy Wright and Dave Brandeberry from The Depot Coffee House in Urbana, Ohio perform "All My Love In Vain" (a.k.a. "Love In Vain"), originally performed by blues king Robert Johnson (1911-1938). Sit back and enjoy!
Landon Pigg and his musical group perform "Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop."
We're always looking for yummy treats for our guests to enjoy with their coffee. This one is a family favorite that I know you'll enjoy - impossible to stop after one piece!
- 1 cup butter
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 lb. light brown sugar
- 1 cup sugar
- 5 eggs
- 3 cups sifted flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- Walnut Glaze
- Beat together butter and shortening; gradually add sugars, creaming until mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Sift together the dry ingredients; add them alternately with the milk and vanilla to the creamed mixture. Stir in the nuts. Pour the batter into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake at 350Â° for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until done. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and place it back on the rack over a piece of waxed paper. Pour the Walnut Glaze over the hot cake. If icing falls onto the waxed paper, scoop it up and put it back on the cake.
- WALNUT GLAZE:
- Cream 1 cup sifted powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons butter. Add 6 tablespoons of cream, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla, and 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts. Blend well.
Coffee House Treats You Can Make at Home! from AMAZON - Check out these wonderful baking books to show you how!
Amazon review: Reading Rick Rodgers's Kaffeehaus is like strolling through the streets of three of the world's most romantic cities--Vienna, Budapest, and Prague--where the coffeehouse is the center of the universe and that little something sweet to go with your afternoon cup is considered high art . . . Though the book focuses exclusively on the impressive desserts found in coffeehouses, rather than those that are home-baked, Rodgers has developed recipes accessible enough for recreating such scrumptious treats in any home kitchen.
Product description: There's nothing more relaxing than dipping a crunchy Biscotti into a frothy cappuccino or nibbling on a giant Molasses Ginger Cookie with a cup of hot tea. These delicious goodies can now be whipped up at home thanks to the enticing recipes in Afternoon Delights. With easy-to-follow instructions and tips for foolproof results, novices and experts alike will dazzle friends and family with melt-in-your-mouth Russian Tea Cakes, Coconut Macaroons of just the right chewiness, and many more tasty coffeehouse treats.
Product Description - FINALIST FOR A JAMES BEARD AWARD IN THE BAKING/DESSERT CATEGORY
We all have fond memories of a favorite dessert our grandmother or mother used to bake. It's these dishes that give us comfort in times of stress, help us celebrate special occasions, and remind us of the person who used to bake for us those many years ago. In Heirloom Baking, Marilynn Brass and Sheila Brass preserve and update 150 of these beloved desserts.
Starred review: Greenspan, coauthor of books with culinary icons such as Julia Child (Baking with Julia), Daniel Boulud and Pierre HermÃ©, shares her favorite recipes in this tantalizing collection, which covers all the baking bases, from muffins, cookies and brownies to spoon desserts, pies and cobblers. Instructions are clear and easy to follow, and Greenspan uses everyday ingredients readily available to the home chef. Recipes like Perfection Pound Cake and All-American, All-Delicious Apple Pie convey a comfortable, almost homey, familiarity that will bring readers back to this collection again and again.
Product description: Tired of complicated baking recipes that call for expensive equipment, complicated techniques, and hard-to-find ingredients? Baking, Unplugged comes to the rescue with a collection of simple, back-to-basics recipes for everything from muffins and breakfast pastries to cookies, pies, cakes, and puddings. These are baked goods just like grandma used to make, made from scratch with basic ingredients and standard kitchen equipment.
Thank you so much for visiting the Coffee House . . . you've made our day!
When people create a virtual coffee house, what it contains is limited only by their imagination. We want this to be the most amazing coffee house you've ever seen.
What do you think of it so far? Do you have any suggestions for things we might add? Feedback, please! Thank you.